Advertisement

The Economies of Central Asia: A Survey

  • 26 Accesses

  • 8 Citations

Abstract

The ex-Soviet republics of Central Asia have instituted some economic reforms within their authoritarian political systems, including reliance on worldwide exports of their energy, mineral, and agricultural products, and select imports. Besides relatively poor and aid-dependent Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, all have now recovered their pre-independence levels of income and begun to grow at respectable rates. The petro-dependent states of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan have grown fastest lately but show signs of corruption and ‘Dutch disease’. Like independence-minded Uzbekistan, all try to derive benefits from surrounding great powers and international financial institutions without giving up their freedom of action.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Access options

Buy single article

Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.

US$ 39.95

Price includes VAT for USA

Subscribe to journal

Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.

US$ 147

This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.

Figure 1

References

  1. Alexeev, M and Pyle, W . 2003: A note on measuring the unofficial economy in the former Soviet Republics. Economics of Transition 11 (1): 153–175.

  2. Anderson, K and Pomfret, R . 2002: Relative living standards in new market economies: Evidence from Central Asian household surveys. Journal of Comparative Economics 26 (3): 502–523.

  3. Anderson, K and Pomfret, R . 2003: Creating a market economy: evidence from household surveys in Central Asia. Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, UK.

  4. Arabsheibani, GR and Musserov, A . 2007: Returns to schooling in Kazakhstan. Economics of Transition 15 (2): 341–364.

  5. Babetskii, I, Koev, A and Maurel, M . 2003: Kyrgyz labour market in the late 1990s: The challenge of formal job creation. Comparative Economic Studies 45 (4): 493–519.

  6. Barlow, D . 2006: Growth in transition economies: A trade policy perspective. Economics of Transition 14 (3): 505–515.

  7. Becker, CM, Musabek, EN, Seitenova, AS and Urzhumova, DS . 2005: The migration response to economic shock. Journal of Comparative Economics 33 (1): 107–132.

  8. Bunce, V . 1999: The political economy of post-socialism. Slavic Review 58 (4): 756–793.

  9. Byrd, W . 2006: Economic cooperation in the wider Central Asian region. Working paper no. 75, World Bank.

  10. Campos, NF . 2001: Will the future be better tomorrow? The growth prospects of transition economies revisited. Journal of Comparative Economics 29 (4): 663–676.

  11. Charman, K . 2007: Kazakhstan: A state-led liberalized market economy?. In: Lane, D and Myant, M (eds). Varieties of Capitalism in Post-Communist Countries. Palgrave Macmillan: Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK.

  12. Commercio, N . 2004: Exiles in the near abroad, the Russian minorities in Latvia and Kyrgyzstan. Problems of Post-Communism 51 (6): 23–32.

  13. Engvall, J . 2006: The drug trade and organized crime in Tajikistan. Europe-Asia Studies 58 (6): 827–854.

  14. European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006: Transition Report 2003–2006. EBRD: London.

  15. Falcetti, E, Lysenko, T and Sanfey, P . 2006: Reforms and growth in transition: Re-examining the evidence. Journal of Comparative Economics 34 (3): 421–445.

  16. Falcetti, E, Raiser, M and Sanfey, P . 2002: Defying the odds: Initial conditions, reforms, and growth in the first decade of transition. Journal of Comparative Economics 30 (2): 229–250.

  17. Gat, A . 2007: The return of the authoritarian great powers. Foreign Affairs 86 (4): 59–70.

  18. Gervers, M, Bulag, UE and Long, G (eds). 2007: Traders and trade routes of Central and Inner Asia: The ‘Silk Road,’ then and now Toronto Studies in Central and Inner Asia 8. Asian Institute, University of Toronto: Toronto, Canada.

  19. Gleason, G . 2003: Markets and politics in Central Asia. Routledge: London and New York.

  20. Grûn, C and Klasen, S . 2001: Growth, income distribution and well-being in transition countries. Economics of Transition 9 (2): 359–394.

  21. Havrylyshyn, O . 2006: Divergent paths in post-communist transformation. Capitalism for all or capitalism for the few?. Palgrave Macmillan: Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK.

  22. Hellman, J, Jones, G and Kaufmann, D . 2000: Beyond the ‘Grabbing Hand’ of government in transition: Facing up to ‘State Capture’ by the corporate sector. Transition 11 (2): 8–11.

