On the Speed of Transition Central Europe

38 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2003

See all articles by Philippe Aghion

Philippe Aghion

College de France and London School of Economics and Political Science, Fellow; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Olivier J. Blanchard

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics

Date Written: May 1994

Abstract

Transition in Central Europe is four years old. State firms which dominated the economy are struggling with market forces. A new private sector quickly emerged and has taken hold. Unemployment, which did not exist, is high and still increasing. Will this process of transition accelerate, or slow down? Will unemployment keep increasing? Can things go wrong and how? Our paper represents a first pass at answering those questions. The basic structure of the model we develop is standard, that of the transition from a low to a high productivity sector. But we pay attention to two aspects which strike us as important. The first is the interactions between unemployment and the decisions of both state and private firms. The second are the idiosyncracies which come from the central planning legacy, from the structure of control within state firms to the lack of many market institutions, which limits private sector growth. We start with a description of transition in Poland so far. We then develop a model and use it to think about the determinants of the speed of transition and the level of unemployment. Finally, we return to the role of policy and the future in Poland, as well as the causes of cross-Central European country variations.

Suggested Citation

Aghion, Philippe and Blanchard, Olivier J., On the Speed of Transition Central Europe (May 1994). NBER Working Paper No. w4736. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=379267

Philippe Aghion (Contact Author)

College de France and London School of Economics and Political Science, Fellow ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Olivier J. Blanchard

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics ( email )

1750 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

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