centrally planned economy


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Related to centrally planned economy: mixed economy

centrally planned economy

or

command economy

or

collectivism

a method of organizing the economy to produce goods and services. Under this ECONOMIC SYSTEM, economic decision-making is centralized in the hands of the state with collective ownership of the means of production, (except labour). It is the state that decides what goods and services are to be produced in accordance with its centralized NATIONAL PLAN. Resources are allocated between producing units, and final outputs between customers by the use of physical quotas.

The main rationale underlying state ownership of industry is the view that the collective ownership of the means of production ‘by the people for the people’ is preferable to a situation in which the ownership of the means of production is in the hands of the ‘capitalist class'who are able to exploit their élite position to the detriment of the populace at large. State control of industry enables the economy as a whole to be organized in accordance with some central plan, which by interlocking and synchronizing the input-output requirements of industry is able to secure an efficient allocation of productive resources. Critics of state-owned economic systems argue, however, that in practice they tend to be ‘captured and corrupted’ by powerful state officials, and that their top-heavy bureaucratic structures result in a highly inefficient organization of production and insensitivity to what customers actually want. See PRIVATE-ENTERPRISE ECONOMY, MIXED ECONOMY, NATIONALIZATION, COMMUNISM.

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