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Consequences of Creating a Market Economy

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Consequences of Creating a Market Economy

Evidence from Household Surveys in Central Asia

9781843761693 Edward Elgar Publishing
Kathryn Anderson, Associate Professor of Economics, Vanderbilt University, US and Richard Pomfret, Professor of Economics, University of Adelaide, Australia, and Adjunct Professor, The Johns Hopkins University Bologna Center, Italy
Publication Date: August 2003 ISBN: 978 1 84376 169 3 Extent: 224 pp
This book uses household survey data from five Central Asian countries to analyse the important consequences of, and elements that constitute, the creation of a market economy. The countries studied – Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – had taken minimal action towards creating a market economy before the dissolution of the USSR in late 1991. From similar initial conditions they have pursued different post-independence economic strategies, making them ideal candidates for comparative analysis.

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This book uses household survey data from five Central Asian countries to analyse the important consequences of, and elements that constitute, the creation of a market economy. The countries studied – Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – had taken minimal action towards creating a market economy before the dissolution of the USSR in late 1991. From similar initial conditions they have pursued different post-independence economic strategies, making them ideal candidates for comparative analysis.

The pivotal question concerns the determination of living standards. Who gained and who lost from the transition to a market economy? Which characteristics are rewarded in a new market economy? How do national policies and other systematic factors affect these outcomes? The authors also address other important issues that have emerged during transition debates: the position of women and the role of small businesses. The book analyses the gender issue in the narrow, but significant, sense of what happened to women in the labour market and the authors also analyze the characteristics of households with non-farm businesses.

This book will prove invaluable to academics and researchers of Asian studies and particularly those with an interest in economic development and labour economics within the region.
Critical Acclaim
‘Little work has been done, outside of organizations such as the International Labor Organization and the UNDP, to show the internal dynamics of reform. Western economists generally do not often delve into households and firms to see how these changes are impacting individuals at ground zero. Pomfret and Anderson do so. In these regards, this book breaks new ground.’
– Sharon Eicher, Central Eurasian Studies Review

‘A revealing, insightful text, highly recommended.’
– The Economics Shelf, Library Bookwatch

‘Anderson and Pomfret have done an excellent job showing that a great deal can be learned about Central Asia’s economies from thoughtful analysis of existing micro data sets. They are not the only researchers to have used these data sets, but surely have set the standard for the application of careful, state-of-the-art econometric research to a wide range of poverty, labour market, and small business issues throughout the region. Indeed, few if any other researchers enjoy both experience in and understanding of the region as well as grounding in modern labour economics and econometrics. The result is a cornucopia of findings. The rising importance of tertiary education as the transition progresses; the declining advantages of Slavic ethnicity; the economic advantages of living in capital cities, and establishing small businesses there; the diminishing rather than growing gender gaps; and the presence of high taxes, predatory governments, and low demand rather than credit constraints as the key deterrents to small business development – these are but a few of the book’s profound conclusions. These results and others will help inform policymakers and guide theoreticians, and significantly improve Central Asian and other economists’ understanding of the region.’
– Charles M. Becker, University of Colorado, Denver, US

‘I found the book provided a fascinating insight into the changes in living standards and material welfare in Central Asia that have occurred in the decade since independence. The book is a valuable addition to the literature on poverty and household welfare in Central Asia, representing the first attempt to make consistent cross-national comparisons. It will be a compulsory reader for all those interested in poverty and welfare within the region, including academics and policy makers both nationally and from the international donor and NGO community.’
– Jane Falkingham, University of Southampton and London School of Economics, UK
Contents
Contents: Preface 1. Introduction 2. The Central Asian Economies Before and After Independence 3. Economic Performance since Independence: Output, Distribution, and Poverty 4. Living Standards in the Kyrgyz Republic 5. Cross-country Comparisons of the Determinants of Living Standards 6. Women in the Labour Market in the Kyrgyz Republic 1993 and 1997 7. Household Non-farm Business Formation in the Kyrgyz Republic 1993–7 8. Conclusions Appendix: The LSMS Data References Index
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