1.5 — The Socialist Calculation Debate — Class Content

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Today we will have a discussion on the (required) readings below and my lectures. Please email me 2-3 questions/points you want to discuss about the reading before class. See more information about how discussions work and are graded.


Can we plan an economy? We will cover the “socialist calculation debate” and its implications for development policy. I will lecture on Monday and part of Wednesday, and then we will hold our first discussion on Wednesday.

My lecture slides will contain a lot of quotes from participants, for a few reasons:

  1. There is a background of ideological contestation, so I don’t want to put words in the mouths of various sides, or people I may disagree with.
  2. Since there is only one reading, and it is from a primary protagonist in the debate, I don’t want you to only think I am giving you “one side”
  3. You can always go back read them and see the sources if you are interested, so I can move faster through the general trends in class


  1. Not to mention, there’s quite a bit of implicit cultural bias and privilege going on.↩︎