In This Review

Economic Transformation in Russia
Economic Transformation in Russia
Edited by Anders Slund
St. Martin's Press, 1994, 190 pp

This book offers an authoritative interim report on the progress of and prospects for economic reform in Russia as of late 1993, after the dissolution of the 1990 parliament but before the December election of the new Duma. It contains 11 papers by 18 authors, including such key Russian policymakers as Fyodorov, Chubais, and Aven and foreign advisors such as Fischer, Sachs, Layard, and Aeslund. It thus is largely an insiders' account, recording both the successes and the failures at economic reform during the first two years of the newly independent Russia as seen by the reformers, who had been buoyed by public support in the April 1993 referendum and had not yet experienced the setback of the December parliamentary election. The major successes included a genuine move to market economics in some sectors, including foreign exchange and most imported goods, and a bold start on privatization, which has continued. The major failure concerned macroeconomic stabilization, which the authors see within reach if appropriate fiscal and monetary policies are pursued. A similar judgment could be made today.