Lessons From the Economic Transition: Central and Eastern Europe in the 1990s

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Lessons From the Economic Transition: Central and Eastern Europe in the 1990s

Edited by Salvatore Zecchini
Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1997
590 pp. $129.95
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Over seven years have passed since the destruction of the Berlin Wall and the de-communizing of Central and Eastern Europe. The former Warsaw Pact countries have all moved to market economies and at least quasi-democracies, although at different paces, with different sequencing, and with diverse performance. What can be said about this process of radical social and institutional transformation and economic reform after half a decade?

This book makes available in one place a wealth of relevant material and assessment, in the form of 23 papers with related discussion and commentary. They were presented, mainly by economists, including a number of participants in the reforms, at a conference sponsored by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (itself a legacy of the Marshall Plan) in May 1996. The performance of Central Europe can be summed up by saying that it was less good than hoped for but better than could be reasonably expected. The papers and discussion are ably summarized by the editor at the outset, and Nicholas Stern of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development gives an excellent overview of economic performance.