How Applying Hayekian Economics enabled the Countries of Eastern Europe to go from Socialist Hell to Free Market Heaven. July 14, 2022


Three decades ago the countries of Eastern Europe escaped from the control of Soviet Union.  The transitions were largely peaceful and succeeded far more than many observers at the time thought they would.

In fact, many of the former Soviet controlled countries now have economic policies that are more in line with those advocated by Friedrich Hayek than are the economic policies of the U.S..  Rahn and Kostadinova and will discuss the lessons learned from the transitions made by Eastern Bloc countries and how they relate to today’s economic problems.

Speaker: Richard Rahn, Cato Institute Senior Fellow

Richard RahnRichard Rahn is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and was co-chairman of the Bulgarian economic transition task force in the early 1990’s.  He is an economist, syndicated columnist, and entrepreneur.

He writes a syndicated weekly economic column which is published in The Washington Times, Real Clear Markets and many other places. He has served as the Vice President and Chief Economist of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States.  He was as an economic advisor to President G.H.W. Bush (in 1988-1989).

He has written more than a thousand articles for newspaper, magazines and professional journals, such as the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes, The American Spectator, The Weekly Standard, National Review, and The National Interest. As an economic commentator, he has appeared on such programs as the Today Show, Good Morning America, Kudlow and Co., Wall Street Week, the PBS Newshour and Crossfire, and was a weekly commentator for Radio America.

He has testified before the U.S. Congress on economic issues more than seventy-five times. He earned a Ph.D. from Columbia University. In 2018, Dr. Rahn was a recipient of the annual Hayek Lifetime Achievement Award.

Speaker: Svetla Kostadinova, Director of the Institute for Market Economics, Bulgaria

Svetla Kostadinova

Svetla Kostadinova is the executive director of the Institute for Market Economics (IME) in Bulgaria, the first and oldest independent free market think tank in Bulgaria.

She has expertise in labor market analysis, tax policy, government efficiency studies, and regulation impact assessment.

Under Ms. Kostadinova’s management, IME  has successfully advocated for the following reforms in Bulgaria:



  •  A 10% flat corporate tax (2007)
  •  A 10% flat personal income tax (2008)
  •  Lowering of social security contributions from 36.7% of wages to 31% (2007-2011)
  •  A “work first” welfare benefits principle (2008)
  •  Lowering the minimum capital requirement for registration of company – from 2500 euro to 1 euro (2009)
  •  Closure of the specialized courts (2021-2022)