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  • 1 Institute of Business Economics, Corvinus University of Budapest Fővám tér 8, H-1093 Budapest, Hungary
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The paper sets out to show that János Kornai's book Economics of Shortage, published in 1980, had played a very important role in the intellectual preparations for transition - most certainly in Hungary but also in other former socialist countries. It analyses the environment in which the book was born and formulates eight theses on its effects, emphasising its professional soundness, carefully pointed focuses, clarity of methodology and radicalising influence. The paper concludes that later on the book also helped the analysis of the transition process itself.