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The Socialist SystemThe Political Economy of Communism$
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Janos Kornai

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198287766

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198287763.001.0001

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Macro Tensions

Macro Tensions

(p.529) 23 Macro Tensions
The Socialist System

János Kornai (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Changes in the macroeconomy can be observed in countries undergoing reforms of classical socialism, and can result in tensions if the economy has shifted appreciably from classical towards market socialism. These changes occurred most conspicuously in Poland in the 1980s, and the resulting insolvable contradictions have been called the ‘Polish Syndrome’. The macroeconomic analysis of the changes presented here addresses employment and wages; growth and investment; the state budget and fiscal policy; and the credit system and monetary policy. Two sections then review the macrotensions in the reform economy and their combined effects (1) in interlocking shortage and inflation in internal economic relations, and (2) on foreign trade and debt; the triple relation between shortage, inflation, and indebtedness, and then addressed. Lastly, the effect of the reform processes and macrotensions is assessed on the standard of living.

Keywords:   classical socialism, credit system, debt, economic growth, employment, fiscal policy, inflation, international trade, investment, macroeconomics, market socialism, monetary policy, Polish Syndrome, reform, shortage, socialist systems, standard of living, state budget, wages

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