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The Transition to a Market Economy in Russia: Property Rights, Mass Privatization and Stabilization


  • Edgar L. Feige

    (University of Wisconsin-Madison)


The Soviet Union and the nations of Eastern Europe are undergoing a historically unprecedented restructuring as they move inexorably from centrally planned economies toward market economies. This historic transition must be guided by a coherent set of stabilization policies to reduce the threat of macroeconomic collapse and the threat of inflation. As a precursor to price liberalization, private property rights must be created, distributed and credibly enforced in order to ensure that these rights can be freely traded at market prices. The creation and distribution of property rights must find a balance between the competing goals of equity on the one hand and efficient governance structures on the other. Finally, provision must be made for a social safety net, sufficiently broad to minimize the short run burden of an inevitably costly adjustment process in order to avoid a crisis of constitutional authority. A program of “Socialist Privatization” is proposed as a political means of establishing market capitalism on the basis of an equitable distribution of wealth.

Suggested Citation

  • Edgar L. Feige, 2003. "The Transition to a Market Economy in Russia: Property Rights, Mass Privatization and Stabilization," Development and Comp Systems 0312001, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0312001
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on WinXP; pages: 21

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eduardo Borensztein, 1991. "Proposals for Privatization in Eastern Europe," IMF Working Papers 91/36, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Feige, E.L., 1991. "Socialist Privatization," Papers 1a, United Nations World Employment Programme-.
    3. Eduardo Borensztein & Manmohan S. Kumar, 1991. "Proposals for Privatization in Eastern Europe," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 38(2), pages 300-326, June.
    4. Edgar L. Feige, 1991. "Perestroika and Ruble Convertibility," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 10(3), pages 631-653, Winter.
    5. Fernandez, Raquel & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Resistance to Reform: Status Quo Bias in the Presence of Individual-Specific Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1146-1155, December.
    6. Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1170-1188, December.
    7. Ickes, B.W. & Ryterman, R., 1992. "Inter-Enterprise Arrears and Financial Underdevelopment in Russia," Papers 9-92-6, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
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    More about this item


    Transition; stabilization; liberalization; privatization; property rights; vouchers; Russia;

    JEL classification:

    • P1 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems
    • P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies
    • P3 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government

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