Why has industrial output fallen in Eastern Europe, and is further decline inevitable? Should the transitional economies privatize quickly and where do they find the missing institutions essential to the proper working of capitalism? In seeking answers to these and other questions, this study analyzes the difficulties faced by nations attempting to move from a planned to a market economy with special emphasis on issues of macroeconomic stabilization and institutional change. Highlighting the problems confronting countries as diverse as Hungary and Kazakhstan or Croatia and Estonia, the contributors to this volume address such issues as how farming should be de-collectivized, what will soften the impact on former member republics of the dissolution of the USSR, and whether infantile or senile industries should be protected during the transition process. This up-to-date volume includes special studies on Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary and Kazakhstan, as well as a chapter on agriculture and another on the means of mitigating the economic and social impact of the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
By stressing the importance of pre-existing conditions and rejecting any notion of a universally valid policy prescription, the authors recognize the urgent need to identify those losses in output which are unavoidable, and those which are not. Intended to provide an analytical framework for future research, and some valuable data, this text should be of use to students, researchers and policy-makers concerned with the creation of a new agenda for the transitional economies.