Economic planning

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Economic planning is a mechanism for the allocation of resources between and within organizations which is held in contrast to the market mechanism. As an allocation mechanism for socialism, economic planning replaces factor markets with a direct allocation of resources within a single or interconnected group of socially owned organizations. [1]

In economics, resource allocation is the assignment of available resources to various uses. In the context of an entire economy, resources can be allocated by various means, such as markets or planning.

Market (economics) Mechanisms whereby supply and demand confront each other and deals are made, involving places, processes and institutions in which exchanges occur.

A market is one of the many varieties of systems, institutions, procedures, social relations and infrastructures whereby parties engage in exchange. While parties may exchange goods and services by barter, most markets rely on sellers offering their goods or services in exchange for money from buyers. It can be said that a market is the process by which the prices of goods and services are established. Markets facilitate trade and enable the distribution and resource allocation in a society. Markets allow any trade-able item to be evaluated and priced. A market emerges more or less spontaneously or may be constructed deliberately by human interaction in order to enable the exchange of rights of services and goods. Markets generally supplant gift economies and are often held in place through rules and customs, such as a booth fee, competitive pricing, and source of goods for sale.

Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership of the means of production and workers' self-management, as well as the political theories and movements associated with them. Social ownership can be public, collective or cooperative ownership, or citizen ownership of equity. There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them, with social ownership being the common element shared by its various forms.

Contents

There are various forms of economic planning. The level of centralization in the decision-making depends on the specific type of planning mechanism employed. As such, one can distinguish between centralized planning and decentralized planning. [2] An economy primarily based on planning is referred to as a planned economy. In a centrally planned economy, the allocation of resources is determined by a comprehensive plan of production which specifies output requirements. [3] Planning may also take the form of directive planning or indicative planning.

A decentralized-planned economy or decentrally-planned economy is a type of planned economy in which the investment and allocation of consumer and capital goods is explicated accordingly to an economy-wide plan built and operatively coordinated through a distributed network of disparate economic agents or even production units itself. Decentralized planning is usually held in contrast to centralized planning, in particular the Soviet Union's command economy, where economic information is aggregated and used to formulate a plan for production, investment and resource allocation by a single central authority. Decentralized planning can take shape both in the context of a mixed economy as well as in a post-capitalist economic system.

A planned economy is a type of economic system where investment, production and the allocation of capital goods take place according to economy-wide economic and production plans. A planned economy may use centralized, decentralized or participatory forms of economic planning. Planned economies contrast with unplanned economies, specifically market economies, where autonomous firms operating in markets make decisions about production, distribution, pricing and investment. Market economies that use indicative planning are sometimes referred to as planned market economies.

Indicative planning is a form of economic planning implemented by a state in an effort to solve the problem of imperfect information in market and mixed economies in order to increase economic performance. However, indicative planning takes only endogenous market uncertainty into account, plans the economy accordingly, and does not look into exogenous uncertainty like technology, foreign trade, etc. When utilizing indicative planning, the state employs "influence, subsidies, grants, and taxes [to affect the economy], but does not compel". Indicative planning is contrasted with directive or mandatory planning, where a state sets quotas and mandatory output requirements. Planning by inducement is often referred to as indicative planning.

A distinction can be made between physical planning (as in pure socialism) and financial planning (as practiced by governments and private firms in capitalism). Physical planning involves economic planning and coordination conducted in terms of disaggregated physical units whereas financial planning involves plans formulated in terms of financial units. [4]

Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Characteristics central to capitalism include private property, capital accumulation, wage labor, voluntary exchange, a price system and competitive markets. In a capitalist market economy, decision-making and investments are determined by every owner of wealth, property or production ability in financial and capital markets, whereas prices and the distribution of goods and services are mainly determined by competition in goods and services markets.

Money Object or record accepted as payment

Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts, such as taxes, in a particular country or socio-economic context. The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange, a unit of account, a store of value and sometimes, a standard of deferred payment. Any item or verifiable record that fulfils these functions can be considered as money.

