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The Belarusian Case of Transition: Whither Financial Repression?

  • Dr. (elect.) Julia Korosteleva
  • Dr. Colin Lawson

The present paper examines the financial development of Belarus over the past decade with a particular focus on 1996-2002, when the financial sector was restrained through pervasive government controls in the form of interest rate ceilings, directed credit and preferential loans schemes, high reserve requirements, multiple exchange rates and capital controls. Belarus is of particular interest, as, despite no economic restructuring, the growth has averaged seven per cent per annum since 1997. While explanations of this ‘miracle’ abound, no empirical work has been done on the role of the financial system, particularly on the effects of pervasive government intervention. It has been argued that monetary stimulation of investment activity through interest rate ceilings and directed credit and preferential loans revived growth. This paper investigates whether financial policy led to financial deepening and increased the share of savings to be allocated to investment.

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Paper provided by Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow in its series Working Papers with number 2006_4.

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