Is Kazakhstan a Market Economy Yet? Getting warmer…
Transition from planned to a market economy is an evolutionary process. Evolutions do not have finite beginning and ending points. We may look to the beginning of transition in 1991 when the Soviet Union broke up, or we may see it as beginning earlier, when the Soviet Union began to allow its firms to engage in private sales of output that exceeded state plans and to independently take part in international trade agreements. At what point do we say that transition is complete? Hence, it is quite difficult to say when any country begins and completes its transition. The United States and the European Union have categorized Kazakhstan differently with regard to its degree of transition. The United States removed “non market economy” status from Kazakhstan, whereas the EU gave Kazakhstan an intermediate status. The first question that this work asks is how do these political bodies rank a country’s market orientation, and how did they arrive at different conclusions? These results are then compared to what transitional economists have to say on the evolution from a planned to a market economy. The second question is, how do theoretical, academic economists differ in their analysis of the transition process? By creating unique criteria sets from several papers, can one say that, according to any set, Kazakhstan is a market economy? We conclude that the reform process in Kazakhstan is still underway. The government and the economy have experienced many radical reforms, but none completely satisfies the necessary conditions for being categorized as a market economy.
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- Jan Svejnar, 2002. "Transition Economies: Performance and Challenges," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 3-28, Winter.
- Ali M. Kutan & Brasukra G. Sudjana, 2004. "Worsening of the Asian Financial Crisis: Who is to Blame?," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2004-658, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
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