In socialism

Different forms of economic planning have been featured in various models of socialism. These range from decentralized-planning systems which are based on collective decision-making and disaggregated information to centralized systems of planning conducted by technical experts who use aggregated information to formulate plans of production. In a fully developed socialist economy, engineers and technical specialists, overseen or appointed in a democratic manner, would coordinate the economy in terms of physical units without any need or use for financial-based calculation. The economy of the Soviet Union never reached this stage of development, so planned its economy in financial terms throughout the duration of its existence. [5] Nonetheless, a number of alternative metrics were developed for assessing the performance of non-financial economies in terms of physical output (i.e. net material product versus gross domestic product).

Net Material Product (NMP) was the main macroeconomic indicator used for monitoring growth in national accounts of socialist countries during the Soviet era. These countries included the USSR and all the Comecon members. NMP is the conceptual equivalent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the United Nations System of National Accounts, although numerically the two measures are calculated differently.

Gross domestic product market value of goods and services produced within a country

Gross domestic product (GDP) is a monetary measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced in a specific time period, often annually. GDP (nominal) per capita does not, however, reflect differences in the cost of living and the inflation rates of the countries; therefore using a basis of GDP per capita at purchasing power parity (PPP) is arguably more useful when comparing differences in living standards between nations.

In general, the various models of socialist economic planning exist as theoretical constructs that have not been implemented fully by any economy, partially because they depend on vast changes on a global scale (see mode of production). In the context of mainstream economics and the field of comparative economic systems, socialist planning usually refers to the Soviet-type command economy, regardless of whether or not this economic system actually constituted a type of socialism or state capitalism or a third, non-socialist and non-capitalist type of system.

Mode of production Marxist economic theory

In the writings of Karl Marx and the Marxist theory of historical materialism, a mode of production is a specific combination of the following:

Comparative economic systems is the subfield of economics dealing with the comparative study of different systems of economic organization, such as capitalism, socialism, feudalism and the mixed economy. It is widely held have been founded by the economist Calvin Bryce Hoover. Comparative economics therefore consisted mainly of comparative economic systems analysis before 1989 but switched substantially its efforts to comparison of the economic effects of the transition experience from socialism to capitalism. It is a part of economics which is the study of gaining knowledge concerned with the production, consumption and transfer of wealth. It is based on the collective wants of the population and the resources available that initially create an economic system. The performance of the economic system can be measured through gross domestic product; that is, it will indicate the growth rate of country. Normative judgments can be made as well by asking questions like whether the gap of the distribution of wealth and income and social justice. Theoreticians regularly try to evaluate both the positive and normative aspects of the economic system in general and they do so by making assumptions about the rules of the game governing utility-seeking. It is comparatively easy to predict the economic outcomes when the economic system of the country has either a perfect competition or has a perfect planning economic system. With those types of the economic systems, it is easy to offer policy guidance.

State capitalism is an economic system in which the state undertakes commercial economic activity and where the means of production are organized and managed as state-owned business enterprises, or where there is otherwise a dominance of corporatized government agencies or of publicly listed corporations in which the state has controlling shares. Marxist literature defines state capitalism as a social system combining capitalism with ownership or control by a state—by this definition, a state capitalist country is one where the government controls the economy and essentially acts like a single huge corporation, extracting the surplus value from the workforce in order to invest it in further production. This designation applies regardless of the political aims of the state and some people argue that the modern People's Republic of China constitutes a form of state capitalism.

In some models of socialism, economic planning completely substitutes the market mechanism, supposedly rendering monetary relations and the price system obsolete. In other models, planning is utilized as a complement to markets.

