Edited by Klaus Liebscher, Josef Christl, Peter Mooslechner and Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald
Chapter 8: The changing institutional needs of the transition economies and the role of the IMF
Saleh M. Nsouli1 1. INTRODUCTION Since its establishment in 1992, the Joint Vienna Institute (JVI), through the training of oﬃcials, has been closely involved in the process of building market economies in transition countries across Central and Eastern Europe, the Baltics, Russia, and other countries of the former Soviet Union, as well as the transition countries in Asia. The JVI started operations at a time when transition economies faced acute needs in capacity building, and when many of them got oﬀ to a ﬁtful start in the transition owing in part to the lack of appropriate institutions. The mission of the JVI – part of a strong collaborative eﬀort – was to train policy makers who would foster the development of market-oriented institutions and design and implement policies in a market environment. The objective of this presentation is to take stock of the eﬀorts, in particular those of the IMF and the JVI, to reinforce institution or capacity building in transition economies. In this chapter, I will ﬁrst underscore the importance of developing sound institutions, pointing to the extensive evidence in the literature that sound institutions contribute to improved economic outcomes. Second, I will review the evolving needs of transition economies in capacity building; the focus will be on some of the major gaps initially facing transition economies and how these have changed over the past decade. Third, using the recent UNDP framework on capacity building, I will explain how the operations of the IMF provide a unique model...
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