Dynamism, Rivalry, and the Surplus Economy: Two Essays on the Nature of Capitalism

Hardcover | December 10, 2013

byJanos Kornai

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In Dynamism, Rivalry, and the Surplus Economy, Janos Kornai examines capitalism as an economic system and in comparison to socialism. Kornai explains his view of capitalism as an economy of surplus - a chronic excess of supply of goods and labor. This environment breeds rivalry amongproducers, which in turn encourages innovation. Socialism, on the other hand, is defined by a shortage of goods and labor and excess of demand. Whereas socialism is slothful and imitative, capitalism is dynamic and progressive. The two essays of this book will explore these differing ideologies onmacro and micro levels, ending with definitive explanations of how the systems work and how they develop.

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In Dynamism, Rivalry, and the Surplus Economy, Janos Kornai examines capitalism as an economic system and in comparison to socialism. Kornai explains his view of capitalism as an economy of surplus - a chronic excess of supply of goods and labor. This environment breeds rivalry amongproducers, which in turn encourages innovation. Socia...

Janos Kornai is Professor of Economics Emeritus at Harvard University and Corvinus University of Budapest.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:December 10, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199334765

ISBN - 13:9780199334766

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Table of Contents

List of TablesList of FiguresPrefaceFirst Essay: Innovation and Dynamism1. Introduction2. Capitalism, Socialism, and Technical Progress2.1 Revolutionary new products2.2 Following the pioneers, the diffusion of innovation2.3 Innovative entrepreneurship under capitalism2.4 The impossibility of innovative entrepreneurship under socialism2.5 Political factors and technical progress2.6 First summary: systems and technical progress3. Transformation and the Acceleration of Technical Progress3.1 New innovator entrepreneurs3.2 The acceleration of follow-up and diffusion3.3 Creative destruction4. Reflection of Historical Reality in People's Minds4.1 The basic phenomenon: lack of understanding4.2 The responsibility of the economic profession4.3 The responsibility of politicians4.4 Interconnectivity and democracy5. Concluding RemarksSecond Essay: Shortage Economy - Surplus Economy1. Introduction1.1 Impressions1.2 A first approach to clarification of concepts1.3 The place the approach taken in the essay occupies in economic discourse1.4 An advance look at the bounds of the subject-matter and its structure2. The Market for Goods and Services: The Mechanism for the Reproduction of Surplus2.1 An example from economic history: the US telephone system2.2 Supply-related processes2.3 Demand-related processes2.4 The pricing process3. The Market for Products and Services: The Conceptual Apparatus and Measurement Methods3.1 "Pure," easily handled cases3.2 The first difficulty: continual mutual adjustment of supply and demand3.3 The second difficulty: parallel occurrences of excess supply and excess demand3.4 Diversion: observing the obstacles to and micro constraints on production3.5 The third difficulty: distinguishing "necessary" from "superfluous" stocks3.6 The fourth difficulty: unjustified aggregation3.7 Pragmatic suggestions for measurement and a conceptual apparatus3.8 Formation of synthetic indicators or "composite indices"4. The Labor Market: The Mechanism for the Reproduction of Surplus4.1 Conceptual clarification and measurement4.2 The shock to the labor market caused by the change of system4.3 "Keynesian" unemployment4.4 Structural unemployment4.5 Mismatched adjustment, frictional unemployment, and demand4.6 The efficiency wage5. A Summary of the Positive Description and Causal Analysis5.1 The workability of the concept of "equilibrium"5.2 Asymmetry5.3 A summary account of the two demand-supply regimes5.4 The generation of a surplus economy by the capitalist system: the causal chain5.5 Genetic propensities6. The Effect and Assessment of the Surplus Economy6.1 A view of the effects and the value judgments6.2 Innovation6.3 The sovereignty and manipulation of the consumer6.4 Productivity and coordination6.5 Adaptation6.6 Distribution of income and wealth6.7 "Materialistic" and "spiritual" values6.8 The direction of corruption6.9 The advantages and drawbacks of capitalist competition, through the example of the automotive industry6.10 A stand in favor of capitalism and the surplus economy6.11 The scope for a theoretical synthesis and its constraints6.12 The demand for mathematical models with explanatory force7. Departures from the General Scheme7.1 Fluctuations of the business cycle7.2 The war economy7.3 Historic changes and lasting tendencies in modern capitalism8. A Personal PostscriptAppendixReferencesIndex