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The Rise and Fall of Czech Capitalism

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The Rise and Fall of Czech Capitalism

Economic Development in the Czech Republic Since 1989

9781843762270 Edward Elgar Publishing
Martin Myant, European Trade Union Institute, Belgium
Publication Date: 2003 ISBN: 978 1 84376 227 0 Extent: 304 pp
This book offers a detailed, critical account of the economic transformation of the Czech Republic since 1989. It follows the development and implementation of a reform strategy based on ‘shock’ therapy and rapid privatisation, set against the background of turbulent political change and conflict.

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Contents
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This book offers a detailed, critical account of the economic transformation of the Czech Republic since 1989. It follows the development and implementation of a reform strategy based on ‘shock’ therapy and rapid privatisation, set against the background of turbulent political change and conflict.

The aim of the government in the mid 1990s was the creation of a ‘Czech’ capitalism, with Czech-owned business empires and banks. A detailed analysis of developments in banking and industrial enterprises shows how the chosen strategy led instead to continuing inefficiency, flawed management decisions and uncontrolled profiteering. These combined factors contributed to serious economic difficulties in the latter part of the decade, with success stories largely confined to foreign-owned firms. After 1998, a new government attempted to encourage economic revival based upon a fresh strategy which emphasised the sale of banks and industrial enterprises to foreign owners. Even with this new reform strategy, the author concludes that the results were, at best, mixed. Throughout the analysis, the author provides in-depth commentary on a variety of topics including the sources of economic growth, the role of the central bank, developments in banking and industrial enterprises and the impact of inward direct investment.

It is rare to find such a comprehensive book which assesses the economic transformations of a single country. The detailed analysis and pertinent conclusions will be welcomed by academics and researchers with an interest in transition economies, European integration, international finance and political science.
Critical Acclaim
‘No other book tells the Czech story so closely and impressively. Myant uses rich sources of information, the original among them being commentaries on individual events by economic journalists and insiders.’
– Jiri Vecernik, Slavic Review
Contents
Contents: 1. Introduction 2. Towards Economic Reform 3. The Transformation Depression 4. The Golden Age and After 5. Money and the Central Bank 6. Politicians and the Central Bank 7. Voucher Privatisation and After 8. Banks and the Czech Road 9. Transforming Industrial Enterprises 10. Government and Industry 11. Skoda–Plzen 12. Chemicals – A Failure for Privatisation 13. Inward Investment and Competitiveness 14. Conclusion References Index
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