  23. Hellman, J and Schankerman, M . 2000: Intervention, corruption and capture. Economics of Transition 8 (3): 545–576.

  24. IMF. 2005: Kyrgyz Republic: Statistical Appendix Country Report 05/3, Table 16.

  25. Kalyuzhnova, Y . 2003: Privatization and Structural Reforms: Case Study Kazakhstan. In: Kalyuzhnova, Y and Andreff, W (eds), Privatization and Structural Reforms, Change in Transition Economies. Palgrave Macmillan: Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK. pp. 158–179.

  26. Kalyuzhnova, Y . 2006: Overcoming the curse of hydrocarbon: Goals and governance in the oil funds of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. Comparative Economic Studies 48 (4): 583–613.

  27. Kalyuzhnova, Y, Pemberton, J and Mukhamediyev, B . 2004: Natural resources and economic growth in Kazakhstan. In: Ofer, G and Pomfret, R (eds), 2004, The Economic Prospects of the CIS, Sources of Long Term Growth. Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA, pp. 249–268.

  28. Kraft, E . 2000: Independence and macroeconomic stabilization in Ex-Yugoslavia and former Soviet Republics. University of Pittsburgh Centre for International Studies Papers no. 1502, Pittsburgh.

  29. Kandiyoti, D . 2003: The cry for land: Agrarian reform, gender and land rights in Uzbekistan. Journal of Agrarian Change 3 (1 and 2): 225–256.

  30. Kronenberg, T . 2004: The curse of natural resources in the transition economies. Economics of Transition 12 (3): 399–426.

  31. Linkevich, AI and Shvydko, VG . 2005: Strany tsentral’noi Azii – novaia faza perekhodnogo perioda [The countries of Central Asia – a new stage in the transition period]. Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences: Moscow.

  32. Marat, E . 2006: The Tulip revolution: Kyrgyzstan one year after. Jamestown Foundation: Washington, DC.

  33. Mansour, A and Quillin, B . 2007: Migration and Remittances, www.worldbank.org.

  34. McFaul, M . 2002: The fourth world of democracy and dictatorship: Non-cooperative transitions in the post-communist world. World Politics 54: 212–244.

  35. Medea, S . 2007: Remittances and Tajikistan's Private Sector Development. Cental Asia-Caucasus Institute Analyst, June 13 issue.

  36. Megginson, WL and Netter, JM . 2001: From state to market: A survey of empirical studies on privatization. Journal of Economic Literature 39 (2): 321–389.

  37. Mogilevsky, R and Hasanov, R . 2004: Economic growth in Kyrgyzstan. In: Ofer, G and Pomfret, R (eds), The Economic Prospects of the CIS, Sources of Long Term Growth. Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA. pp. 224–248.

  38. Murphy, J . 2006: Illusory transition? Elite reconstitution in Kazakhstan 1989–2002. Europe-Asia Studies 58 (4): 523–554.

  39. Ofer, G and Pomfret, R . 2004: The Economic prospects of the CIS, sources of long term growth. Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA.

  40. Olcott, MB . 2005: Central Asia's second chance. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: Washington, DC.

  41. Paramonov, V, Strokov, A and Khoshnazarov, S . 2006: Regional cooperation in Central Asia: A view from Uzbekistan (I). Problems of Economic Transition 49 (4): 6–86.

  42. Plyshevskii, B . 1995: Forming the economies of the CIS: Uzbekistan. Problems of Economic Transition 37 (9): 84–95.

  43. Polischuk, L and Savvateev, A . 2004: Spontaneous (non)emergence of property rights. Economics of Transition 12 (1): 103–127.

  44. Pomfret, R . 2005a: Development issues for Central Asia. In Fukasaku, K, Kawai, M, Plummer, MG and Trzeciak-Duval, A (eds). Impact and Coherence of OECD Country Policies on Asian Developing Economies. OECD: Paris.

  45. Pomfret, R . 2005b: Kazakhstan's economy since independence: Does the oil boom offer a second chance for sustainable development? Europe-Asia Studies 57 (6): 859–876.

  46. Pomfret, R . 2006: The Central Asian economies since independence. Princeton University Press: Princeton, NJ.

  47. Popov, V . 2006: Shock Therapy versus Gradualism Reconsidered: Lessons from Transition Economies after 15 Years of Reforms, unpublished manuscript.

  48. Przeworski, A . 1991: Democracy and the market: political and economic reforms in Latin America and Eastern Europe. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.

  49. Raballand, G . 2003: Determinants of the negative impact of being landlocked on trade: An empirical investigation through the Central Asian case. Comparative Economic Studies 45 (4): 520–536.

