The Grand Experiment of Communism: Discovering the Trade-Off between Equality and Efficiency - 10.1628/jite-2018-0003 - Mohr Siebeck
Economics

Etienne Farvaque, Alexander Mihailov, Alireza Naghavi

The Grand Experiment of Communism: Discovering the Trade-Off between Equality and Efficiency

Volume 174 () / Issue 4, pp. 707-742 (36)

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This paper examines how the interplay between economic incentives and social preferences transmitted by ideology plays a role in the rise and fall of communism. We introduce inequality-averse and inefficiency-averse agents and model their conflict in ideology, triggered by envy. The socioeconomic dynamics generate a pendulum-like switch from markets to a centrally planned economy abolishing private ownership, and back to restoring market incentives. The grand experiment of communism is thus characterized as leading to the discovery of a trade-off between equality and efficiency. The model also derives conditions under which the two systems converge and become stable.
Authors/Editors

Etienne Farvaque No current data available.

Alexander Mihailov No current data available.

Alireza Naghavi No current data available.