Whither Socialism?

Overview

The rapid collapse of socialism has raised new economic policy questions and revived old theoretical issues. In this book, Joseph Stiglitz explains how the neoclassical, or Walrasian model (the formal articulation of Adam Smith's invisible hand), which has dominated economic thought over the past half century, may have wrongly encouraged the belief that market socialism could work.

Stiglitz proposes an alternative model, based on the economics of information, that provides ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$28.91
BN.com price
(Save 3%)$30.00 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (19) from $6.11   
  • New (9) from $25.00   
  • Used (10) from $6.11   
Sending request ...

Overview

The rapid collapse of socialism has raised new economic policy questions and revived old theoretical issues. In this book, Joseph Stiglitz explains how the neoclassical, or Walrasian model (the formal articulation of Adam Smith's invisible hand), which has dominated economic thought over the past half century, may have wrongly encouraged the belief that market socialism could work.

Stiglitz proposes an alternative model, based on the economics of information, that provides greater theoretical insight into the workings of a market economy and clearer guidance for the setting of policy in transitional economies.Stiglitz sees the critical failing in the standard neoclassical model underlying market socialism to be its assumptions concerning information, particularly its failure to consider the problems that arise from lack of perfect information and from the costs of acquiring information. He also identifies problems arising from its assumptions concerning completeness of markets, competitiveness of markets, and the absence of innovation. Stiglitz argues that not only did the existing paradigm fail to provide much guidance on the vital question of the choice of economic systems, the advice it did provide was often misleading.The WicksellLectures

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Expanding on the Wicksell Lectures he presented at the Stockholm School of Economics in April 1990, Stiglitz (economics, Stanford U.; member, President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers) explores the issues of both economic policy and theory now confronting nations in transition from market socialism to market economies. He presents a critique of the dominant neoclassical or Walrasian economic model, and presents his own alternative paradigm, based on an economics of information which delves more deeply into the theoretical and practical workings of market economies, socialism, and market socialism. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262691826
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 1/31/1996
  • Series: Wicksell Lectures
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,031,885
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph Stiglitz, a 2001 Nobel Laureate, is University Professor at Columbia University.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface
1 The Theory of Socialism and the Power of Economic Ideas 1
2 The Debate over Market Socialism: A First Approach 15
3 Critique of the First Fundamental Theorem of Welfare Economics 27
4 A Critique of the Second Fundamental Theorem 45
5 Criticisms of the Lange-Lerner-Taylor Theorem: Incentives 65
6 Market Rationing and Nonprice Allocations within Market Economies 83
7 Competition 109
8 Innovation 139
9 Centralization, Decentralization, Markets, and Market Socialism 153
10 Privatization 171
11 The Socialist Experiment: What Went Wrong? 197
12 Reform of Capital Markets 207
13 Asking the Right Questions: Theory and Evidence 231
14 Five Myths about Markets and Market Socialism 249
15 Some Tentative Recommendations 255
16 Philosophical Speculations 269
17 Conclusions 279
Notes 281
References 307
Index 323
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fine critique of capitalist dogmas

    The American economist Joseph Stiglitz argues that the neoclassical model ('the competitive paradigm') propped up the idea of market socialism, so the failure of market socialism also refutes the neoclassical model.

    In market socialism, governments use prices, just like market economies do, to allocate resources. But as Stiglitz points out, in the real world of imperfect information and incomplete markets, "there is no presumption that markets are efficient." He concludes, "the first fundamental theorem of welfare economics - asserting the efficiency of competitive economies - is fundamentally flawed."

    The second fundamental theorem - that market mechanisms allocate resources efficiently - is also flawed. He writes, "Quite to the contrary of the contention of the market paradigm, reliance on the stock market may actually result in a distortion of the allocation of resources. ... The stock market . does not provide the information required to make rational investment decisions."

    In fact, "Information acquisition activities relating to the stock market are basically rent-seeking activities." Early information gets the rent, as when the Rothschilds made millions from being first to hear the result of the Battle of Waterloo.

    Stiglitz writes naively, "the takeover movement itself seems somewhat of a puzzle since the firms taking over seem to gain little if anything." It is not a puzzle if you check who gains from these dodgy deals - top executives (primed by bribes, bonuses and share options) and those who take the fees and commissions. As management guru Peter Drucker commented mordantly, "Dealmaking beats working."

    Stiglitz shows, "We cannot, in general, be assured that private production is necessarily 'better' than public production." "There are some free marketeers who say that the first step to success is to privatize the state enterprises. . They have no scientific basis for that conclusion." More recent research by Massimo Florio (in The great divestiture, 2006) found that Britain's privatisations did not improve efficiency and had a net social cost. The only gainers were the top managers.

    He observes, "perhaps no myth in economics has held such sway as that which I will refer to as the property myth. This myth holds that all that one has to do is correctly assign property rights, and economic efficiency is assured." But as he points out, China's growth shows that well-defined property rights are neither necessary nor sufficient for success.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)