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Do Choice & Speed Of Reforms Matter For Human Rights During Transition?

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  • Vadlamannati, Krishna Chaitanya
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    Abstract

    Conventional wisdom posits absence of systematic relationship between economic reforms and human rights. Taking the case of transition economies, Vadlamannati & Soysa (2008) shows significant positive relationship between economic reforms and various forms of human rights. This brings us to the next question on the impact of choice and speed of reforms on human rights performance. In other words, does speed and choice of reforms increase or decrease government respect for human rights in transition economies? This is the question our paper tries to address. The Anglo-Saxon perspective is that speed of reforms lead to growth and development which inturn generates respect for human rights. While skeptics contend that rushing towards a free market economy would always be destructive as development process tends to be exclusive creating exogenous shocks leading to social and economic unrest. This leads to domestic violence and conflicts, allowing governments to resort to repressive measures. We use a new method to construct ‘speed of reforms’ variable for transition economies for the period 1993 – 2006 to estimate its impact on all forms of human rights. Further, using the methodology of Wolf (1999) on discrete groupings of choice of reforms of transition economies, we classify the countries under radical, gradual and laggard reformer groups. We measure the impact of speed of reforms on human rights performance conditioned by choice of reforms. Our findings show that speed of reforms significantly improves government respect for all forms of human rights, while volatility in reforms is associated with human rights abuses. But the interesting finding is that, controlling for the speed of reforms attained, the choice with which the country has reformed plays pivotal role in determining human rights performance. While radical reforming countries are associated with better human rights performance, gradualists and laggards share poor human rights performance.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 10141.

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    Date of creation: 23 Aug 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:10141

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    Keywords: Speed & choice of economic Reforms; Human rights; Transition economies;

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    1. Nauro F. Campos & Fabrizio Coricelli, 2002. "Growth in Transition: What We Know, What We Don't, and What We Should," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 470, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    2. S. Fisher & R. Sahay & C. A. Vegh, 1997. "Stabilization and Growth in Transition Economies: The Early Experience," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 5.
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    6. Krueger, Gary & Ciolko, Marek, 1998. "A Note on Initial Conditions and Liberalization during Transition," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 718-734, December.
    7. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Wing Thye Woo, 1997. "Understanding China's Economic Performance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1793, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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    9. Fleisher, Belton M. & Sabirianova, Klara & Wang, Xiaojun, 2005. "Returns to skills and the speed of reforms: Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe, China, and Russia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 351-370, June.
    10. Fischer, Stanley & Sahay, Ratna & Vegh, Carlos A, 1996. "Economies in Transition: The Beginnings of Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 229-33, May.
    11. Oleh Havrylyshyn, 2001. "Recovery and Growth in Transition: A Decade of Evidence," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 48(4), pages 4.
    12. Berta Heybey & Peter Murrell, 1999. "The relationship between economic growth and the speed of liberalization during transition," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(2), pages 121-137.
    13. Fidrmuc, Jan, 2003. "Economic reform, democracy and growth during post-communist transition," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 583-604, September.
    14. B. Merlevede, 2003. "Reform Reversals and Output Growth in Transition Economies," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 03/183, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    15. Stanley Fischer & Carlos A. Végh Gramont & Ratna Sahay, 1996. "Stabilization and Growth in Transition Economies," IMF Working Papers 96/31, International Monetary Fund.
    16. Mwangi S. Kimenyi, 2006. "Economic Reforms and Pro-Poor Growth: Lessons for Africa and other Developing Regions and Economies in Transition," Working papers 2006-02, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    17. White, Howard & Leavy, Jennifer, 2000. "Economic Reform and Economic Performance: Evidence from 20 Developing Countries," MPRA Paper 6594, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:
    1. Krishna Chaitanya Vadlamannati & K K Shakya Lahiru Pathmalal, 2008. "Exploring The Relationship Between Military Spending & Human Rights Performance In South Asia," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp941, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    2. Krishna Chaitanya Vadlamannati & K K Shakya Lahiru Pathmalal, 2009. "Exploring the Relationship Between Military Spending and Human Rights Performance in South Asia," Working Papers id:1833, eSocialSciences.

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