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Different paths to economic reform in Russia and China: causes and consequences

  • Buck, Trevor
  • Filatotchev, Igor
  • Nolan, Peter
  • Wright, Mike

Economic reform in Russia has been described as 'shock therapy' because rapid industrial privatization, price liberalization and democratic reforms of the political system were introduced simultaneously. However, shock therapy led to insider control of most manufacturing firms, with important consequences for foreign investment. In contrast, China's 'gradualist' reforms, without privatization or significant democratization, facilitated foreign joint ventures as the dominant means of reforming State-owned enterprises incrementally. This paper proposes an explanation for these contrasting reform paths in Russia and China and then traces their consequences for inward foreign domestic investment (FDI), exporting and for corporate governance in the short and long term. The impact of national level policies on enterprises is demonstrated in a matched pair of cases in Russia and China. Conclusions are drawn for policy, for practice and for future research.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of World Business.

Volume (Year): 35 (2000)
Issue (Month): 4 (January)
Pages: 379-400

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Handle: RePEc:eee:worbus:v:35:y:2000:i:4:p:379-400
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  1. Estrin, Saul & Wright, Mike, 1999. "Corporate Governance in the Former Soviet Union," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 395-397, September.
  2. Bruce Kogut & Harbir Singh, 1988. "The Effect of National Culture on the Choice of Entry Mode," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 19(3), pages 411-432, September.
  3. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
  4. Sachs, J.D. & Woo, W.T., 1994. "Structural Factors in the Economic Reforms of China, Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union," Papers 94-01, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  5. Estrin, Saul & Wright, Mike, 1999. "Corporate Governance in the Former Soviet Union: An Overview," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 398-421, September.
  6. Otto Andersen, 1993. "On the Internationalization Process of Firms: A Critical Analysis," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 24(2), pages 209-231, June.
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