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From Central Planning to Markets: Guiding the Transformation of the Russian Economy: Conversation with Yegor Gaidar, 11/20/96 by Harry Kriesler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Photos in this interview are courtesy of Yegor Gaidar.

Welcome to a "Conversation on International Affairs." I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is Yegor Gaidar, the 1997 Hitchcock Lecturer at the University of California. Dr. Gaidar is an economist, and from November 1991 to January 1994 he played a leading role in the transformation of the Russian economy after the fall of communism, serving Prime Minister Yeltsin and then President Yeltsin as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance.

  1. Background ... recollections of childhood ... influence of grandfather (Arkadi Gaidar) ... influence of father
  2. Early Training in Economics ... learning market theory ... influence of Adam Smith ... seeing failures of socialism first-hand
  3. Confronting Economic Chaos ... planning for the introduction of markets ... coup of August 1991 ... entry into public service ... administering unpleasant solutions
  4. Rebuilding the Economy ... understanding the socialist system ... vested interest and power ... emergency measures
  5. Setting Monetary Policy ... danger points in the immediate situation ... creating an independent central bank ... avoiding shortages and fighting monopolies
  6. Leadership amidst Revolution ... the utility of experts ... evaluating Yeltsin
  7. Social Changes ... supporters of the old system ... creating new social groups
  8. Academic Life versus Government Service ... theory and practice ... operating styles ... revolution
  9. Russia's Future, the Weimar Analogy, and Lessons Learned ... absence of violence ... avoiding "Weimar" ... the role of the West

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