Public finances and economic transition
The authors analyze developments in general government spending and revenues for 26 former social economies for 1989-94. The data show that, rather than uniformly converting to a"Western European"norm, these reforming economies have followed a variety of patterns. Whether a country drifts toward heavy government spending seems to depend on its success at general economic reform and especially at dealing with the pressures for social protection. The authors empirically investigate spending patterns and the sustainability of revenues required to cover current government spending. They conclude that fiscal accounts will surely remain under pressure in most transition economies in the foreseeable future. They suggest involving the private sector in rationalizing and providing social services.
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