Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 5 No. 4 (Fall 1991)


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The Process of Socialist Economic Transformation

Article Citation

Fischer, Stanley, and Alan Gelb. 1991. "The Process of Socialist Economic Transformation." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 5(4): 91-105.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.5.4.91


In this paper, we consider the reform process in those Central and East European countries that have made the decision to move from a more-or a less-planned socialist system to a private market economy, one in which private ownership predominates and most resources are allocated through markets. Because the reform process is both complex and intertwined with political factors—especially the shift towards representative democracy—and because there are substantial differences among the reforming countries, no single detailed road map can guide the way to the new systems. Rather, the paper sets out general considerations that provide a framework for reform and relates the choices to some initial conditions of the various reforming countries. (The framework applies also to the Soviet Union, or in the event of its disintegration, to its successor states as they move to market systems.)

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Fischer, Stanley (MIT and NBER)
Gelb, Alan (World Bank)

JEL Classifications

P21: Socialist Systems and Transitional Economies: Planning, Coordination, and Reform


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