About this book
An attentive reader embarking on this book might wonder what "the" economic transition to which the title refers might be. In this century almost all countries have gone through periods of economic transition; but which period of economic history can claim to embody the notion or to represent the era of "the" transition? Definitely, no country or group of countries has experienced anything comparable to the economic upheavals that the fall of communism has brought about in a large portion of the world in just three years (1989 to 1991). No other "transition" to date has prompted more interest and more studies among economists, academics and policy-makers than has the transformation of centrally planned economies into market-based systems. It is this transformation that has come to define "the" transition. Early in the transformation process (in November 1990), with the support of the Centre for Co-operation with the Economies in Transition (CCET), I launched a conference to examine the challenges faced by these countries. About six years have gone by and a new economic landscape has emerged in that part of the world. The difficulties in transforming these economies have exceeded all expectations, and economic performances have varied considerably across countries. The time has come, therefore, to make a first evaluation of progress and problems, with a view to extracting useful policy lessons to guide policy-makers in successfully completing the transition in the near future.
communism depression development Eastern Europe foreign direct investment growth labor market transformation unemployment