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NEW! E-books by Kornai freely* downloadable now:

-- Anti-Equilibrium: On economic systems theory and the tasks of research. Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1971. Downloadable here.

-- Economics of shortage. Vol. A-B. Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1980. Volume A, Volume B.

-- The road to a free economy: Shifting from a socialist system, the example of Hungary, 1990. Downloadable here.

-- By force of thought: Irregular memoirs of an intellectual journey. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007. Downloadable here.

* According to the CC BY-NC-ND license (give appropriate credit, don't sell it, don't change it)


The links below lead to webpages where the e-books are available for purchase.

Dynamism, Rivalry and the Surplus Economy: Two Essays on the Nature of Capitalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. (Translated by Brian McLean.) Original in Hungarian: 2011. Available here.

Corruption, Development and Institutional Design. Eds: János Kornai, László Mátyás and Gérard Roland. New York: Palgrave Macmillan in association with the International Economic Association, 2009. Available here.

From Socialism to Capitalism. Budapest: Central European University Press. 2008. (Translated by Brian McLean.) Original in Hungarian: 2007. Available here.

Institutional Change and Economic Behaviour. Eds.: János Kornai, László Mátyás and Gérard Roland. New York: Palgrave Macmillan in association with the International Economic Association, 2008. Available here.

Building a Trustworthy State in Post-Socialist Transition. Eds.: János Kornai and Susan Rose-Ackerman. New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004. Original in Hungarian, 2004. Available here.

Creating Social Trust in Post-Socialist Transition. Eds.: János Kornai, Bo Rothstein, and Susan Rose-Ackerman. New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004. Original in Hungarian, 2004. Available here.

Welfare, Choice and Solidarity in Transition: Reforming the Health Sector in Eastern Europe. Co-author Karen Eggleston. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. Available here.

The Socialist System: The Political Economy of Communism. Princeton: Princeton University Press and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992. Available here.


Some links lead to the publications themselves, while others lead to online academic databases, e.g., JSTOR.



“1956 in Hungary: As I saw it then and as I see it now.”
Public Choice, published first online: 18 May 2020. Available here.



„Frankenstein’s moral responsibility” [both parts]
Acta Oeconomica, vol. 69/4, pp. 485-494. Available here or here.

"Economists share blame for China’s ‘monstrous’ turn: Western intellectuals must now seek to contain Beijing" [Frankenstein-article, Part 1]
Financial Times, online: on July 10, 2019, in print: on July 11, 2019 (pp. 11). Read it here or here.

“The system paradigm revisited: Clarifications and additions in the light of experiences in the post-socialist region.” In: Stubborn structures: Reconceptualizing post-communist regimes. Ed. by Bálint Magyar. Budapest-New York: Central European University Press, 2019, pp. 21-73. Read it here. The book at the publisher's site is here; the cover and the Contents page of the book is here.



About the value of democracy and other challenging research topics: Closing remarks at the conference on February 22, 2018." In English, 2018. Köz-gazdaság, vol.13/2, pp. 59-63. Read it here or here.

"'Ideas do not apply for visas': Michael Ignatieff’s and János Kornai’s speeches at the Open Society Prize award ceremony", in English, 2018. Published online.



“Rising populism and its harmful effects.” In English, 2017. Published online.

“The system paradigm revisited: Clarifications and additions in the light of experiences in the post-socialist region.” Revue d’études comparatives Est-Ouest, vol. 48 (1-2), pp. 239–296. (Read it here or find a copy here)



“The system paradigm revisited: Clarifications and additions in the light of experiences in the post-socialist region." Acta Oeconomica,vol. 66 (4), pp. 547–596. (Read it here or find a copy here)

“The system paradigm revisited: Clarifications and additions in the light of experiences in the post-socialist region." Part I, Part II. Hungarian Spectrum, February 22, 2017.

 “Vulnerable democracies, an interview with János Kornai”, in English. The Hungarian Spectrum, December 29, 2016. Read it here.

“The long slide towards autocracy: The price for freedom being eternal vigilance”, interview with Zoltán Farkas, in English, 2017 (the “Vulnerable democracies” interview with a different title). The Market for Ideas, No. 2, November-December 2016. Read it here.

So what is Capital in the Twenty-First Century? Some notes on Piketty’s book
Capitalism and Society, vol. 11/1, pp. 2-35. (or find a copy here)

So what is Capital in the Twenty-First Century? Some notes on Piketty’s book
Corvinus Economics Working Papers, vol. 9/2016.

Breaking promises
Corvinus Economics Working Papers, vol. 8/2016.



