October, 2015

What Have We Learned from the Collapse of Communism?

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The Oxford Handbook of Austrian Economics is available through Oxford University Press.

Following the collapse of communism in central and eastern Europe (1989) and the Soviet Union (1991), the field of comparative political economy has undergone multiple stocktakings and revisions. In the former communist countries, Marxist economics was abandoned in favor of neoclassical economics, which dominated the profession in the West. But was neoclassical theory equipped to suggest adequate institutional arrangements in support of the transformations to capitalism in the former centrally planned economies of central and eastern Europe (C and EE) and the former Soviet Union (FSU)? What have economists working in the field of comparative political economy learned from the collapse of communism and the experience of transition so far? This chapter surveys the thoughts of leading transition scholars and assesses the new lessons learned in comparative transitional political economy.