DP2254 | Ten Years of Transformation: Macroeconomic Lessons

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28/03/2000

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Abstract

Transition was never going to be easy, even if the long-run outlook is highly promising. Not only was the process itself a major theoretical and policy challenge but, inevitably, politics and economics were bound to interfere. With some spectacular exceptions, most countries are now on the right track. With hindsight, the old debate, Big Bang vs. gradualism, is more a question of feasibility even though many of the arguments in favor of Big Bang have now been proven right. Once more inflation has been found to be incompatible with growth and the importance of a good microeconomic structure - especially an effective banking system - is confirmed. The choice of an exchange rate regime, another of the early controversies, appears as secondary to the adherence of a strict monetary policy. The decline of the state is both spectacular and puzzling, combining desirable and dangerous features.