Bulgaria Wins Balkan Prize

Views on BG |Author: Steve Hanke | July 18, 2014, Friday // 11:24|  views

Steve Hanke. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Every country aims to lower inflation, unemployment and lending rates, while increasing gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. Through a simple sum of the former three rates, minus year-on-year per capita GDP growth, I constructed a misery index that comprehensively ranks 89 countries based on misery. The table below is a sub-ranking of all Balkan states presented in the full index.

All of the Balkan states in my index suffer from high unemployment and relatively high levels of misery.

That said, the least miserable Balkan country is Bulgaria. For all of its problems, including a recent bank run, the country’s currency board system - which I, as President Stoyanov’s adviser, helped design and install in 1997 - provides monetary and fiscal discipline, and produces positive results in a region plagued with problems.

Steve Hanke is Professor of Applied Economics at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

In Bulgaria he is known as the "Father of the Currency Board", which saw Bulgaria's currency, the lev (BGN), pegged to the Deutsche Mark (DEM) and later to the euro (EUR).
The article also appeared on the Huffington Post.

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Tags: GDP, misery index, currency board, Steve Hanke, Balkan states, Bulgaria


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