Many economists in the former communist bloc countries and other countries as well will certainly recognize at least some of the following terms: overcentralization, two-level planning, anti-equilibrium, economics of shortage, soft budget constraint and immature welfare state. Most of them are titles of books written by Kornai and the rest are terms he coined. All of them have become familiar to economists and others. The order in which they appear here encapsulates the development of Kornai’s thought (and to a large extent the field as a whole) and the characterization of the communist economic system: its problems, the reasons for its collapse, the tradition it has left behind and the "transitions" it has undergone.

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