The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Socialism (New Perspectives)

  • John E. Roemer
Reference work entry


In the Marxian tradition socialism means the end of expropriation of surplus value from labour by capitalists. If markets are needed more to coordinate economic activity than to provide incentives to workers and managers, socialism could be achieved by more equal distribution of share ownership with restrictions on cashing in shares. Social homogeneity may be a necessary condition for the democratic implementation of egalitarian programmes through redistribution, if the welfare state is motivated by either a purely redistributive or an insurance function. Hence the challenge to implementing socialism posed by multiculturalism.


Asymmetric information Capital Capitalism, people’s Central planning Coordination Corporate raider Democracy Economic man Equality Exploitation Family And fertility Feudalism Gini coefficient Hayek, F. Historical materialism Social homogeneity Immigration Incentives Keynes, J. Labour contracts Labour power Lange, O. Market socialism Marx Multiculturalism Prices Principal–agent problem Private ownership Redistribution Schumpeter, J. Share ownership Social democracy Social insurance Socialism Social wage Solidarity Soviet Union State property Surplus labour Syndicalism Unemployment Women’s emancipation 

JEL Classifications

P20 P26 
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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • John E. Roemer
    • 1
  1. 1.