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Political competition, economic reform and growth : theory and evidence from transition countries

[phd thesis]

Pavletic, Ivan

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Corporate Editor Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich, NADEL Nachdiplomstudium für Entwicklungsländer
Abstract Which political and institutional factors trigger reforms that enable the poor to benefit from the process of economic growth? How can the incentives of policy makers be influenced in order to achieve such a dynamic? These are the questions this study seeks to address by examining the transition process in post-communist countries. The author argues that political competition within an accepted and respected institutional environment has been a driving force in shaping the direction and success of transition reforms. Evidence shows that in countries with a sufficient degree of political competition, citizens responded to economic crises by calling for economic liberalization. Economic liberalization removed existing distortions, increased economic efficiency and raised public welfare. This activated a dynamic, self-enforcing reform process that also strengthened the political and economic power of the poor. In the absence of political competition, such a process failed to emerge, thereby contributing to the persistence of poverty. Based on these findings, there is good reason to postulate that some level of political competition is essential for transition reforms to improve economic efficiency and public welfare in a sustainable manner.
Keywords economic reform; transformation; Southeastern Europe; Bulgaria; Romania; Albania; economic growth; economic development (on national level); politics; competition; liberalization; economic policy
Classification Political Economy; Economic Policy
Method empirical
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
Publisher vdf Hochschulverl. an der ETH Zürich
City Zürich
Page/Pages XV,222 p.
ISBN 978-3-7281-3311-3
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works