IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Understanding the Soft Budget Constraint

  • J�nos Kornai
  • Eric Maskin
  • G�rard Roland

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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/002205103771799999
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Literature.

Volume (Year): 41 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 1095-1136

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:41:y:2003:i:4:p:1095-1136
Note: DOI: 10.1257/002205103771799999
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/journalEmail:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: https://www.aeaweb.org/subscribe.html

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Monika Schnitzer, 1999. "Enterprise restructuring and bank competition in transition economies," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 7(1), pages 133-155, March.
  2. Chong-en Bai & Yijiang Wang, 1997. "Agency in Project Screening and Termination Decisions: Why Is Good Money Thrown After Bad?," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 43, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  3. Dewatripont, Mathias & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "A Theory of Debt and Equity: Diversity of Securities and Manager-Shareholder Congruence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1027-54, November.
  4. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1994. "Debt and Seniority: An Analysis of the Role of Hard Claims in Constraining Management," NBER Working Papers 4886, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. John M. Litwack, 1993. "Coordination, Incentives, and the Ratchet Effect," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(2), pages 271-285, Summer.
  6. Kornai, Janos & Weibull, Jorgen W., 1983. "Paternalism, buyers' and sellers' market," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 153-169, November.
  7. Goldfeld, Stephen M. & Quandt, Richard E., 1988. "Budget constraints, bailouts, and the firm under central planning," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 502-520, December.
  8. Perotti, Enrico C., 1993. "Bank lending in transition economies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 1021-1032, September.
  9. Brian Pinto & Vladimir Drebentsov & Alexander Morozov, 2000. "Give Macroeconomic Stability and Growth in Russia a Chance," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 8(2), pages 297-324, July.
  10. Goldfeld, Stephen M. & Quandt, Richard E., 1993. "Uncertainty, bailouts, and the Kornai effect," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 113-119.
  11. Eric Maskin & Chenggang Xu, 2001. "Soft budget constraint theories: From centralization to the market," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 9(1), pages 1-27, March.
  12. Yijiang Wang & Chong-En Bai, 1999. "The Myth of the East Asian Miracle: The Macroeconomic Implications of Soft Budgets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 432-437, May.
  13. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1989. "Sovereign Debt: Is to Forgive to Forget?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 43-50, March.
  14. Shumei Gao and Mark E. Schaffer & Shumei Gao and Mark E. Schaffer, 1998. "Financial Discipline in the Enterprise Sector in Transition Countries: How Does China Compare?," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 124, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  15. David E. Wildasin, 2001. "Externalities and Bailouts: Hard and Soft Budget Constraints in Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations," Public Economics 0112002, EconWPA.
  16. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 1996. "Interbank lending and systemic risk," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), pages 733-765.
  17. Mathias Dewatripont & Eric Maskin, 2004. "Credit and efficiency in centralized and decentralized economies," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9605, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  18. Qian, Yingyi & Roland, Gerard, 1998. "Federalism and the Soft Budget Constraint," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1143-62, December.
  19. Schmidt, Klaus M. & Schnitzer, Monika, 1993. "Privatization and Management Incentives in the Transition Period in Eastern Europe," Munich Reprints in Economics 3109, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  20. Goldfeld, Stephen M. & Quandt, Richard E., 1990. "Output targets, the soft budget constraint and the firm under central planning," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 205-222, October.
  21. Roland, Gerard & Szafarz, Ariane, 1990. "The ratchet effect and the planner's expectations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 1079-1098, July.
  22. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521790369 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Sophie Brana & Mathilde Maurel & Jérôme Sgard, 1999. "Enterprise Adjustment and the Role of Bank Credit in Russia: Evidence from a 420 Firm's Qualitative Survey," Working Papers 1999-06, CEPII research center.
  24. Chenggang Xu & Haizhou Huang, 1999. "Institutions, innovations, and Growth," IMF Working Papers 99/34, International Monetary Fund.
  25. Moesen, Wim & van Cauwenberge, Philippe, 2000. " The Status of the Budget Constraint, Federalism and the Relative Size of Government: A Bureaucracy Approach," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 104(3-4), pages 207-24, September.
  26. Anderson, James H. & Korsun, Georges & Murrell, Peter, 2000. "Which Enterprises (Believe They) Have Soft Budgets? Evidence on the Effects of Ownership and Decentralization in Mongolia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 219-246, June.
  27. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 1988. "Financial deregulation, monetary policy, and central banking," Working Paper 88-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  28. Gérard Roland, 2004. "Transition and Economics: Politics, Markets, and Firms," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026268148x, June.
  29. Huang, Haizhou & Xu, Chenggang, 1999. "Financial institutions and the financial crisis in East Asia," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 903-914, April.
  30. Stanley Fischer, 1999. "On the Need for an International Lender of Last Resort," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 85-104, Fall.
  31. Haizhou Huang & C. A. E. Goodhart, 1999. "A Model of the Lender of Last Resort," IMF Working Papers 99/39, International Monetary Fund.
  32. Mitchell, Janet, 1998. "Strategic Creditor Passivity, Regulation and Bank Bailouts," CEPR Discussion Papers 1780, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  33. Aaron Tornell, 1999. "Privatizing The Privatized," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1869, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  34. Coricelli, Fabrizio & Djankov, Simeon, 2001. "Hardened Budgets and Enterprise Restructuring: Theory and an Application to Romania," CEPR Discussion Papers 2950, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  35. Levaggi, Rosella & Zanola, Roberto, 2000. "The Flypaper Effect: Evidence from the Italian National Health System," POLIS Working Papers 10, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
