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Constructing a Market Economy

Diverse Paths from Central Planning in Asia and Europe

Richard Pomfret

During the 1990s over two dozen countries in Europe and Asia underwent a transition from centrally planned to more market-oriented economies. In Constructing a Market Economy, Richard Pomfret reviews their diverse experiences and assesses the outcome of transition in each case. The book includes an extensive review of empirical evidence and, uniquely, aims to cover all the transition economies in a comparative fashion rather than focusing on any particular country.
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Richard Pomfret


A synthetic work such as this book draws on many sources. Many are acknowledged in the listed references, but if any ideas have been absorbed without due acknowledgement I apologize to their authors. The idea of putting together a coherent picture of transition since 1989 with comparisons to the Asian experiences which date back to the 1970s originated from a series of lectures given in the Kiel Institut für Weltwirtschaft Advanced Studies Program in January 1998; the chapter outline of this book still bears the imprint of the topic outline for that mini-course. An invitation from Keith Hancock to make a presentation at the annual symposium of the Australian Economics Society (SA Branch) in October 2000 provided a helpful opportunity to present the main hypotheses to a non-specialist audience of interested economists. In keeping up with research in this changing field I am grateful to various sponsors for financing travel to do fieldwork and attend conferences. The World Bank, UNDP and Asian Development Bank at various times provided funding for travel to the former USSR. Gur Ofer invited me to the Global Development Network CIS meetings in Moscow and Kiev in February and July 2001, where the country studies provided up-to-date analyses of developments in ten transition economies. Adelaide University provided funding for conference participation and research support. The Association for Comparative Economics (ACES) in its sessions at the ASSA meetings in January provided the main rendezvous for keeping abreast with research. xi

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