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Economic Reforms and Constitutional Transition

  • Jeffrey Sachs

    (Center for International Development and Department of Economics Harvard University)

  • Wing Thye Woo

    (Department of Economic University of California at Davis)

  • Xiaokai Yang

    (Center for International Development at Harvard University
    Department of Economics, Monash University)

This paper investigates the relationship between economic reforms and constitutional transition, which has been neglected by many transition economists. It is argued that assessment of reform performance might be very misleading if it is not recognized that economic reforms are just a small part of large scale of constitutional transition. Rivalry and competition between states and between political forces within each country are the driving forces for constitutional transition. We use Russia as an example of economic reforms associated with constitutional transition and China as an example of economic reforms in the absence of constitutional transition to examine features and problems in the two patterns of transition. It is concluded that under political monopoly of the ruling party, economic transition will be hijacked by state opportunism. Dual track approach to economic transition may generate very high long-term cost of constitutional transition that might outweigh its short-term benefit of buying out the vested interests.

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Article provided by Society for AEF in its journal Annals of Economics and Finance.

Volume (Year): 1 (2000)
Issue (Month): 2 (November)
Pages: 423-479

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Handle: RePEc:cuf:journl:y:2000:v:1:i:2:p:423-479
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