Reform maps of eastern europe have the roads to prosperity passed through the land of economic freedom
"Roadmap to Economic Freedom
and Economic Reforms"
Cairo, Marriott Hotel, Zamalek
November 1-2, 2010
Economic Freedom of the Arab WorldEconomic Freedom of the Arab World
The Lazarski University
and Dept. of Economics,
University of Warsaw ,
November 1, 2010
Reform Maps of Eastern Europe:Reform Maps of Eastern Europe:
Have the Roads to Prosperity PassedHave the Roads to Prosperity Passed
through the Land of Economic Freedom?through the Land of Economic Freedom?
The purposeThe purpose
The purpose of the session is to give some
international comparative perspective on connection
between economic prosperity and economic freedom
(a) "it is good to know" (how others fare)
(b) it may possibly serve as a lesson for others
The purpose of this presentation to examine
(a) the level of EFI in EE and compare it with WE and
the Arab World (AW) – "are we all different?"
(b) what were the roads to economic prosperity and
the present level of economic freedom in EE
(c) to what extent the EE experience is homogenous
Doubts: WHY talk about EE?Doubts: WHY talk about EE?
regardless the fact that today most of the EEregardless the fact that today most of the EE
belong to the EU (1/3 of EU countries are EE)belong to the EU (1/3 of EU countries are EE)
Answer 1: historical past
"new past": several decades under communism
(but then "post-communist" would be better)
"old past": being a periphery of Europe ("of
Europe" more important than "a periphery"! -
institutions do matter – Douglass North)
Answer 2: remaining differences vis-à-vis WE 4
Eastern – periphery of – EuropeEastern – periphery of – Europe
Source: Winiecki, Benacek, Laki (2004), The Private Sector after Communism, Routledge, pp.66-67 5
EE, postcommunist or emergingEE, postcommunist or emerging
Nowadays, economists frequently use the term
"emerging economies" – and many of the EE are among
those. But there are others as well – Turkey is an
So, perhaps, we should not exaggerate with those
geography-, history-, culture-, or religion-oriented,
backward-looking descriptions like EE and start using
future-oriented groupings? Poland may have more
common features with Turkey than with some fellow
post-communist, EE economies. EFI an alternative?
Then what about the AW countries as a group?!
Emerging economies of EEEmerging economies of EE
In most of EE there has been a dramatic change in
economic prosperity: 25 years ago average monthly
salary in Poland was below $20 now is above $1000
But "have the roads to prosperity passed through the Land of
We will see that the answer is in the affirmative EE,
but not for all the post-communist countries
The key to success was the institutional change – we
wlll return to this issue in greater detail after
presenting some data on Economic Freedom in the
Closing remarks 1Closing remarks 1
Q: Have the roads to prosperity passed through the Land of
A: For most core EE14 – yes.
- Ukraine is a notable negative exception.
- Russia another one, although with some improvement
- China's EFI is improving >Russia!
- non-EU Balkan economies (5) are doing worse than
EE14 (except for Montenegro & Macedonia)
- ex-Soviet republics from Asia are doing well (6,99)
except non-measured Turkmenistan, Tadjikistan,
Uzbekistan which are considered transformational
fiascos (as is Belarus)
Closing remarks 2Closing remarks 2
Those considered transformatonal failure have
also failed in improving EFI.
Oleh Havrylyshyn in Divergent Paths in Post-
Communist Transformations (2006) classified the
above as countries of either limited / reversed
reforms or as gradual but delayed reforms.
In both groups the likelihood of rent-seeking
activities of new olygarchs was very high; in
some cases it ended up in what he called "the
state capture" by those olygarchs colluding with
one another. 10
Closing remarks 3Closing remarks 3
The positive scenarios present in the EE14 were to a
large extent (and may still continue to be) made possible
and amplified by beneficial institutional changes caused
by accession to the EU.
What counts is not only "goodness" of some EU
institutions but also their spread over a sufficiently large
economic area. As Douglass North was stressing (1986)
not only good, but common institutions decrease
transactions costs, thus positively influencing economic
growth of a given region.
Those beneficial institutional changes have been
reflected by increasing levels of EFI.
A final questionA final question
In EE14 we have witnessed quite dramatic economic changes
over the past 20+ years. They resulted in enormous increase in
the standards of living within just one generation.
The forces at workmay be characterized as a push-pull
process: an initial push toward a liberal free market-based
economy and a subsequent pull toward the institutions of EU
(read: WE) that generally mean higher levels of EFI (except
for Area I).
Can the Arab countries find and implement some similar
ways to boost their EFI and economic prosperity?
This remains to be seen, but examples of some Arab
economies – like Oman, its economic policies and
institutional changes – are encouraging. 12