Transition indicators methodology 1989-2014

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Artwork from the EBRD 2017-18 Transition Report

Artwork from the EBRD 2017-18 Transition Report

These transition indicator scores reflected the judgment of the EBRD’s Office of the Chief Economist about country-specific progress in transition up until 2014.

The scores were based on the following classification system, which was originally developed in the 1994 Transition Report, but was refined and amended in subsequent reports.

“+” and “-” ratings were treated by adding 0.33 and subtracting 0.33 from the full value. Averages were obtained by rounding down, for example. a score of 2.6 is treated as 2+, but a score of 2.8 is treated as 3-.

Overall transition indicators

Large-scale privatisation

1 Little private ownership.

2 Comprehensive scheme almost ready for implementation; some sales completed.

3 More than 25 per cent of large-scale enterprise assets in private hands or in the process of being privatised (with the process having reached a stage at which the state has effectively ceded its ownership rights), but possibly with major unresolved issues regarding corporate governance.

4 More than 50 per cent of state-owned enterprise and farm assets in private ownership and significant progress with corporate governance of these enterprises.

4+ Standards and performance typical of advanced industrial economies: more than 75 per cent of enterprise assets in private ownership with effective corporate governance.

Small-scale privatisation

1Little progress.

2 Substantial share privatised.

3 Comprehensive programme almost ready for implementation.

4 Complete privatisation of small companies with tradable ownership rights.

4+ Standards and performance typical of advanced industrial economies: no state ownership of small enterprises; effective tradability of land.

Governance and enterprise restructuring

1 Soft budget constraints (lax credit and subsidy policies weakening financial discipline at the enterprise level); few other reforms to promote corporate governance.

2 Moderately tight credit and subsidy policy, but weak enforcement of bankruptcy legislation and little action taken to strengthen competition and corporate governance.

3 Significant and sustained actions to harden budget constraints and to promote corporate governance effectively (for example, privatisation combined with tight credit and subsidy policies and/or enforcement of bankruptcy legislation).

4 Substantial improvement in corporate governance and significant new investment at the enterprise level, including minority holdings by financial investors.

4+ Standards and performance typical of advanced industrial economies: effective corporate control exercised through domestic financial institutions and markets, fostering market-driven restructuring.

Price liberalisation

1 Most prices formally controlled by the government.

2 Some lifting of price administration; state procurement at non-market prices for the majority of product categories.

3 Significant progress on price liberalisation, but state procurement at non-market prices remains substantial.

4 Comprehensive price liberalisation; state procurement at non-market prices largely phased out; only a small number of administered prices remain.

4+ Standards and performance typical of advanced industrial economies: complete price liberalisation with no price control outside housing, transport and natural monopolies.

Trade and foreign exchange system

1 Widespread import and/or export controls or very limited legitimate access to foreign exchange.

2 Some liberalisation of import and/or export controls; almost full current account convertibility in principle, but with a foreign exchange regime that is not fully transparent (possibly with multiple exchange rates).

3 Removal of almost all quantitative and administrative import and export restrictions; almost full current account convertibility.

4 Removal of all quantitative and administrative import and export restrictions (apart from agriculture) and all significant export tariffs; insignificant direct involvement in exports and imports by ministries and state-owned trading companies; no major non-uniformity of customs duties for non-agricultural goods and services; full and current account convertibility.

4+ Standards and performance norms of advanced industrial economies: removal of most tariff barriers; membership in WTO.

Competition policy

1 No competition legislation and institutions.

2 Competition policy legislation and institutions set up; some reduction of entry restrictions or enforcement action on dominant firms.

3 Some enforcement actions to reduce abuse of market power and to promote a competitive environment, including break-ups of dominant conglomerates; substantial reduction of entry restrictions.

4 Significant enforcement actions to reduce abuse of market power and to promote a competitive environment.

4+ Standards and performance typical of advanced industrial economies: effective enforcement of competition policy; unrestricted entry to most markets.

Banking reform and interest rate liberalisation

1 Little progress beyond establishment of a two-tier system.

2 Significant liberalisation of interest rates and credit allocation; limited use of directed credit or interest rate ceilings.

3 Substantial progress in establishment of bank solvency and of a framework for prudential supervision and regulation; full interest rate liberalisation with little preferential access to cheap refinancing; significant lending to private enterprises and significant presence of private banks.

4 Significant movement of banking laws and regulations towards BIS standards; well-functioning banking competition and effective prudential supervision; significant term lending to private enterprises; substantial financial deepening.

4+ Standards and performance norms of advanced industrial economies: full convergence of banking laws and regulations with BIS standards; provision of full set of competitive banking services.

Securities markets and non-bank financial institutions

1 Little progress.

2 Formation of securities exchanges, market-makers and brokers; some trading in government paper and/or securities; rudimentary legal and regulatory framework for the issuance and trading of securities.

3 Substantial issuance of securities by private enterprises; establishment of independent share registries, secure clearance and settlement procedures, and some protection of minority shareholders; emergence of non-bank financial institutions (for example, investment funds, private insurance and pension funds, leasing companies) and associated regulatory framework.

4 Securities laws and regulations approaching IOSCO standards; substantial market liquidity and capitalisation; well-functioning non-bank financial institutions and effective regulation.

4+ Standards and performance norms of advanced industrial economies: full convergence of securities laws and regulations with IOSCO standards; fully developed non-bank intermediation.


Infrastructure reform

The ratings are calculated as the average of five infrastructure reform indicators covering electric power, railways, roads, telecommunications, water and waste water. The classification system used for these five indicators is detailed below.

Electric power

1 Power sector operates as government department with few commercial freedoms or pressures. Average prices well below costs, with extensive cross-subsidies. Monolithic structure, with no separation of different parts of the business.

