By Martin Cave
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Extra resources for Alternative Approaches to Economic Planning
The over-all retail price level of consumers' goods is planned in a way which should ensure consistency between the money value of demand and the money value of supply (this part of the planning process is known in the Soviet Union as 'the balance of income and expenditure of the population'). The money value of demand can be found from a knowledge of employment levels (L), average wages (w), income taxes net of transfers (T- normally very low in centrally planned economies), and estimates of savings (S).
If a sector provides inputs directly or indirectly into many other sectors, then an error in calculating that sector's balance will have ramifications 28 Alternative Approaches to Economic Planning throughout the economy. On the other hand, errors in the balance for a sector delivering its output principally to final demand will have fewer repercussions. Inspection of the inverse matrix will thus reveal those sectors where errors in the balance are particularly serious and cumulative (see Manove, 1973).
Here, without describing properties, such as the assumption of a single constant returns to scale technique for each sector, which are common to both methods as represented here, we merely make a few preliminary observations which suggest that such a substitution has certain associated problems: (1) The number of balances is often very large; input-output models would make computational demands which could not at present be met. (2) The material-balance system has certain decentralisation properties lacking in input-output models, in which all information must be collected at the centre in the form of input-output coefficients.
Alternative Approaches to Economic Planning by Martin Cave