Event Recap

The Great Rebirth: Lessons from the Victory of Capitalism over Communism

Anders Åslund (PIIE), Simeon Djankov (PIIE) and Leszek Balcerowicz (Former Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Poland)

Details

December 3, 2014
Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington, DC

Event Summary

The Peterson Institute released the new book, The Great Rebirth: Lessons from the Victory of Capitalism over Communism on  December 3, 2014. Coeditors Anders Åslund and Simeon Djankov presented the findings of their definitive assemblage of research and reflections by those who led the transition in Eastern Europe. Leszek Balcerowicz, the father of Poland's original groundbreaking reforms, provided his insight for the panel discussion.

The Great Rebirth: Lessons from the Victory of Capitalism over Communism provides an analysis of the economic and political transformation after the fall of communism in Central and Eastern Europe. Åslund and Djankov shed light on the "great rebirth" of capitalism in Europe and Central Asia and examine which policies made the transition so successful. Their research concludes that ambitious leadership willing to take risks, as well as expeditious deregulation and privatization of state-owned enterprises, were instrumental in creating the success of the stable and prosperous market economies that emerged.

Anders Åslund has been a senior fellow at the Institute since 2006. He is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. He worked at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace from 1994 to 2005, where he held the positions of senior associate and director of the Russian and Eurasian program. He has also worked at the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies and the Brookings Institution. He served as economic advisor to the governments of Russia from 1991 to 1994, and Ukraine from 1994 to 1997.

Simeon Djankov, visiting fellow, served as deputy prime minister and finance minister of Bulgaria from 2009 to 2013. Prior to this appointment, he held the position of chief economist of the finance and private sector vice presidency of the World Bank. He is also the founder of the World Bank's Doing Business project.

Leszek Balcerowicz is currently a professor at the College of Europe. He is former chairman of the National Bank of Poland, as well former deputy prime minister and finance minister of Poland. He is known for implementing the eponymous "Balcerowicz Plan" in Poland, an economic transformation program that involved shock therapy during the 1990s.

Event Materials

Book: The Great Rebirth: Lessons from the Victory of Capitalism over Communism
Anders Åslund and Simeon Djankov, eds.
November 2014

Presentations: Anders Åslund [pdf] | Simeon Djankov [pdf]