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How do firms make contracts with other in a planned economy?

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Post 15 Apr 2017, 02:49
I find the study of the planned economy under real existing socialism, very fascinating. In western economics, the planned economy is looked at in a purely theoretical frame. And people like Mises and Hayek say the planned economy is literally impossible. So its interesting to look at how Gosplan functioned in the day to day. As a Hoover Institution scholar said, it was the most complex system ever devised by the human mind.

I'm interested in learning about the nitty gritty of the Soviet economy. For example I understand that firms would make contracts with each other, to deliver say X goods to each other and then they'd have to pay each other. Almost like a simulation of the regular contracting of a capitalist economy. But under the supervision of Gosplan. So how does the national plan of Gosplan, filter down to individual firms making contracts with each other? How does it relate ultimately to the consumer level, of Soviet citizens purchasing goods in the socialist cash economy?

Its hard to find any sources that explain this basic stuff in detail. One perhaps surprisingly useful source was Anti-Revisionist critiques of the soviet "state capitalist" economy. They went into detail about some of the simulated market elements in firm managerial contracting under the Kosygin-Liberman plan as opposed to the pure planned economy of the Stalin era. And they cited USSR sources to back it up.
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