Stiglitz describes the fall of the Berlin Wall in late 1989 as "the second bold economic and social experiment" of the 20th century. What was the first experiment?
Describe the failures of the first experiment. What were its outcomes.
What have been the results of the second experiment, the transition of Russia and Eastern and Southeastern Europe to market-based economies?
What was the basis for the burst of growth that Russia experienced after 1998? Why was that growth not sustained?
Why is the debate over who lost Russia "clearly misplaced"?
Why did the IMF advise Russia not to devalue its currency, the ruble? What was the IMF worried about? What happened when the ruble was finally devalued in 1998?
The transition from communism to a market economy was more than just an economic experiment. What else was it a transformation of? How did this contribute to the dismal results of the economic transition.
Why did some of the Russian market reformers (as well as their Western supporters and advisers) have very little faith or interest in democracy? What did they fear?
Describe the transition in Taiwan. Is it considered to be a success or a failure? What occurred during the transition?
Describe the transition in from war to peace that occurred in the United States after World War II. Is it considered to be a success or a failure? What occurred during the transition?
What was one important difference between the transition from war to peace, and from communism to a market economy?
According to Stiglitz, what is the simple reason why the radical economic reformers "studiously ignored the advice of Russian scholars, whether they were experts in its history, economics, or society"? What were they preaching?
How did banks function differently in Russia than in the West? How did this contribute to corruption?
How were prices set under the Soviet economic system? Which products were kept artificially cheap?
Old-fashioned economic textbooks often talk about market economics as if it had three essential ingredients. What are they? What do they provide?
What important institutions are also necessary? What do these institutions provide?
The most contentious debates about transitioning to a market economy center on the speed of reform. What are the views of the shock therapists? Who advocates this position? What are their primary concerns? What arguments do they use to support their position that the transition should occur quickly?
The most contentious debates about transitioning to a market economy center on the speed of reform. What are the views of the gradualists? Who advocates this position? What are their primary concerns? What arguments do they use to support their position that the transition should occur slowly?
Explain the Russian "Reform" story. What were the three pillars of the radical reform story? How did the first two pillars put obstacles in the way of the third one?
What the 1998 crisis in Russia? How did the East Asian financial crisis contribute to it?
Explain the rescue of the Russian economy that was attempted in 1998.
Explain how and why the rescue of the Russian economy failed.
Discuss the increased poverty and inequality in Russia that occurred in Russia's transition to a market economy.
What was the response to the rapid inflation in Russia set off through abrupt price liberalization in 1992? Did the response improve the Russian economy or make it worse?
The IMF told Russia to privatize as quickly as possible. How the privatization was done was viewed as secondary. What were the alleged benefits of this position? What were the results in Russia?
Explain how the officials who applied Washington Consensus policies failed to appreciate the social context of the transition economies.
The great debate over reform strategy in Russia centered on the pace of reform. Who was right, in the end - the "shock therapists" or the "gradualists"?
How are the property rights arguments of economist Ronald H. Coase used in the debate about the appropriate speed of privatization? What are the arguments put forth by advocates of rapid privatization? What are the arguments put forth by the critics of rapid privatization?