Stylised facts of transition: two decades on
After two decades of transition from plan to market, we can now identify some of the most important stylised facts of economic transition. Some of these patterns of transition were expected, such as the rise in private enterprise and services, the fall in government expenditure and revenue, the rise in foreign trade and in unemployment, and the change in investment and consumption patterns. Others happened as predicted but the degree of the change was unexpected, such as the rapid rise in prices, the sudden fall in revenues, and the extreme rise in poverty and inequality. Other developments were, for the majority of commentators interested in transition, surprising. This includes the decline in output, the rise in corruption and informal activities, and most alarmingly, the fall in population associated with the rise in mortality rates (unprecedented in peacetime in industrialised nations).