Abstract

All of the CIS-7 countries underwent difficult economic transitions during the 1990s, with gross domestic product (GDP) contracting sharply. As these countries restructured their economies and squeezed spending to fit within the much reduced budget envelopes, the share of public expenditure in national income fell substantially. Price subsidies and subsidies to state-owned enterprises have been reduced or eliminated. Large public sector investment programs, particularly in infrastructure, have been slashed. The size of the public sector has been reduced through privatization and initial reductions in wider public sector employment following reforms and the elimination of some services, such as preschool education. At the same time, wages and operating costs have declined significantly in real terms, in line with the contraction of overall public sector revenues.

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