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Incentives and Institutions: The Transition to a Market Economy in Russia

Overview

Here, for the first time, two of Russia's leading economists provide an authoritative analysis of the transition to a democratic market economy that has taken place in Russia since 1990. Serguey Braguinsky, a Russian economist with extensive international experience, and Grigory Yavlinsky, leader of the liberal "Yabloko" party and a major public figure in Russia, focus on the institutions that are critical to a successful transition and the economic incentives needed to make these institutions work. Finally, they...

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Overview

Here, for the first time, two of Russia's leading economists provide an authoritative analysis of the transition to a democratic market economy that has taken place in Russia since 1990. Serguey Braguinsky, a Russian economist with extensive international experience, and Grigory Yavlinsky, leader of the liberal "Yabloko" party and a major public figure in Russia, focus on the institutions that are critical to a successful transition and the economic incentives needed to make these institutions work. Finally, they discuss in detail the specific components of the economic processes that are necessary for economic transition in general and they draw lessons that can be applied to other nations dealing with similar transitions.

In 1989, Grigory Yavlinsky became a member of the Commission for Economic Reform and wrote the groundbreaking "500 Day Plan," which outlined the first program of transition to a market economy. Two years later, he co-wrote the program of strategic cooperation between the Soviet government and the West (known as the "Grand Bargain"). Here he and Serguey Braguinsky examine what went wrong with the Russian plan--and what is needed to put the economy back on the road to becoming a fully functioning market economy.

The first section of the book presents a new interpretation of the political economy of the socialist state and the incentives and institutions that underpin it, with an emphasis on the present Russian situation. The second part deals with the political economy of "spontaneous transition" and the inefficiencies inherent in economies that lack the organizations and institutions that inhere in established Western democratic economies. In the final section, the authors present a program of actions to put the economic transition in Russia back on track, based on their assessment of the actual current state of both the economy and the government. Their approach is unique in emphasizing organizational evolution at the microeconomic level instead of stressing macroeconomic issues such as money and inflation that are at the heart of most arguments.

This is a thoughtful and thought-provoking book and one that will be widely discussed and debated.

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What People Are Saying

Intriligator
A major contribution to our knowledge of how the Russian economy works today and why it is now in the process of failing, written by two of the most prominent and insightful Russian economists working today. The subject of the book is of immense importance and the book contains penetrating insights.
Michael D. Intriligator, University of California, Los Angeles
Michael D. Intriligator
A major contribution to our knowledge of how the Russian economy works today and why it is now in the process of failing, written by two of the most prominent and insightful Russian economists working today. The subject of the book is of immense importance and the book contains penetrating insights.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691009933
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2000
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.41 (w) x 9.51 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Table of Contents


Preface vii
Introduction 3
PART I: THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF THE SOCIALIST STATE: CONCEPT, IMPLEMENTATION, DECAY 19
One The Planned Economy Revisited 21
Two A Model of Innovation and the Planned Economy 49
Three Incentives and Producer's Behavior 74
PART II: THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF SPONTANEOUS TRANSITION: INSIDERS' MARKETS AND THE PROBLEM OF ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY 103
Four Path Dependence and the "Washington Consensus" 105
Five Incentives and Producer's Behavior in the Transition Environment 128
Six Incentives and Producer's Behavior in the Transition Environment: The Decision to Switch 149
Seven Pressure Groups and Oligarchic Power 169
PART III: THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF A NEW SOCIAL CONTRACT: MEASURES TO PROMOTE DEMOCRACY, COMPETITION, AND ECONOMIC GROWTH 187
Eight Where Are We and Where Do We Want to Go? The Task and Conditions for Social Engineering in Russia 189
Nine Democracy: Curse or Blessing? 202
Ten Institutions, Competition, and Economic Growth 221
Eleven Devolution of Power and the Integrity of the Government 251
Conclusion Can We Do Better? 265
References 269
Index 275
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Recipe

"A major contribution to our knowledge of how the Russian economy works today and why it is now in the process of failing, written by two of the most prominent and insightful Russian economists working today. The subject of the book is of immense importance and the book contains penetrating insights."—Michael D. Intriligator, University of California, Los Angeles

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