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János Kornai is working on a series of papers comparing the real and observable advantageous and disadvantageous, attractive and repulsive, features of the socialist and the capitalist system. The research evaluates the successes and failures of the post-socialist transition.

In the framework of the series the paper Innovation and dynamism was published both in English and in Hungarian in 2010, analyzing the relationship between the system (capitalism vs. socialism) and the nature and speed of technical progress. Shortage economy — Surplus economy is a recent paper, arguing that while the "shortage economy" is a major feature of the socialist system, the "surplus economy", i.e., the frequent and intensive excess supply phenomena, is a major feature of the capitalist system. Kornai is working on the extension and revision of the paper, which will be submitted for publication in English in 2011. The next paper will discuss the methodology of system comparisons. The above papers have also appeared in a collection of papers by Kornai in Hungarian, Russian and Vietnamese.