Debating the Socialist Calculation Debate: A Classroom Exercise
18 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2003
Date Written: August 2003
This paper describes a classroom exercise that introduces the Socialist Calculation Debate (SCD) to undergraduate economics students. The SCD concerns an issue that remains one of the most consequential of the 20th century - the belief in the superiority of socialism and central planning over capitalism and the free market. The exercise presents the SCD in an "active learning" atmosphere by requiring the students to read, interpret, and discuss the writings of three notable participants in the debate - Ludwig von Mises, Oskar Lange, and Friedrich Hayek. The format and objectives of the exercise, required and optional reading, and current relevance of the SCD are discussed.
JEL Classification: A22, B24, B53
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation