Of course external shocks are part of the mix. However, Venezuelan government has reacted to those shocks in a far-from-optimal way. For one example, consider policy on multiple exchange rates and exchange controls. For another, consider administrative consumer rationing. In these regards, Venezuela’s response to external shocks has been more like that of Gorbachev’s Soviet Union than Putin’s Russia, which is part of why Putin’s Russia has weathered external shocks without collapsing like Gorbachev’s USSR did.

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Economist, Senior Fellow at Niskanen Center, Yale Ph.D. Interests include environment, health care policy, social safety net, economic freedom.

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