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THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF THE TRANSITION PROCESS IN EASTERN EUROPE

THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF THE TRANSITION PROCESS IN EASTERN EUROPE

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Why has industrial output fallen in Eastern Europe and is further decline inevitable? What lessons can be learned from the stablilization programmes of the first two years of the post-communist era? Should the transitional economies privatize quickly and where do they find the missing institutions essential to the proper working of capitalism? In seeking answers to these and other questions, The Political Economy of the Transition Process in Eastern Europe analyses the difficulties faced by nations attempting to move from a planned to a market economy with special emphasis on issues of macroeconomic stabilization and institutional change.

Highlighting the problems confronting countries as diverse as Hungary and Kazakhstan or Bulgaria and Estonia, the contributors to this volume address issues such as how to improve the performance of both commodity and factor markets, how farming should be de-collectivized, what will soften the impact on former member republics of the dissolution of the USSR, and whether infant or senile industries should be protected during the transition process? This volume includes special studies on Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary and Kazakhstan, as well as an analysis of what is happening with state-owned enterprises while they are waiting for privatization and how the acquisition of such companies by foreign investors impacts on competition.

By stressing the importance of pre-existing conditions and rejecting any notion of a universally valid policy prescription, the authors recognize the urgent need to identify those losses in output which are avoidable, and those which are not. Providing an analytical framework for future research, as well as a wealth of valuable data, The Political Economy of the Transition Process in Eastern Europe will be welcomed by students, researchers and policymakers concerned with the creation of a new agenda for the transitional economies.

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