The Emergence Of Market Economies In Eastern Europe
Edited by Christopher Clague and Gordon C. Rausser
Blackwell, 1992, 352 pp.
Comrades Go Private: Strategies For Eastern European Privatization
Edited by Michael P. Claudon and Tamar L. Gutner
New York University Press, 1992, 288 pp.
In their focus on concrete issues that often involve basic principles, both books advance our understanding of the difficulties of reorienting state-controlled economies. They show, for example, that satisfactory markets cannot be created simply by ending government interference; nor can they be expected to work well without a proper political and legal framework and a continuing range of measures that foster competition. The authors are divided on what priority to give to privatization and whether to try to bring it about at one blow or gradually. The Claudon and Gutner volume gives a good bit of attention to recent experience in eastern Europe while the other puts more emphasis on general principles. Both do a good job of demonstrating what choices reformers have to make and the tradeoffs they face.