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A Normal Country: Russia After Communism

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  • Andrei Shleifer
  • Daniel Treisman

Abstract

During the 1990s, Russia underwent an extraordinary transformation from a communist dictatorship to a multi-party democracy, from a centrally planned economy to a market economy, and from a belligerent adversary of the West to a cooperative partner. Yet a consensus in the US circa 2000 viewed Russia as a disastrous and threatening failure, and the 1990s as a decade of catastrophe for its citizens. Analyzing a variety of economic and political data, we demonstrate a large gap between this perception and the facts. In contrast to the common image, by the late 1990s Russia had become a typical middle-income capitalist democracy.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrei Shleifer & Daniel Treisman, 2005. "A Normal Country: Russia After Communism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 151-174, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:19:y:2005:i:1:p:151-174 Note: DOI: 10.1257/0895330053147949
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mara Faccio, 2006. "Politically Connected Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 369-386.
    2. Branko Milanovic, 1999. "Explaining the increase in inequality during transition," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 7(2), pages 299-341, July.
    3. Gibson, John & Stillman, Steven & Le, Trinh, 2008. "CPI bias and real living standards in Russia during the transition," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 140-160.
    4. Sergei Guriev & Andrei Rachinsky, 2004. "Ownership concentration in Russian industry," Working Papers w0045, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
    5. Karla Hoff & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2004. "After the Big Bang? Obstacles to the Emergence of the Rule of Law in Post-Communist Societies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 753-763.
    6. Shkolnikov, Vladimir M. & Cornia, Giovanni A. & Leon, David A. & Mesle, France, 1998. "Causes of the Russian mortality crisis: Evidence and interpretations," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(11), pages 1995-2011, November.
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