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Journal of Economic Literature: Vol. 41 No. 4 (December 2003)

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Understanding the Soft Budget Constraint

Article Citation

Kornai, János, Eric Maskin, and Géard Roland. 2003. "Understanding the Soft Budget Constraint." Journal of Economic Literature, 41(4): 1095-1136.

DOI: 10.1257/002205103771799999

Abstract

We propose a clarification of the notion of a soft budget constraint, a concept widely used in the analysis of socialist, transitional, and market economies. Our interpretation is broad enough to embrace most existing approaches to soft budget constraint phenomena and provides a classification of their causes and consequences. In light of this interpretation, we then review the theoretical literature on the subject and compare it with those on other dynamic commitment problems in economics.

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Authors

Kornai, János
Maskin, Eric
Roland, Géard


Journal of Economic Literature


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