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Post-Adaptation Growth Recovery in Poland and Russia - Similarities and Differences


  • Marek Dabrowski
  • Oleksandr Rohozynsky
  • Irina Sinitsina


The purpose of this paper is to analyze the sources, economic and social characteristics, of growth recovery, which followed the first period of output decline in two transition countries – Poland and Russia. They represent two different groups of transition countries (new EU member states vs. CIS) in terms of adopted transition strategy and accomplished results. Generally, fast reformers succeeded and slow reformers experienced a lot of troubles. Although eventually all former communist countries entered the path of economic growth, those which moved slowly lost sometimes the whole decade. Social costs of slow reforms were also dramatic: income degradation and rising inequalities, high level of poverty and corruption, various social and institutional distortions and pathologies, violation of human rights and civil and economic liberties, attempts of authoritarian restoration, etc. The period of ‘adaptation’ output decline was much more severe and longer in Russia than in Poland, and recovery came later. Unlike in the leading transition countries, the role of new private firms and FDI in Russia has been very limited what can be explained by administrative barriers, widespread corruption, lack of transparency, instability and contradictions in economic legislation, reflecting poor business climate. In the absence of FDI and with limited role of SME Russian economy is dominated by large domestic corporations, many of them having an ‘oligarchic’ characteristic. This additionally complicates the political economy of market reforms and weakens constituency of favor of open democratic society and liberal economic policies. The high oil prices helped in economic recovery and fiscal adjustment in Russia in early 2000s. However, Russian economy has become increasingly oil-dependent. While major obstacles to future Russia’s growth can origin from its structural monoculture dominated by the oil and energy sector, and poor business climate, the excessive welfare state can be considered as the main development burden in the case of Poland. In both analyzed countries poverty and inequality increased substantially during 1990s, to much bigger extent in Russia compared to Poland. While part of the income polarization was inevitably connected with departure from communist egalitarianism and part of poverty phenomenon reflected transition adaptation costs, other factors such as continuous structural distortions, incomplete liberalization, high inflation, insufficient competition, barriers to entrepreneurship, institutional weaknesses of the state captured by oligarchs, corruption, etc.,played a significant role here.

Suggested Citation

  • Marek Dabrowski & Oleksandr Rohozynsky & Irina Sinitsina, 2004. "Post-Adaptation Growth Recovery in Poland and Russia - Similarities and Differences," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0280, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:sec:cnstan:0280

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Yemtsov, Ruslan, 2003. "Quo Vadis? Inequality and Poverty Dynamics across Russian Regions," WIDER Working Paper Series 067, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Miriam Beblo & Stanislawa Golinowska & Charlotte Lauer & Katarzyna Pietka & Agnieszka Sowa, 2002. "Poverty Dynamics in Poland. Selected Quantitative Analyses," CASE Network Reports 0054, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
    3. Vladimir Mau & Konstantin Yanovskiy, 2002. "Political and Legal Factors of Economic Growth in Russian Regions," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(3), pages 321-339.
    4. Nauro F. Campos & Abrizio Coricelli, 2002. "Growth in Transition: What We Know, What We Don't, and What We Should," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(3), pages 793-836, September.
    5. 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.
    6. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Maxim Boycko & Marek Dabrowski & Rudiger Dornbusch & Richard Layard & Andrei Shleifer, 1993. "Post-Communist Reform: Pain and Progress," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262023628, January.
    7. Simon Commander & Andrei Tolstopiatenko & Ruslan Yemtsov, 1999. "Channels of redistribution: Inequality and poverty in the Russian transition," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 7(2), pages 411-447, July.
    8. Anders Åslund & 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.
    9. Dabrowski, Marek, 1996. "Different strategies of transition to a market economy : how do they work in practice?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1579, The World Bank.
    10. Milanovic, Branko, 1998. "Explaining the increase in inequality during the transition," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1935, The World Bank.
    11. Forster, Michael & Jesuit, David & Smeeding, Timothy, 2003. "Regional Poverty and Income Inequality in Central and Eastern Europe: Evidence from the Luxembourg Income Study," WIDER Working Paper Series 065, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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    Cited by:

    1. Marek Dabrowski, 2005. "A Strategy for EMU Enlargement," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0290, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.


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