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The Soviet market for inventions: the case of jet propulsion, 1932 to 1944

By Mark Harrison


The paper outlines the problem of aviation jet propulsion in the interwar period and World War II and analyses Soviet progress towards a solution using newly available archival documentation. Soviet R&D commitments were influenced by long–term security motivations and the need to invest in local tacit knowledge. The scale and diversity of the Soviet R&D effort is described. The allocation of resources resulted from R&D agents’ horizontally organised market–like interactions within a vertically organised command system. Financing decisions were made in a context of asymmetric information, adverse selection, and opportunism. Overall funding was rationed; budget constraints on individual projects were soft, but were periodically hardened. In addition to decisions to finance and refinance or terminate projects, takeovers and mergers took place in a secondary asset market. There is evidence of rent–seeking activity, but where rent–seeking was detected it was punished

Topics: TL
Publisher: University of Warwick, Department of Economics
Year: 2001
OAI identifier:

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