Concept of socialist planning

The classical conception of socialist economic planning held by Marxists involved an economic system where goods and services were valued, demanded and produced directly for their use-value as opposed to being produced as a by-product of the pursuit of profit by business enterprises. This idea of production for use is a fundamental aspect of a socialist economy. This involves social control over the allocation of the surplus product and in its most extensive theoretical form calculation-in-kind in place of financial calculation. For Marxists in particular, planning entails control of the surplus product (profit) by the associated producers in a democratic manner. [6] This differs from planning within the framework of capitalism which is based on the planned accumulation of capital in order to either stabilize the business cycle (when undertaken by governments) or to maximize profits (when undertaken by firms) as opposed to the socialist concept of planned production for use.

In such a socialist society based on economic planning, the primary function of the state apparatus changes from one of political rule over people (via the creation and enforcement of laws) into a technical administration of production, distribution and organization; that is, the state would become a coordinating economic entity rather than a mechanism of political and class-based control and thereby ceasing to be a state in the traditional sense. [7]

Planning versus command

The concept of a command economy is differentiated from the concepts of a planned economy and economic planning, especially by socialists and Marxists who liken command economies (such as that of the former Soviet Union) to that of a single capitalist firm, organized in a top-down administrative fashion based on bureaucratic organization akin to that of a capitalist corporation. [8]

Economic analysts have argued that the economy of the former Soviet Union actually represented an administrative or command economy as opposed to a planned economy because planning did not play an operational role in the allocation of resources among productive units in the economy since in actuality the main allocation mechanism was a system of command-and-control. As a result, the phrase administrative command economy gained currency as a more accurate descriptor of Soviet-type economies. [9]

Decentralized planning

Decentralized economic planning is a planning process that starts at the user-level in a bottom-up flow of information. As such, decentralized planning often appears as a complement to the idea of socialist self-management (most notably by libertarian socialists and democratic socialists).

The theoretical postulates for models of decentralized socialist planning stem from the thought of Karl Kautsky, Rosa Luxemburg, Nikolai Bukharin and Oskar R. Lange. [10] This model involves economic decision-making based on self-governance from the bottom-up (by employees and consumers) without any directing central authority. This often contrasts with the doctrine of orthodox Marxism–Leninism which advocates directive administrative planning where directives are passed down from higher authorities (planning agencies) to agents (enterprise managers), who in turn give orders to workers.

Two contemporary models of decentralized planning are participatory economics, developed by the economist Michael Albert; and negotiated coordination, developed by the economist Pat Devine.

Material balances

Material balance planning was the type of economic planning employed by Soviet-type economies. This system emerged in a haphazard manner during the collectivisation drive under Joseph Stalin and emphasized rapid growth and industrialization over efficiency. Eventually, this method became an established part of the Soviet conception of socialism in the post-war period and other socialist states emulated it in the latter half of the 20th century. Material balancing involves a planning agency (Gosplan in the case of the Soviet Union) taking a survey of available inputs and raw materials and using a balance-sheet to balance them with output targets specified by industry, thereby achieving a balance of supply and demand. [11]

Lange–Lerner–Taylor model

The economic models developed in the 1920s and 1930s by American economists Fred M. Taylor and Abba Lerner and by Polish economist Oskar R. Lange involved a form of planning based on marginal cost pricing. In Lange's model, a central planning board would set prices for producer goods through a trial-and-error method, adjusting until the price matched the marginal cost, with the aim of achieving Pareto-efficient outcomes. Although these models were often described as market socialism, they actually represented a form of market simulation planning.

In capitalism

Intra-firm and intra-industry planning

Large corporations use planning to allocate resources internally among their divisions and subsidiaries. Many modern firms also use regression analysis to measure market demand to adjust prices and to decide upon the optimal quantities of output to be supplied. Planned obsolescence is often cited as a form of economic planning that is used by large firms to increase demand for future products by deliberately limiting the operational lifespan of its products. Thus, the internal structures of corporations have been described as centralized command economies that use both planning and hierarchical organization and management.

