The Uzbek Growth Puzzle


Jeromin Zettelmeyer

Publication Date:

September 1, 1998

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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate


After the break-up of the Soviet Union, Uzbekistan’s output fell less than in any other former Soviet Republic, and growth turned positive in 1996/97. Given the country’s hesitant and idiosyncratic approach to reforms, this record has suprised many observers. This paper first shows that a standard panel model of growth in transition systematically underpredicts Uzbek growth from 1992-1996, confirming the view that Uzbekistan’s performance consitutes a puzzle. It then attempts to resolve the puzzle by appropriately extending the model. The main result is that Uzbekistan’s output performance was driven by a combination of low initial industrialization, its cotton production, and its self-sufficiency in energy.


Working Paper No. 1998/133



Publication Date:

September 1, 1998



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