Transforming Socialist Economies: Lessons for Cuba and Beyond seeks to explore how diverse governments have tackled change in China, Vietnam, Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia, and draw lessons for Cuba's future. The result is a provocative study that combines political and economic analysis to illustrate the detours, obstacles, and alternatives facing countries on the road from communism to capitalism.Although it has been nearly fifteen years since the end of the Cold War, the process of economic transition remains controversial, deeply divisive, and above all, incomplete. China and Vietnam have embraced a form of 'market socialism' that has produced impressive growth, while many Eastern European countries and the ex-Soviet republics are still grappling with the effects of the 'shock therapy' that radically remade their economies and societies in the 1990s. By contrast, Cuba initiated a process of market reform in the mid-1990s that stabilized the economy but created massive economic distortions that have deepened income inequality and fuelled the creation of the black market. This book seeks to illuminate the experience of economic transition by answering key questions. Why did Russia's privatization process go so awry? How did the Czech Republic succeed where Slovakia failed? Why does Central Asia continue to lag behind? What are the secrets of the 'Uzbek growth puzzle'? How has China managed its relations with the United States? Is Vietnam's process of 'doi moi' a useful example for Cuba? Can the advice of the IMF and World Bank be trusted? By exploring how socialist economies have tackled change, this book proposes reforms to help Cuba recover lost ground and achieve sustained growth. But the relevance of these essays also extends far beyond Cuba to encompass important lessons for a broad spectrum of communist and post-communist countries.

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