According to J. Bradford DeLong, many transactions in Western economies do not pass through anything resembling a market, but are actually movements of value among different branches and divisions within corporations, companies and agencies. Furthermore, much economic activity is centrally planned by managers within firms in the form of production planning and marketing management (that consumer demand is estimated, targeted and included in the firm's overall plan) and in the form of production planning. [12]

In The New Industrial State , the American economist John Kenneth Galbraith noted that large firms manage both prices and consumer demand for their products by sophisticated statistical methods. Galbraith also pointed out that because of the increasingly complex nature of technology and the specialization of knowledge, management had become increasingly specialized and bureaucratized. The internal structures of corporations and companies had been transformed into what he called a "technostructure". Its specialized groups and committees are the primary decision-makers and specialized managers, directors and financial advisers operate under formal bureaucratic procedures, replacing the individual entrepreneur's role (see also intrapreneurship). Galbraith stated that both the obsolete notion of entrepreneurial capitalism and democratic socialism (defined as democratic management) are impossible organizational forms for managing a modern industrial system. [13]

Joseph Schumpeter, an economist associated with both the Austrian School and the institutional school of economics, argued that the changing nature of economic activity (specifically the increasing bureaucratization and specialization required in production and management) was the major cause for capitalism eventually evolving into socialism. The role of the businessman was increasingly bureaucratic and specific functions within the firm required increasingly specialized knowledge which could be supplied as easily by state functionaries in publicly owned enterprises.

In the first volume of Das Kapital , Karl Marx identified the process of capital accumulation as central to the law of motion of capitalism. The increased industrial capacity caused by the increasing returns to scale further socializes production. Capitalism eventually socializes labor and production to a point that the traditional notions of private ownership and commodity production become increasingly insufficient for further expanding the productive capacities of society, [14] necessitating the emergence of a socialist economy in which means of production are socially owned and the surplus value is controlled by the workforce. [15] Many socialists viewed these tendencies, specifically the increasing trend toward economic planning in capitalist firms, as evidence of the increasing obsolescence of capitalism and inapplicability of ideals like perfect competition to the economy, with the next stage of evolution being the application of society-wide economic planning.

State development planning

State development planning or national planning entails macroeconomic policies and financial planning conducted by governments to stabilize the market or promote economic growth in market-based economies. This involves the use of monetary policy, industrial policy and fiscal policy to steer the market toward targeted outcomes. Industrial policy includes government taking measures "aimed at improving the competitiveness and capabilities of domestic firms and promoting structural transformation". [16]

In contrast to socialist planning, state development planning does not replace the market mechanism and does not eliminate the use of money in production. It only applies to privately owned and publicly owned firms in the strategic sectors of the economy and seeks to coordinate their activities through indirect means and market-based incentives (such as tax breaks or subsidies).

Around the world

While economic planning is mainly associated with socialism and the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc among others and in particular its administrative command form, government planning of the economy can also happen under other political philosophies to industrialise and modernise the economy. For instance, a different form of planned economy operated in India during the Permit Raj era from 1947 to 1990. The unusually large government sector in countries like Saudi Arabia means that even though there is a market, central government planning controls allocation of most economic resources. In the United States, the government temporarily seized large portions of the economy during World War I and World War II, resulting in a largely government-planned war economy.

East Asia

The development models of the East Asian Tiger economies involved varying degrees of economic planning and state-directed investment in a model sometimes described as state development capitalism or the East Asian Model.

The economy in both Malaysia and South Korea were instituted by a series of macroeconomic government plans (First Malaysia Plan and Five-Year Plans of South Korea) that rapidly developed and industrialized their mixed economies.

The economy of Singapore was partially based on government economic planning that involved an active industrial policy and a mixture of state-owned industry and free-market economy.

France

Under dirigisme , France used indicative planning and established a number of state-owned enterprises in strategic sectors of the economy. The concept behind indicative planning is the early identification of oversupply, bottlenecks and shortages so that state investment behavior can be quickly modified to reduce market disequilibrium so that stable economic development and growth can be sustained. France experienced its Trente Glorieuses (Thirty Glorious), years with economic prosperity.

