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Abstract

The systemic transformation of post-socialist countries from central planning to a market economy was a very complex and unprecedented undertaking. In this study we critically examine three influential classifications proposed by Coates [2000, 2006], Hall and Soskice [2001], and Amable [2003], within the “comparative capitalisms” literature stream, and argue that they are unsuitable for evaluating the progress made by transition economies since 1990. The basis of the criticism stems from timing: these theoretical frameworks were developed primarily to evaluate the growth of advanced and mature capitalist countries. Thus, they fail to capture the unique features of transition economies and the complexity of the transformation process that led to the emergence of different market-based systems. From this vantage point, we discusses and also critique a recent classification developed by Myant and Drahokoupil [2011, 2015], who distinguish five ideal models (i.e. “varieties of capitalism”) that have evolved within transition countries. In our conclusion we point to areas within the field that may be explored by future research.

and Soskice [2001] . For more details, see Rapacki et al. [2016]. to the former socialist countries undergoing systemic transformation from a centrally planned economy toward a market-driven economy, with an end to explain and better understand the nature of the emerging postcommunist capitalism there. Simultaneously, based on the original methodology, some attempts have also been made to take account of institutional peculiarities inherent in the postcommunist transition and to extend the existing standard classifications with derivative categories that would

essential feature of the institutional arrangement of liberal market economies that it provides firms with better abilities for radical innovation. The innovation systems of CEE countries are very far from radical innovation. Their bank-based financial system is also different from the liberal ideal type. If one accepts the original concept of VoC theory, the model of liberal market economy means much more than conducting liberal economic policies in some fields. Ahlborn et al. [2016] applied an extended VoC framework to examine the CEE countries’ systemic transformation

postcommunist transformation was considered primarily as a transplantation of Western institutions and “modernization through integration” with the EU. This was perceived as similar to the process of “modernization through internationalization”, occurring in Latin America [ Przeworski, 1995 ]. At the same time, a tendency emerged to treat Western societies in an idealized and homogeneous way, blurring significant institutional differences among them [ McMenamin 2004 , p. 265]. Systemic transformation and accession of some CEE countries to the EU, economic integration with

Abstract

The systemic transformation in Poland, aimed, among others, at activating market mechanisms, has resulted in a change in the ownership structure and privatization that has accompanied it. Privatization processes are commonly considered to be principally motivated by an increase in efficiency of the economy based on the assumption that efficiency of private enterprises is higher than that of public sector ones. The main aim of the article is to verify the above hypothesis. An analysis of efficiency of public and private sector enterprises, taking into account their organizational and legal forms, made on the basis of Central Statistical Office information, confirmed the above hypothesis. Private enterprises use their assets better and take advantage of the financial leverage mechanism to a larger extent. It should be emphasized, however, that private enterprises are more adversely affected by economic fluctuations caused by the crisis.