  50. Radnitz, S . 2006: Weighing the political and economic motivations for migration in post-soviet space: The case of Uzbekistan. Europe-Asia Studies 58 (5): 653–677.

  51. Radulescu, R and Barlow, D . 2002: The relationship between policies and growth in transition countries. Economics of Transition 10 (3): 719–745.

  52. Repkine, A . 2004: Turkmenistan: Economic autocracy and recent growth performance. In: Ofer, G and Pomfret, R (eds), The Economic Prospects of the CIS, Sources of Long Term Growth. Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA. pp. 154–176.

  53. Rumer, B (ed). 2002: Central Asia, a gathering storm?. M.E. Sharpe: Armonk, NY.

  54. Ruziev, K, Ghosh, D and Dow, SC . 2007: The Uzbek puzzle revisted: An analysis of economic performance in Uzbekistan since 1991. Central Asian Survey 26 (1): 7–30.

  55. Shiells, CR and Sattar, S . 2004: The low-income countries of the commonwealth of independent states. IMF: Washington, DC.

  56. Sievers, E . 2003: The post-Soviet decline of Central Asia. RoutledgeCurzon: London and New York.

  57. Sonin, K . 2003: Why the rich may favor poor protection of property rights. Journal of Comparative Economics 31 (4): 718–731.

  58. Spechler, MC . 1979: Regional developments in the U.S.S.R., 1958–78. In Soviet Economy in a Time of Change, Vol. 1, Joint Economic Committee, Congress of the United States. USGPO: Washington, DC. pp. 141–163.

  59. Spechler, MC . 2002: Regional cooperation in Central Asia. Problems of Post-Communism, November–December, 49: 42–47.

  60. Spechler, MC . 2004: Central Asia on the edge of globalization. Challenge 47 (3): 62–77.

  61. Spechler, MC . 2008: Central Asia between East and West. In: Carl Beck Papers. Center for Russian and East European Studies: Pittsburgh.

  62. Spechler, MC . 2007: Economic reform in authoritarian Uzbekistan. In: Gervers, M, Bulag, UE and Long, G (eds). Traders and Trade Routes of Central and Inner Asia: The ‘Silk Road,’ Then and Now Toronto Studies in Central and Inner Asia 8. Asian Institute, University of Toronto: Toronto, Canada. pp. 235–251.

  63. Spechler, MC, Bektemirov, K, Chepel’, S and Suvankulov, F . 2004: The Uzbek paradox: Progress without neo-liberal reform. In: Ofer, G and Pomfret, R (eds), The Economic Prospects of the CIS, Sources of Long Term Growth. Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA. pp. 177–197.

  64. Suleimenov, M and Oram, P . 2000: Trends in feed, livestock production, and rangelands during the transition period in three Central Asian countries. Food Policy 25 (6): 681–700.

  65. The Economist. 2007: London, 24 March 2007.

  66. Umarov, K and Repkine, A . 2004: Tajikistan's growth performance: The first decade of transition. In: Ofer, G and Pomfret, R (eds), The Economic Prospects of the CIS, Sources of Long Term Growth. Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA. pp. 198–223.

  67. Verme, P . 2000: The choice of the working sector in transition. Economics of Transition 8 (3): 691–731.

  68. Verme, P . 2006: Macroeconomic policies and social unrest in Uzbekistan. Post-Soviet Affairs 22 (3): 276–288.

  69. Von Hagen, J and Zhou, J . 2005: The choice of exchange rate regime. Economics of Transition 13 (4): 679–703.

  70. World Bank. 2003: Republic of Uzbekistan. Country economic memorandum, 25625-UZ, World Bank: Washington, DC.

  71. World Bank. 2003–2007: World development indicators. World Bank: Washington, DC.

  72. Zaurbekov, S . 2007: Tajikistan: Economic development trends since independence. Central Asia and the Caucasus 2 (44): 105–113.

  73. Zinnes, C, Eilat, Y and Sachs, J . 2001: The gains from privatization in transition economies: Is change of ownership enough? IMF Staff Papers 48: 146–170.

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Spechler, M. The Economies of Central Asia: A Survey. Comp Econ Stud 50, 30–52 (2008) doi:10.1057/ces.2008.3

Download citation

Keywords

  • Central Asia
  • economic reform
  • energy
  • authoritarianism
  • transition

JEL Classifications

  • F13
  • P31
  • P36
  • P52