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The Political Economy of Soviet Socialism: the Formative Years, 1918-1928 Hardcover – September 30, 1990

ISBN-13: 978-0792391005 ISBN-10: 0792391004 Edition: 1990th

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 1990 edition (September 30, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0792391004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0792391005
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,940,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By D. W. MacKenzie on April 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is an outgrowth of the work of Don Lavoie. Back in 1981 Don Lavoie published his critique of the standard account of the Socialist Calculation debate. Lavoie mentioned Soviet experience, including the failure of War Communism, focused mainly on history of thought, rather than history of events. Lavoie handed the task of applying his ideas (or rather his interpretation of Mises and Hayek) off to his student, Peter Boettke.

The Political Economy of Soviet Socialism is the published version of Boettke's dissertation. Boettke applied the lessons he learned from Lavoie to the early history of the USSR. As such, this book interprets Soviet History from a theoretical perspective that is not universally accepted: the absence of `the market' and `the knowledge problem' developed by FA Hayek. David Levy and Andrei Shleifer claim that public choice problems provide the real explanation of Soviet failure. Janos Kornai points to the soft budget constraint as the explanation of Soviet failure. Others blame the Soviet political system for Soviet failure: the USSR would have supposedly worked if it was democratic.

My own take on the USSR is that it was the absence of financial markets, rather than the absence of markets generally, that doomed the USSR to failure. Consequently, I have a somewhat different take on the NEP. In any case, PEOS is a good source for data and further sources on the USSR, and a good primer on the Lavoie interpretation of the calculation critique.
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