A Good Buy – If You Can Get One. Purchasing cars under socialist conditions

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dc.contributor.author GATEJEL, Luminita
dc.date.accessioned 2010-06-28T12:16:33Z
dc.date.available 2010-06-28T12:16:33Z
dc.date.issued 2010
dc.identifier.issn 1830-7728
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1814/14197
dc.description.abstract This paper gives a panoramic mapping of the infamous socialist ‘economy of shortages’ (Kornai) as it was lived and experienced by ordinary socialist citizens. It starts out by framing the general conditions under which private consumption took place in the Soviet Union, East Germany, and Romania in the last three decades of real existing socialism. Consumption issues were settled throughout the Eastern Block in the form of bargains between the state authorities and the population, in which political obedience was traded for material satisfaction. And cars were among the major assets to be distributed, especially as the amount produced could hardly cover the demand. The paper provides several examples of how the official politics of shortages dealt with this issue using politically motivated preferential distribution. In a step further, it elaborates on the inventiveness of the citizen in bending the rules of retail. These subterfuges in the shadow economy constantly challenged planned rationality and in the end wore out the ideology of official consumption. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.relation.ispartofseries EUI MWP en
dc.relation.ispartofseries 2010/14 en
dc.subject State socialism en
dc.subject Romania en
dc.subject the Soviet Union en
dc.subject East Germany en
dc.subject automobiles en
dc.subject consumption en
dc.subject distribution en
dc.subject everyday life en
dc.subject scarcity en
dc.title A Good Buy – If You Can Get One. Purchasing cars under socialist conditions en
dc.type Working Paper en


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