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The Success of Russian Economic Reforms

By Brigitte Granville

A comparison of Russia today with an advanced industrial economy would be absurd. The full extent of what has been achieved can only be understood by looking at the economic situation inherited by the Russian reformers following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

In this book, Granville contends that Russia’s difficulties in controlling its inflation rate were the result of economic reforms not going far enough. External financing never came and a full macrostabilization program, was not implemented. But the process of economic reform continues. Russia has had to deal with a strongly negative inheritance, but every year parts of the Society legacy are superseded. A Stand-By Agreement was finally signed with the International Monetary Fund, with an inflation target of one to two percent a month by the end of 1995.

Whether or not Russia will deliver remains to be seen but such an agreement at least means that the government is committed to a course of economic policies. Undoubtedly this reform process has led to the emergence of a genuine market economy, albeit with distinctive distortions an flaws. This has been, and continues to be, a very Russian success story.

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