"In post-communist Europe, international advice—for example from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank—to reforming governments focused heavily on economic policy. The political imperative, in contrast, was a set of policies generous enough to maintain continuing support for the overall reforms. The great value of this book is that it addresses both strategic policy directions simultaneously. Specifically, it analyzes how policies that are sub-optimal in economic terms (work in the grey economy, easy access to unemployment benefits, fiscally expensive early retirement) can be argued to be optimal (or at least roughly so) when considering economics and politics together. As such, the book offers a rich political economy perspective on post-communist reforms."