Published online by Cambridge University Press: 09 October 2009
It was a great pleasure to welcome all participants to the first Dubrovnik conference on transition economies.
In economics, a five-year period is considered to be long enough for macroeconomic stabilization and microeconomic structural changes to be activated. Five years have passed since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Not all of the former socialist countries immediately launched comprehensive reform programs in the autumn of 1989, but by 1990 several countries had already gained some experience in reforming socialist economies; others have joined “the club” only recently. Nevertheless, it seemed the right time to reflect on the results of transition programs and to draw lessons from the most successful (or the least successful) cases. Our main objective was to identify common principles and regularities, as well as common mistakes, in the transition process.
Conference presentations included papers on general issues and papers on country experience. The countries represented by the case studies were chosen so as to embrace extensively studied economies (such as Poland or Hungary) as well as economies about which not much is known but whose experience could still be very useful to other economies in transition.
The conference was organized by the National Bank of Croatia. Participants included senior officials from governments, central banks, and the World Bank and IMF, in addition to researchers from universities and academic institutes.