Mythologies of Work: A Comparison of Firms in State Socialism and Advanced Capitalism
Comparative studies of capitalist and socialist countries have rested on weak empirical bases, namely the comparison of ideal type models or comparisons of the realities (often distorted) of one society with an ideal type of the other. This is particularly true of the firm, which has remained a black box in conventional analyses of state-socialism. On the basis of case studies of two comparable firms, one in the United States and on in Hungary, we criticize eight stereotypes that underly the presumption that state socialist firms are necessarily less efficient than capitalist firms. We then propose conditions under which capitalist firms may be less technically efficient than state socialist firms.