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A Normal Country

  • Andrei Shleifer
  • Daniel Treisman

During the 1990s, Russia underwent an extraordinary transformation from a communist dictatorship to a multi-party democracy, from a centrally planned economy to a market economy, and from a belligerent adversary of the West to a cooperative partner. Yet a consensus in the US circa 2000 viewed Russia as a disastrous and threatening failure, and the 1990s as a decade of catastrophe for its citizens. Analyzing a variety of economic and political data, we demonstrate a large gap between this perception and the facts. In contrast to the common image, by the late 1990s Russia had become a typical middle-income capitalist democracy.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10057.

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Date of creation: Nov 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Shleifer, Andrei and Daniel Treisman. "A Normal Country: Russia After Communism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2005, v19(1,Winter), 151-174.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10057
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  1. Blanchard, Olivier & Kremer, Michael R., 1997. "Disorganization," Scholarly Articles 3659691, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," NBER Working Papers 6625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Brainerd, Elizabeth, 1998. "Winners and Losers in Russia's Economic Transition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1094-1116, December.
  7. Milanovic, Branko, 1998. "Explaining the increase in inequality during the transition," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1935, The World Bank.
  8. Mara Faccio, 2006. "Politically Connected Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 369-386, March.
  9. Branko Milanovic, 1999. "Explaining the increase in inequality during transition," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 7(2), pages 299-341, July.
  10. Claessens, Stijn & Djankov, Simeon & Lang, Larry H. P., 2000. "The separation of ownership and control in East Asian Corporations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 81-112.
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