First Steps toward Economic Independence: New States of the Postcommunist World

By Michael L. Wyzan | Go to book overview

NOTES

Financial support was provided by a grant to Simon Johnson from the National Council for Soviet and East European Research and by Xerox Faculty Research Funds at the Fuqua School of Business.

1.
The coal miners' strike in the summer of 1993 in the Donbass region is the leading example of Ukrainians' discontent. The scathing review of the Ukrainian economy by PlanEcon ( 1993) is but one example of a negative Western assessment of economic performance.
2.
A detailed study of the Ukrainian economy near the end of the communist period is provided by Koropeckyj ( 1992). Ukraine at the time of independence is assessed by the U.S. Government ( 1992) and by Hogan ( 1991).
3.
Opinions differ, but it is not uncommon to hear locals claim a real queue (ochered) exists only if more than ten people are waiting.
4.
Since independence, as usually in the past, the peasant market has offered people a wider range and higher quality of products than are available in state stores. However, prices are almost always higher than in state stores.
5.
A full explanation of the Ukrainian inflationary process would require data on the shares of the money supply of cash karbovantsi and of beznalichnye rubles, and some estimate of how much of these beznalichnye rubles was spent in Russia. During 1992 the Ukrainian central bank could and did, in effect, write checks on the Russian central bank. Also important is the time required to transfer funds from Ukraine to Russia and vice versa -- in spring 1992 this was about three months, so payment orders in process probably represented a significant delayed inflationary push. Unfortunately, we do not have data on the amount of payment orders outstanding at any given moment.
6.
It is strange that although bread was available with only a short queue until the summer, queue lengths actually increased after bread prices were raised in July. One possible explanation is that the general rise in food prices in the summer of 1992 pushed down real incomes such that poor people, particularly pensioners, actually bought and consumed more bread than before. It is also possible that expectations of rising inflation induced people to buy and store bread -- although in warm weather the ability to store bread is limited by people's freezer capacity.
7.
One significant difference between eggs and milk or bread is that when eggs disappear from state stores they can -- and often do -- appear in the peasant market.
8.
It may also be the case that the cost of producing key goods rises while their prices are held constant and the government directly or indirectly finances the difference. While this mechanism seemed plausible even in the summer of 1993, the supportive evidence was unfortunately only anecdotal.

REFERENCES

[ Economist.] "You'd Be Nervous Living Next to a Bear." The Economist, May 15, 1993, pp. 21-23.

[ Economist.] "The Post-Cold-War War." The Economist, June 19, 1993, pp. 49-50.

Frydman, Roman, Andrzej Rapaczynski, John S. Earle, et al. The Privatization Process in Russia, Ukraine and the Baltic States. London: Central European University

-77-

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First Steps toward Economic Independence: New States of the Postcommunist World
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1- Introduction 1
  • References 21
  • I- FORMER SOVIET REPUBLICS 23
  • 2- Estonia 25
  • CONCLUSIONS 43
  • Notes 45
  • Notes 48
  • 3- Ukraine 50
  • Conclusion 75
  • References 77
  • 4- Kazakhstan 80
  • 4- Kazakhstan 80
  • Notes 107
  • Notes 107
  • 5- Georgia 112
  • Notes 134
  • II- FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLICS 137
  • CONCLUSIONS 161
  • Notes 162
  • Notes 163
  • 7- Croatia 166
  • Conclusion 185
  • Notes 186
  • Notes 191
  • 8- Macedonia 193
  • Notes 219
  • Notes 221
  • III- OTHER CASES 227
  • 9- Slovakia 229
  • Notes 255
  • Index 259
  • About the Editor and Contributors 267
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