Conventional economic “transiti0n” policies work poorly in developing economies, but produce disastrous results when applied within the context of Soviet-type economic and social institutions. There are clear structural reasons which take account of the very different “embedded” relationships and make the current crisis in the Russian Republic explicable, if not easily remediable. Analyses of the regional differences in the economic and social measures adopted to try to buffer the negative effects of national level “shock” policies and the pervasive resistance to decollectivization of agriculture are used by this paper as tools to explore the operating-level implications of the mismatch between the macro-level policies adopted under the name of economic reform and the economic and social behavior induced by them at the operating-level.

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