After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Uzbekistan's output fell less than in any other former Soviet republic, and growth turned positive in 1996/97. Given the country's hesitant and idiosyncratic approach to reforms, this record has surprised many observers. This paper first shows that a standard panel model of growth in transition systematically underpredicts Uzbek growth from 1992-1996, confirming the view that Uzbekistan's performance constitutes a puzzle. It then attempts to resolve the puzzle by extending the model in a way that encompasses competing hypotheses of what makes Uzbekistan's output path unusual. The main result is that Uzbekistan's performance can be accounted for by a combination of low initial industrialization, its cotton production, and its self-sufficiency in energy. Copyright 1999, International Monetary Fund
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