Working Paper
A Two-thirds Rate of Success

Polish Transformation and Economic Development, 1989-2008

Progress in achieving institutional changes should be evaluated through the prism of their influence on the development abilities of the relevant country. In Poland, during 20 years of comprehensive systemic shift, GDP increased more than in any other postsocialist country. To judge the transformation progress, it is not enough to review improvements in competitiveness or in growth in terms of quantity, but also social and cultural aspects should be taken into account. In Poland, there have been five distinct periods from the viewpoint of economic growth. Had there been a better policy coordination of systemic change and socioeconomic development, GDP growth over the periods considered could have increased by more than half. This opportunity was missed because of the intermittent implementation of wrong economic policies based on wrong economic theories. Poland’s transformation can be seen as a success, but only to the extent of achieving two-thirds of its potential.