Isolation in Albanian Economic Thought

Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology: Including a Symposium on Economists and Authoritarian Regimes in the 20th Century Vol: 38B, 2020.

19 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2019 Last revised: 31 Mar 2021

See all articles by Marianne Johnson

Marianne Johnson

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh - Department of Economics

Doriana Matraku Dervishi

University of Tirana

Date Written: September 25, 2019

Abstract

Under the authoritarian rule of Enver Hoxha, Albania pursued one of the more unusual variants of a planned economy, increasingly isolated from the rest of the socialist world. In this paper, we consider the interplay between the Hoxha’s policy of economic isolationism and the economics produced in isolation. Several conclusions can be drawn. First, much like in other authoritarian regimes, economic theory did not drive economic policy; rather political ideology determined policy; economic theories were retroactively constructed and used as justification. Second, authoritarian-decreed economic theory (dogma) meant that the job of Albanian economists was distinctly different from what we observe elsewhere. Albanian economists played two roles – propaganda for regime positions and technical support for regime policies. Third, and most uniquely Albanian, economic and political isolation created an echo-chamber where theory was functionally irrelevant to policy making or practice. Decreed economic theory was substantively empty, and new ideas were shut out. This had profound implications for Albania’s eventual transition to a market economy.

Forthcoming in Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology: Including a Symposium on Economists and Authoritarian Regimes in the 20th Century Vol: 38B, 2020.

Keywords: Albania, Economic Thought, Authoritarian Regimes, Sociology of Economists

JEL Classification: B24

Suggested Citation

Johnson, Marianne and Matraku Dervishi, Doriana, Isolation in Albanian Economic Thought (September 25, 2019). Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology: Including a Symposium on Economists and Authoritarian Regimes in the 20th Century Vol: 38B, 2020., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3459665

Marianne Johnson (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh - Department of Economics ( email )

800 Algoma Blvd.
Oshkosh, WI 54901
United States
920-424-2230 (Phone)
920-424-1734 (Fax)

Doriana Matraku Dervishi

University of Tirana ( email )

Tirana
Albania

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