The Starting Point of Liberalization: China and the Former USSR on the Eve of Reform

  • Peter Nolan
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)

Abstract

The contrast in performance of China and the former USSR under reform policies has been dramatic. In China there was explosive growth, a large reduction in poverty and a major improvement in most ‘physical quality of life indicators’ (Banister 1992, World Bank 1992a). The economy of the former USSR collapsed, alongside massive psychological disorientation and a large deterioration in physical quality of life indicators, including a huge rise in death rates (Ellman 1994). The contrast in reform paths is well known. China’s approach to economic reform was experimental and evolutionary, under an authoritarian political system. The USSR followed the ‘transition orthodoxy’ of revolutionary political change under Gorbachev, followed by shock therapy and rapid privatization in the Russian Federation under Yeltsin.

Keywords

State Sector Cultural Revolution Industrial Output Communist Country Surplus Labour 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1998

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  • Peter Nolan

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