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How Not to Network a NationThe Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet$
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Benjamin Peters

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034180

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034180.001.0001

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Economic Cybernetics and Its Limits

Economic Cybernetics and Its Limits

(p.57) 2 Economic Cybernetics and Its Limits
How Not to Network a Nation

Benjamin Peters

The MIT Press

This chapter examines the emergence of economic cybernetics in the late 1950s and early 1960s as a field closely allied to mathematical economics and econometrics yet peculiar to the Soviet sphere. It also outlines and describes the basics behind the command economy and the coordination problems that the Soviet state and competing schools of orthodox, liberal, and cybernetic economists alike all agreed needed to be addressed and reformed in the early 1960s. A few sources of the organizational dissonance, including heterarchical networks of institutional interests, blat, vertical bargaining, underlying the Soviet command economy and its state administration are also introduced

Keywords:   Blat, command economy, econometrics, economic cybernetics, heterarchy, informal economy, liberal profit reform, linear programming, mathematics, vertical bargaining

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