Gérard Roland, 23 October 2021

The great Hungarian economist János Kornai, who passed away in October 2021, was a pioneering analyst of shortages, socialist economies and the economics of transition to a market economy. This column outlines what made him one of the most important intellectuals of the twentieth century.

Daron Acemoğlu, Giuseppe De Feo, Giacomo De Luca, Gianluca Russo, 28 October 2020

Right-wing populist movements often come to power by exploiting people’s anxieties and fears. Following WWI, fascists in Italy likely exploited the perceived threat of socialism to gain support among the elite and the middle classes. This column explores the link between the threat of socialism and Mussolini’s rise to power and finds a strong association between the Red Scare in Italy and the subsequent local support for the Fascist Party in the early 1920s. Local elites, especially large landowners, played an important role in boosting Fascist Party activity and support.

Pamela Campa, Michel Serafinelli, 22 June 2018

Attitudes towards work and gender simultaneously shape, and are shaped by, the conventions, practices, and policies in a given place and time. This column explores how politico-economic regimes affect attitudes towards gender roles and labour, exploiting the rise and fall of the Iron Curtain. Results show that women in state-socialist regimes tended to have less negative and less traditional views of work and labour force participation.

Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln, Paolo Masella, 05 June 2016

There are strong links between the nature of education in a country and its political institutions, and an individual’s education can impact their lifetime labour market choices. This column examines how being educated under a socialist regime impacts individuals in a free labour market. Using data on students from East and West Germany in the 1970s, it finds that a socialist regime education led to a larger spread in labour market outcomes – more of these individuals were not employed, but conditional on being employed, had higher wages and a higher probability of achieving a professional status in the East.

Richard Pomfret, 22 May 2012

Politicians who rail against socialism or capitalism always adopt a more moderate stance after they come into office. This column argues this is because we are still experiencing the consequences of the industrial revolution. The current state of that process involves a widely accepted compromise between aggregate prosperity and distributional equality.


CEPR Policy Research