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Kelet-Európa a világgazdaságban Alkalmazkodás és gazdasági mechanizmus

Kelet-Európa a világgazdaságban

This book is a reflection of the time, hen the following events shaped the fate of the region. 1. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan/1979/ marking the end of détente. 2. The imposition of martial law in Poland in December 13,1981, putting an end to the first mass movement /invasion by proxy/. 3. Launching the Star Wars program by President Ronald Reagan challenging the economic and military might of the Soviet Union in a direct fashion. This priod saw some of the Communist countries getting openly bankrupt/Poland, Romania,Bulgaria/, while others being on the verge of insolvency/Hungary, the Soviet Union, East Germany/.

Therefore the major puzzle of the volume was how, why and for how long can the mechanism of reformed and taditional command economies resist change in giving way to the inevitable pressures for adjustment to the international economic order, that had underwent fundamental changes through the two oil price hikes of 1973 and 1979. In answering this two major research questions have been addressed.

  1. Could regional coperation, in the form of Comecon, protect the member-states from secular trends in the world economy, including the oil price hikes, financial liberalization and the IT revolution? How far regional import substitution can go?
  2. Whether domestic reforms were to go far enough in allowing for some rehabilitation of the market, or themselves became the hinderance to more successful external adjustment?

The first three chapters addressed the now defunct Eastern trading bloc, Comecon with its peculiar financial system. Chapter one proved, that all forms of command economy are incompatible with currency convertibility, a precondition for interntional trade to enhance welfare. Chapter two explained, that the regional reaction to the energy crises of the 1970s, culminating in joint investment projects of import substitution, were costly and inefficient answers. Chapter three showed that distorted prices rendered trade in the East into an exchange of inefficiencies.

Part two was devoted to economic strategy. Chapter four proved, that planning and plan-cordination were themselves major obstacles to efficient adjustment to the world economy, but they also constrained endogenous factors of growth, such as innovation. Chapter 5 showed, that regional import substitution could not be an adequate answer to global challenges. Chapter 6 analyzed in detail the fallacies of import substitution policies in what was then considered the two major strattegic field of economic management: the energy and farming sectors. It proved that inward looking has been non-sustainable.

Part three was devoted to analyses of the external relations of east European countries. Chapter 7 proved the impossibility of self-reliance, i.e of options based exclusively on Soviet technology and Soviet markets. The concluding chapter 8 indicated the non-reformability of Comecon due to the twin factors of command economies in the member-states coupled with import substituting policy priorities. The volume concludes with statistical analyses. Its line of reasoning is supportd by a survey of an extensive contemporary source material, both from east and west.

The lasting contribution of the book is to show the limits to change and the ensuing inevitable lagging behind in the international competition – a forecast of the lost decade of the 1980s.

Publisher: Közgazdasági és Jogi Könyvkiadó

Year: 1984

Number of pages: 315

ISBN: 963 221 464 1

Reviews

Imre VörösOsteuropa Wirtschaft, vol. 32, no. 3, pp274-276, 1987Details

StuttgartLanguage: German

Imre Vörös: Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, former Judge of the Constitutional Court of Hungary

G. HareSoviet Studies, vol. 38, no. 1, pp130-131, 1986Details

GlasgowLanguage: English

László KállayKülgazdaság, vol. 30, no. 7, pp73-75, 1986Details

Academic monthly of KOPINT FoundationLanguage: Hungarian

István SalgóFigyelő, p3, September 26, 1985Details

Language: Hungarian

Mária BrüllNépszabadság, p7, April 18, 1985Details

Language: Hungarian

Ádám TörökActa Oeconomica, vol. 34, nos. 3-4, pp383-398, 1985Details

Language: English

Ádám TörökKülpolitika, vol. 12, no. 5, pp141-144, 1985Details

The theoretical-political journal of the Hungarian Institute of Foreign AffairsLanguage: Hungarian

Kelet-Európa a világgazdaságban