Abstract

Presents an up-to-date and comprehensive picture of the transformation of the retail trade and consumer service sectors in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland. Provides background on the operation of the sector prior to the demise of the communist regime in the Czech Republic, where the purest form of the command system had been in effect; describes the departures from this system in Hungary and Poland and the effects of communist reform efforts in the Hungarian and Polish retail trade and consumer service sectors; and explains the particulars of the privatization programs implemented in each country in the immediate postcommunist period. Analyzes the results of a survey of three hundred shops, restaurants, and service establishments in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland to assess the performance of the privatized trade and service establishments in each country and identify the main driving forces of successful privatization. Coauthors are Roman Frydman, Andrzej Rapaczynski, and Joel Turkewitz. Earle teaches economics at Stanford University and the Central European University in Prague. No index.