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 as well as analyses of around 80 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.
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
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