Building Capitalism: The Transformation of the Former Soviet Bloc

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Cambridge University Press, 2002 - Počet stran: 508
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Publisher Description (unedited publisher data) This is the most comprehensive empirical analysis of the economic transformation of the former Soviet bloc during the first decade after communism. It debunks many myths, seeing transition as a struggle between radical reformers and those thriving on rent seeking. People have gained from fast and comprehensive reforms, but several countries have gotten stuck in corruption. Economic decline and social hazards have been greatly exaggerated, since people have forgotten how awful communism was. Swift liberalization of prices and foreign trade, as well as rapid and profound fiscal adjustment, have been vital for growth, institutional reforms, legality and greater equity. Privatization has been beneficial, and its effects will grow over time. The main problem has been the continuation of unregulated and ubiquitous state apparatuses living on corruption, while no country has suffered from too radical reforms. Where malpractices of the elite can be checked, market reforms and democracy have proceeded together.
 

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List of Tables and Charts
viii
Acknowledgments
xi
List of Abbreviations
xvii
Introduction
1
The Options of Postcommunist Transformation
2
Major Ideas of This Book
5
The Structure of This Book
7
Region and Period of Study
11
From Loose to Strict
234
Barter and Arrears
244
Stabilization after All
248
Privatization
255
Alternative Views of Privatization
256
If Started Swiftly Done
267
The Biggest Headache
268
Privatization of Land Real Estate and Housing
282

Methodological Traps
12
Treacherous Statistics
15
What Communism Actually Was
20
Real Socialism
23
High Growth Rates but Little Welfare
34
The Decline and Fall of Socialism
39
The Decline of Socialism
40
The Demise of Communism in Central Europe
51
The Collapse of the Soviet Union
57
What the Collapse Was about
66
Strategic Policy Choices
70
Historical Legacies and Intellectual References
72
The Radical Reform Program
76
Gradual Reform Programs
82
Major Issues of Dispute
106
Changes in Output and Their Causes
113
Sharp Decline in Recorded Output
114
The Myth of Output Collapse
121
Causes of Decline and Growth in Transition
140
LongTerm Growth Prospects
153
Radical Comprehensive Reform Best but Often Not Tried
156
Liberalization
159
Strategy of Deregulation
160
Domestic Liberalization
165
External Liberalization
170
Problems of Energy and Natural Monopolies
182
Troublesome Agriculture
191
Big Bang Is Vital in Deregulation
194
Financial Stabilization
197
A Multitude of Macroeconomic Problems
198
The Disastrous Ruble Zone
203
Exchange Rate Policy
207
Radical Fiscal Adjustment Was Key
214
A New Tax System
227
New Enterprise Development
283
Enterprise Performance
287
Extent and Success of Privatization
295
Social Developments and Policy
304
Differentiation and Poverty
305
Life and Health
316
Education Adjusting to Demand
323
Unemployment and Labor Market Reform
327
Social Transfers and Pensions
338
Conventional Wisdom Little but Prejudice
345
State and Politics in the Transformation
348
Corruption and Governance
349
For Whom Is the State Working?
359
Reform of the State
367
Elections and Reform
377
Political Stability and Reform
383
Civil Society and Elite Competition
389
The People Needed to Assume Control over the State
393
The Role of the Outside World
396
Conflicting Outside Interests
397
Successful Cooperation in Central Europe and the Baltics
401
Western Role in Unsuccessful Stabilizations
404
Limited International Financial Flows
411
International Support and Its Execution
417
Lessons and the Remaining Agenda
438
Conclusions
441
Why Have Some Countries Proceeded Further Than Others?
444
Why Rent Seeking Has Been So Costly
446
Dangerous Underreform Traps
449
The Benefits of Shock
450
Is the Situation Changing?
453
Bibliography
457
Index
491

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Strana i - Anders Aslund is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC, since

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