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Gradualism Versus Shock Therapy: (Re)Interpreting the Chinese and Russian Experiences


  • Gennadi Kazakevitch
  • Russell Smyth


The concepts of gradualism and shock therapy are reconsidered in respect of the Chinese and Russian experiences. It is suggested that success in reform is determined not only by sharp and speedy measures for attaining macroeconomic financial stabilization, but also, more importantly, how rapidly a critical mass of genuine market forces and competition can be achieved in the microeconomic sphere. In contrast to the orthodox interpretation, it is concluded that the ‘weighted combination’ of macroeconomic and microeconomic reforms in China can be regarded as true ‘shock therapy’, which has brought the Chinese reforms to a successful outcome. In contrast, despite initial macro-financial shock, the Russian reforms have been slow and inconsistent and, for that reason, less successful than in China.

Suggested Citation

  • Gennadi Kazakevitch & Russell Smyth, 2005. "Gradualism Versus Shock Therapy: (Re)Interpreting the Chinese and Russian Experiences," Asia Pacific Business Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 69-81, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apbizr:v:11:y:2005:i:1:p:69-81
    DOI: 10.1080/1360238052000298380

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    Cited by:

    1. Gennadi Kazakevitch, 2010. "Yegor Gaidar: Pragmatic Economist or Romantic Revolutionary?," Agenda - A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics, vol. 17(1), pages 121-132.
    2. Nielsen, Ingrid & Nyland, Chris & Smyth, Russell & Zhu, Cherrie, 2005. "Marketization and perceptions of social protection in China's cities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(11), pages 1759-1781, November.
    3. Barbara Krug & Alexander Libman, 2015. "Commitment to local autonomy in non-democracies: Russia and China compared," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 221-245, June.

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