Macroeconomic Instability in Post-Communist Countries

Synopsis

The destruction or collapse of a social system is bound to be cataclysmic, and the collapse of the communist system which has played itself out at across twenty-eight countries is no exception. The political, social and economic relations which governed these societies are all being simultaneously changed in a fundamental way. In such a context the presence of macroeconomic instability is hardly surprising. Yet, it is the job of economists to try to identify the specific causes of economic phenomena, even when they are caught up in the whirlwind of history. This book, by a participant in the events, examines the causes of very high inflation and large fall in statistically measured output in the post-Communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. It focuses on the fundamental nature of the shift from supply constrained economies (in which there is no unemployment) to ones which are constrained by demand; on the reconstruction of monetary and credit systems; and on the central role of macroeconomic stabilization and generalised liberalisation in creating the basis for private sector growth. Many of the chapters have grown out of policy debates in which the author participated.