Geographia Polonica (2005) vol. 78, iss. 2

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The Economic Performance and Standard of Living of Post- Communist European Countries Since 1989: Factors and Processes Behind

Bolesław Domański

Geographia Polonica (2005) vol. 78, iss. 2, pp. 107-126

Abstract

A statistical analysis shows that, since 1989, the economies of post-communist countries in Central Europe have experienced a narrowing of the gap as regards competitiveness and stan-dard of living in comparison with the EU-15. This is in contrast to many post-Soviet and Balkan countries. These divergent trends may be accounted for by reference to early economic reforms, political stability and the old cultural divide in Europe. It is argued that foreign migrations and public attitudes to change have also been important. On the whole, the initial level of economic development has been less significant as a factor than local social and political conditions, both pre-communist and early post-communist ones.

Keywords: post-communism, transition, development, economic performance, Central and East-ern Europe