Front Matter

Front Matter

International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
April 2000
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    Growth Experience in Transition Countries, 1990-98

    Oleh Havrylyshyn, Thomas Wolf, Julian Berengaut, Marta Castello-Branco, Ron van Rooden, and Valerie Mercer-Blackman


    Washington DC


    ©1999 International Monetary Fund

    Production: IMF Graphics Section

    Typesetting: Victor Barcelona and Choon Lee

    Figures: Sanaa Elaroussi

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    Growth experience in transition countries, 1990-98 / Oleh Havrylyshyn …

    [et al.].

    p. cm.—(Occasional paper: 184)(Issues in transition)

    Includes bibliographical references. (p.).

    ISBN 1-55775-803-4

    1. Former Soviet Republics—Economic conditions—Econometric

    models. 2. Europe, Central—Economic conditions—Econometric models.

    3. Europe, Eastern—Economic conditions—1989—Econometric models.

    I. Havrylyshyn, Oli. II. Series: Occasional paper (International Monetary

    Fund); no.184. III. Series: Occasional paper (International Monetary

    Fund). Issues in transition.

    HC336.27.G76 1999




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    The following symbols have been used throughout this paper:

    • … to indicate that data are not available;

    • — to indicate that the figure is zero or less than half the final digit shown, or that the item does not exist;

    • – between years or months (e.g., 1997–98 or January–June) to indicate the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months;

    • / between years years or months (e.g., 1997/98) to indicate a crop or fiscal (financial) year.

    “Billion” means a thousand million; “trillion” means a thousand billion.

    Minor discrepancies between constituent figures and totals are due to rounding.

    The term “country,” as used in this paper, does not in all cases refer to a territorial entity that is a state as understood by international law and practice; the term also covers some territorial entities that are not states, but for which statistical data are maintained and provided internationally on a separate and independent basis.


    This occasional paper, another in the series focusing on special issues in transition, reviews the experience of output decline and recovery in the 25 countries of central and eastern Europe and the Baltics, Russia, and other countries of the former Soviet Union. All of these countries began their economic transformation with a similar background of declining output, but the extent of the decline, its duration, and the sustainability of recovery in growth varied considerably. This variation was to some extent a reflection of different starting points; however, such effects of initial conditions not only declined with time but were probably less important than the impact of policy. The most important policies promoting early and sustained recovery are achievement of financial stabilization, and consistent progress on structural reforms in key areas such as private sector development, tax reforms, economic liberalization, and security of property rights. This paper explores the factors behind the variation in growth experiences and illustrates with specific country cases as well as crosscountry statistical analysis.

    The study was a collaborative project of the IMF’s European II Department, directed by Oleh Havrylyshyn and including as principal investigators Thomas Wolf, Julian Berengaut, Marta Castello-Branco, Ron van Rooden, and Valerie Mercer-Blackman. Helpful suggestions were received from Executive Directors, to whom a previous draft was presented as a Board Seminar, as well as from many colleagues on the staff. We wish to thank in particular John Odling-Smee and Michael Deppler for their contributions throughout the process. In addition, the authors are indebted to Anna Unigovskaya and Julien Hartley for research assistance, and to Joan Campayne and Grace Moss for patience with numerous drafts. James McEuen of the IMF’s External Relations Department edited the report and coordinated its production for publication.

    The opinions expressed are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IMF staff, Executive Directors, or the authorities of the countries covered in this study.

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