Input-output and Soviet planning : a survey of recent developments

by Abraham S. Becker

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A discussion of the increasing interest shown by the USSR in the application of tools of mathematical economics to Soviet planning and economic organization. This interest constitutes a radical shift from the attitude of bitter hostility characteristic of the Stalin era. Undoubtedly, much of the change can be explained by a desire to rationalize the cumbersome Soviet economic apparatus. The evolution of Soviet activity in the field of input-output studies is analyzed. It is shown that, after considerable experience in handling large-scale sutdies, Soviet planners are still far from being able to apply evven simle static models to the task of assuring consistent plan objectives. Further developments will depend largely on the particular resolution found for such sensitive issues of economic policy as the principles of correct pricing and centralization versus decentralization in economic organization. A discussion of the increasing interest shown by the USSR in the application of tools of mathematical economics to Soviet planning and economic organization. This interest constitutes a radical shift from the attitude of bitter hostility characteristic of the Stalin era. Undoubtedly, much of the change can be explained by a desire to rationalize the cumbersome Soviet economic apparatus. The evolution of Soviet activity in the field of input-output studies is analyzed. It is shown that, after considerable experience in handling large-scale studies, Soviet planners are still far from being able to apply even simple static models to the task of assuring consistent plan objectives. Further developments will depend largely on the particular resolution found for such sensitive issues of economic policy as the principles of correct pricing and centralization vs. decentralization in economic organization. 36 pp.

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