Making Markets: Economic Transformation in Eastern Europe and the Post-Soviet States

By Shafiqul Islam; Michael Mandelbaum | Go to book overview

Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Moldova low ( Armenia matches Russia). Most of the southern tier is not heavily industrialized or urbanized, and on the whole that is probably a bad sign for future development. Taking Russia as the norm, only Estonia has a lower ratio of agricultural to nonagricultural labor force. Ukraine and Belarus (and of course the southern periphery) are much more agricultural than the RSFSR. Russia is the most urbanized of all. Of the others, only Latvia and Estonia are in the same ballpark, except for Armenia, which is anomalously high. Ukraine and Belarus lag a couple of percentage points behind here, too. Kazakhstan is again a mixture, and the most rural areas turn out to be the rest of Central Asia, Azerbaijan, and Moldova.

In summing up, we might remember that there is no reason that economic activity should be uniformly distributed throughout the world. Furthermore, resource endowments, cultural habits, capacities for the wise making and execution of policy, geographic distance, and transport costs may make some regions of the former Soviet Union development backwaters rather than poles of growth. The likely candidates for this pessimistic forecast are the republics of Central Asia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and possibly Kazakhstan. Ukraine surely has exaggerated hopes for its economic prospects under independence. References to its rich agricultural resources and its industry ought to be evaluated in the light of the fact that in the world as a whole, agricultural prices are low relative to industrial prices, and that much of Ukrainian industry resembles what is characterized in the United States as rust-belt industry. The Baltic nations start the recovery and reindustrialization task under better conditions, though their small size means that the trade shock phenomena will hit them especially hard in the short run. Wide divergence in achieving reform, recovery, and resumption of growth seems inevitable.


Notes
1.
Soviet discussions of reform frequently invoke cosmologies in which the world rests on the backs of varying numbers of whales.

-138-

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Making Markets: Economic Transformation in Eastern Europe and the Post-Soviet States
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Council On Foreign Relations Books iv
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - From Central Planning to a Market Economy 16
  • Notes 49
  • 2 - Economic Transformation in Central and Eastern Europe 53
  • Notes 97
  • 3 - Economic Reform in the USSR and Its Successor States 99
  • Notes 138
  • 4 - Western Financial Assistance and Russia's Reforms 143
  • Appendix to Chapter 4 - A Note on G-7 Assistance Extended to the Soviet Union 176
  • Notes 178
  • Conclusion - Problems of Planning a Market Economy 182
  • Notes 212
  • Appendix 216
  • Index 218
  • Glossary of Abbreviations and Acronyms 235
  • About the Authors 236
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