The motivation of business leaders in socialist and market-based systems (An essay to celebrate the 90th birthday of János Kornai)
Keywords:comparative systems, corporate governance, principal-agent theory
AbstractJanos Kornai was well ahead of mainstream economic thought in comprehending that senior executives have been operating in an intrinsically contradictory situation both in socialist and market-based economies and that there is no full remedy to handle conflicts of interest which arise. Kornai presented a comprehensive theory on this in his most important book, the Anti-Equilibrium, as early as 1971. The difficulties experienced by state-owned enterprises (SOEs) were not rooted merely in the socialist ownership form, but they were, to a significant extent, caused by the fact that SOEs were typically very large firms.
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