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The Political Economy of Simultaneous Transitions: An Empirical Test of Two Models

Branislav L. Slantchev
Political Research Quarterly
Vol. 58, No. 2 (Jun., 2005), pp. 279-294
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc. on behalf of the University of Utah
DOI: 10.2307/3595629
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3595629
Page Count: 16
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Political Economy of Simultaneous Transitions: An Empirical Test of Two Models
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Abstract

Traditional political economy emphasizes the difficulty of conducting simultaneous transitions toward market economy and democratic government. There are two major theories that seek to explain why some reform programs are never fully implemented or are reversed shortly after their inception. The J-Curve model (JCM) (Przeworski 1993) implicates the short-term losers from reform as the major opposition, and the Partial Reform Equilibrium model (PREM) (Hellman 1998) implicates the winners. I subject the models to empirical analysis with data from 25 post-communist countries and find that the data do not support the contention of the JCM. High unemployment rates do not threaten the survival of reform programs, and government instability does not necessarily translate into bad economic policies. These results suggest that the common concern that socially costly economic reforms endanger the consolidation of democratic norms may be misplaced.

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