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Editor's Introduction

  • Economics


Clearly, the necessary conditions for a successful transition to a market economy include more than the freeing of prices and financial stabilization. No less important, in Ia. Kuźminov's view ("Soviet Economic Culture: The Legacy and the Paths of Modernization"), is the process of transforming the traditional values and attitudes associated with the Soviet system into a market-oriented culture. For Kuzminov some of the principal elements of Soviet economic culture that continue to inhibit the marketization process are egalitarian sentiments, excessive dependence on state authorities, and reliance on group forms of activity rather than individual initiative. The fact that the marketization process is accompanied by declining living standards for large groups of the population does not make the assimilation of a new economic culture any easier. Whatever his intention, Kuźminov's stress on the critical importance of cultural transformation for a successful market transition suggests that the latter will necessarily be a prolonged process.

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