The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd


  • Mark E. Schaffer
Reference work entry


Arrears, in both common and general economic parlance, are overdue payments of any sort. The comparative economics literature has focused on the large-scale arrears of all sorts that emerged when central and eastern Europe and the former USSR began the transition to market economies. Soft budget constraints have been invoked in explanations of the growth of overdue trade credit or ‘inter-enterprise arrears’ in early transition, and in analyses of arrears to banks and tax arrears; studies of wage arrears in transition economies have focused on differential impacts across workers and firms and on weak institutions.


Arrears Inter-enterprise arrears Soft budget constraint Tax arrears Trade credit arrears Transition economies Wage arrears 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark E. Schaffer
    • 1
  1. 1.