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Executive Summary

Physicists often wish they could go back and observe the Big Bang, since it would help resolve some of the most confounding mysteries about the universe. Economists studying transition economies have been fortunate to witness their own version of the Big Bang: the fall of communism and rise of capitalism in Eastern and Central Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Those same economists have had enough time now to form meaningful conclusions and debunk some longstanding theories. New research by Ross professor Jan Svejnar examines the performance of former state-owned enterprises after privatization.

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