The Mistakes and Successes of Postcommunist Economic Reform – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

The Mistakes and Successes of Postcommunist Economic Reform

What leads to success in the postcommunist transition, and what may cause failure?

(Oct. 26, 2004) GENEVA, N.Y.–In the Postcommunist era, the transition to a market economy has been a lengthy process comprised of various spheres of economic activities, and cultural, social and political change. Grzegorz W. Kolodko, director of Transformation, Integration, and Globalization Economic Research, will give a talk titled “Fifteen Years After Communism: The Mistakes and Successes of Postcommunist Economic Reform” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9, in Coxe Hall Room 8, on the Hobart and William Smith Colleges campus.

Kolodko will discuss the transition from communism to a market economy, which he believes can be executed only in a gradual manner, since the building of new market organizations, new laws and the changing behavior of various economic entities are gradual processes.

A former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in Poland, Kolodko is one of the key political and economic figures of the postcommunist era. Kolodko was an influential critic of the “shock therapy” program imposed in 1989, and played an important role in reshaping economic policy in the mid-1990s. He is widely credited for solidifying economic reform in postcommunist Europe by making it more socially acceptable. He is one of East Europe's prominent contemporary figures.

After graduating from Warsaw School of Economics in 1972 and gaining his Ph.D. in 1976, Kolodko lectured there and was appointed to a chair in economics in 1984. He is the author of 30 books and more than 300 articles and research papers that are published in 23 languages.

Winner of numerous awards from the Ministry of Education, the Polish Academy of Sciences, and the Polish Economic Association for research and teaching activities, Kolodko was given honorary doctorate degrees by Lviv University in 2003, and by South West University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, China in 2004. He has received honorary professorships from the India Institute of Finance, New Delhi, and from Nankai University, Tianjin, in 2004.