Centrally Planned Economies
Theory and Practice in Socialist Czechoslovakia
Offering a retrospective view of how the system operated in Communist Czechoslovakia, this book is an important voice in the discussion about the systems of central planning. The unique features of the book include in-depth research comprising both archival records and analyses of around 75 interviews conducted with period managers across a wide range of management levels. They provided evidence of pervasive inefficiency resulting in appalling economic outcomes.
The book begins with a background to the politico-sociological system in Czechoslovakia and proceeds to describe the Marxist-Leninist ideological foundation of the regime, which underpinned the formal setting of the Czechoslovak model. These initial chapters set the context for the subsequent analysis of the real functioning of the system. The book explores the economic outcomes that must be understood as a natural consequence of the ways in which this system operated. The author finishes by answering the important question of why centrally planned economies trailed behind the market economies.
The book’s unique use of the interview research format brings a vivid, close-up view of the everyday economic life in the centrally planned system. This will be a valuable contribution to the discussion surrounding the day-to-day reality of the system, which was found to be more colourful than is generally deemed. The book will appeal to both economic historians and students of economic history. A warning against repeating past mistakes, this book will also be of interest to those seeking a greater knowledge of the realities and consequences of centrally planned economies.
Table of Contents
Introduction Chapter 1. Formal and informal institutions of the socialist era Chapter 2. Marxist-Leninist economic theory Chapter 3. Formal settings of central planning in Czechoslovakia Chapter 4. Practices of central planning in Czechoslovakia Chapter 5. Macroeconomic Results Chapter 6. Results and Conclusions
Libor Žídek, Associate Professor, has lectured at the Faculty of Economics and Administration at Masaryk University, Czech Republic, since 1997. He specializes in economic transformation with a particular focus on the Czech economy. He also has a keen interest in planned economy, particularly in Czechoslovakia and generally in economic history. His doctoral thesis focused on the impact of globalization on economic policy and his habilitation thesis on the transformation process in the Czech Republic. He teaches courses on World Economic History, Economic Transformation and Macroeconomics. He has lectured on the topics of central planning and transformation in a number of countries, including the USA, Canada, Japan, Germany, the UK, Poland, Finland, Ukraine, and Jamaica. He has presented at conferences and published several books and a number of chapters and journal papers.