Since 1992, the rhetoric of Russian economic reformers has been one of full-speed ahead to a freemarket economy. The reality, however, has diverged significantly from this rhetoric at both a broad “rules of the game ” level and specific “policy within rules ” level. The resulting ambiguity of the economic environment and the lingering effects of the previous system which is supposed to be reformed has led to a continued deterioration of the Russian economy. This paper offers a modified defense of “shock therapy” as a path to a cure for Russia’s economic malaise, as opposed to the cure itself. *Professor Boettke is an Associate Professor of Economics at George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. His research interests include comparative political economy, market process theory, and history o
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