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The Transition Economies After Ten Years

  • Stanley Fischer
  • Ratna Sahay
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    While output declined in virtually all transition economies in the initial years, the speed and extent of the recovery that followed has varied widely across these countries. The contrast between the more and less successful transitions, the latter largely in the former Soviet Union, raises many questions about the relative roles played by adverse initial conditions, external factors, and reform strategies. This paper summarizes the macroeconomic performance of the transition economies. We first review the initial conditions confronting these economies, the reform strategy that was proposed, and the associated controversies that arose a decade ago. We then account for the widely different outcomes, highlighting the role of exogenous factors and the macroeconomic and structural policies adopted by the countries. We find that both stabilization policies and structural reforms, particularly privatization, contributed to the growth recovery. We also conclude that the faster is the speed of reforms, the quicker is the recovery and the higher is growth.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w7664.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7664.

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    Date of creation: Apr 2000
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    Publication status: published as Orlowski, Lucjan T. (ed.) Transition and growth in post-communist countries: The ten-year experience. Cheltenham, U.K. and Northampton, Mass.: Elgar, 2001.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7664
    Note: EFG IFM
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. Maxim Boycko & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1993. "Privatizing Russia," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(2), pages 139-192.
    2. Blanchard, Olivier & Kremer, Michael, 1997. "Disorganization," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1091-1126, November.
    3. Philippe Aghion & Olivier J. Blanchard, 1994. "On the Speed of Transition in Central Europe," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1994, Volume 9, pages 283-330 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Philippe Aghion & Olivier Jean Blanchard, 1994. "On the Speed of Transition Central Europe," NBER Working Papers 4736, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. A. Aslund, 1996. "Reform versus "Rent-Seeking" in Russia's Economic Transformation," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 8.
    6. Nicolas Barberis & Maxin Boycho & Andrei Shleifer & Natalia Tsukanova, 1995. "How Does Privatization Work? Evidence from the Russian Shops," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1721, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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