The Hungarian Practice

Włodzimierz Brus and Kazimierz Laski

in From Marx to the Market

Published in print April 1991 | ISBN: 9780198283997
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596032 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

 The Hungarian Practice

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The first practical application of the idea of market socialism (but not necessarily along Lange's model) was made in early 1950s in Yugoslavia after the break with the Soviet Union, and in conjunction with countrywide system of ‘workers’ self‐management’. As for the Soviet‐bloc countries, the dissatisfaction with the command system and a tendency to introduce some elements of market mechanism manifested itself openly in (failed) in Poland, as well as in several other countries starting from mid‐1950s. However, by the beginning of the 1980s, out of all these attempts, only the Hungarian ‘New Economic Mechanism’ survived, albeit not in the initial form of combining central planning with elements of market mechanism. The Hungarian NEM improved somewhat the economic performance, but in fundamentals, it also failed, becoming reduced to a shift from direct bureaucratic control to indirect control from the centre.

Keywords: central planning; command system; Hungary; indirect bureaucratic control of the economy; market mechanism; New Economic Mechanism; Poland; shortage economy; Yugoslavia

Chapter.  5221 words. 

Subjects: Economic Systems

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