WMU News

World Bank official to discuss economic changes

Oct. 16, 1997

KALAMAZOO -- A World Bank official will discuss the ways different countries have responded to the change from planned to market economy in a lecture at Western Michigan University Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Dr. Alan H. Gelb, chief economist for the Africa region at the World Bank, will speak on "The Transition from Plan to Market" at 3 p.m. in Room 3508 of Knauss Hall.

The free talk is part of the WMU Department of Economics' 34th annual guest lecture-seminar series titled "When Is Transition Over? Economic Reform in Post-Communist and Communist Countries." The year-long series focuses on the dramatic economic changes sweeping through Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and China.

Gelb was the staff director of the 1996 World Development Report on "The Transition from Plan to Market" at the World Bank. He will draw on his research for the report in his lecture at WMU, reviewing the progress of reforming countries and their approach to key issues, including macroeconomic policy and privatization. He also is expected to discuss the interaction of country-specific conditions, political transition and economic policy in the outcomes.

"Experience has differed widely between countries in the course of transition from plan to market," Gelb notes. "The Eastern European countries have, by and large, recovered from initial contraction and are now among the fastest growing in Europe. Some states of the former Soviet Union have been slower to adjust and to recover. China and Vietnam, in contrast, grew rapidly throughout their reforms."

The Department of Economics co-sponsors the series with the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in Kalamazoo. The series is directed by Dr. Annette N. Brown, assistant professor of economics.


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