Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2019/2020

Course contents

Syllabus Part I : Economics of Transition in Central Europe Lecture 1: Introduction

  • Defining macro-economic terms
Lecture 2: Origins of economic decline in Eastern Europe
  • Features of Stalinist systems, 1950s
  • Soft budget constraint
  • Shortage economy
Lecture 3: Pre-1990 attempts at economic reform and economic collapse.
  • Pre-1989 economic reforms
  • Import-led growth
  • Foreign indebtedness
  • Socialist market economy
  • Collapse of Soviet-type systems
Lecture 4: Beginning of transition from command to market economy
  • Strategies and priorities of economic transformation – the Washington consensus
  • Macroeconomic stabilization and economic liberalization
  • Shock-therapy vs. gradualism
  • Economic recession, output fall
Lecture 5: Privatization
  • Political constraints on privatization
  • Centralized and decentralized privatization
  • Modes of privatization - Voucher privatization, management and employee buy-outs, direct sales.
  • Share of private sector in economies
Lecture 6: State-building and social effects of transition – the Baltics
  • Re-birth of 3 nations
  • Policy choices
  • International influences
Lecture 7: State-building and social effects of transition – the Visegrad countries
  • Priorities in the new welfare states
  • Taxation, public spending
Lecture 8: Enterprise Development and Foreign Direct Investment
  • Shock and recovery
  • Growth of new firms
  • Different business environments: Russia vs. Central Europe
  • Foreign direct investment
Lecture 9: EU accession and Euro zone entry
  • Accession effects on economic growth, FDI
  • Maastricht criteria and new member states
Lecture 10: Impact of global economic crisis on CEE
  • Varieties of capitalism
  • Economic conditions prior to the “crash”
  • Role of international financial institutions
  • Lessons learned
Part II: Economics of Transition in Southeast Europe Lecture 11: Basic features of Yugoslav economy
  • Basic features of Yugoslav economy prior to 1990s
Lecture 12: Economic systems of Romania, Bulgaria and Albania prior to the transition Lecture 13: The 1990s in ex-Yugoslavia, Romania, Bulgaria and Albania Lecture 14: Privatization and FDI in the Balkans Lecture 15: Social effects of transition – migration, remittances, unemployment, labor market dynamics, healthcare, education. Lecture 16: EU integration and regional economic integration – Romania and Bulgaria, Western Balkans
  • Trade integration
  • Conditionality, institutional reform

    Lecture 17: Impact of global economic crisis on SEE

  • Fiscal and monetary policy measures
  • Euroization – causes and effects
  • Poverty levels

    Lecture 18: Current and future trends in CEE and SEE

  • Current outsourcing trends between west and east – industries, strategies
  • Recent investment from China and the Middle East
Lectures 19 and 20: Student presentations, review


Core Textbooks:

  • Myant, Martin and Jan Drahokoupil, Transition Economies: Political Economy in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia,(2010) Wiley-Blackwell
  • Aslund, Anders, How Capitalism was Built: The Transformation of Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia (2007) Cambridge University Press
  • Bohle, Dorothee and Bela Greskovits, Capitalist Diversity on Europe’s Periphery. Cornell University Press, 2012
  • Lavigne, Marie, The Economics of Transition: From Socialist Economy to Market Economy (1999) Macmillan
  • Sznajder Lee, Aleksandra, Transnational Capitalism in East Central Europe’s Heavy Industry: From Flagship Enterprises to Subsidiaries (2016) University of Michigan Press
  • R.J. Crampton. The Balkans Since the Second World War (Pearson, 2002)
  • Will Bartlett. Europe's Troubled Region: Economic Development, Institutional Reform and Social Welfare in the Western Balkans (Routledge, 2008).
  • Milica Uvalic. Serbia’s Transition: Towards a Better Future (Palgrave, 2010)

Teaching methods

Lectures outlined in Power point presentations with abundant class participation

Assessment methods

  1. Mid-term exam - a choice of 3 out of 5 essay questions on the first 9 topics, in 2 hours.
  2. Research project: Research paper of 3,000-3,500 words plus bibliography on a topic chosen from the themes we will be covering in class; oral presentation of main points of research paper (with power point) of 10 minutes.
  3. Final written exam – a choice of 5 out of 7 essay questions, in 3 hours.

Teaching tools

Power point, on-line research of scholarly works

Office hours

See the website of Carolyn Ann Kadas