- Responsibility system
Responsibility system (contract responsibility system or household responsibility system) was a practice in the
People's Republic of China, first adopted in agriculturein 1981and later extended to other sectors of the economy, by which local managers are held responsible for the profits and losses of the enterprise. This system partially supplanted the egalitariandistribution method, whereby the state assumed all profits and losses.
Maoistorganization of the rural economy, and that of other collectivised programs, farmers are given a quota of goods to produce. They were compensated for meeting the quota. Going beyond the quota rarely produced a sizeable economic reward. In the early 1980s peasants were given drastically reduced quotas. What food they grew beyond the quota was sold on a free market at unregulated prices. This was an instant success, quickly causing one of the largest increases in standard of livingfor such a large number of people in such a very small space of time. This system maintained quotas, and thus, the element of socialist societies termed in China, the Iron Rice Bowl(in which food and employment was ensured by the state).
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