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Institutional development in transition economies – the role of institutional experience


  • Ulrich Eydam
  • Irakli Gabriadze


To understand the divergent institutional development in transition economies, we examine the role of institutional experience from the pre-Soviet era in institution-building after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. To measure institutional experience, we construct an index that captures previous experience with independent non-Soviet institutions. A cross-sectional analysis shows that institutional experience is statistically significantly associated with the quality of political, administrative, and legal institutions in transition economies today. To provide a more comprehensive picture and to control for confounding factors, in a second step, we apply a Hausman–Taylor estimator on panel data. This analysis confirms the positive relationship between institutional experience and institutional development. Moreover, the results suggest that the association between institutional experience and political institutions is stronger than the association to the other dimensions of institutions. Overall, the analysis highlights the importance of institutional experience and provides a rationale for the persistency of institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Ulrich Eydam & Irakli Gabriadze, 2021. "Institutional development in transition economies – the role of institutional experience," Post-Soviet Affairs, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(2), pages 99-118, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rpsaxx:v:37:y:2021:i:2:p:99-118
    DOI: 10.1080/1060586X.2020.1848171

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