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Political Determinants of Economic Reforms in Former Communist Countries


  • Marek Dabrowski
  • Radzislawa Gortat


The results of the first decade of economic transition are very uneven and are distributed according to a sub-regional pattern. The group of "leading reformers" consists of middle-income countries of democratic capitalism of the Central Europe and Baltic region (CEB). The second group of less advanced reformers includes mainly lower- and lower-middle-income countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) where both capitalism and democracy are still immature and sometimes heavily distorted. This differentiation can be explained mainly by the adopted transition strategies and political factors determining them. Also the perspective of the European integration has played an important leveraging role. Fast reforms allowed for shortening the period of a temporary system vacuum, breaking down the inertia of the old system, and exploiting maximally the initial political window of opportunity. The ability of individual countries to follow the effective (i.e. fast) reform strategy was determined by the scale of the initial political changes and further developments in the sphere of institutional and political reform. Generally, a very strong correlation between the progress in political and economic reforms could be observed. Looking at the role of specific institutional solutions one must underline the advantage of the parliamentary or parliamentary-presidential regime over the presidential or presidential-parliamentary system. The former helped to build the transparent and relatively stable system of the political parties while the latter contributed to political fragmentation, irresponsible legislature and oligarchic capitalism.

Suggested Citation

  • Marek Dabrowski & Radzislawa Gortat, 2002. "Political Determinants of Economic Reforms in Former Communist Countries," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0242, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:sec:cnstan:0242

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. World Bank, 2002. "Transition, The First Ten Years : Analysis and Lessons for Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14042.
    2. Aslund Anders, 1994. "Lessons of the First Four Years of Systemic Change in Eastern Europe," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 22-38, August.
    3. repec:taf:ceasxx:v:53:y:2001:i:3:p:419-443 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Marek Dabrowski & Stanislaw Gomulka & Jacek Rostowski, 2001. "Whence reform? A critique of the stiglitz perspective," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(4), pages 291-324.
    5. Anders Ă…slund & Peter Boone & Simon Johnson, 1996. "How to Stabilize: Lessons from Post-communist Countries," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 217-314.
    6. Dethier, Jean-Jacques*Ghanem, Hafez*Zoli, Edda, 1999. "Does democracy facilitate the economic transition : an empirical study of Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2194, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alexander Libman, 2005. "Russia's Integration into the World Economy: An Interjurisdictional Competition View," EIIW Discussion paper disbei134, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
    2. Vladimir A. Kozlov & Dina Y. Balalaeva, 2015. "Institutional Deficit and Health Outcomes in Post-Communist States," HSE Working papers WP BRP 25/PS/2015, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    3. Bernal-Verdugo, Lorenzo E. & Furceri, Davide & Guillaume, Dominique, 2013. "Banking crises, labor reforms, and unemployment," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 1202-1219.
    4. Marek Dabrowski, 2008. "Policy Challenges Faced by Low-Income CIS Economies," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0375, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
    5. Alexander Libman, 2006. "Government-Business Relations and Catching Up Reforms in the CIS," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 3(2), pages 263-288, December.
    6. Libman, Alexander, 2005. "Globalization and outcomes of institutional competition," MPRA Paper 11779, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Davide Furceri & Lorenzo E. Bernal-Verdugo & Dominique M. Guillaume, 2012. "Crises, Labor Market Policy, and Unemployment," IMF Working Papers 12/65, International Monetary Fund.


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