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A new sub-branch of economics emerged at the end of the twentieth century. It arose from the collapse of the Soviet socialist system and the subsequent transition from a centrally planned economy to a market economy. It is known as transition economics where transition is defined as the social, political and economic transformation from a command system characterised by state ownership, collective action and central planning to a market system characterised by decentralised decision-making arrangements and private sector market transactions. Although it overlaps with other branches of economics, most notably comparative economic systems and development economics, the study of transition economics (and transition countries) is sufficiently distinct to warrant its own sub-branch within the discipline of economics.