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The Soviet Economic System: An Archival Re-evaluation

Paul R. Gregory ()
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Paul R. Gregory: The Hoover Institution of Stanford University

Chapter 3 in The Palgrave Handbook of Comparative Economics, 2021, pp 47-65 from Springer

Abstract: Abstract This chapter surveys the Soviet economic system beginning with accounts of scientific planning by an enlightened Politburo. Contributions by Kornai, Berliner, and Granick from the 1950s provided the first accounts of the dysfunctionalities of enterprises. The opening of the Soviet archives offered the first insider accounts of planning in practice, of a leadership torn by vested interests, coordinated not by plans but by “resource mobility” and “petty tutelage.” Enterprise gross output targets had to be fulfilled “at any price.” Just about any superior could change the plan, which was never finalized. Managers and planners were loath to deviate from the “achieved level” irrespective of changes in tastes and technology. “Scientific planning” froze the economy in place, while market economies created new technologies and new products.

Keywords: Soviet economic system; Planning; Archival revolution; Politburo; Kornai (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-50888-3_3

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