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  Unit Two: Overview | Poland & Bolivia | Shock Therapy & Economic Indicators | Russia

  Exercise: Confronting Failure: "Shock Therapy" in Russia

  Reading/Viewing Assignment


Have students view Commanding Heights Episode Two: Chapters 15-16, and 18-20.

Also have them read Up for Debate: Privatization: Who Wins? Russia's Reform Compromise

Ask students to pay particular attention to the factors that contributed to unsatisfactory results of "shock therapy" in Russia.

Again remind them of the chapter transcripts, the Country Report for Russia available on the site, and the site Search engine as additional resources they can use to complete the unit.

  Questions for Reflection and Debate

  1. According to Yavlinsky, what accounts for the worsening of inflation after the implementation of "shock therapy" in Russia?

  2. According to Balcerowicz and Gorbachev, what factors account for the differences in the experience of "shock therapy" in Russia, as compared with Poland?

  3. If you were the Chief Economist of a developing country afflicted with runaway inflation, severe shortages of consumer goods, price controls, heavy foreign debt, and several nationalized heavy industries, what additional conditions would you need to identify in your economy before you would advise your president to institute "shock therapy" measures?

  Answer key

  Unit Two: Overview | Poland & Bolivia | Shock Therapy & Economic Indicators | Russia

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