Journal of Undergraduate Research


democratic market economies, economic reform, post-communist countries


Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Political Science


The transition from authoritarian, planned economies to democratic market economies is one of the most ambitious and momentous political-economic endeavors of the last century. As such, it is hardly surprising that the transition has been carried out with varying levels of success. Previous literature has examined features of the reforms (i.e. gradualism vs. shock therapy) or external monitoring, support and incentives (such as was available for aspiring EU members) as determinants of the probability of successful reform. This thesis contributes to our understanding of how public attitudes and beliefs about economic reforms may be a factor in the stalled or incomplete “transitions” in many post-communist countries. It is important to understand the origins of such attitudes as their effects are still felt directly in post-communist countries today. The success of economic reforms requires the public to believe that they are credible and irreversible. Otherwise people will not become invested in the new economic systems. Social scientists are increasingly seeing such public opinion data as meaningful with important policy implications.