The ,Economics of Post-Communist Transition

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Transition in Central and Eastern Europe, as Blanchard points out, has adhered to a U-shaped response in terms of economic output--that is, a sharp decline in output followed by a recovery. Today, most of the countries of Central Europe seem to have enjoyed a steady upswing, while most Eastern European nations still appear to be near the bottom of the U. This book traces the courses, causes, and implications of this pattern, arguing that two basic mechanisms dominate such transition. The first is the ...
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Overview


Transition in Central and Eastern Europe, as Blanchard points out, has adhered to a U-shaped response in terms of economic output--that is, a sharp decline in output followed by a recovery. Today, most of the countries of Central Europe seem to have enjoyed a steady upswing, while most Eastern European nations still appear to be near the bottom of the U. This book traces the courses, causes, and implications of this pattern, arguing that two basic mechanisms dominate such transition. The first is the reallocation between the state and private sectors, with a contraction of activities in the former and an expansion in the latter. The second is the restructuring of the old state sector, with the opportunity for large improvements in productivity.

Against this background, the book's focus shifts to three particular factors: the adjustment of employment and wages in state firms to the initial shock of reduced demand for their goods; the dynamics of restructuring and privatization; and the relationship between reallocation, restructuring, and traffic in the labor market. The final section summarizes the discussion, and in doing so builds a general equilibrium model as a preliminary to the analysis of three sets of issues: the role of unemployment benefits and privatization 'ules; the interaction between transition and fiscal policy; and the evolution of the support for reform. The model is then used to address the thorny issue of the ideal speed for economic reform.

The latest offering from a distinguished expert on the economics of transition, this is one of the first book-length analyses of the process of moving from a centrally-planned to a market economy.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198289265
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/18/1997
  • Series: Clarendon Lectures in Economics Series
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

About the Author:
Olivier Blanchard is Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His other works include Transition in Eastern Europe (editor, 1994), and Lectures on Macroeconomics (co-author, 1989).

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Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
1 The Basic Facts 1
1.1 The Evolution of Aggregate Output 1
1.2 Composition Effects and the Evolution of Manufacturing Output 3
1.3 The Evolution of Productivity and Employment 5
1.4 Unemployment 8
1.5 Investment 13
1.6 Perceptions of Pain and Progress 14
1.7 Summary and Comparisons: East Germany, Russia 17
Appendix 21
Notes 22
2 The Basic Mechanisms 25
2.1 Reallocation 26
2.2 Disorganization 35
2.3 Restructuring 45
2.4 Macroeconomic Policies 51
2.5 Conclusions 55
Notes 56
3 Looking at the Pieces 61
3.1 The Initial Adjustment of State Firms 63
3.2 Restructuring and Privatization 77
3.3 Reallocation, Flows, and Unemployment 88
Notes 94
4 Putting the Pieces Together 99
4.1 A Benchmark Model 101
4.2 Policies and Transition 112
4.3 Derailments, and Other Extensions 118
4.4 Conclusions 127
Notes 129
References 135
Index 143
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