Date: Sat, 4 Sep 1999 00:18:23 -0500 (CDT)
From: (Rich Winkel)
Organization: PACH
Subject: Current Yugoslavia Economy
Article: 74808
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Message-ID: <>

/** 365.0 **/
** Topic: Current Yugoslavia Economy **
** Written 5:44 PM Sep 2, 1999 by labornews in **

Current Yugoslavia Economy

By Barkley Rosser, James Madison University, 2 September 1999

Have just returned from the Twelfth World Congress of the International Economic Association in Buenos Aires.

Among other things, had fairly extended conversations with some economists from Yugoslavia, in particular from the Economics Institute in Belgrade. A few observations based on those conversations:

1) The Yugoslav economy has been completely destroyed. Current Yugoslav GDP is about 30% of what it was in 1989.

2) The economic system is broadly in three different forms. There is a completely private sector that is mostly small businesses (and also agriculture, dating from before 1989). There is an intermediate sector of mostly intermediate sized firms, the social enterprise sector. These firms are officially owned by the state but are effectively under the control of their managements who are hoping to nomenklatura privatize them in the way that was done in Croatia, a highly corrupt economy. These firms are being stripped of assets. Then there is a command socialist sector of the economy involving most of the largest firms.

However, there is no central planning. These commands

take the form of orders from state ministries. This command form appeared in the 1990s since the breakup of the former Yugoslavia.

3) Workers' management is dead. The social enterprise sector is where it would be most likely to exist, a sector that could be formally described as market socialist, however the managers have full control.

4) There is profound alienation for most people.

They hate Milosevic but they also hate the West that bombed them.

5) Recently the European Union organized a meeting of representatives from Balkan nations in the hopes of organizing them into their own economic union. Those represented included Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Croatia.

Of the former Yugoslav republics, Slovenia did not attend as it on a fast track to join the Eu itself, unlike these others.

Barkley Rosser
James Madison University