Lessons of Economic Stabilization and Its Aftermath
As the former Eastern Bloc countries and the developing nations endeavor to modernize their economies, much macroeconomic research in the next decade will involve stabilization and reconstruction. These informative, fact-filled studies describe how measures to control inflation have been implemented in Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Israel, Mexico, Turkey, and Yugoslavia. In discussing which of these measures have succeeded and which ones have failed, the authors go beyond the normative approach taken in most studies of stabilization to focus on political incentives and constraints on actual policymaking. The up-to-date data they provide make this a valuable collective exploration of contemporary efforts at stabilization and structural adjustment. In the 1980s each of the countries considered suffered from crippling inflation brought on by externally generated economic shocks and by mounting debt. Various strategies to control inflation and to achieve economic stabilization have met with different levels of success. The strategies tried in Brazil and Argentina worked only temporarily; the current policies of Israel, Mexico, and Bolivia have succeeded, although these countries' transitions to sustainable growth are not yet certain.