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Economic Performance in Central Asia Since 1991: Macro and Micro Evidence1


  • Richard Pomfret

    () (School of Economics, Adelaide University, Australia.)


How should the economic performance of the Central Asian countries during the 1990s be measured? The most commonly used indicator is GDP, even though GDP estimates for transition economies are known to suffer from conceptual and methodological shortcomings. This paper combines national accounts estimates and household survey results to assess the biases in GDP measures as indicators of economic well-being. The main conclusion is that, although per capita consumption fell during the first half of the 1990s, the decline was not as drastic as GDP estimates suggest. Although the cardinal measures are subject to scepticism, the ordinal ranking of the five Central Asian countries' performance is clearer, at least to the extent of dividing them into better (Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Uzbekistan) and worse (Tajikistan and Turkmenistan) performers. Comparative Economic Studies (2003) 45, 442–465. doi:10.1057/palgrave.ces.8100029

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Pomfret, 2003. "Economic Performance in Central Asia Since 1991: Macro and Micro Evidence1," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 45(4), pages 442-465, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:compes:v:45:y:2003:i:4:p:442-465

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 2002. "Political economics and public finance," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 24, pages 1549-1659 Elsevier.
    2. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "The size and scope of government:: Comparative politics with rational politicians," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 699-735, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Boris Najman & Richard Pomfret & Gael Raballand & Patricia Sourdin, 2005. "How are Oil Revenues Redistributed in an Oil Economy? The Case of Kazakhstan," School of Economics Working Papers 2005-18, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
    2. Edward R. Gemayel & David A. Grigorian, 2006. "How Tight is Too Tight? A Look at Welfare Implications of Distortionary Policies in Uzbekistan," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 3(2), pages 239-261, December.

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