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The Albanian Economy in Transition: The Role of Remittances and Pyramid Investment Schemes

  • James Korovilas
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    The Albanian economy in the 1990s experienced a rapid recovery from its near-collapse in 1992. The rapid economic growth between 1993 and 1996 was exceptional by East European standards, and represented the highest rate of sustained economic growth of all transition economies. This investigation indicates that the standard explanations for recovery and growth in transition economies, such as the pace of economic reform or the levels of domestic and foreign investment, do not adequately explain the rapid growth of the Albanian economy. Factors specific to Albania also need to be considered. The main conclusion drawn here is that the success of the Albanian economy in the mid-1990s rested largely upon the inflow of remittances from Albanians working abroad. These remittances are shown to have been much greater in value than was previously assumed by the IMF: in the region of $700 million per annum rather than $400 million. Remittances are also found to have played a much greater role in Albania's economic recovery than was previously recognised. It is demonstrated that the rise of pyramid investment schemes in 1996 was closely linked to the inflow of remittances. Such schemes are also found to have played a part in fuelling the rapid economic growth in the Albanian economy, before their collapse in 1997.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Post-Communist Economies.

    Volume (Year): 11 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 399-415

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:pocoec:v:11:y:1999:i:3:p:399-415
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    1. Iraj Hashi & Lindita Xhillari, 1999. "Privatisation and Transition in Albania," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 99-125.
    2. Ahmet Mancellari & Harry Papapanagos & Peter Sanfey, 1996. "Job creation and temporary emigration: the Albanian experience," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 4(2), pages 471-490, October.
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