Money Matters: An IMF Exhibit -- The Importance of Global Cooperation

Globalization and Integration (1989-1999)

Part 1 of 8


Conflict &
(1871 - 1944)

Destruction &
(1945 - 1958)
The System
In Crisis

(1959 - 1971)
the System
(1972 - 1981)
Debt &
(1981 - 1989)
Globalization and Integration
(1989 - 1999)

Transition to the Free Market

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With the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, the Iron Curtain began to recede. Within two years, Communism was a thing of the past in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia (later the Czech Republic and Slovakia), Hungary, Poland and Romania. For former Eastern bloc countries, the transition from central planning to a free market economy was not easy and progress was uneven. They have, however, taken the first steps toward joining the global economy.


Hungary began its reforms early and built up a vigorous market economy in the early 1990s. Under its Solidarity-led government, Poland plunged into the free market. Almost immediately GDP fell by 10%, real wages fell by 40% and electricity prices rose by 300%. Though painful, the strategy proved successful: by the early 1990s, Poland had completely divested itself of central planning and was well on its way to prosperity. The Czech Republic opted for a more gradual approach to economic reform than Poland, possibly losing precious time by delaying the inevitable. Romania spent the 1990s reforming its socialist economy.





Transition to the Free Market Collapse of the Soviet Union Recovery From Debt Progress in Africa
Asia in the 1990s European Economic Unity The New Millennium Looking to the Future

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