EBRD Transition Report 2013: Stuck in Transition?

27  January 2014    4:00 pm CET

Jeromin Zettelmeyer, EBRD Research Director


wiiw, Rahlgasse 3, 1060 Vienna, 2nd floor, library


Reforms in most transition countries have stalled since the mid-2000. Long-term growth projections suggest that unless reforms are revived, living standards in most transition countries will remain below those in mature market economies, or at best converge very slowly. There is no shortage of advice on which reforms transition countries should undertake. The real question is why countries will not necessarily embrace it. What can be done to promote not just growth, but reforms that may lead to growth?

The 2013 Transition Report answers this question by examining the political, institutional and human capital constraints to effective reform. It shows that democracy has been an important enabler of reform. It investigates the drivers of democracy in the transition region, and asks if anything can be done to improve economic institutions even in less democratic political systems. It also explores why in some cases – but not in others – improvements in the political system trigger disproportionate improvements in economic institutions. It undertakes a comprehensive assessment of the quality of human capital in the transition region. Finally, it contains the first-ever attempt to assess the inclusiveness of economic institutions – the extent to which societies provide economic opportunities to its members regardless of circumstances at birth – and compare them with Western European benchmarks.

Jeromin Zettelmeyer is Deputy Chief Economist and Director of Research at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which he joined in 2008 after fourteen years at the International Monetary Fund. His research interests include financial crises, public debt, economic growth and transition economies. His responsibilities at EBRD include the Transition Report, which he has edited and co-authored since 2009. Jeromin is a German citizen, was born in Madrid in 1964 and holds a Ph.D. from MIT. In addition to his EBRD position, he is also a Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), and non-resident Senior Fellow of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.