This 1992 book examines alternative methods for achieving optimality without all the apparatus of economic planning (such as information retrieval, computation of solutions, and separate implementation systems), or a vain reliance on sufficiently 'perfect' competition. All rely entirely on the self-interest of economic agents and voluntary contract. The author considers methods involving feedback iterative controls which require the prior selection of a 'criterion function', but no prior calculation of optimal quantities. The target is adjusted as the results for each step become data for the criterion function. Implementation is built in by the incentive structure, and all controls rely on consistency with the self-interest of individuals. The applicability of all the methods is shown to be independent of the form of ownership of enterprises: examples are given for industries which are wholly privately owned, wholly nationalized, mixed and labour-managed.
• Advanced monograph by a respected theorist looking at how industries can be guided to optimal performance without central planning or reliance on the market • Archibald is a well-known figure, widely published in the journals • This an interesting subject, made more topical by the collapse of the command economies in Eastern Europe and the search for other alternatives to pure market forces
Preface; Part I. Introductory: 1. Two preliminary matters; 2. Extended preferences; Part II. Iterative Controls: 3. Feedback control processes; 4. First example: an externality problem; 5. Second application of the control process: Lerner's problem; 6. Third example of the control process: implementation of a second-best solution; 7. Two examples of the control process in a mixed economy; Part III. Non-convexities: 8. Non-convexities in the technology; 9. Non-convexity and optimal product choice; Part IV. Cooperatives: 10. Pareto-improvements and cooperatives; 11. Achieving pareto-efficiency in the LMF; 12. Risk-sharing in Illyria (the ELMF); Appendix: the taxation of economic rent; Notes; Bibliography; Index.