Economic Reforms and Human Development: Evidence from Transition Economies

Antonio Carvalho, Rabindra Nepal, Tooraj Jamasb

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Do market-oriented economic reforms result in higher levels of human well-being? This article studies the impact of macro-level institutional and infrastructure reforms on the economic, educational and health dimensions of human well-being among 25 transition economies. We use panel data econometrics based on the LSDVC technique to analyse the effects of market-oriented reforms on the human development index (HDI), as a measure of human well-being, from 1992 to 2007. The results show the complexity of reform impacts in transition countries. They show that institutional and economic reforms led to positive economic effect and significant impacts on other dimensions of human development. We find some positive economic impacts from infrastructure sectors reforms. However, not every reform measure appears to generate positive impacts. Large-scale privatizations show negative effects in health and economic outcomes. The overall results show the importance of the interaction among different reform measures and the combined effect of these on human development.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Economics
Issue number14
Pages (from-to)1330-1347
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Human development
  • Transition economies
  • Institutions
  • Market reforms

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