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Romania: Transition to Underdevelopment?


  • Ronnås, Per

    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)


Six years after the Revolution and despite half a century of sacrifices for a better future Romania remains impoverished and much further behind Western Europe in terms of economic development than it was before the Second World War. Against this backdrop the study takes stock of the situation in terms of social and economic development as it stood on the eve of the revolution and assesses the developments during the first half decade since the fall of Ceausescu. The focus is on four broad aspects: (1) macroeconomic stability; (21) price liberalization and the creation of efficient markets; (3) institutional restructuring and 'depoliticization' of the economy and (4) human resources development. The study concludes that the unique momentum for economic reform created by the Revolution in December 1989 was largely lost. At the heart of the problem, is a failure to carry out an adequate institutional restructuring and to 'depoliticize' the economy. Only in the fields of human resources development have significant achievements been made. The combination of an economic structure of an industrialized country and the economic performance of a pre-industrialized one reflects extreme inefficiency in the allocation and utilization of the means of production and other scarce resources. The question is not if Romania is experiencing a transition to underdevelopment, but how to achieve a transition away from underdevelopment.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronnås, Per, 1995. "Romania: Transition to Underdevelopment?," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 67, Stockholm School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0067

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    More about this item


    Economic transition; underdevelopment; Romania; privatization;

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements


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