Abstract and Keywords
This chapter compares the role of neoclassical economics in trying to socially engineer the shock therapy post-socialist transition in the former Soviet Union with the robust pragmatism and incrementalism of the Chinese transition to a market economy. The Chinese transition was a success and the Russian transition a debacle—in both cases, of historic proportions. The problem lies not only in the lack of accountability of the elite Western advisors and advisory institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, but in the whole orientation of neoclassical economics as the new “scientific” basis for social engineering on a vast scale.
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