The profundity and timing of the collapse of the socialist economies took the economists
on both sides of the Iron Curtain by surprise. There were no theories that could
explain or analyze the nature of such systemic social events and processes. The soviet-
style Marxist political economy, neoclassical theory, and Keynesian interpretations
were unable to anticipate, explain, or offer solutions to the real problems.
This paper, explores the intellectual reactions of the Bulgarian economic community
to the collapse of the planned economy and to the practical and theoretical challenges
of the post-communist period. The following are the three primary objectives
of this study: First is a methodological objective, i.e., for explaining the dissemination
of economic knowledge, determining its channels, as well as explaining the basic
transmission mechanisms of economic theory in Bulgaria after the disintegration of
the socialist bloc. Second is a purely informational objective, i.e., to present the major
topics and issues studied during the period 1989-2009 and the findings of the economists
working on them. Finally, the third objective and parallel task is to theoretically
interpret the development, characteristics, and specificities of the Bulgarian economic
thought during that period.
The main conclusion of this study is that although a few interesting studies regarding
the Bulgarian economic science have been published, they fail to offer independent
and original ideas. The Bulgarian economic perspectives closely follow the
trends of western economic science, which itself is currently at crossroads and is encountering
JEL classifications numbers: B 20, B 41, P 50.
This paper compares Léon Walras’s and Marx’s thoughts on labour exchange, thereby
illuminating the latter’s perspective that can lead to a forceful counterargument to the
neoclassical principle of labour exchange, for which the former affords a foundation.
Both Walras and Marx distinguish between labour ability as a factor of production
and labour as its service, but exhibit a striking contrast in their explanations of the
Walras’s distinction between ‘personal faculties’ and labour never attempts to reveal
the peculiarities of the relationship they share. Walras essentially equates the relationship
between the two with that between non-human factors and their respective
services by stripping the former of human elements. This not only allows labour exchange
to be incorporated into Walras’s general equilibrium system but also provides
the groundwork for its neoclassical principle, which, on the basis of marginal theory,
assumes work conditions to be determinable through the stylised market adjustment
of the demand and supply of labour on each entrepreneur’s and worker’s maximisation
In contrast, especially in his pre-Capital writings, Marx underlines the worker’s
subjectivity in deciding her labour performance. This implies that the type and intensity
of time-unit labour varies depending on the worker’s will and the constraints
upon it. Accentuating the particular characteristics of the relationship between labour
power and labour in this way, Marx’s arguments lead to the invalidation of the neoclassical
principle of labour exchange and rationalise the intervention of socio-political
factors represented by the labour-capital class struggle in the determination of
work conditions. Thus, this study focuses on the potential of Marx’s labour power-labour
distinction independent of his exploitation theory-the basis of a weighty refutation
of the neoclassical system.
JEL classification numbers: B 13, B 14.
The “welfare” of a nation and the “welfare state”
should be considered separately. Various economic
and social ideas were born during the interwar
period and the war. One of these was the
welfare state theory against the Nazis state. W.
Beveridge, a Keynesian economist, discussed the
“welfare state” from the premises of an effective,
state-controlled economy. In Germany, the liberalist
group of the anti-Nazis prepared for the
theoretical core of social economics（ social
market economy） for the after-war period,
which was not only opposed to the Keynesian
state and economy but also criticized the Hayekian
fundamentalism of the market economy.
One of the leading theoreticians, W. Röpke,
found preconditions for the more human and affluent
economic society in the competing market
economy and the decentralization（ subsidiarity）.
In rising productivity, the diligent and saving
workers and the “conform state interventions”
are capable of creating a humane economic society.
Röpke’s way of thinking harmonized with
Catholic doctrines. On Reconstruction of the Social
Order（ Pius XI, 1931） was an extremely
important document for him. Politically, it justifies
the decentralization by stating that the greater
association should be assigned to subordinate
organizations. In terms of the worker-employer
relationship, the worker shares ownership or
management in that the worker contract can be
modified by a partnership contract. Here, the
welfare of workers will rise, though the state
does not take care of individual workers like
Beveridge Plan. This is also the Röpke’s goal of
JEL classification numbers: B 25, I 31, P 46.
Defoe definitely agrees that luxury is a vice,
though he also recognizes that luxury as a consumptive
action entails economic benefits for
the political society. Furthermore, he realizes
that the conspicuousness of riches in consumptive
actions can have morally restraining effects
on the common people.
The central theme of this article is to distinguish
Defoe’s implications for the consumption
theory from his discourses on luxury. For this
purpose, it is expedient to focus on Defoe’s considerable
regards for the English gentry, because
it can clarify his luxury discourse in the social
context wherein luxury is to be clearly comprehended
as a consumptive action. When logically
integrated with the gentry discourse, the luxury
discourse represents the consumption theory in
eighteenth-century England. Moreover, it is notable
that morality is included in economic activities
in Defoe’s luxury discourse.
Defoe struggles to find a cohesive logic in
his social theory closely relevant with the structural
change of his time. In this contemporary
dynamics, it is the gentry comprising virtuous
individuals with riches and intelligence that he
expects to find as the leading entity governing
the new hierarchical order to be settled with the
quality and quantity of their consumptive actions.
Thus, it is safe to say that Defoe’s theory
of consumption correctly grasps the social order
newly established in eighteenth-century England.
JEL classification numbers: B 31, Z 19.
This paper aims to analyze John Stuart Mill’s
theory of joint-stock companies on the basis of
Mill’s theory of an ideal civil society.
Mill recognized that the Industrial Revolution
sparked social and economic problems. Unskilled
labourers lapsed into moral decadence,
which lowered productivity and decreased profit
rates; thus this would then result in a dismal stationary
state without any reform in the distribution
of wealth. However, Mill asserted that social
reforms would realize the ideal condition of
a civil society even in the stationary state. To resolve
these problems, Mill’s theory of joint-stock
companies is significant from two perspectives.
First, from the perspective of productivity,
large-scale production is greatly promoted by
the accumulation of large capital through the
formation of joint-stock companies. Furthermore,
co-operation among various people and
combination of the labour force would lead to
Second, from the perspective of property,
Mill insisted on fair and just distribution of
wealth and the necessity of managerial reforms.
Reforms aimed at solving the unequal distribution
of wealth could raise the living standards
and the moral and intellectual standards of labourers.
The moral qualities of this new kind of labourers,
which could increase the rate of productivity,
are as important to the overall efficiency
of their labour, as their intellectual qualities. On
the basis of the law of the inverse relationship
between cost of labour and profits, Mill asserted
that superior productivity would reduce the total
cost of labour and increase the real wages of labourers
and profits of capital. It was for this reason
that Mill emphasized the importance of human
development in terms of both labour and
capital and the significance of joint-stock companies
wherein labourers acquire skills and develop
their abilities and individual specialties.
JEL classification numbers: B 31.