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What Does “Change of System” Mean?


  • Janos Kornai


The study discusses the concepts of capitalism, socialism, democracy and change of the system, which are since long interesting for the author. When discussing these fundamental problems of the post-socialist transformation, the distance from the daily events is maintained, though writing of this study is inspired by concrete political events. The main objective of the study is to present a mean and a method of approach. How can a person approach the positive definition of the social structure? How can the positive and negative approach be kept separate in the theoretical analysis? These are not easy problems and their solving is not a usual task. The study gives many examples of these theoretical tasks. To distinguish the less significant daily attempts from the really big historic transformation, fundamental facts of the change of the system are reminded, about how the capitalist economy and parliament democracy have emerged.

Suggested Citation

  • Janos Kornai, 2008. "What Does “Change of System” Mean?," Economic Studies journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 1, pages 3-29.
  • Handle: RePEc:bas:econst:y:2008:i:1:p:3-29

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pryor, Frederic L., 2005. "Market economic systems," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 25-46, March.
    2. Timur Kuran, 2004. "Why the Middle East is Economically Underdeveloped: Historical Mechanisms of Institutional Stagnation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 71-90, Summer.
    3. Frederic L Pryor, 2006. "Economic Systems of Developing Nations," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 48(1), pages 77-99, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Loayza, Norman V. & Soto, Raimundo, 2004. "On the measurement of market-oriented reforms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3371, The World Bank.

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    JEL classification:

    • P30 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - General
    • P50 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - General


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