Soviet planners developed the “unchanged prices of 1926/27” to facilitate the solution of an\ud agency problem -- the regulation of self-interested producers as they worked to fulfil plans for\ud heterogeneous products denominated in rubles. The system limited but did not eliminate\ud producers’ opportunistic behavior, which took the form of inflating the plan prices of new\ud products. Through the 1930s and 1940s the “unchanged” prices proved resistant to reform,\ud and following their abolition in 1950 the system was soon afterwards reinstated with a new\ud base year. The history of the “unchanged” prices illustrates the limits of command
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