Soviet Union

The Soviet Union's model of economic planning had decisions on production and investment are embodied in a plan formulated by the Gosplan, the state planning agency. The system used material balance planning. Economic information, including consumer demand and enterprise resource requirements, were aggregated to balance supply from the available resource inventories, with demand based on requirements for individual economic units and enterprises through a system of iterations.

The economy of the Soviet Union operated in a centralized and hierarchical manner. The process used directives which were issued to lower-level organizations. Thus, the Soviet economic model was often referred to as a command economy or an administered economy as plan directives were enforced by inducements in a vertical power structure, but planning played little functional role in the allocation of resources. [9]

United Kingdom

The need for long-term economic planning to promote efficiency was a central component of Labour Party thinking until the 1970s. The Conservative Party largely agreed, producing the postwar consensus, nameley the broad bipartisan agreement on major policies. [17]

United States

The United States used economic planning during World War I. The federal government supplemented the price system with centralized resource allocation and created a number of new agencies to direct important economic sectors, notably the Food Administration, Fuel Administration, Railroad Administration and War Industries Board. [18] During World War II, the economy experienced staggering growth under a similar system of planning. In the postwar period, United States governments utilized such measures as the Economic Stabilization Program to directly intervene in the economy to control prices and wages, among other things, in different economic sectors.

Since the start of the Cold War, the federal government has directed a significant amount of investment and funding into research and development (R&D), often initially through the United States Department of Defense. The government performs 50% of all R&D in the United States, [19] with a dynamic state-directed public-sector developing most of the technology that later becomes the basis of the private sector economy. As a result, Noam Chomsky has referred to the United States economic model as a form of state capitalism. [20] Examples include laser technology, the internet, nanotechnology, telecommunications and computers, with most basic research and downstream commercialization financed by the public sector. That includes research in other fields including healthcare and energy, with 75% of most innovative drugs financed through the National Institutes of Health. [21]

Criticism

The most notable critique of economic planning came from Austrian economists Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises. Hayek argued that central planners could not possibly accrue the necessary information to formulate an effective plan for production because they are not exposed to the rapid changes that take place in an economy in any particular time and place and so they are unfamiliar with those circumstances. The process of transmitting all the necessary information to planners is thus inefficient. [22] Mises also had a similar opinion.

Proponents of decentralized economic planning have also criticized central economic planning. For example, Leon Trotsky believed that central planners, regardless of their intellectual capacity, operated without the input and participation of the millions of people who participate in the economy and so they would be unable to respond to local conditions quickly enough to effectively coordinate all economic activity. [23]

