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Systemic Change and Stabilization in Eastern Europe

Systemic Change and Stabilization in Eastern Europe

This is a highly selective compendium of eight papers of the 140 presentations to the First Biannual Convention of the European Association for Comparative Economic Studies held in Verona, Italy in September 1990. This was, in fact, one of the first ever books on the global market devoted entirely to issues of post-Communist transition and written up by contributors from East and West alike. Principal representatives of the emerging new field of economics have raised the fundamentals of the new field, that later have become subjects of elaborate controversy, but usually revolving around the subjects raised here.

Why to privatize? - asked Anders Aslund, now of Carnegie Endowment, Washington, and proved, that overcoming the soft budget constrant and related phenomena of recurring corporate failures is possible only if there is a limit to errors, set by proprietory interest. Iván Szegvári of the EBRD compared the three then frontrunner reforming conutries, Yugoslavia, Poland and Hungary under the angle of currency convertibility. He shows that this option will uncover major structural rigidities and resistance – a forecast proven by the facts of the following years. Gérard Roland, currently at the University of California, San Diego raised, first in the international literature, the isue of building reform coalitions as a political side-condition for successful economic reforms.

Paul Dembinski and Jacques Morriset compared Eastern European systemic change to Latin American adjustment programs of the 1980s and highlighted the fundamental differences, due to the holistic and institution-centered nature of post-Communist change. G.Kolodko, later several times First Deputy PM in Poland presented the first broad and theory-based criticism of the ideology of shock therapy, underscoring the institutional preconditions of sustaining stabilization. Gábor Oblath, now a member of the Monetary Policy Board of the national Bank of Hungary analyzed the shock effects of the collapse of Comecon trading bloc, while Raimund Dietz of the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studioes highlights the focal role of monetization in abolishing the rule of command and control methods.

In conclusion the editor argued, against the contemporary promises of quick and painless recovery, for a lasting and painful transition through a thorny path, not least due to the trial and error nature of the change, and also because of the time needed for new institutions to take root. The volume is still a worthy reading since the basics are still open – especially for the latecomers.

Publisher: Dartmouth

Year: 1991

Number of pages: 140

ISBN: 1 85521 204 8

Reviews

Péter MihályiThe Hungarian Quarterly, vol. 35, no. 134, pp1143-1148, 1994
Marie LavigneJournal of Comparative Economics, vol. 18, no. 4, pp217-218, 1994Details

USA

Pat DevineEconomic Journal, vol. 103, no. 416, pp243-245, 1993Details

United KingdomLanguage: English

Xavier RichetComparative Economic Studies, vol. 35, no. 2, pp63-64, 1993Details

USALanguage: English

Gulshan SachdevaEurope-Asia Studies, vol. 45, no. 1, pp177-178, 1993Details

Gulshan Sachdeva: Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Ákos ValentinyActa Oeconomica, vol. 44, nos. 1-2, 1992Details

Language: English

Ákos ValentinyEurópa Fórum, vol. 2, no. 1, pp114-119, 1992Details

Language: Hungarian

D. F. ReganInternational Affairs, vol. 68, no. 4, p765, 1992Details

LondonLanguage: English

Xavier RichetAnalyses de la S.E.D.E.I.S, no. 88, pp25-27, 1988Details

ParisLanguage: French

Systemic Change and Stabilization in Eastern Europe