University of Arkansas, Fayetteville


In this paper, the author explores the reasons why some states have achieved higher levels of progress in transitioning from a communist system to a system rooted in democratic capitalism. Unlike the majority of scholars, though, he does not fault any one government's policies or the reform path chosen for a country's success or supposed failure along the way. Instead, the author concludes that the outcome of the transition process is dependent upon the interaction between the new formal institutions being adopted and the prevailing informal societal institutions and rules found throughout the region. If the formal institutions are in harmony with the informal institutions, then transition should occur relatively smoothly. Transaction costs will be lower, and individuals will be encouraged to engage in economic activity, producing wealth.