  36. Li, David D. & Liang, Minsong, 1998. "Causes of the Soft Budget Constraint: Evidence on Three Explanations," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 104-116, March.
  37. Roman Frydman & Cheryl Gray & Marek Hessel & Andrzej Rapaczynski, 2000. "The Limits of Discipline: Ownership and Hard Budget Constraints in the Transition Economies," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 8(3), pages 577-601, November.
  38. Frydman, R. & Gray, C. & Hessel, M. & Rapaczynski, A., 2000. "The Limits of Discipline: Ownership and Hard Budget Constraints in the Transition Economies," Working Papers 00-02, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  39. Berglöf, Erik & Roland, Gérard, 1995. "Bank Restructuring and Soft Budget Constraints in Financial Transition," CEPR Discussion Papers 1250, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  40. Freixas, Xavier & Guesnerie, Roger & Tirole, Jean, 1985. "Planning under Incomplete Information and the Ratchet Effect," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 173-91, April.
  41. Stijn Claessens & R. Kyle Peters, 1997. "State enterprise performance and soft budget constraints: The case of Bulgaria," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 5(2), pages 305-322, November.
  42. John S. Earle & Saul Estrin, . "Privatization, Competition, and Budget Constraints: Disciplining Enterprises in Russia," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles jse20032, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  43. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1987. "Contracts as a Barrier to Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 388-401, June.
  44. Bertero, Elisabetta & Rondi, Laura, 2000. "Financial pressure and the behaviour of public enterprises under soft and hard budget constraints: evidence from Italian panel data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 73-98, January.
  45. Philippe Aghion, Patrick Bolton & Steven Fries, 1999. "Optimal Design of Bank Bailouts: The Case of Transition Economies," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 155(1), pages 51-, March.
  46. Janet Mitchell, 2000. "Theories of Soft Budget Constraints and the Analysis of Banking Crises," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 8(1), pages 59-100, March.
  47. Berglof, Erik & Roland, Gerard, 1998. "Soft Budget Constraints and Banking in Transition Economies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 18-40, March.
  48. Ilya R. Segal, 1998. "Monopoly and Soft Budget Constraint," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(3), pages 596-609, Autumn.
  49. Maskin, Eric S., 1996. "Theories of the soft budget-constraint," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 125-133, June.
  50. Eric S. Maskin, 1999. "Recent Theoretical Work on the Soft Budget Constraint," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 421-425, May.
  51. Qian, Yingyi & Xu, Chenggang, 1998. "Innovation and Bureaucracy under Soft and Hard Budget Constraints," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 151-64, January.
  52. Boycko, Maxim & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1996. "A Theory of Privatisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(435), pages 309-19, March.
  53. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1996. "Optimal Debt Structure and the Number of Creditors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 1-25, February.
  54. Qian, Yingyi, 1994. "A Theory of Shortage in Socialist Economies Based on the "Soft Budget Constraint."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 145-56, March.
  55. Ann P. Bartel & Ann E. Harrison, 1999. "Ownership versus Environment: Why are Public Sector Firms Inefficient?," NBER Working Papers 7043, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  56. J. P. Bonin & M. E. Schaffer, 1995. "Banks, firms, bad debts and bankruptcy in Hungary 1991-4," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20764, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  57. M. Weitzman, 1979. "The 'Ratchet Principle' and Performance Incentives," Working papers 239, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  58. Mathias Dewatripont & Gerard Roland, 2000. "Soft Budget Constraints, Transition, and Industrial Change," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 156(1), pages 245-, March.
  59. Majumdar, Sumit K., 1998. "Slack in the state-owned enterprise: An evaluation of the impact of soft-budget constraints," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 377-394, May.
  60. Sjöberg, Örjan & Gang, Zhang, 1996. "Soft Budget Constraints: An Analysis Based on a Survey of Chinese Township Enterprises," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 93, Stockholm School of Economics.
  61. Nett, Lorenz, 1992. "Negative effects of competition in a medical-service market," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 481-485, December.
  62. Mark Duggan, 2000. "Hospital Ownership and Public Medical Spending," NBER Working Papers 7789, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  63. Keren, Michael & Miller, Jeffrey & Thornton, James R., 1983. "The Ratchet: A dynamic managerial incentive model of the soviet enterprise," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 347-367, December.
  64. Erik Berglof & Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden, 1994. "Capital Structure with Multiple Investors," CEPR Financial Markets Paper 0044, European Science Foundation Network in Financial Markets, c/o C.E.P.R, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ..
  65. Corbett, Jenny, 1987. "International Perspectives on Financing: Evidence from Japan," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(4), pages 30-55, Winter.
  66. Cull, Robert & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2000. "Bureaucrats, State Banks, and the Efficiency of Credit Allocation: The Experience of Chinese State-Owned Enterprises," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-31, March.
  67. E.C. Perotti & O. Carare, 1997. "The Evolution of Bank Credit Quality in Transition: Theory and Evidence from Romania," CERT Discussion Papers 9702, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
  68. Schaffer, Mark E., 1998. "Do Firms in Transition Economies Have Soft Budget Constraints? A Reconsideration of Concepts and Evidence," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 80-103, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:41:y:2003:i:4:p:1095-1136. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros)

or (Michael P. Albert)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.