From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Sun Jun 29 2003 - 20:00:54 EDT
very helpful, fact-filled overview. controversial. rb The Perilous Road to the Market Prem Shankar Jha Product Details: ISBN: 0745318517 Format: Paperback, 256pp Pub. Date: May 2002 Publisher: Pluto Press ABOUT THE BOOK From the Publisher This book examines the economic transformation three of the largest countries in the world - Russia, China and India - and explores the very different strategies adopted by them. Jha argues that the process of transformation is highly unpredictable, and traces the problems each country has faced to its economic history and the political system it inherited. Conventional analyses of economic transition are all based upon a single macro-economic model developed by the World Bank and IMF, dubbed the Washington consensus. The premise of the Washington consensus is that markets are a natural extension of man's propensity to ' truck and barter', and that one has only to remove the state from the sphere of the economy for a market economy to emerge full-blown in a very short time. / This book argues that the model is excessively simplistic because a market is not a natural but a man-made institution. Both in Russia and less obviously in China, the pace of reforms outstripped the creation of the market economy. India, by contrast, had the shortest way to go but, for lack of political will, is taking the longest time to get there. Jha concludes that the strategy countries adopt, and the speed at which they attempt to make the transition, depends upon the position they occupy at the start of the transformation from non-market to market economies. There can be no single strategy or set time frame for economic transition, and the state has a crucial role to play in calibrating the transition.
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