Skip navigation

Yegor Gaidar

Yegor Gaidar (1956–2009) was a Russian economist and politician and a key architect of economic reforms in Russia’s transition to a market economy.

Titles by This Author

A Long View

It is not so easy to take the long view of socioeconomic history when you are participating in a revolution. For that reason, Russian economist Yegor Gaidar put aside an early version of this work to take up a series of government positions--as Minister of Finance and as Boris Yeltsin’s acting Prime Minister--in the early 1990s. In government, Gaidar shepherded Russia through its transition to a market economy after years of socialism. Once out of government, Gaidar turned again to his consideration of Russia’s economic history and long-term economic and political challenges. This book, revised and updated shortly before his death in 2009, is the result.

Gaidar’s account of long-term socioeconomic trends puts his country in historical context and outlines problems faced by Russia (and other developing economies) that more developed countries have already encountered: aging population, migration, evolution of the system of social protection, changes in the armed forces, and balancing stability and flexibility in democratic institutions.
This is not a memoir, but, Gaidar points out, neither is it “written from the position of a man who spent his entire life in a research institute.” Gaidar’s “long view” is inevitably informed and enriched by his experience in government at a watershed moment in history.

Departing from tradition, both Yegor Gaidar, former Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, and Karl Otto Pöhl, former Chairman of the German Bundesbank, were invited to give the 1993 Lionel Robbins Lectures. The experiences of each author reflect the vast economic changes spreading across Europe -- economic reform in the East and growing economic integration in the West. Gaidar helped launch Russian economic reforms in 1992; Pöhl fought the hyperinflation in Europe of the 1970s and 1980s and laid the groundwork for monetary stability in Western Europe. These lectures provide insight into how these leaders assessed the risks of their situations and used basic economic analysis to chart their courses.Gaidar reviews the events that led up to the August coup in Russia to argue that gradualism was not a viable approach to economic reform. He describes the conditions and dilemmas of the time, observing that reform in Russia is as much a political puzzle as it is an economic challenge. He outlines the successes and present dangers and concludes with an optimistic assessment of Russia's prospects for reform.Pöhl provides an insider's view of the efforts of the Group of Seven industrialized nations to stabilize exchange rates from the 1970s on. He describes the tension in one country between the goals of price stability and exchange rate stability. This leads to a discussion of how monetary union was proposed in Europe and why the movement has hit snags. An appendix provides more details on the objectives and proposed structure of European monetary integration.Lionel Robbins Lectures

Titles by This Editor

Edited by Yegor Gaidar

The end of the Cold War saw an unprecedented number of countries changing economic policies at the same time. One result has been the emergence of a new field of economics, postcommunist transformation theory. Written by prominent Russian analysts, the essays in this book discuss the economic policy problems that confront postcommunist countries. Most chapters focus on liberalization of the exchange rate and trade system, macroeconomic stabilization, and institutional reform. They also look at various policy options that have been pursued and their results. Underlying the book is the assumption that the transition to a market economy is both irreversible and the best path to sustained growth in Russia.