This paper focuses on Estonia's post-communist transition and attempts to determine why it has been more successful than the other two Baltic states, Lithuania and Latvia. It proposes that the central factor conditioning the outcome of the Baltic states' transition process was their different experiences during the Soviet period. Although the post-independence reform program itself played a crucial role in Estonia's successful transition, the paper concludes that the seeds for the country's achievements can actually be found in its Soviet legacy: Estonia's selection of policies, their implementation and the resulting positive outcome were all dependent on favorable conditions which had been established in Estonia during the Soviet period. Significantly, these positive conditions had not been created in the other two Baltic states.

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