"Hungary's U-turn" (or find a copy here)
Capitalism and Society, vol. 10/2: pp. 1-24. (The expanded version is here.)

-- Republished:
"Hungary’s U-turn: Retreating from democracy"
Journal of Democracy, vol. 26/3, pp. 34-48.

-- Republished:
„Shifting away from democracy: Hungary’s U-turn” (or download it from here)
Public Finance and Management, vol. 15/3, pp. 172-202.

-- Republished:
Hungary’s U-turn” (or download it from here)
Society and Economy, vol. 37/3, pp. 279-329.

-- Working paper version:
Hungary’s U-turn: Prepublication working paper"
Hungarian Sprectrum, January 2015.

Foreword” [to the special issue of the journal].
Journal of Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 10, pp. 1-10.



The soft budget constraint: An introductory study to Volume IV of the life’s work series
Acta Oeconomica, vol. 64, Special Issue 1 (‘[The] 25th anniversary of [the] post-socialist economic transition), pp. 25-79.

Can China set us an example?” Published online.

"Threatening dangers". Published online.



Centralization and market reform: An introductory study to Volume III of the life’s work series.Acta Oeconomica, Vol. 63/3: pp. 335–366.



Centralization and the capitalist market economy”. English, with a Bulgarian introduction
Нaceлeниe (Nasselenie), vol. 2012/1-2, 198-216.

"Breaking promises: The Hungarian experience." Working paper, published online.

What Economics of shortage and The socialist system have to say to the (Hungarian) readers today: An introductory study to the first two volumes of the life’s work series”.
Acta Oeconomica,
vol. 62/3: 365-384. Also in Hungarian.

Reforming the State: Fiscal and Welfare Reform in Post-Socialist Countries. Eds.: János Kornai; Stephan Haggard and Robert R. Kaufman. E-book. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2012. (Printed publication: 2001)

"Centralization and the capitalist market economy.Népszabadság online, February 1, 2012. (Translation of "Központosítás és kapitalista piacgazdaság", in Hungarian, Népszabadság, January 28, 2012.)
Republished in English online:
-- The Monkey Cage, February 2012;
-- Hungarian Spectrum, February 20, 2012;
in English offline:
-- CESifo Forum, vol. 13/1: 47-59. (or download it from here),
-- Economics of Transition, vol. 20/4: 569-591.
Also in Vietnamese 2012, in German 2012, in Romanian 2012. A somewhat shortened version in Polish 2012.



"Taking stock." Népszabadság, January 7, 2011 (Translation of "Számvetés", in Hungarian, Népszabadság, January 6, 2011).
Re-published in English:
-- Monthly Report of the Wiener Institut für Internationale Wirtschaftsvergleiche 2011/2, 1-12;
-- Tr@nsit online of the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen;
-- CESifo Forum, vol.12/2: 63-72 (or download it from here);
-- American Interest, January 6, 2011.
Also in Polish 2011, in Slovak 2011, in Czech 2011, in Chinese 2011, in Russian 2011, in Vietnamese 2012.


Welfare, Choice and Solidarity in Transition: Reforming the Health Sector in Eastern Europe. Co-author Karen Eggleston. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. E-book edition (available for purchase): 2010. (Hardback edition: 2001, paperback edition: 2010.)

Where is the line between independent economic analysis and active policy making? The example of the independent fiscal councils
Acta Oeconomica, 2010, vol. 60/3: 249-254. Also in Hungarian.

Innovation and Dynamism: Interaction between Systems and Technical Progress
Economics of Transition, 2010, vol. 18/4: 629-670. Also in Vietnamese, in Hungarian, in Polish, in Chinese (1-2), in Romanian, in Czech.

"Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité: Reflections on the changes following the collapse of communism"
European Review, vol. 18/3: 379-397. Also in Hungarian, in Vietnamese, in Polish, in Russian, in German, in Romanian.

Interview with János Kornai. By Ma Guochuan. Read it in Chinese or in English.
Caijing (independent financial magazine in China), March 29, 2010.

János Kornai”, interviewed by J. Barkley Rosser.
In Rosser, J. Barkley – Richard P. F. Holt – David Collander (eds.), European Economics at a Crossroads, 2010. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 187-203.



"Marx through the eyes of an East European intellectual"
Social Research Fall 2009, vol. 76/3: 965-986. Also in Hungarian, in German, in Vietnamese, in French.

"The soft budget constraint syndrome and the global financial crisis:
Some warnings from an East European economist"
Article published on the blog of Willem Buiter associated with Financial Times with the introduction by Willem Buiter (October 14, 2009), Also available here. Also in Hungarian, in German, in Japanese, in Chinese, in Polish, in Vietnamese.

