The gradual introduction of market reforms in China since 1978 and their subsequent massive and rapid adoption in the former Soviet bloc triggered an intense debate on the factors and policies which promote a smooth transition to a market economy. Particularly during its initial phase, suchdebate has focused on liberalization, privatization, and the macroeconomy of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, and Russia. Other reforming economies and aspects increasingly recognized as key to a successful transition have received less attention in the academic literature. This volume attempts to fill the gap by reviewing the often- neglected role of initial structural and institutional conditions and their subsequent development during the course of the transition. The volume focuses in particular on China, Russia, and the often-ignored countries of Central Asia,Vietnam, and those economies - such as Cuba and North Korea - which are in the very early phases of the reform process.