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Comparative Economic Systems

Edited by Paul Dragos Aligica, Senior Research Fellow, F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and Peter J. Boettke, University Professor of Economics and Philosophy, George Mason University, US
The search for alternatives to capitalism and the problem of comparative assessment of the performance of socialist and capitalist systems have inspired one of the richest and most remarkable episodes in the history of economic thought. By the mid 20th century an entire field had emerged, conceptualizing, theorizing, monitoring, and analyzing the largest and most consequential social and economic natural experiment in human history: Real-life Socialism. This volume focuses on the fundamental literature associated with the comparative study of socialist and capitalist systems. It features both a well-rounded inquiry of the modern history of economic thought, as well as a vibrant and critical disentanglement of the role of the economic system from the role of environment and policy decisions, as determinants of economic performance. Together with an original introduction by the editors, this collection will be an interesting and invaluable research resource for libraries, academics and students alike.
Extent: 776 pp
Hardback Price: $425.00 Web: $382.50
Publication Date: 2018
ISBN: 978 1 78643 166 0
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Methodology of Economics
The search for alternatives to capitalism and the problem of comparative assessment of the performance of socialist and capitalist systems have inspired one of the richest and most remarkable episodes in the history of economic thought. By the mid 20th century an entire field had emerged, conceptualizing, theorizing, monitoring, and analyzing the largest and most consequential social and economic natural experiment in human history: Real-life Socialism. This volume focuses on the fundamental literature associated with the comparative study of socialist and capitalist systems. It features both a well-rounded inquiry of the modern history of economic thought, as well as a vibrant and critical disentanglement of the role of the economic system from the role of environment and policy decisions, as determinants of economic performance. Together with an original introduction by the editors, this collection will be an interesting and invaluable research resource for libraries, academics and students alike.
‘This exquisite anthology covers sixty years of conceptual and empirical scholarship on comparative economic systems, zeroing in on central plan economies. Paul Dragos Aligica and Peter J. Boettke have assembled both indispensable classic papers and innovative recent contributions. The volume encompasses several types of central plan economies, including the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Mao’s China, and Yugoslavia. Five distinct sections organize thirty-six articles into a logical sequence, enabling the volume to achieve simultaneously two objectives: provide a multifaceted, in-depth analysis of the subject and present a history of economic ideas and debates. An exhaustive introduction by the editors summarizes this history in a lively fashion.’
– Michael S. Bernstam, Stanford University, US

‘The history books of economic thought are disturbingly incomplete, lacking a vast chapter covering the evolution of collectivist economic ideas and scholarly attempts at comparing the (dis)advantages of capitalist and communist systems. Any specialist or student eager to fill this gap is advised to read the Aligica-Boettke collection, particularly its subtext, carefully. The selection follows a thematic logic, but reading between the lines of thematic analysis the editors successfully present an authentic evolutionary pattern of Comparative Economic Systems.’ 
– Janos Matyas Kovacs, Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna – Lorand Eotvos University, Budapest

36 articles, dating from 1948 to 2009
Contributors include: A. Bergson, G. Grossman, L. Hurwicz, J. Kornai, S. Kuznets, J.M. Montias, W.G. Nutter, M. Olson, F. Pryor, J. Stiglitz
Contents:

Acknowledgements

Introduction Paul Dragos Aligica and Peter J. Boettke

PART I COMPARATIVE FRAMEWORKS AND APPROACHES
1. David Conn (1978), ‘Economic Theory and Comparative Economic Systems: A Partial Literature Survey’, Journal of Comparative Economics, 2 (4), December, 355–81

2. Avner Ben-Ner, John Michael Montias and Egon Neuberger (1993), ’Basic Issues in Organizations: A Comparative Perspective’, Journal of Comparative Economics, 17 (2), June, 207–42

3. William Duffy and Egon Neuberger (1972), ‘Toward a Decision-Theoretic Approach to the Study of Economic Systems’, Jahrbuch der Wirtschaft Osteuropas – Yearbook of East-European Economics, 3 (1), 67–85

4. Leonid Hurwicz (1979), ‘Socialism and Incentives: Developing a Framework’, Journal of Comparative Economics, 3 (3), September, 207–16

5. Raaj Kumar Sah and Joseph E. Stiglitz (1986), ‘The Architecture of Economic Systems: Hierarchies and Polyarchies’, American Economic Review, 76 (4), September, 716–27

6. Benjamin Ward (1988), ‘LEP: An Alternative Criterion for Socio-Economic Valuation’, Journal of Economic Issues, XXII (3), September, 763–80

PART II PROBLEMS OF MEASUREMENT AND ASSESSMENT
7. Robert W. Campbell (1959), ‘Problems of United States-Soviet Economic Comparisons’, in Comparisons of the United States and Soviet Economies: Papers Submitted by Panelists Appearing Before the Subcommittee on Economic Statistics: Part I, 86th Congress: 1st Session, Washington, DC, USA: United States Government Printing Office, 13–30

8. G. Warren Nutter (1958), ‘Industrial Growth in the Soviet Union’, American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings, 48 (2), May, 398–411

9. Evsey D. Domar (1967), ‘An Index-Number Tournament’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, LXXXI (2), May, 169–88

