New Thinking in Political Economy series
Chapter 6: Oskar Lange and the ‘Competitive Solution’
6. Oskar Lange and the “competitive solution” In this chapter and the next, we shall examine the different attempts of socialist economists at formulating a “competitive solution” to the problem that socialist economic calculation poses. With this in mind, we shall accomplish two goals in this chapter: first, we shall present a series of introductory considerations which place the most significant implications of this new proposal in their proper context, and we shall analyze the most important historical precedents for the proposal; second, we shall carefully study the “solution” Oskar Lange developed. Although our focus on Lange may at times appear too meticulous and extensive, his contribution – the best known and most often cited of those made by socialist theorists – has been so incorrectly interpreted that it is necessary to make a close and thorough examination of it. The analysis of the competitive solution will be concluded in the next chapter, which will be devoted to a study of (among other matters) the contributions made by Henry D. Dickinson, Evan F.M. Durbin and Abba P. Lerner in this area. 1 INTRODUCTORY CONSIDERATIONS One feature shared by all versions of the so-called “competitive solution” is an attempt to introduce a sort of “quasi-market” (in the words of Mises), in which the behavior of the different economic agents resembles as closely as possible that of their counterparts in a capitalist system. When we examine the different contributions, we shall see that they are generally characterized by their ambiguity and contradictory nature, and...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.