Assessing the contribution of investment projects to building a market economy: beyond cost-benefit analysis?
The process of economic and political transition from central planning to market economy involves a profound transformation of the way the resources are allocated in the economy. In these circumstances, economists need to find ways to assess and compare the transition impact of investment projects by trying to identify the dynamics of change associated with projects and assess their potential long-run impact on the economy and its relevant actors. In order to assess the long run impact of a project on the process of transition from central planning to a market economy (the project’s “transition impact”), the Office of the Chief Economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has developed a set of criteria to identify the sources of such transition impact and to assess their relative strength. This process of identification and assessment has resulted in a transition impact methodology based on the informed value judgement of the economists who review projects. This paper describes this methodology and how it is implemented in the EBRD
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