Lawrence H. Summers
Reform in Eastern Europe:
What Must Be Done?
What Can Outsiders Do?
A good rule about social phenomena is that they take longer to happen than anyone expects, and when they do happen, they move more rapidly than anyone could predict. That was certainly the case with the decline of communist economies, and one suspects that it will be the case with the economic renaissance we hope will occur in Eastern Europe at some point.
My comments cover four questions: (1) What exactly are the economic problems that the East European countries face? (2) What must be done about it? (3) What are the limitations on what outside aid can accomplish? and (4) How can aid be used as a lever for growth? (I use the term "aid" in the broad sense of what the U.S. government can do, rather than the narrow sense of what U.S. aid can do.)