What the change of system from socialism to capitalism does and does not mean”.
In Shapiro, Stanley J. – Mark Tadajewski – Clifford J. Shultz (eds.), Macro Marketing. Vols. 1-4. London: Sage. Vol. 3: 289-304.

"The soft budget constraint syndrome in the hospital sector"
International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics, vol. 9: 117-135. Also in Hungarian and Japanese.

Socialism and the Market: Conceptual Clarification”, in English. In: Market and Socialism – In the Light of Experiences of China and Vietnam. Eds.: János Kornai and Yingi Qian, 2009. New York: Palgrave Macmillan in association with the International Economic Association, pp. 11-24.



The joys and woes of a researcher
Speech at the award ceremony to receive the title of Honorary Doctor of the
Krakow University of Economics, June 19, 2008.
Hungarian Quarterly. Winter 2008, vol. 49:4-9.

"What does 'Change of System' mean?"
Chapter 6, From Socialism to Capitalism.
Budapest: Central University Press, pp. 123-150.

Some system-specific features of capitalism,
published online first. Also in Hungarian.

Coffee and tea: Some comments on reforming the system of health insurance in Hungary
Acta Oeconomica, vol. 58/2: 239-261. 



"The 'Montias case' 1964. Excerpt from János Kornai’s book By Force of Thought: Irregular Memoirs of an Intellectual Journey.
Journal of Comparative Economics, 2007. No 35, pp. 438-442.



"Equilibrium, growth and reform"
Acta Oeconomica, vol. 56/4: 371–397.

"The Great Transformation of Central Eastern Europe: Success and disappointment"
Economics of Transition, vol. 14/2: 207-244.

"Preface". In Oικονομικά συστήματα, αναπτυξιακές πολιτικές και στρατηγικές των επιχειρήσεων στην εποχή της παγκοσμιοποίησης: Μελέτες προς τιμήν του καθηγητή Στέργιου Μπαμπανάςη (Economic systems, development policies and the enterprise strategies in the age of globalization: Essays in honor of Professor Stergios Babanassis). Athens: Papazissis Publishers, 2006, pp. 25-28.



"Understanding the Soft Budget Constraint"
Co-authors: Eric Maskin and Gerard Roland.
Journal of Economic Literature, 2003. December No. 61:4. pp. 1095-1136.

"The main objective: lasting growth."
Translation of the interview in the Hungarian daily newspaper Népszabadság,
January 25, 2003. Vol. 61/21: 23, 27.

"Honesty and trust in the light of the post-socialist transition:
Some ideas arising from the 'Honesty and Trust' research at Collegium Budapest"
Translation of the 'Tisztesség és bizalom a posztszocialista átmenet fényében. Gondolatok a Collegium Budapest 'Honesty and Trust' kutatásának alapján' article in Beszélő, Vol. 8/6: 20-29.

From Socialism to Capitalism and Democracy: János Kornai on the trials of socialism and transition. An interview with introduction by Brian Snowdon.
World Economics, Vol. 4/1: 33-71.



Hardening the budget constraint: The Experience of the post-socialist Countries.European Economic Review, 2001, 45/9 :1573-1600.

Ten years after 'The road to a free economy': The author's self-evaluation.
In Boris Pleskovic and Nicholas Stern (eds.) 2001. Annual World Bank Conference on Development Economics 2000, pp. 49-66. Washington, DC: World Bank.

Choice and solidarity: The health sector in Eastern Europe and proposals for reform.” Co-author: Karen Eggleston.
International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics, 2001, 1/1: 59-84.



What the change of the system from socialism to capitalism does and does not mean.
Journal of Economic Perspectives. Winter 2000, 14/1: 27-42.

"Is post-communist health spending unusual? A comparison with established market
." Co-author: John McHale.
The Economics of Transition. 2000, 8/2: 369-399.

Hidden in an Envelope: Gratitude Payments to Medical Doctors in Hungary.” In Lord Dahrendorf and Yehuda Elkana, eds. The Paradoxes of Unintended Consequences, Budapest: CEU Press, 2000.



"An interview with János Kornai" by Olivier Blanchard.
Macroeconomic Dynamics, vol. 3/3: 427-450.



The place of the Soft Budget Constraint Syndrome in economic theory.
Journal of Comparative Economics
, March, 1998, 26/1: 11-17.

