This Selected Issues paper investigates the economic importance of institutions in Ukraine, and attempts to quantify the potential benefits of market-friendly structural reforms. The paper reviews some of the key findings of the development-accounting literature, which has tried to explain the significant differences in income that persist across countries. It introduces the stochastic-frontier approach, outlining its key assumptions and strengths, and results obtained with the stochastic-frontier model. The implications of the results for the specific case of Ukraine are discussed. The paper also analyzes external risks and opportunities for Ukraine.
This paper reviews economic developments in Georgia during 1990–96. Following the implementation of tight financial policies and the liberalization of prices, trade, and the exchange system, growth resumed in 1995 and accelerated in 1996, against the background of a stable exchange rate and declining inflation. At the same time structural reform continued to advance, laying the ground for increased private sector activity and sustained growth in the medium term. Following the introduction of the lari in October 1995, a gradual remonetization of the economy took place, and gross international reserves were replenished.
Ms. Ratna Sahay, Mr. Jeromin Zettelmeyer, Mr. Eduardo Borensztein, and Mr. Andrew Berg
What are the relative roles of macroeconomic variables, structural policies, and initial conditions in explaining the time path of output in transition and the large observed differences in output performance across transition economies? Using a sample of 26 countries, this paper follows a general-to-specific modeling approach that allows for differential effects of policies and initial conditions on the private and state sectors and for time-dependent effects of initial conditions. While showing some fragility to model specification, the results point to the preeminence of structural reforms over both initial conditions and macroeconomic variables in explaining cross-country differences in performance and the timing of the recovery.
This paper analyses the economic costs of current agricultural policies in Turkmenistan. It argues that the opportunity cost of continuing with these policies is very high for the budget, the average farmer, and the economy as a whole. The paper calls for the development of nontraditional agricultural crops, which are more profitable than wheat and cotton in the international commodity markets, and a comprehensive and sustained reform strategy for the agricultural sector.