See also

Notes

  1. Mandel, Ernest (September–October 1986). "In defense of socialist planning". New Left Review . I (159): 5–37. Planning is not equivalent to 'perfect' allocation of resources, nor 'scientific' allocation, nor even 'more humane' allocation. It simply means ‘direct’ allocation, ex ante. As such, it is the opposite of market allocation, which is ex post. See also the PDF version.
  2. Gregory, Paul R.; Stuart, Robert C. (2003). Comparing Economic Systems in the Twenty-First Century. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. pp. 23–24. ISBN   978-0-618-26181-9. Centralization is commonly identified with plan and decentralization with market, but there is no simple relationship between the level of decision making and the use of market or plan as a coordinating mechanism. In some economies, it is possible to combine a considerable concentration of decision-making authority and information in a few large corporations with substantial state involvement and yet to have no system of planning as such. [...] To identify an economy as planned does not necessarily reveal the prevalent coordinating mechanism, or for that matter, the degree of centralization in decision making. Both depend on the type of planning mechanism.
  3. Alec Nove (1987). "Planned economy". The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics . vol. 3. pp. 879–880.
  4. Ellman, Michael (1989). Socialist Planning. Cambridge University Press. p. 25. ISBN   978-0-521-35866-8. Planning in the traditional model is primarily an activity that takes place in physical terms. That is, it is concerned with allocating tonnes of this, cubic metres of that, etc. rather than being concerned with allocating financial flows.
  5. Bockman, Johanna (2011). Markets in the Name of Socialism: The Left-Wing Origins of Neoliberalism. Stanford University Press. p. 35. ISBN   978-0-8047-7566-3.
  6. Schweickart, David; Lawler, James; Ticktin, Hillel; Ollman, Bertell (1998). "Definitions of Market and Socialism". Market Socialism: The Debate Among Socialists. New York: Routledge. pp. 58–59. ISBN   978-0-415-91967-8. For an Anti-Stalinist Marxist, socialism is defined by the degree to which the society is planned. Planning here is understood as the conscious regulation of society by the associated producers themselves. Put it differently, the control over the surplus product rests with the majority of the population through a resolutely democratic process. [...] The sale of labour power is abolished and labour necessarily becomes creative. Everyone participates in running their institutions and society as a whole. No one controls anyone else.
  7. "Socialism: Utopian and Scientific". Marxists.org. In 1816, he declares that politics is the science of production, and foretells the complete absorption of politics by economics. The knowledge that economic conditions are the basis of political institutions appears here only in embryo. Yet what is here already very plainly expressed is the idea of the future conversion of political rule over men into an administration of things and a direction of processes of production.
  8. "Glossary of Terms: Command Economy". Marxists.org. Marxists Internet Archive Encyclopedia. For an overview of the Soviet experience, see Myant, Martin; Jan Drahokoupil (2010). Transition Economies: Political Economy in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 1–46. ISBN   978-0-470-59619-7.
  9. 1 2 Wilhelm, John Howard (1985). "The Soviet Union Has an Administered, Not a Planned, Economy". Soviet Studies . 37 (1): 118–130. doi:10.1080/09668138508411571.
  10. Dowlah, Abu F. (1992). "Theoretical Expositions of Centralized versus Decentralized Strands of Socialist Economic Systems". International Journal of Social Economics. 19 (7/8/9): 210–258. doi:10.1108/EUM0000000000497.
  11. Montias, J. M. (1959). "Planning with Material Balances in Soviet-Type Economies". American Economic Review . 49 (5): 963–985. JSTOR   1813077.
  12. J. Bradford DeLong (1997). "The Corporation as a Command Economy" (PDF). UC Berkeley and National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  13. Galbraith, John K. (2007) [1967]. The New Industrial State. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN   9780691131412. For the Abridge version, see "Part I: The History and Nature of the New Industrial State" (1972).
  14. Marx and Engels Selected Works, Lawrence and Wishart, 1968, p. 40. Capitalist property relations put a "fetter" on the productive forces.
  15. Marx, Karl. Capital, Volume I . From "Chapter 32: Historical Tendency of Capitalist Accumulation": "Self-earned private property, that is based, so to say, on the fusing together of the isolated, independent laboring-individual with the conditions of his labor, is supplanted by capitalistic private property, which rests on exploitation of the nominally free labor of others, i.e., on wage-labor. As soon as this process of transformation has sufficiently decomposed the old society from top to bottom, as soon as the laborers are turned into proletarians, their means of labor into capital, as soon as the capitalist mode of production stands on its own feet, then the further socialization of labor and further transformation of the land and other means of production into socially exploited and, therefore, common means of production, as well as the further expropriation of private proprietors, takes a new form. That which is now to be expropriated is no longer the laborer working for himself, but the capitalist exploiting many laborers."
  16. UNCTAD & UNIDO 2011, p. 34.
  17. O'Hara, Glen (2007). From Dreams to Disillusionment: Economic and Social Planning in 1960s Britain. Palgrave Macmillan. See also the PDF version.
  18. Rockoff, Hugh (2010). "U.S. Economy in World War I" Archived 2010-03-17 at the Wayback Machine .
  19. Zeh Jr., Herbert J. (1990). "The Federal Funding of R&D: Who Gets the Patent Rights?". JOM . 42 (4): 69. doi:10.1007/BF03220930.
  20. Chomsky, Noam (18 May 2005). "State and Corp". Z Net . Z Communications. Archived from the original on 12 October 2012.
  21. Mazzucato, Mariana (25 June 2013). "The Myth of the "Meddling" State". Public Finance International. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  22. Hayek, Friedrich (September 1945). "The Use of Knowledge in Society". The American Economic Review . 35 (4): 519–530. JSTOR   1809376. See the full text.
  23. Trotsky, Leon. Writings of Leon Trotsky (1932-33). p. 96.

