The objective of the paper is to survey the state of knowledge of economists and agricultural economists at the onset of transition and seventeen years later. The "standard" economic reasoning in the early nineties were based on neoclassical economics and documented was has been termed the Washington Consensus. It is shown that the discrepancy between expectations and reality as well as the evolution of institutional economics has challenged economists. A "blue print" favoured in the early nineties seems to be opposed by many economist nowadays. Agricultural economists have been influenced by the lines of thought in the main profession, but there approach became country-specific in early years of the transition period. Nevertheless, there are some open questions concerning assessment and approach in giving policy advice.