2 Power company distanced from government, but there is still political interference. Some attempt to harden budget constraints, but effective tariffs are low. Weak management incentives for efficient performance. Little institutional reform and minimal, if any, private sector involvement.

3 Law passed providing for full-scale restructuring of industry, including vertical unbundling through account separation and set-up of regulator. Some tariff reform and improvements in revenue collection. Some private sector involvement.

4 Separation of generation, transmission and distribution. Independent regulator set up. Rules for cost-reflective tariff-setting formulated and implemented. Substantial private sector involvement in distribution and/or generation. Some degree of liberalisation.

4+ Tariffs cost-reflective and provide adequate incentives for efficiency improvements. Large-scale private sector involvement in the unbundled and well-regulated sector. Fully liberalised sector with well-functioning arrangements for network access and full competition in generation.


1 Monolithic structure operated as government department, with few commercial freedoms. No private sector involvement and extensive cross-subsidisation.

2 Rail operations distanced from state, but weak commercial objectives. Some business planning, but targets are general and tentative. No budgetary funding of public service obligations. Ancillary businesses separated, but little divestment. Minimal private sector involvement.

3 Commercial orientation in rail operations. Freight and passenger services separated and some ancillary businesses divested. Some budgetary compensation available for passenger services. Improved business planning with clear investment and rehabilitation targets, but funding unsecured. Some private sector involvement in rehabilitation and/or maintenance.

4 Railways fully commercialised, with separate internal profit centres for freight and passenger services. Extensive market freedoms to set tariffs and investments. Implementation of medium-term business plans. Ancillary industries divested. Private sector participation in freight operation, ancillary services and track maintenance.

4+ Separation of infrastructure freight and passenger operations. Full divestment and transfer of asset ownership implemented or planned, including infrastructure and rolling stock. Rail regulator established and access pricing implemented.


1 Minimal degree of decentralisation and no commercialisation. All regulatory, road management and resource allocation functions centralised at ministerial level. New investments and road maintenance financing dependent on central budget allocations. Road user charges not based on the cost of road use. Road construction and maintenance undertaken by public construction units. No public consultation in the preparation of road projects.

2 Moderate degree of decentralisation and initial steps in commercialisation. Road/highway agency created. Improvements in resource allocation and public procurement. Road user charges based on vehicle and fuel taxes, but not linked to road use. Road fund established, but dependent on central budget. Road construction and maintenance undertaken primarily by corporatised public entities, with some private sector participation. Minimal public consultation/participation on road projects.

3 Fair degree of decentralisation and commercialisation. Regulation and resource allocation functions separated from road maintenance and operations. Level of vehicle and fuel taxes related to road use. Private companies able to provide and operate roads under negotiated commercial contracts. Private sector participation in road maintenance and/or through concessions to finance, operate and maintain parts of highway network. Limited public consultation/participation and accountability on road projects.

4 Large degree of decentralisation. Transparent methodology used to allocate road expenditures. Track record in competitive procurement of road design, construction, maintenance and operations. Large-scale private sector participation in construction, operations and maintenance directly and through public-private partnerships. Substantial public consultation/participation and accountability on road projects.

4+ Fully decentralised road administration. Commercialised road maintenance operations competitively awarded to private companies. Road user charges reflect the full costs of road use and associated factors, such as congestion, accidents and pollution. Widespread private sector participation in all aspects of road provision. Full public consultation on new road projects.


1 Little progress in commercialisation and regulation. Minimal private sector involvement and strong political interference in management decisions. Low tariffs, with extensive cross-subsidisation. Liberalisation not envisaged, even for mobile telephony and value-added services.

2 Modest progress in commercialisation. Corporatisation of dominant operator and some separation from public sector governance, but tariffs are still politically set.

3 Substantial progress in commercialisation and regulation. Telecommunications and postal services fully separated; cross-subsidies reduced. Considerable liberalisation in the mobile segment and in value-added services.

4 Complete commercialisation, including privatisation of the dominant operator; comprehensive regulatory and institutional reforms. Extensive liberalisation of entry.

4+ Effective regulation through an independent entity. Coherent regulatory and institutional framework to deal with tariffs, interconnection rules, licensing, concession fees and spectrum allocation. Consumer ombudsman function.

Water and waste water

1 Minimal degree of decentralisation; no commercialisation. Services operated as vertically integrated natural monopolies by government ministry or municipal departments. No financial autonomy and/or management capacity at municipal level. Low tariffs, low cash collection rates and high cross-subsidies.

2 Moderate degree of decentralisation; initial steps towards commercialisation. Services provided by municipally owned companies. Partial cost recovery through tariffs; initial steps to reduce cross-subsidies. General public guidelines exist regarding tariff-setting and service quality, but both under ministerial control. Some private sector participation through service or management contacts, or competition to provide ancillary services.

3 Fair degree of decentralisation and commercialisation. Water utilities operate with managerial and accounting independence from municipalities, using international accounting standards and management information systems. Operating costs recovered through tariffs, with a minimum level of cross-subsidies. More detailed rules drawn up in contract documents, specifying tariff review formulae and performance standards. Private sector participation through the full concession of a major service in at least one city.

4 Large degree of decentralisation and commercialisation. Water utilities managerially independent, with cash flows – net of municipal budget transfers – that ensure financial viability. No cross-subsidies. Semi-autonomous regulatory agency able to advise and enforce tariffs and service quality. Substantial private sector participation through build-operator-transfer concessions, management contacts or asset sales in several cities.

4+ Water utilities fully decentralised and commercialised. Fully autonomous regulator exists with complete authority to review and enforce tariff levels and quality standards. Widespread private sector participation via service/ management/lease contracts. High-powered incentives, full concessions and/or divestiture of water and waste-water services in major urban areas.

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