Institutional Barriers in the Transition to Market Examining Performance and Divergence in Transition Economies

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-04-30
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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Conventional wisdom has it that the transition from communism to capitalism faltered because 'institutions were neglected.' Popular thinkers and even Nobel laureates have proclaimed that the emphasis on stabilization policies (including the much-maligned 'Washington Consensus') in Central/Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union led to an institutional vacuum and caused more hardship than necessary. This new look at the conventional wisdom finds exactly the opposite is true: surveying 20 years of data, Dr. Christopher Hartwell finds that institutions were not neglected in the transition process, and only in places where they were was there stagnation. Moreover, in a brand-new piece of analysis, this book finds that the leadership of transition countries made as much of a difference for a country's success or failure than the policies pursued. Finally, revisiting the 'institutional neglect' debate, Dr. Hartwell asserts that only a few basic economic institutions, including property rights, were important for a successful transition.

Author Biography

Dr. Christopher A. Hartwell has advised governments on economic issues throughout transition economies for 17 years, living and working in the CIS and throughout Central and Eastern Europe. He holds a PhD from the Warsaw School of Economics and an MPP from Harvard, as well as an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

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