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Probleme einer Koordination der Wirtschaftsformen

Theo Surányi-Unger
Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv
Bd. 71 (1953), pp. 47-72
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40435080
Page Count: 26
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Probleme einer Koordination der Wirtschaftsformen
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Abstract

Analytical research in the field of comparative economic systems is usually stimulated by, and based upon, the development of actual differences among the systems concerned. Frequently, the emphasis on such differences tends to be exaggerated. Scientific objectivity then commands an increasing stress on the analysis of empirical similarities among economic systems. Since the beginning of the present cold war, onesided accentuation of the related differences has led to a dichotomous contradistinction between the Western private-enterprise system and the Eastern system of collective economic planning. However, as soon as one pays more attention to the relevant similarities, one must also consider the present extensive efforts aimed at a coordination between these two systems and visualize a correspondingly trichotomous classification. Among the metaeconomic premises of the similarities in question, sociophilosophical relations reveal a close link between the practical aims of individual and social welfare. Socioethical viewpoints disclose that Western distributive and Eastern equalitarian social justice are also closely connected. A more strictly economic analysis results in the recognition of many overlappings between individual and collective wants. With respect to the various processes of price formation, certain methods of Eastern collective planning for prices have been adopted in Western countries, while some traits of the Western market mechanism are not entirely unknown to Eastern countries. Essential institutions in the domain of money, credit and banking also display similarities of this kind. Certain affinities may be found between Western and Eastern macroeconomic emphases on national aggregates as well as concerning the functional distribution of income. While private-enterprise, systems combat their general depressions with anticyclical measures of governmental intervention, collectively planned economic systems frequently relax their restrictions on individual freedom when fighting against their particular depressions Comparative advantages, rooted in the difference between private-enterprise efforts and collective economic planning, may sooner or later foster international economic relations between Western and Eastern countries. In the domain of these similarities among economic systems, a series of intellectual and material difficulties hamper the progress of analytical research. Nevertheless, such progress is to be recommended, because it can undoubtedly contribute toward avoiding an open clash between Western freedom and Eastern planning. In this context, no attempt is made to draw political conclusions with regard to a coordination of private-enterprise and collectively planned economic systems.

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