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Reflections in Twenty Years of Political and Economic Change in Poland


  • Hunter Richard J

    () (Seton Hall University)

  • Ryan Leo V.

    () (DePaul University)


This article deals with a discussion of the policy perspectives on the past 20 years of economic change in Poland. The article looks at the range of areas (political and economic systems) subject to transition; the evolutionary nature of the change; and the sequence of change. The article calls upon more than 20 years of research into these areas and questions and discusses the nature of change in the stabilization, liberalization and privatization programs. It concludes by providing insights on lessons that may be learned from reform efforts. The authors conclude that the Polish experience proved conclusively that reducing the budget deficit through the elimination of state subsidies, controlling the money supply, and creating a stabilized rate of exchange and a fully convertible currency can be successful even in a state-controlled, state sector-dominated socialist economy as existed in Poland in 1989-1990. The article further asserts that it is also now apparent that only a radical stabilization-liberalization program is capable of abolishing the massive shortages which became the main characteristics of the failed socialist system. Further, the authors argue that the changes initiated in Poland as a result of the implementation of the Balcerowicz Plan fundamentally changed the mentality of economic activity from state-centered to private-centered. It is this change in the dynamic mentality that may be most important in Poland achieving success over the past 20 years.

Suggested Citation

  • Hunter Richard J & Ryan Leo V., 2011. "Reflections in Twenty Years of Political and Economic Change in Poland," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-18, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:glecon:v:11:y:2011:i:1:n:5

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kornai, Janos, 1992. "The Socialist System: The Political Economy of Communism," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198287766.
    2. Iraj Hashi, 1999. "The Polish National Investment Fund Programme: Mass Privatisation With A Difference," Working Papers 995, Staffordshire University, Business School.
    3. Puntillo, Richard, 1996. "Poland's mass privatization program," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 3864, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
    4. Thomas H. Mondschean & Timothy P. Opiela, 1997. "Banking reform in a transition economy: the case of Poland," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Mar, pages 16-32.
    5. repec:mes:challe:v:40:y:1997:i:3:p:35-49 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Tseng Shoiw-Mei, 2015. "Poland’s Trade with East Asia: An Outlier Approach," Folia Oeconomica Stetinensia, De Gruyter Open, vol. 15(2), pages 81-100, December.

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