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Whither China?Restarting the Reform Agenda$
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Wu Jinglian and Ma Guochuan

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190223151

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190223151.001.0001

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Why Should the Soviet-Type Economic System be Reformed?

Why Should the Soviet-Type Economic System be Reformed?

Chapter:
(p.16) Dialogue 2 Why Should the Soviet-Type Economic System be Reformed?
Source:
Whither China?
Author(s):

Wu Jinglian

Ma Guochuan

Xiaofeng Hua

Nancy Hearst

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190223151.003.0002

How did the command-economy system come into being, and what were its defects that led to calls for reform in countries where it had been established? This dialogue reviews the historical evolution of socialism, from its birth in the first half of the nineteenth century to its transformation into a specific economic institution. The implicit premises of an effective command economy are, first, that the central planning authorities possess perfect information regarding all economic activities, including the state of material and human resources, technical feasibilities, and the composition of demand. Second, a command economy assumes a monosociety without disparate interests and differing value judgments. Because these premises are almost nonexistent in real life, the command economy faced insurmountable problems. A market system has its own shortcomings, but compared to a command economy, it has huge advantages in terms of resource allocations and incentive mechanisms.

Keywords:   Chapter command economy, Marx, Lenin, reform history of the USSR, socialism, market system

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