The Political Economy of Stalinism: Evidence from the Soviet Secret Archives

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Cambridge University Press, 2004 - Business & Economics - 308 pages
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This book uses the formerly secret Soviet state and Communist Party archives to describe the creation and operations of the Soviet administrative command system. It concludes that the system failed not because of the "jockey"(i.e, Stalin and later leaders) but because of the "horse" (the economic system). This study pinpoints the reasons for the failure of the system--poor planning, unreliable supplies, the preferential treatment of indigenous enterprises, the lack of knowledge of planners, but also focuses on the basic principal-agent conflict between planners and producers, which created a sixty-year reform stalemate. The Soviet administrative command system was th most significant human experiment of the twentieth century. If repeated today, its basic contradictions and inherent flaws would remain, and its economic results would again prove inferior.

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The Jockey or the Horse?
Collectivization Accumulation and Power
The Principles of Governance
Investment Wages and Fairness
Visions and Control Figures
Planners Versus Producers
Creating Soviet Industry
Operational Planning
Ruble Control Money Prices and Budgets
The Destruction of the Soviet AdministrativeCommand Economy
Archival Sources
The Structure of the State

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About the author (2004)

Paul Gregory is in charge of Hoover's research on the Soviet state and party archives. His project has brought together economists, historians and political scientists from around the world to do analytical work on Hoover's rich holdings of Soviet-era documents. Gregory and his team have produced more than fifty articles and seven books, including two that have received international awards. He served as editor of the seven-volume History of Stalin's Gulag (published jointly by Hoover and the Russian Archival Service), which was awarded the silver human rights award of the Russian Federation in 2006 and is an editor of the three volume Stenograms of the Politburo of the Communist Party (published jointly by Hoover and the Russian Archival Service). Two of his edited works - Behind the Facade of Stalin's Command Economy and The Economics of Forced Labor: The Soviet Gulag -- have been published by Hoover Press. In addition to Hoover support, Professor Gregory's current research on Soviet dictatorship and repression is supported by the National Science Foundation. Paul Gregory holds an endowed professorship in the Department of Economics at the University of Ho u s t o n and is a research professor at the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin. The holder of a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University, he is the author or coauthor of nine books and many articles on the Soviet economy, transition economies, comparative economics, and economic demography. He serves on the editorial boards of Comparative Economic Studies, Journal of Comparative Economics, Problems of Post-Communism, and Explorations in Economic History. He is currently the President of the Association of Comparative Economic Studies.

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