CESEE Countries: Historical Background, Transition, and Development

  • Małgorzata Iwanicz-Drozdowska
Part of the Studies in Economic Transition book series (SET)


The history of the CESEE has been stormy over time. Its strategic geographical location and the policy of conquest by neighbouring countries, such as Austria, Prussia, Russia, and Turkey, have significantly impacted the development of societies and economies of CESEE. After World War II, the CESEE countries found themselves behind the Iron Curtain and were under total influence of the Soviet Union. The situation changed in the late 1980s when communism started to collapse in the Eastern Bloc. From then on, the CESEE countries have begun to move from centrally planned towards market economies. This is the reason why they have been referred to as transition economies. In this chapter, we present a brief history of this region, with special attention paid to the period of transition.


Centrally planned economy Economic development Market economy Privatization Transformation Transition 


  1. Baltowski M, Mickiewicz T (2000) Privatisation in Poland: Ten Years After Privatisation in Poland: Ten Years After, Post-Communist Econ 12(4):425–443. Scholar
  2. Bitzenis A, Marangos J (2007) Globalization and the Integration-Assisted Transition in Central and Eastern European Economies. J Econ Issues 41(2):427–434. Scholar
  3. Bornstein M (1999) Framework Issues in the Privatisation Strategies of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. Post-Communist Econ 11(1):47–77. Scholar
  4. Brucker H. (1997) Privatisation in East Germany. A Neo-Institutional Analysis. London, Frank CassGoogle Scholar
  5. Cieślik A, Tarsalewska M (2013) Privatization, Convergence, and Growth. Eastern Eur Econ 51(1):5–20. Scholar
  6. Čučković N (1993) Privatisation in Croatia: What went wrong? Hist Eur Ideas 17(6):725–733. Scholar
  7. da Rocha BT (2015) Let the markets begin: The interplay between free prices and privatisation in early transition. J Comp Econ 43(2):350–370. Scholar
  8. Fidrmuc J, Tichit A (2009) Mind the break! Accounting for changing patterns of growth during transition. Econ Sys 33(2):138–154. Scholar
  9. Foster N, Stehrer R (2007) Modeling transformation in CEECs using smooth transitions. J Comp Econ 35(1):57–86. Scholar
  10. Hashi I, Xhillari L (1999) Privatisation and Transition in Albania. Post-Communist Econ 11(1):99–125. Scholar
  11. Iwanicz-Drozdowska M (2016) Sieć bezpieczeństwa finansowego. Gdzie szukać liderów? In: Karmańska A, Ostaszewski J (ed) Przełamywanie dysonansów poznawczych jako czynnik stymulowania rozwoju nauk o finansach. SGH, WarsawGoogle Scholar
  12. Iwanicz-Drozdowska M, Smaga P, Witkowski B (2016) Financial Development. Have Post-Communist Countries Converged? Trans Bus Econ 15(2A)(38A):389–414Google Scholar
  13. Kornai J (1979) Resource-Constrained versus Demand-Constrained Systems. Econometrica 47(4):801–819CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kornai J (1980) Economics of Shortage. Amsterdam: North HollandGoogle Scholar
  15. Kornai J (1994) Transformational Recession: The Main Causes. J Comp Econ 19(1):39–63. Scholar
  16. Louzek M (2009) The Czech privatisation after 20 years. Post-Communist Econ 21(3):345–359. Scholar
  17. Mygind, N (1999). Privatisation, governance and restructuring of enterprises in the Baltics, OECDGoogle Scholar
  18. Polijaniuk H, Obal T (2002) Kraje nadbałtyckie In: Iwanicz-Drozdowska M (ed) Kryzysy bankowe. Przyczyny i rozwiązania. PWE, WarsawGoogle Scholar
  19. Popov V (2007) Shock Therapy versus Gradualism Reconsidered: Lessons from Transition Economies after 15 Years of Reforms. Comp Econ Stud 49(1):1–31. Scholar
  20. Próchniak M, Witkowski B (2014) On the Stability of the Catching-Up Process Among Old and New EU Member States On the Stability of the Catching-Up Process Among Old and New EU Member States. Eastern Eur Econ 52(2):5–27. Scholar
  21. Prohaski G (1998) A review of Bulgarian privatisation. OECD and Bulgarian Centre for Economic DevelopmentGoogle Scholar
  22. Radiçová I (1993) Privatisation: The case of Slovakia. Hist Eur Ideas 17(6):735–740. Scholar
  23. Slaveski T (1997) Privatization in the Republic of Macedonia Privatization in the Republic of Macedonia Five Years After. Eastern Eur Econ 35(1):31–51. Scholar
  24. Thompson G, Valsan C (1999) Early Privatization in Romania Early Privatization in Romania. Eastern Eur Econ 37(6):35–53 Scholar
  25. Yekhanurov Y (2000) The Progress of Privatization The Progress of Privatization. Eastern Eur Econ 38(1):71–93. Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Małgorzata Iwanicz-Drozdowska
    • 1
  1. 1.SGH Warsaw School of EconomicsWarsawPoland

Personalised recommendations