Incentives vs. Knowledge: Reply to Caplan
Critical Review, 17(1-2): 179-202, 2005
24 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2014
Date Written: 2005
In the 1920s, Ludwig von Mises argued correctly that the problem of making economics calculations without market-generated prices would be an insuperable difficulty for socialist systems of production. Bryan Caplan is right to argue that there is no theoretical way to infer the magnitude of this difficulty, but he is wrong to insist that the history of poor economic performance displayed by real-world socialism should be attributed not to the "socialist calculation problem," but to inadequate work incentives. A state that had solved the calculation problem would have well within its means the solution to the incentives problem, too.
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