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Liberalization And Its Consequences

A Comparative Perspective on Latin America and Eastern Europe
Edited by Werner Baer, Lemann Professor of Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Joseph L. Love, Professor of History, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, US
The essays in this volume describe, analyse and compare the achievements and the failures of societies that adopted market-based economies within a democratic polity after a long period of communist rule (Russia and Eastern Europe) or military authoritarianism (Latin America). Together, they also trace the rocky course of liberal economic policies over the whole twentieth century.
Extent: 336 pp
Hardback Price: £99.00 Online: £89.10
Publication Date: 2000
ISBN: 978 1 84064 436 4
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Development Economics
  • Political Economy
  • Regional Economics
The essays in this volume describe, analyse and compare the achievements and the failures of societies that adopted market-based economies within a democratic polity after a long period of communist rule (Russia and Eastern Europe) or military authoritarianism (Latin America). Together, they also trace the rocky course of liberal economic policies over the whole twentieth century.

Area experts from various disciplines seek to establish the extent to which the historical experience of the several countries explains successful transitions as well as the less successful efforts to adapt institutions to the needs of a market economy. The papers further show the dilemmas faced in both Eastern Europe and Latin America in reconciling the efficiency benefits of market economies and the need to achieve or maintain socially acceptable patterns of income distribution among the strata of income receivers. In addition to the essays themselves, comments are provided to further explore specific issues.

Researchers and students in economics, economic history, political science and regional studies, and others interested in the economics of transition to a market system will find this comprehensive collection an invaluable resource.
‘The manuscript fills a vacuum in the current literature on liberalization. It goes beyond the concept to unearth sources of economic and political disruptions which have shaped past performance and will more than likely impact future outcomes.’
– Attiat F. Ott, Clark University, US

‘The last quarter of the 20th century witnessed dramatic attempts at transition and liberalization (widely interpreted). The effects have not always been in the desired direction. Indeed in some cases they have been devastating. It thus makes it imperative to study this experience closely. The book by Werner Baer and Joseph Love entitled Liberalization and its Consequences is very timely. It adopts an interdisciplinary approach in an effective way to examine the experience of Latin America and Eastern Europe concentrating on the last decade of the 20th century. The constraints imposed on the State in this era of neo-liberalism and globalization are discussed along with the implications this entails. Further institutional implications, such as that of the strength of the legal system, rising social inequalities, privatization in the absence of markets and regulatory infrastructure, and others, are also addressed. The comparative perspective of the book is particularly welcome and adds to its value significantly. The book does well in enabling the reader to appreciate this experience of liberalization and its consequences. The approach of the book is squarely within the political economy mould of analysis.’
– Philip Arestis, The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, US
Contributors: L.J. Alston, W. Baer, J.C. Brada, V. Bulmer-Thomas, D. Chirot, A. Fishlow, M.I. Goldman, D.F. Good, L.S. Graham, B. Greskovits, A. Hall, J. Kochanowicz, J.L. Love, L. Whitehead
Contents: 1. Introduction 2. Economic Performance and the State in Latin America 3. Rethinking Economic Performance in Central and Eastern Europe, 1870–1989 4. Economic Transition in Eastern Europe 5. How Much Does the Past Count? 6. Hungary’s Post-communist Development in Comparative Perspective 7. Trajectories of East European Transformation 8. Neo-Liberalism Revisited in the Light of the Brazilian Crisis 9. The Russian Oligarchs 10. Privatizing the Commons 11. Privatizing and the Public Interest 12. The Neo-Liberal Experiment in Latin America 13. Institutions and Property Rights Across Time and Space Index