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A Study Of The Market Reforms In Post Communist Eastern Europe Eith A Specific Case Study Of Poland

3904 words - 16 pages

A study of the market reforms in post-communist eastern Europe with a specific case study of PolandIntroductionPoland, as well as it's fellow post-communist countries, face an arduous task inre-inventing their economies to match the dominant Western style currently dominating the world. The difficulties lie in the areas of ideology, structural needs (massive changes required), world recession(current) and debt load.Communist EconomicsWhy did the economics of the communist bloc fail so miserably? Why has every single socialist, fascist, communist and other non-democratic country had to implement economic change in order to survive? This is due to some inherent problems in the command economy ...view middle of the document...

Changing the EconomySystematic transformation requires institutional innovations, the internal liberalization of the economy, the external liberalization and the adjustment of the real economy as well as the monetary system.Not only does there need to be a different institutional framework for a market economy but one has to remove most of the inherited structures and to change the typical behavioral patterns in industry, state and private households.PrivatizationPrivatization is a difficult task because of four main factors. Firm sizes in post-communist countries tend to be large. This means that their division or shrinkage poses difficulties for foreign investors, they are however, not worthwhile at current sizes and must be reshaped. Expectations are running high but attitudes ingrained in the workforce will need time to change. None of the structure exists to deal with private firms and must be created along with the labor needed to run it. There is very little knowledge and certainty about the property rights issue and until resolved investors will be wary of the situation.However, not all countries have addressed the needed changes in the same fashion. Poland has been a leader in foreign investment and involvement when compared to it's post-comminist counterparts.PolandBrief HistoryThe name Poland is derived from that of the Polanie, a Slavic people that settled in the area, probably in the 5th century AD. Poland is a nation in east-central Europe. In the 18th century it was divided up by its neighbors and ceased to exist until resurrected in 1918. Again partitioned by Germany and the USSR at the beginning of World War II, it was reestablished as a Soviet satellite state in 1945, and remained a Communist-dominated 'people's republic' until 1989.Mikhail Gorbachev's appointment as Kremlin leader in March 1985 was the signal that the Polish opposition had been waiting for. Exploiting the new liberalization in the region, Lech Walesa and Solidarity, Pope John Paul II and the church hierarchy, and ordinary citizens stung by the deepening economic recession combined to force the Communists to sit down at roundtable talks in 1989. They secured far-reaching political concessions and exploited the resulting opportunities for political competition to drive the Communists from powerThe new non-Communist government sought to bring about economic reform through 'shock therapy' in a scheme devised by Finance Minister Leszek Balcerowicz. Introduction to Polish economic situationPoland's fundamental economic problem is that production and living standards for it's 38 million people is considered to be inadequate. With a GDP about a third of the United States (on a per capita basis), Poland is considered to be a middle income country.During the 1970's, the Gierek government tries to tackle the problem (of economic distress) through a policy of rapidly expanding consumption coupled with investment financed by foreign borrowing. For several years this...

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