The Political Economy of Participatory Economics / Edition 1

The Political Economy of Participatory Economics / Edition 1

by Michael Albert, Robin Hahnel
     
 

ISBN-10: 069100384X

ISBN-13: 9780691003849

Pub. Date: 03/20/1991

Publisher: Princeton University Press

With the near bankruptcy of centrally planned economies now apparent and with capitalism seemingly incapable of generating egalitarian outcomes in the first world and economic development in the third world, alternative approaches to managing economic affairs are an urgent necessity. Until now, however, descriptions of alternatives have been unconvincing. Here

Overview

With the near bankruptcy of centrally planned economies now apparent and with capitalism seemingly incapable of generating egalitarian outcomes in the first world and economic development in the third world, alternative approaches to managing economic affairs are an urgent necessity. Until now, however, descriptions of alternatives have been unconvincing. Here Michael Albert and Robin Hahnel support the libertarian socialist tradition by presenting a rigorous, well-defined model of how producers and consumers could democratically plan their interconnected activities.

After explaining why hierarchical production, inegalitarian consumption, central planning, and market allocations are incompatible with "classlessness," the authors present an alternative model of democratic workers' and consumers' councils operating in a decentralized, social planning procedure. They show how egalitarian consumption and job complexes in which all engage in conceptual as well as executionary labor can be efficient. They demonstrate the ability of their planning procedure to yield equitable and efficient outcomes even in the context of externalities and public goods and its power to stimulate rather than subvert participatory impulses. Also included is a discussion of information management and how simulation experiments can substantiate the feasibility of their model.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691003849
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
03/20/1991
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
6.09(w) x 9.22(h) x 0.36(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction3
1.Traditional Economies7
Valuative Criteria8
Welfare Theorems with Endogenous Preferences9
Allocation Institutions11
Markets12
Central Planning15
Production and Consumption17
Private Ownership17
Hierarchical Production20
Consumption Institutions21
The Logic of Power22
2.Production23
Workers' Councils23
Work Organization25
Balanced Job Complexes25
Balancing Across Workplaces27
Balance in Practice29
Participation Versus Efficiency31
Equity Versus Efficiency34
Information and Incentives35
Choice of Technology35
Diversity37
3.Consumption39
Consumption Councils40
Incentive Compatibility43
Equity44
Equity, Incentives, and Efficiency50
Endogenous Preferences55
4.Allocation57
Participatory Information and Communication59
First Communicative Tool: Prices59
Second Communicative Tool: Measures of Work61
Third Communicative Tool: Qualitative Activity61
Allocation Organization62
Participatory Planning63
A Typical Planning Process68
Conclusion71
5.Welfare73
Preliminary Insights74
Differences Between PE and FMPE74
Summary of Differences77
Modeling Consumption77
Differences from Participatory Consumption81
Modeling Production82
Constraints82
Different Productive Endowments84
Workers' Councils85
Differences from Participatory Production87
Formal Summary of Councils' Goals88
Allocation89
Summary96
Formal Models Versus Reality98
Ideal Markets Versus Reality99
Ideal Central Planning Versus Reality101
FMPE Versus PE102
Conclusion105
6.Feasibility107
Tracking a Participatory Economy109
Information Variables for a Participatory Economy109
Manipulating Information111
Functional Relationships113
Simulation Methodology114
Incorporating Prices and Budgets115
Simulation Actors117
Incorporating Actual Behavior120
Experiment 2: Developing a Parallel Economy129
Conclusion131

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