Related Research Articles

The economic calculation problem is a criticism of using economic planning as a substitute for market-based allocation of the factors of production. It was first proposed by Ludwig von Mises in his 1920 article "Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth" and later expanded upon by Friedrich Hayek. In his first article, Mises describes the nature of the price system under capitalism and describes how individual subjective values are translated into the objective information necessary for rational allocation of resources in society. He argues that economy planning necessarily leads to an irrational and inefficient allocation of resources.

A market economy is an economic system in which the decisions regarding investment, production and distribution are guided by the price signals created by the forces of supply and demand. The major characteristic of a market economy is the existence of factor markets that play a dominant role in the allocation of capital and the factors of production.

A mixed economy is variously defined as an economic system blending elements of market economies with elements of planned economies, free markets with state interventionism, or private enterprise with public enterprise. There is no single definition of a mixed economy, but rather two major definitions. The first of these definitions refers to a mixture of markets with state interventionism, referring to capitalist market economies with strong regulatory oversight, interventionist policies and governmental provision of public services. The second definition is political in nature and strictly refers to an economy containing a mixture of private enterprise with public enterprise.

Economic system system of production and exchange

An economic system, or economic order, is a system of production, resource allocation and distribution of goods and services within a society or a given geographic area. It includes the combination of the various institutions, agencies, entities, decision-making processes and patterns of consumption that comprise the economic structure of a given community. As such, an economic system is a type of social system. The mode of production is a related concept. All economic systems have three basic questions to ask: what to produce, how to produce and in what quantities and who receives the output of production.

The socialist market economy (SME) is the economic system and model of economic development employed in the People's Republic of China. The system is based on the predominance of public ownership and state-owned enterprises within a market economy. The term "socialist market economy" was introduced by Jiang Zemin during the 14th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 1992 to describe the goal of China's economic reforms. Originating in the Chinese economic reforms initiated in 1978 that integrated China into the global market economy, the socialist market economy represents a preliminary or "primary stage" of developing socialism. Despite this, many Western commentators have described the system as a form of state capitalism.

In economics, a price system is a component of any economic system that uses prices expressed in any form of money for the valuation and distribution of goods and services and the factors of production. Except for possible remote and primitive communities, all modern societies use price systems to allocate resources, although price systems are not used exclusively for all resource allocation decisions.

Post-capitalism includes a number of proposals for a new economic system to replace capitalism, or otherwise speculate on the fate of the current form of the socio-economic order. According to some classical Marxist and some social evolutionary theories, post-capitalist societies may come about as a result of spontaneous evolution as capitalism becomes obsolete. Others propose models to intentionally replace capitalism. The most notable among them are socialism and anarchism.

The Lange model is a neoclassical economic model for a hypothetical socialist economy based on public ownership of the means of production and a trial-and-error approach to determining output targets and achieving economic equilibrium and Pareto efficiency. In this model, the state owns non-labor factors of production, and markets allocate final goods and consumer goods. The Lange model states that if all production is performed by a public body such as the state, and there is a functioning price mechanism, this economy will be Pareto-efficient, like a hypothetical market economy under perfect competition. Unlike models of capitalism, the Lange model is based on direct allocation, by directing enterprise managers to set price equal to marginal cost in order to achieve Pareto efficiency. By contrast, in a capitalist economy managers are instructed to maximize profits for private owners, while competitive pressures are relied on to indirectly lower the price to equal marginal cost.

