Employment and Planning

  • Joseph Halevi


The work of Adolph Lowe can be considered as a milestone in the construction of a theoretical framework in which the stability of full employment as well as its attainment become inseparable from the ex-ante planning of sectoral proportions. At the same time, the ex-post planning of the adjustment path is required whenever the initial quantitative assumptions turn out to be incorrect.1 The remarkable characteristic of Lowe’s approach consists in the fact that it permits formulating an argument for planning under conditions of economic maturity. This point is rather important because most works on planning have, so to speak, subsumed the historical fact that socialist planned economies grew out of a social transformation of hitherto “backward” societies. As a result, the emphasis was mainly laid on questions of capital formation in the sense of the mobilization of the existing economic structure in order to produce an altogether different one in a relatively short span of time. The dynamics of sectoral proportions has been analyzed mostly in terms of the speed in which the new structure can be built in a context where the “backward” sector is identified with an unlimited supply of labor.2 Hence, because of the historical link between planned economies and the emancipation from backwardness, intersectoral (Marxian) type models have been produced with the aim of studying issues concerning the possibilities of, and the obstacles to, accelerated accumulation.


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  1. 1.
    Adolph Lowe, “A Structural Model of Production,” Social Research 19 (1952);Google Scholar
  2. Adolph Lowe, The Path of Economic Growth (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 2.
    Maurice H. Dobb, An Essay on Economic Growth and Planning (London: Routledge & Paul, 1960);Google Scholar
  4. Amartya K. Sen, Choice of Techniques (Oxford: Blackwell, 1960);Google Scholar
  5. K. N. Raj and A. K. Sen, ‘Alternative Patterns of Growth under Conditions of Stagnant Export Earnings,’ Oxford Economic Papers 13 (February 1961): 43–52;Google Scholar
  6. Lionel G. Stoleru, “An Optimal Policy for Economic Growth,” Econometrica 33 (April 1965): 321–348.Google Scholar
  7. 3.
    Lowe, Path of Economic Growth.Google Scholar
  8. 4.
    John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (London: Macmillan, 1936).Google Scholar
  9. 5.
    Ibid., p. 213.Google Scholar
  10. 6.
    Ibid., pp. 220–221.Google Scholar
  11. 7.
    Ibid., p. 217.Google Scholar
  12. 8.
    Karl Marx, Capital, vol. 1 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1974), p. 555.Google Scholar
  13. 9.
    Paul A. Baran, The Political Economy of Growth (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1970), p. 200, n. 67.Google Scholar
  14. 10.
    Harry Magdoff and Paul M. Sweezy, The Deepening Crisis of U.S. Capitalism (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1981), p. 148.Google Scholar

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© Joseph Halevi, G. C. Harcourt, Peter Kriesler and J. W. Nevile 2016

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  • Joseph Halevi

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