IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Why the Ex-Communist Countries Should Take the "Middle Way" to the Market Economy

Listed author(s):
  • Kenneth Koford

    (University of Delaware)

Registered author(s):

    The Eastern European countries have been trying to move to a market economy for the last six years. Most advice has been to go immediately to a fully capitalist market economy, but the difficulty of this route has become clear. No country has succeeded in making this great leap, and the attempt has entailed a great deal of suffering. This paper argues that a "middle way" with many socialist elements is an attractive path for these countries, particularly in the transition. The argument is that a society's economy should be compatible with its economic culture and its institutions, which change slowly. A model of the difficulty of institutional change is sketched. Moving to a workable market economy requires two things: stable property rights under the rule of law, and free markets in which firms must compete. Nevertheless, a genuine middle way can exist. While firms must be responsible for earning profits, the owners can include governments, workers, banks, and social institutions. Markets and property rights, as institutions, can benefit from government guidance and regulation in societies that lack accepted norms and laws to govern productive market behavior.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by Eastern Economic Association in its journal Eastern Economic Journal.

    Volume (Year): 23 (1997)
    Issue (Month): 1 (Winter)
    Pages: 31-50

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:23:y:1997:i:1:p:31-50
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    c/o Dr. Alexandre Olbrecht, The Anisfield School of Business 205, Ramapo College, 505 Ramapo Valley Road, Ramapo, New Jersey 07430, USA

    Phone: (201) 684-7346
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:23:y:1997:i:1:p:31-50. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Victor Matheson, College of the Holy Cross)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.