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The Chenery hypothesis and structural change in Eastern Europe


  • Roland Dohrn
  • Ullrich Heilemann


The Newly Liberalizing Countries (NLCs) in Eastern Europe have to undergo a fundamental structural change. In this paper the Chenery Hypothesis (CH) is employed to make a quantitative assessment of this change. The CH, roughly speaking, relates an economy's sectoral structure to its stage of development, its size, and its endowment with natural resources. The paper tests this hypothesis for a sample of 31 developed and developing economies and finds it still valid. Then it uses the results obtained to measure distortions in the NLCs' existing economic structure and to give a projection of future structural change. The calculations make it evident that the industrial sector in the NLCs will experience a marked downsizing whilst the service sector turns out to be too small. But sectoral patterns are not too uniform for all groups of countries. Thus, all projections depend highly on the reference group used to evaluate a 'master pattern'. Copyright 1996 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Suggested Citation

  • Roland Dohrn & Ullrich Heilemann, 1996. "The Chenery hypothesis and structural change in Eastern Europe," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 4(2), pages 411-425, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:etrans:v:4:y:1996:i:2:p:411-425

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Roman Frydman & Edmund S. Phelps & Andrzej Rapaczynski & Andrei Shleifer, 1993. "Needed mechanisms of corporate governance and finance in Eastern Europe 1," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 1(2), pages 171-207, June.
    2. M. Dewatripont & E. Maskin, 1995. "Credit and Efficiency in Centralized and Decentralized Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(4), pages 541-555.
    3. Bonin, J. P. & Schaffer, M. E., 1995. "Banks, firms, bad debts and bankruptcy in Hungary 1991-4," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20764, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Schaffer, Mark E, 1995. "Government Subsidies to Enterprises in Central and Eastern Europe: Budgetary Subsidies and Tax Arrears," CEPR Discussion Papers 1144, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Aghion, Philippe & Blanchard, Olivier J & Carlin, Wendy, 1994. "The Economics of Enterprise Restructuring in Central and Eastern Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 1058, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:mje:mjejnl:v:13:y:2017:i:2:p:93-106 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Raiser, Martin & Schaffer, Mark & Schuchhardt, Johannes, 2004. "Benchmarking structural change in transition," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 47-81, March.
    3. Tomasz Mickiewicz & Anna Zalewska, 2002. "Deindustrialisation. Lessons from the StructuralOutcomes of Post-Communist Transition," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 463, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    4. Nauro F. Campos & Abrizio Coricelli, 2002. "Growth in Transition: What We Know, What We Don't, and What We Should," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(3), pages 793-836, September.
    5. Ullrich Heilemann & Stefan Wappler, 2009. "Bald so wie überall? Strukturwandel der ostdeutschen Wirtschaft 1992-2006," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 62(18), pages 30-37, September.
    6. Pradeep Mitra & Alexander Muravyev & Mark E. Schaffer, 2008. "Convergence in Institutions and Market Outcomes: Cross-Country and Time-Series Evidence from the BEEPS Surveys in Transition Economies," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 847, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    7. repec:mje:mjejnl:v:12:y:2017:i:2:p:93-106 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Tomasz Marek Mickiewicz & Anna Zalewska, 2005. "De-industrialisation and the post-communist transition: Rowthorn and Wells' model revisited," UCL SSEES Economics and Business working paper series 59, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES).
    9. Ulrich Thießen, 2007. "Aging and Structural Change," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 742, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

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