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After the honeymoon: On the economics and the politics of economic transformation

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  • Wyplosz, Charles

Abstract

This paper focuses on the obvious: Pareto-improving programmes may fail to improve everyone's lot. Politically, it has often been interpreted as a requirement that a majority should benefit from the change. Events in Central and Eastern Europe suggest otherwise and cast doubt on the relevance of the median-voter theorem. The addition of minority discontents may result in major political difficulties that lead governments to avoid actions that generate strong minority objections. As a result, the technically best-crafted plans may be rejected for political reasons. In addition, reform programmes which are ex ante politically acceptable may well become rejected ex post after they are implemented. One solution is to introduce a heavy dose of egalitarian income distribution, even if it runs against labour supply incentives.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 37 (1993)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (April)
Pages: 379-386

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:37:y:1993:i:2-3:p:379-386

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Cited by:
  1. Kim, Byung-Yeon & Jukka Pirttila, 2003. "The Political Economy of Reforms: Empirical Evidence from Post-Communist Transition in the 1990s," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 120, Royal Economic Society.
  2. Funke, Norbert, 1993. "Timing and sequencing of reforms: Competing views," Kiel Working Papers 552, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  3. Miroslav Beblavý, 2011. "Why has the crisis been bad for private pensions, but good for the flat tax? The sustainability of ‘neoliberal’ reforms in the new EU member states," CEPS Papers 6313, Centre for European Policy Studies.
  4. Begovic, Boris & Paunovic, Marko, 2011. "Political support for enterprise restructuring and voting in Serbia," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 171-180, March.
  5. Kim, Byung-Yeon & Pirttila, Jukka, 2006. "Political constraints and economic reform: Empirical evidence from the post-communist transition in the 1990s," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 446-466, September.
  6. Stanislaw Gomulka, 1995. "The IMF-Supported Programs of Poland and Russia, 1990-1994: Principles, Errors and Results," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0036, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
  7. Cecilia Testa, 2005. "Reforms, lobbies and welfare: A common agency approach," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 125(3), pages 305-337, December.
  8. Neher, Frank, 2011. "Markets wanted: Expectation overshooting in transition," Discussion Papers 2011/1, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  9. Jan Winiecki, 2000. "Solving Foreign Trade Puzzles in Post-Communist Transition," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 261-278.

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