The virtues of gradualism and legitimacy in the transition to a market economy
AbstractThis paper presents a simplified model of sectoral restructuring in Eastern Europe. A move towards allocative efficiency is desired by the reform-minded government, but the shift to higher productivity which such efficiency requires would lead to massive layoffs and labour reallocation in the transition period. We look at the impact of political constraints (unanimity and/or majority worker approval) on reform proposals when the government faces a heterogeneous workforce, holding private information on relative outside opportunities. When the budgetary consequences of exit compensations are so important as to make partial reforms preferable to full reforms, gradualism emerges as the optimum in a dynamic context without government commitment. It is also shown that under democratic majority rule, a government in control of the agenda of reforms can win majority approval for plans which end up hurting majority interests intertemporally by threatening to switch majorities in future reform proposals.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series ULB Institutional Repository with number 2013/9587.
Date of creation: 1992
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in: The Economic Journal (1992)
Other versions of this item:
- Dewatripont, M & Roland, G, 1992. "The Virtues of Gradualism and Legitimacy in the Transition to a Market Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(411), pages 291-300, March.
- Dewatripont, Mathias & Roland, Gérard, 1991. "The Virtues of Gradualism and Legitimacy in the Transition to a Market Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 538, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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