(b. 1928), economist.
In Overcentralization in Economic Administration (1957) Kornai was one of the first in the Soviet bloc to show the defects of central planning and argue for more decentralization and use of financial and market methods in guiding the socialist economy. His Mathematical Planning of Structural Decisions (1967; second edition 1975) developed the idea of two-level planning.
Kornai attempted to apply organizational and information theory, as well as management science, to analyze the advanced socialist economy in his Anti-Equilibrium (1971). He employed non-equilibrium concepts to replace the Walrasian market-clearing of standard neoclassical theory. Along these lines, his Economics of Shortage (2 vols., 1980) pictured an economy, like Hungary's or Soviet Russia's, with chronic excess demand and limited price flexibility. Supply would be allocated to meet excess demand by nonprice, quantitative methods. Tautness would show up as queues for consumer goods, indicating inefficiency and underutilization of resources.
During this period, Kornai developed his famous concept of the "soft budget constraint." Socialized enterprises were not required to cover costs, as ad hoc subsidies and credits would invariably be made available by state institutions so that the firm would not have to close. Loss-making enterprises were a cause of excess demand in the economy.
Following the democratic revolution in Hungary, Kornai argued for fiscal restraint, particularly in the payment of pensions, so that Hungary could invest more for growth.
See also: economic growth, soviet
Martin C. Spechler
"Kornai, Janos." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/kornai-janos
"Kornai, Janos." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Retrieved September 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/kornai-janos
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.