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The salient dimension in the measurement of a party's attitude toward this issue is its posture vis-a-vis centralization of economic decision making. At most, the ethos of state planning may require the taking of all economic decisions by the state; at the very least, the party favoring some government action may support minimal state intervention to encourage functional coordination or to influence the overall level of economic activity. Partisan opposition to the concentration of decision-making authority in the institutions of the state, on the other hand, may extend from resistance to a maximum level of government control to a posture of opposition to centralized direction of any sort. Parties that take the latter conservative position, however, are likely to be amenable to, if not desirous of, state action to ensure the protection of vested property rights and certain commercial interests. This departure from pristine laissez faire is not interpreted as movement away from an extreme stance on this issue.

Operational Definition. The usual matrix is used, with pro-con positions of varying intensity defined as follows:


Advocates government prescription of the level and nature of resource allocation, commodity production and distribution; often represented by the promulgation of "five-year plans" and the like


Favors an active government role in the development or constriction of sectors of the economy (e.g., restriction of capital movements, subsidization of particular industries or regions); advocates measures that involve the government in these activities.


Favors government encouragement of productive activity through exhortation and/or minor alteration of the economic environment (e.g., changing the tax structure or money supply to influence economic activity).


Includes ambiguous or contradictory positions.


Opposes government prescription for the overall economy through state direction of capital, resource, and commodity movements; accepts present extent of government involvement in economic planning.


Opposes an active government role in planning or regulating the development of sectors of the economy; opposes such measures; urges government withdrawal from planning.


Opposes government interference in the natural development of the economy, with the possible exception of state action to protect private property rights or certain vested commercial interests.

Coding Results. Tables 6.3a and 6.3b (BV502) report means for "government role in economic planning" that are substantially higher than those for BV501, "government ownership of the means of production." If we could be certain that our scales for these issue orientation variables fulfilled the requirements of a ratio scale, with the middle score being a true zero point, we could make precise comparisons between these means. But literal comparisons of these scale scores are simply not warranted by the data. To the extent that one accepts the rough comparability of the scales as anchored at the extremes, however, it seems permissible to draw some figurative comparisons. The PRO-strong (+5) position for BV501 is one favoring government ownership of the means of production; the PRO-Strong position for BV502 is one advocating government prescription of the level and nature of economic production. The CON-strong positions (-5) for both variables are in diametric opposition to the PRO-strong ones for both variables. Systematic application of these codes to the program and practice of political parties across the world has resulted in parties being scored more toward the PRO-strong position for the government's role in economic planning than for its role in owning the means of production. Even granting the limitations of the data, it seems reasonable to accept the conclusion that parties have been decidedly more reluctant to advocate government ownership than government planning. Taking positive scores on BV502 to indicate a "leftist" position, we detect again a tendency for parties to move slightly to the right from 1950-1956 to 1957-1962. While the quality of our data for BV502 is a shade above that for BV501, there is a significant correlation of .24 between the variable scores and AC codes for BV502. The more confidence with which the code was assigned, the more likely the code was to be positive or leftist in value.

Basic Variable 5.03: Redistribution of Wealth*

Distribution of wealth can be viewed "horizontally"--in the sense of distribution between industries, occupations, districts, or religions--and "vertically" in the sense of equalization of income regardless of social categories, that is, differences between "rich " and "poor." Our variable is concerned with vertical distribution. Since socialism and communism are character-

*This section was drafted by Donald Sylvan

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