Transition Economies

The global political and economic landscapes of Europe and Asia were largely re-written after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, and continue their transformation today. The evolution from centrally planned economy to free market economy has presented many challenges for the countries involved, as well as for the economics profession. Some among the profession have advocated that transition policy reforms be implemented in a rapid and comprehensive fashion – the so-called “big bang” approach – arguing that there was a “window of opportunity” created by the establishment of democratic institutions. Other economists have opposed the big bang approach, instead advocating a gradualist strategy that emphasizes the need for precise sequencing of reforms. Much has been learned from the events of the 1990s, and some of OnPoint’s experts have been at the heart of that debate, authoring foremost treatises such as:

  • Political Power and Economic Policy: Theory, Analysis, and Empirical Applications, by Gordon C. Rausser and Jo Swinnen (with Pinhas Zusman). Cambridge University Press 2011.
  • Transition and Economics: Politics, Markets and Firms, by Gerard Roland. MIT Press 2000 (translated into Chinese and Russian).

Eastern European countries that joined the European Union in 2004 are often considered to have completed this transition, but recent events bring into question some of the rewards expected from that accomplishment. Others, such as the central Asian states of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, are at a much earlier and less developed stage. This ongoing process presents governments, regulators, investors and corporations with challenges that must be met with the specific experience in transition economics held by OnPoint’s experts. OnPoint’s experts routinely work with the World Bank, the IMF and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Developments (EBRD) on projects related to the economics of transition.

OnPoint’s capabilities include:

  • Political economy
  • Mechanism design and the avoidance of strategic conduct
  • Institutions and their effect on competition, business, trade, the environment and public sector services
  • Optimal sequencing of institutional and policy reform to ensure stable economic growth
  • Private versus public financing
  • Opportunities for private enterprise in transition economies