2017-12-15Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1515/jbwg-2017-0013
Wieviel kapitalistisches Unternehmen steckte in den Betrieben des real existierenden Sozialismus?
Konzeptionelle Überlegungen und ein Fallbeispiel
The article offers a new perspective on the economic and business history of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). It argues that the historiographical emphasis on the “failure” of the East German planned economy should be replaced by an analysis of those factors which allowed the GDR economy to exist as long as it did and the effects they had on the system as a whole. To do so, the article first provides an overview of the structural conditions that characterized the East German economy and looks at the position and role of the publically-owned companies within the “Budgetverwaltungswirtschaft” (budget administration economy). To determine in which ways the East German companies functionally differed from capitalist ones, the article investigates in a second step the characteristics of capitalist economies, specifically the relevance awarded to companies and entrepreneurs as constitutive elements of the market. By distinguishing analytically the distribution of property rights bundles awarded to the different actors in the economy, the article provides a basis for comparing the functions of companies in capitalist and non-capitalist systems without assuming an essential difference between the two types of companies a priori. Finally, the article demonstrates the methodological insight gained from the comparative analysis by drawing on examples from the company Simson.
Dieser Beitrag ist mit Zustimmung des Rechteinhabers aufgrund einer (DFG-geförderten) Allianz- bzw. Nationallizenz frei zugänglich.