Grossman, Gregory
August 1953
Quarterly Journal of Economics;Aug53, Vol. 67 Issue 3, p311
Academic Journal
This article examines the conflict between the Marxian conception of value and the logic of the allocation of scarce resources in the Soviet Union to achieve posited goals. The contest between doctrine and expediency among the sources of Soviet conduct is as intricate as it is engaging. This is because expediency can wear the mask of ideology, while dogmatism may be transmuted into pragmatism by the touch of success. In the Marxian scheme of things exchange value is created only by socially necessary labor. No factor except labor is entitled to a functional remuneration, although non-labor income does exist under capitalism. After private enterprise was virtually eliminated and comprehensive planning was introduced, financial relationships and institutions were redefined by a series of laws issued in the Soviet Union during the years 1930 through 1932, collectively known as the Credit Reform. Although capital may appear as a free good to the Soviet accountant, it is hardly a free good for the Soviet economy. On the contrary, it has been scarce in relation to the high production goals of the regime.


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