Scheda insegnamento

  • Docente Hartmut Lehmann

  • Crediti formativi 8

  • SSD SECS-P/01

  • Modalità di erogazione In presenza (Convenzionale)

  • Lingua di insegnamento Inglese

  • Orario delle lezioni dal 28/02/2018 al 31/05/2018

Anno Accademico 2017/2018

Conoscenze e abilità da conseguire

The student is expected to be able to analyze the political economy of reform in countries of Central and Eastern Europe, with a focus on both the normative aspects as well as the positive aspects of the political economy of reform (PER). The student learn how, under normative PER, policy makers and the government devise various strategies to reduce the resistance to economic reform and the probability of reversal. Under positive PER, the student will gain insights into the struggle of various socio-economic groups over the path of reform.


Topics covered: 

Topic 1: Central Planning and Market Socialism

The basic elements of the Classical Planning System (CPS) in the Soviet Union with an emphasis on the inner contradictions and the inefficiencies at the macro and particularly the micro level leading to decline and eventual collapse of the system. We will also look at why efforts to reform the system from within, generating “Market Socialism” were not successful.

Topic 2: General Sequencing of Reforms and Their Success


Here we look at which reforms should be tackled first and which later. Also, which benefits arise from a Big Bang Approach compared to a Gradualist Approach? Ten years after beginning of transition, have reforms been a failure or a success?

Topic 3: Privatization, Restructuring and Corporate Governance

Has privatization led to speedy restructuring and better corporate governance? Is privatization an important precondition for better economic performance?

Topic 4: Divergent Labor Market Adjustments in Central Europe and CIS

Here, we first look at a simple model of labor reallocation from the declining to expanding sectors during transition and provide some empirical evidence of how the labor force, employment and unemployment evolve over time in the two regions mentioned. We then contrast two prototypes of labor market adjustment: “quantity adjustment”, which is primarily observed in CEE, and “price adjustment”, which is prevalent in CIS countries. Finally, we investigate the factors that might drive the different adjustment mechanisms.

Topic 5. Job Creation and Job Destruction in Transition Countries 

Since transition economies have to reallocate jobs on a massive scale, it seems natural to analyze where jobs are destroyed and created in transition countries. Which sectors of the economy and which ownership types have the largest job destruction or job creation rates? Do we observe “Schumpeterian” creative destruction in so far as the released resources are employed in more productive activities or do we observe a slide into prolonged recessions brought on by job destruction? Studies on job creation and job destruction in mature capitalist economies find tremendous heterogeneity in gross job flows within narrow sectors of the economy indicating that within-sector job reallocation is much more important than between-sector job reallocation. Do we observe similar patterns in transition economies?

Topic 6: Labor Market Policies in CEE Economies: Their Rationale and Evaluation

Most transition economies have introduced passive labor market policies (PLMP), mainly consisting in unemployment benefits, on the one hand, and active labor market policies (ALMP), i.e. job brokerage, training, wage subsidy and direct employment measures, on the other. First, we will briefly survey the economic reasons for PLMP and ALMP, as they have been applied in OECD countries over the last decades. Then we will describe the main trends in expenditures on PLMP and ALMP in CEE countries and will discuss the applicability of OECD-type policies to this group of countries. Finally, we will look at the efficacy of these policies citing examples from the evaluation literature for Poland and Slovenia.

Topic 7: The labor market experience of women in transition  

We will explore the question whether women are better or worse off in the labor market after the transition to a market economy. We will pay particular attention to the evolution of the gender wage gap over transition.



My power presentations and all readings can be downloaded from the website http://econtransition-forli.weebly.com  (protected with password). The password will be revealed to students on the first day of lecture.

Metodi didattici

Conventional lectures and students' presentations of selected papers.

Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento

A final exam will count for 70% and student presentations for 30% of final grade.

Strumenti a supporto della didattica

White board and projector.

Orario di ricevimento

Consulta il sito web di Hartmut Lehmann