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Economic Reforms and Constitutional Transition

  • Jeffrey D. Sachs
  • Wing Thye Woo
  • Xiaokai Yang

This paper investigates the relationship between economic reforms and constitutional transition, which has been neglected by many transition economists. It is argued that assessment of reform performance might be very misleading if it is not recognized that economic reforms are just a small part of large scale of constitutional transition. Rivalry and competition between states and between political forces within each country are the driving forces for constitutional transition. We use Russia as an example of economic reforms associated with constitutional transition and China as an example of economic reforms in the absence of constitutional transition to examine features and problems in the two patterns of transition. It is concluded that under political monopoly of the ruling party, economic transition will be hijacked by state opportunism. Dual track approach to economic transition may generate very high long-term cost of constitutional transition that might well outweigh its short-term benefit of buying out the vested interests.

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Paper provided by Center for International Development at Harvard University in its series CID Working Papers with number 43.

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Date of creation: Apr 2000
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Handle: RePEc:wop:cidhav:43
Contact details of provider: Postal: Center for International Development at Harvard University (CID). 79 John F. Kennedy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.
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Web page: http://www.cid.harvard.edu/cidwp/
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