10. Simon Kuznets (1962), ‘Inventive Activity: Problems of Definition and Measurement’, in Universities-National Bureau Committee for Economic Research and Committee on Economic Growth of the Social Science Research Council (eds), The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, Part I, Chapter 1, Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press, 19–51

11. Abram Bergson (1987), ‘Comparative Productivity: The USSR, Eastern Europe, and the West’, American Economic Review, 77 (3), June, 342–57
12. Abram Bergson (1992), ‘Communist Economic Efficiency Revisited’, American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings, 82 (2), May, 27–30

13. Steven Rosefielde (2003), ‘The Riddle of Post-war Russian Economic Growth: Statistics Lied and Were Misconstrued’, Europe-Asia Studies, 55 (3), May, 469–81

PART III CASES, SYSTEMS, AND INTERPRETATIONS
14. Gregory Grossman (1963), ‘Notes for a Theory of the Command Economy’, Soviet Studies, XV (2), October, 101–23

15. Eugenia Belova and Paul Gregory (2002), ‘Dictator, Loyal, and Opportunistic Agents: The Soviet Archives on Creating the Soviet Economic System’, Public Choice, 113 (3–4), December, 265–86

16. Walter Eucken (1948), ‘On the Theory of the Centrally Administered Economy: An Analysis of the German Experiment: Part I’, trans. by T. W. Hutchison, Economica, 15 (58), May, 79–100

17. Walter Eucken (1948), ‘On the Theory of the Centrally Administered Economy: An Analysis of the German Experiment: Part II’, trans. by T. W. Hutchison, Economica, 15 (59), August, 173–93

18. Frederic L. Pryor (1988), ‘Corporatism as an Economic System: A Review Essay’, Journal of Comparative Economics, 12 (3), September, 317–44
19. Audrey Donnithorne (1972), ‘China’s Cellular Economy: Some Economic Trends Since the Cultural Revolution’, China Quarterly, 52, October, 605–19

20. Steven Rosefielde and Henry Latané (1980), ‘Decentralized Economic Control in the Soviet Union and Maoist China: One-Man Rule versus Collective Self-Management’, in Steven Rosefielde (ed.), World Communism at the Crossroads: Military Ascendancy, Political Economy, and Human Welfare, Chapter 12, Boston, MA, USA: Martinus Nijhoff Publishing, 273–304

21. Benjamin Ward (1958), ‘The Firm in Illyria: Market Syndicalism’, American Economic Review, 48 (4), September, 566–89

22. Jaroslav Vanek (1969), ‘Decentralization Under Workers’ Management: A Theoretical Appraisal’, American Economic Review, 59 (5), December, 1006–14

PART IV FACETS, DYNAMICS, AND STRUCTURAL CHANGE
23. János Kornai (1986), ‘The Soft Budget Constraint’, Kyklos, 39 (1), February, 3–30

24. Gregory Grossman (1981), ‘The “Second Economy” of the USSR’, in Morris Bornstein (ed.), The Soviet Economy: Continuity and Change, Chapter 4, Boulder, CO, USA: Westview Press, 71–93

25. Morris Bornstein (1978), ‘The Administration of the Soviet Price System’, Soviet Studies, XXX (4), October, 466–90

26. Joseph S. Berliner (1978), ‘Innovation and Central Economic Planning’, Il Politico, 43 (1), March, 47–61

27. Nicolas Spulber (1959), ‘The Soviet-Bloc Foreign Trade System’, Law and Contemporary Problems, State Trading: Part II, 24 (3), Summer, 420–34

28. Jan Tinbergen (1961), ‘Do Communist and Free Economies Show a Converging Pattern?’, Soviet Studies, XII (4), April, 333–41

29. Robert C. Stuart and Paul R. Gregory (1971), ‘The Convergence of Economic Systems: An Analysis of Structural and Institutional Characteristics’, Jahrbuch der Wirtschaft Osteuropas – Yearbook of East-European Economics, 2, 425–41

30. Frederic L. Pryor (1970), ‘Barriers to Market Socialism in Eastern Europe in the Mid 1960s’, Studies in Comparative Communism, 3 (2), April, 31–64

31. Peter Murrell and Mancur Olson (1991), ‘The Devolution of Centrally Planned Economies’, Journal of Comparative Economics, 15 (2), June, 239–65

PART V COMPARATIVE ECONOMIC SYSTEMS AND THE NEW COMPARATIVE ECONOMICS
32. Simeon Djankov, Edward Glaeser, Rafael La Porta, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes and Andrei Shleifer (2003), ‘The New Comparative Economics’, Journal of Comparative Economics, 31 (4), December, 595–619

33. Peter J. Boettke, Christopher J. Coyne, Peter T. Leeson and Frederic Sautet (2005), ‘The New Comparative Political Economy’, Review of Austrian Economics, 18 (3–4), December, 281–304

34. Josef C. Brada (2009), ‘The New Comparative Economics versus the Old: Less Is More but Is It Enough?’, European Journal of Comparative Economics, 6 (1), 3–15

35. Bruno Dallago (2004), ‘Comparative Economic Systems and the New Comparative Economics’, European Journal of Comparative Economics, 1 (1), 59–86

36. J. Barkley Rosser Jr. and Marina V. Rosser (2008), ‘A Critique of the New Comparative Economics’, Review of Austrian Economics, 21 (1), March, 81–97

Index