An economic ideology distinguishes itself from economic theory in being normative rather than just explanatory in its approach. It expresses a perspective on the way an economy should run and to what end, whereas the aim of economic theories is to create accurate explanatory models. However the two are closely interrelated as underlying economic ideology influences the methodology and theory employed in analysis. The diverse ideology and methodology of the 74 Nobel laureates in economics speaks to such interrelation.

Production for use is a phrase referring to the principle of economic organization and production taken as a defining criterion for a socialist economy. It is held in contrast to production for profit. This criterion is used to distinguish socialism from capitalism, and was one of the fundamental defining characteristics of socialism initially shared by Marxian socialists, evolutionary socialists, social anarchists and Christian socialists.

The socialist-oriented market economy is the official title given to the current economic system in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. It is described as a multi-sectoral market economy where the state sector plays the decisive role in directing economic development, with the eventual long-term goal of developing socialism.

State socialism is a classification for any socialist political and economic perspective advocating state ownership of the means of production either as a temporary measure in the transition from capitalism to socialism, or as characteristic of socialism itself. It is often used interchangeably with state capitalism in reference to the economic systems of Marxist–Leninist states such as the Soviet Union to highlight the role of state planning in these economies, with the critics of said system referring to it more commonly as "state capitalism". Libertarian and democratic socialists claim that these states had only a limited number of socialist characteristics. However, Marxist–Leninists maintain that workers in the Soviet Union and other Marxist–Leninist states had genuine control over the means of production through institutions such as trade unions.

Socialist mode of production

In Marxist theory, the socialist mode of production, also referred to as lower-stage of communism or simply socialism as Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels used the terms socialism and communism interchangeably, refers to a specific historical phase of economic development and its corresponding set of social relations that emerge from capitalism in the schema of historical materialism. The Marxist definition of socialism is an economic transition where the sole criterion for production is use-value and therefore the law of value no longer directs economic activity. Marxist production for use is coordinated through conscious economic planning while distribution of products is based on the principle of "to each according to his contribution". The social relations of socialism are characterized by the proletariat effectively controlling the means of production, either through cooperative enterprises or by public ownership or private artisanal tools and self-management so that social surplus goes to the working class and hence society as a whole.

Social ownership is any of various forms of ownership for the means of production in socialist economic systems, encompassing public ownership, employee ownership, cooperative ownership, citizen ownership of equity, common ownership and collective ownership. Historically social ownership implied that capital and factor markets would cease to exist under the assumption that market exchanges within the production process would be made redundant if capital goods were owned by a single entity or network of entities representing society, but the articulation of models of market socialism where factor markets are utilized for allocating capital goods between socially owned enterprises broadened the definition to include autonomous entities within a market economy. Social ownership of the means of production is the common defining characteristic of all the various forms of socialism.

Market socialism is a type of economic system involving the public, cooperative or social ownership of the means of production in the framework of a market economy. Market socialism differs from non-market socialism in that the market mechanism is utilized for the allocation of capital goods and the means of production. Depending on the specific model of market socialism, profits generated by socially owned firms may variously be used to directly remunerate employees, accrue to society at large as the source of public finance or be distributed amongst the population in a social dividend.

Socialist economics comprises the economic theories, practices, and norms of hypothetical and existing socialist economic systems.

The socialist calculation debate, sometimes known as the economic calculation debate, was a discourse on the subject of how a socialist economy would perform economic calculation given the absence of the law of value, money, financial prices for capital goods and private ownership of the means of production. More specifically, the debate was centered on the application of economic planning for the allocation of the means of production as a substitute for capital markets and whether or not such an arrangement would be superior to capitalism in terms of efficiency and productivity.