Is There a J-Curve for the Economic Transition from Socialism to Capitalism?
It is often assumed that the process of transition from socialism to capitalism involves a dislocation and disorganization of the economy in the early stages of the transition. Thus, it is argued, economic performance will at first worsen and then gradually improve as the new system takes hold. This paper argues that, based on evidence from Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland, there is no evidence for such a J-curve phenomenon. Using a simple macroeconomic model, the authors show that, in these three reforming countries, the decline in production can be explained by exogenous shocks to the balance of trade, to investments and to autonomous consumption. This finding also suggests that macroeconomic policy in these countries may be too restrictive to permit a recovery of employment and production. Copyright 1992 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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