During the 1980s, as during the 1960s, economic reform has become a focal point in East European life. In contrast to the 1970s, when economic policy centered on allocation issues, beginning in the early 1980s, and especially during the last few years, attention has been focused increasingly on economic reform policy. The interaction between Gorbachev’s perestroika efforts within the Soviet Union and reform efforts within Eastern Europe are particularly important to understand, as are the significant differences among the East European countries themselves in the direction of their reforms and the intensity with which the reforms are being developed.