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La contrainte budgétaire lâche et la théorie économique
[Soft Budget Constraint and Economic Theory]

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  • Vahabi, Mehrdad

Abstract

The budget constraint as a bookkeeping identity is a fundamental concept of standard microeconomics. Clower reinterpreted this concept as a rational planning postulate. The notion of soft budget constraint (SBC), formulated for the first time by Janos Kornai (1979) in the context of a socialist economy is a heresy according to standard microeconomics and Clower, since budget constraint is by definition hard. Nevertheless, this concept is now applied in the analysis of post-socialist transition, emerging and developing countries, as well as developed capitalist economies. During the last fifteen years, the universal feature of the SBC motivated a formalised representation of this phenomenon in the framework of asymmetrical information literature. Hence, the SBC is reduced to a time inconsistency problem, namely the lack of credible dynamic commitment by the principal. The SBC is thus incorporated in new microeconomics and loses its institutional specificity. On a theoretical level, this removal of institutional specificity impoverishes the concept of SBC and brings us to reconsider the premises on which the original theory has been founded and to question the theoretical contradictions and tensions in Kornai’s works, from its beginning, which impeded the emergence of a more coherent institutional theory of the SBC.

Suggested Citation

  • Vahabi, Mehrdad, 2003. "La contrainte budgétaire lâche et la théorie économique
    [Soft Budget Constraint and Economic Theory]
    ," MPRA Paper 17651, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:17651
    as

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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/17651/1/MPRA_paper_17651.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sébastien Charles & Jonathan Marie, 2016. "Hyperinflation bulgare de 1997 : transition, fragilité bancaire et change," CEPN Working Papers 2016-13, Centre d'Economie de l'Université de Paris Nord.
    2. Mehrdad Vahabi, 2017. "Janos Kornai and General Equilibrium Theory," CEPN Working Papers hal-01583569, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    contrainte budgétaire (CB); contrainte budgétaire lâche (CBL); le Principe de Say; la loi de Walras; effet Kornai;

    JEL classification:

    • P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems
    • P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles

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