Macroeconomic policies and achievements in transition economies, 1989-1999
The paper discusses the reasons for the observed variation in the sequencing, speed and content of reform policies, in the 1990s, among 25 post-socialist countries of Central Europe and the Former Soviet Union. It argues that these differences, while considerable in the early 1990s, did not amount to as substantially different reform strategies as it was often claimed and, in any case, have for most countries narrowed down considerably in the second half of the 1990s. The transformational recession is interpreted to have been of the stagflation type, related largely to initial, pre-reform crisis conditions. The paper reviews macroeconomic policies and evaluates the progress which the 25 countries have made in terms of a set of criteria proposed for the purpose of such an evaluation, and it discusses the reasons which distinguish the more successful from the less successful. The potential contribution to growth of the technological convergence (catching-up) factor during the first half of the 21st century is also estimated for key transition economies.