Rivista di Politica Economica

After the fall of the Berlin wall, after the reunion of the two Germanies, after the democratization process of the former socialist countries of Central Europe, after perestroika and glasnost in the USSR, enthusiasm about free and pluralistic institutions and about a market economy has convinced eastern economies (and maybe west- ern econornies too) that this transition could occur at zero cost and could determine, even in the short run, a sudden jump in both individua1 and collective economic welfare.

The difficulties of the transition proeess are now weakening that enthusiasm. Nonetheless, we must remember that democracy and the market economy are a decisive strategie choice, and that the diffi- culties involved in the transition process must be realistically per- ceived. In the long m , eastern and western countries will face a positive non-zero-sum game, but in the short-to-medium term the “individua1 and collective costs” may be even higher than the irnmedi- ately collectable benefits…continua a leggere

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