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Why has Viimsi become the wealthiest community in post-socialist Estonia?: Explaining one small community's success in a changing world


  • Tomi Ovaska
  • Robert B. Anderson


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to present a qualitative study of economic development attempts to uncover the critical factors behind the recent economic rise of Viimsi, Estonia, to that of the wealthiest community in the country. Design/methodology/approach - The roles of and interactions among various community stakeholder groups are explored through two sets of resident surveys. From these surveys, and a rich set of secondary material, a narrative emerges as to the factors behind Viimsi's success since 1991, when Estonia regained its independence from the former Soviet Union and its system of economic central planning. Findings - It was found that among the key components explaining why Viimsi has become the wealthiest community in Estonia are its extraordinary openness in embracing the market system, combined with a consensus-based plan among community stakeholders on balanced development, a dependable government, and a level of solidarity among fellow residents in facing change. Originality/value - This paper describes one small community's experience in the global world, and offers observations on successful strategies for a community navigating in it.

Suggested Citation

  • Tomi Ovaska & Robert B. Anderson, 2010. "Why has Viimsi become the wealthiest community in post-socialist Estonia?: Explaining one small community's success in a changing world," International Journal of Development Issues, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 9(2), pages 146-166, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:ijdipp:v:9:y:2010:i:2:p:146-166

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brock, William A. & Taylor, M. Scott, 2005. "Economic Growth and the Environment: A Review of Theory and Empirics," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 28, pages 1749-1821 Elsevier.
    2. Tomi Ovaska & Russell S. Sobel, 2005. "Entrepreneurship in Post-Socialist Economies," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 21(Fall 2005), pages 8-28.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tomi Ovaska, 2014. "Institutions, entrepreneurship and economic growth," Chapters,in: Entrepreneurial Action, Public Policy, and Economic Outcomes, chapter 2, pages 9-33 Edward Elgar Publishing.


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