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The Chenery hypothesis and structural change in Eastern Europe

Roland Döhrn and Ullrich Heilemann

The Economics of Transition, 1996, vol. 4, issue 2, 411-425

Abstract: The Newly Liberalizing Countries (NLCs) in Eastern Europe have to undergo a fundamental structural change. In this paper the Chenery Hypothesis (CH) is employed to make a quantitative assessment of this change. The CH, roughly speaking, relates an economy's sectoral structure to its stage of development, its size, and its endowment with natural resources. The paper tests this hypothesis for a sample of 31 developed and developing economies and finds it still valid. Then it uses the results obtained to measure distortions in the NLCs' existing economic structure and to give a projection of future structural change. The calculations make it evident that the industrial sector in the NLCs will experience a marked downsizing whilst the service sector turns out to be too small. But sectoral patterns are not too uniform for all groups of countries. Thus, all projections depend highly on the reference group used to evaluate a 'master pattern'. Copyright 1996 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Date: 1996
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