Tax awareness and reform of the welfare state: Hungarian survey results,” co-authors: László Csontos and Tóth István György.
Economics of Transition, 1998, 6/2: 287-312. Also in Hungarian, and Bulgarian.



Reforming the welfare state in post-socialist societies.
World Development
, 25/8: 1183-1186, 1997.



Paying the Bill for Goulash-Communism: Hungarian Development and Macro Stabilization in Political-Economy Perspective
Social Research
, Winter 1996, 63/4: 943-1040.

Hardening of the Budget Constraint under the Postsocialist System”.
Japan and the World Economy, 1996, 8: 135-151.



"Eliminating the Shortage Economy. A General Analysis and Examination of the Developments in Hungary”
Economics of Transition, 1995, 3/1: 13-37, 2:149-168.

“The Dilemmas of Hungarian Economic Policy”
In Béla K. Király and András Bozóki (eds.) Lawful Revolution in Hungary, 1989-94. Boulder: Social Science Monographs, Highland Lakes: Atlantic Research and Publications and New York: Columbia University Press, 1995, pp. 323-349. Read the manuscript here.



Transformational Recession: The Main Causes”,
Journal of Comparative Economics
, 1994, 19/3: 39-63.



"Market Socialism Revisited", in: The Tanner Lectures on Human Values. Ed.: Grethe B. Peterson, Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, Vol. 14, 1993, pp. 3-41.


The Evolution of Financial Discipline under the Postsocialist System
Kyklos, Fall 1993, 46/3: 315-336.



The Postsocialist Transition and the State: Reflections in the Light of Hungarian Fiscal Problems
American Economic Review
, Papers and Proceedings, May 1992, 82/2: 1-21.



The Affinity between Ownership Forms and Coordination Mechanisms. The Common Experience of Reform in Socialist Countries
Journal of Economic Perspectives, Summer 1990, 4/3: 131-147.



Individual Freedom and Reform of the Socialist Economy
European Economic Review, 1988, 32/2-3: 233-267.



"The Softness of Budgetary Constraints—An Analysis of Enterprise Data"Co-author: Ágnes Matits.
Eastern European Economics, 1987, Vol. 25/4: 1-33.



The Hungarian Reform Process: Visions, Hopes and Reality
Journal of Economic Literature, Dec. 1986, 24/4: 1687-1737.

The Soft Budget Constraint
Kyklos, 1986, 39/1: 3-30.



Reproduction of Shortage on the Hungarian Car Market” Co-authors: Zsuzsa Kapitány and Judit Szabó.
Soviet Studies, Apr. 1984, 36/2: 236-256.

"Bureaucratic and market coordination"
Osteuropa Wirtschaft, 1984, Vol. 29, No. 4, pp. 306-319.



Comments on the Present State and Prospects of the Hungarian Economic ReformJournal of Comparative Economics, 1983, 7/3: 225-252.

The Health of Nations: Reflections on the Analogy Between the Medical Sciences and Economics
Kyklos, 1983, 36/2, 191-212.

Paternalism, Buyers’ and Sellers’ Market”. Co-author: Jörgen W. Weibull.
Mathematical Social Sciences, 1983, 7/2: 153-169.



"Some Properties of the Eastern European Growth Pattern".
World Development, 1981, Vol. 9/9-10:965-970.



The Dilemmas of a Socialist Economy: The Hungarian Experience
Cambridge Journal of Economics, June 1980, 4/2: 147-157.



Resource-Constrained Versus Demand-Constrained Systems
Econometrica, July 1979, 47/4: 801-819.



The Normal State of the Market in a Shortage Economy: A Queue Model”. Co-author: Jörgen W. Weibull.
Scandinavian Journal of Economics
, 1978, 80/4: 375-398.



Decentralized Control Problems in Neumann-Economies”. Co-author: András Simonovits.
Journal of Economic Theory, 1977, 14/1: 44-67.



Autonomous Control of the Economic System”. Co-author: Béla Martos.
Econometrica, May 1973, 41/3: 509-528. 



"Multi-Level Programming: A First Report on the Model and on the Experimental Computations"
European Economic Review, Fall 1969, Vol. 1/1: 134-191.



Two-Level Planning”. Co-author: Tamás Lipták.
Econometrica, Jan. 1965, 33/1: 141-169.



The Determination of the Optimum Investment Plan for an Industrial Sector by the Use of Linear Programming
Eastern European Economy, 1963, 1/4: 44-56.



Mathematical Investigation of some sconomic effects of profit sharing in socialist firms”. Co-author: Tamás Lipták.
Econometrica, Jan. 1962, 30/1: 140-161.