Project Syndicate: Illiberal Stagnation

Authoritarian leaders including Russia’s Vladimir Putin argue that their style of governance is pragmatic and sure. But stifling dissent and encouraging nationalism fail to contribute to market certainty, innovation and long-term prosperity, argues economist Joseph Stiglitz. He runs through Russia’s statistics – a GDP that is just 40 percent of Germany’s with life expectancy at birth ranked at 153rd in the world. “The country has deindustrialized: the vast majority of its exports now come from natural resources,” Stiglitz notes. “It has not evolved into a ‘normal’ market economy, but rather into a peculiar form of crony-state capitalism.” After the breakup of the Soviet Union, many economists had high expectations for Russia’s potential, and Stiglitz suggests that forces shaping Russia’s transition, especially privatization, were flawed: “those who argued that private property rights, once created, would give rise to broader demands for the rule of law have been proven wrong.” That does not mean democracy is flawed and Stiglitz urges the West to continue encouraging democratic states that respect human rights and international law while combatting corruption and extremism. – YaleGlobal

Project Syndicate: Illiberal Stagnation

The Washington Consensus was proved wrong that privatization was needed reform during Russia’s transition and instead led to oligarchy
Joseph Stiglitz
Tuesday, April 4, 2017

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Joseph E. Stiglitz, recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2001 and the John Bates Clark Medal in 1979, is University Professor at Columbia University, Co-Chair of the High-Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress at the OECD, and Chief Economist of the Roosevelt Institute. A former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank and chair of the US president’s Council of Economic Advisers under Bill Clinton, in 2000 he founded the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, a think tank on international development based at Columbia University. His most recent book is The Euro: How a Common Currency Threatens the Future of Europe.

© 1995 – 2017 Project Syndicate

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