The contributors provide background analysis and thorough diagnosis of Peru's economic problems. They explain how inconsistent populist policies and the ensuing economic crisis have caused the standard of living to deteriorate dramatically, paving the way for significant expansion of social violence, political instability, and isolation from the international financial community.
Peru's Path to Recovery offers an adjustment program that is sound but also is complemented by a social support program to assist the poor - those who have suffered the most from previous disadjustment. This combination makes the program both equitable and politically sustainable. With the inauguration of Alberto Fujimori, Peru has the opportunity to embrace a new economic strategy to stabilize the economy, curtail the extreme poverty, and reduce the massive unemployment and underemployment. Such a course will not be easy: patterns of government, business, and social behavior will have to change. But through such changes Peru can hope to become a stable, thriving country once more.
In Poland's jump to the Market Economy, Jeffrey Sachs provides an insider's analysis of the political events and economic strategy behind the country's swift transition to capitalism and democracy. The greatest challenges to economic reform, Sachs points out, have been primarily political in nature, rather than social or even economic. Sachs reviews Poland's striking progress since the start of the economic reforms three years ago, which he helped to design. He discusses the gains - more than half of employment and GDP is now in the private sector, exports to Western Europe have more than doubled, and economic growth and confidence are returning - as well as the serious problems that remain - high unemployment, a chronic fiscal deficit, the slow pace of privatization of large industrial enterprises, and the fragility of multiparty coalition governments.Sachs points out that leadership is crucial to economic reform in a newly democratic setting, as is the West's timely economic assistance. In Poland's case, the Zloty Stabilization Fund and the two-stage debt cancellation have been essential to keeping the reform program on track. Poland's example has had a powerful impact on reforms throughout the region, including the former Soviet Union, and has done much to dispel the fear that the citizens themselves, allegedly made lazy by decades of socialism, would reject the competitive rigors of a market economy. Overall, Sachs remains firmly convinced of the potential for successful economic reforms in Poland and the rest of the region.