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L'aide aux pays de l'Est : les leçons du plan Marshall

Listed author(s):
  • Alan Kirman
  • Lucrezia Reichlin

[eng] It has recently been argued that the post-war Marshall Plan experience could be repeated for the Eastern countries now. Against this, recent historical studies have shown that the Marshall Plan was less effective than it has been claimed and should not therefore be used as a justification for economic aid to the East today. We compare the situation of Western Europe at the time with the current one in Eastern Europe from the point of view of the physical states of the economies, the attitudes to economic policy, the problems of internal stability and of external trade and payments. In particular, we look at the process of transition to control-free economies with externally convertible currencies. We come to two principal conclusions. Firstly, while the productive sector of Western European economies was probably already on the way to recovery, this is not true in the East today. The case for aid for reconstruction is therefore stronger than it was then. Secondly, the political will, coupled with a natural economic tendency to reach regional economic integration, allowed Western at the time to achieve a gradual transition to multilateral payments convertibility through the succesful creation of a payments union. However, the conditions for such a choice do not seem to be present Eastern Europe today. However, the alternative route of a direct passage to convertibility is likely to produce an unstable situation there is a substantial external injection of liquidity. [fre] On a récemment suggéré que l'expérience du plan Marshall après la guerre pourrait être renouvelée aujourd'hui pour les pays de l'Est. Il semble toutefois, selon des études historiques récentes, que le plan Marshall ait été beaucoup moins efficace qu'on ne l'a prétendu et que cette expérience ne devrait donc pas être citée pour justifier l'allocation d'une aide économique à l'Europe de l'Est. Cette étude compare la situation économique de l'Europe occidentale à l'époque du plan Marshall à celle des pays de l'Est actuellement, selon différents critères : l'état physique des économies, les attitudes à l'égard de la politique économique, la question de la stabilité monétaire interne et les difficultés du commerce extérieur et des paiements. Nous étudions plus particulièrement le processus de transition vers des économies de marché libre dont les monnaies sont convertibles. Deux conclusions importantes émergent de notre analyse. En premier lieu, alors que les secteurs de production des économies occidentales étaient probablement déjà en phase de reprise au moment du lancement du plan Marshall, il n'en va pas de même aujourd'hui pour les économies de l'Est. Les arguments en faveur d'une aide économique sont de ce fait plus convaincants aujourd'hui qu'à l'époque. En second lieu, ce fut avant tout l'existence d'une volonté politique commune, alliée à une tendance naturelle à l'intégration économique régionale, qui permit, à l'époque, aux pays d'Europe occidentale de mettre en œuvre une transition progressive vers le multilatéralisme des paiements et la convertibilité des monnaies, grâce à la création d'une union de paiements. Les conditions qui ont favorisé un tel choix à l'époque ne semblent pas aujourd'hui réunies en Europe de l'Est. Toutefois, l'option alternative — celle d'un passage immédiat à la convertibilité monétaire — risque fort de déboucher sur une situation instable, à moins qu'elle ne s'accompagne d'une injection substantielle de liquidités en provenance des autres pays.

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Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Observations et diagnostics économiques : revue de l'OFCE.

Volume (Year): 34 (1990)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 281-325

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Handle: RePEc:prs:rvofce:ofce_0751-6614_1990_num_34_1_1229
Note: DOI:10.3406/ofce.1990.1229
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  1. Michel Catinat, 1981. "La production industrielle sous la IVe République," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 129(1), pages 17-36.
  2. van Brabant, Jozef M, 1990. "Socialist Economics: The Disequilibrium School and the Shortage Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 157-175, Spring.
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