Abstract: Nowadays Bulgaria is known as a former communist country that went through a transition period to a free-market economy. On November 10, 1989, a day after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party made the decision to strip Todor Zhivkov of his power. Bulgaria and the German Democratic Republic were not the only then communist countries whose governments collapsed in November 1989. Other Eastern Bloc countries went through the same in that month and the months after. What is the transition period? Does it vary on a case-by-case basis? If yes, which kind of transition is the best, if any? How are transition countries compared? What happened in Bulgaria during its transition period from a socialist economy to a free-market economy? How did the Bulgarian economy transition compared to some of the other transition economies?
This paper aims at answering these and similar questions. Part one explains the two different approaches on transition – shock therapy and gradualism – including how successful they were in several countries – Russia, China and Poland, picked on a random basis as positive or negative examples of one of the two approaches. Part two discusses the case of Bulgaria compared to other transition economies. Part three draws a conclusion on the case of Bulgaria from the conducted research. Continue reading