“Transition Strategies: The Second Round of Debate” by Wing Thye WOO
Wing Thye WOO
University of California, Davis
The World Development Report 1996 (WDR96) of the World Bank examined the debate on transition strategies that had started in earnest after the Polish big bang reforms of January 1990, and forged a theoretical synthesis that has been influential in guiding the policy advice dispensed by the international agencies. Several recent papers that have attacked the conclusions of WDR96 by asserting that the output collapse in many transition economies was unnecessary. Specifically, this paper assesses the claims that the WDR96 was guilty of "a misunderstanding of the very foundations of a market economy" and "a failure to grasp the fundamentals of reform processes."