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Missing social capital and the transition in Eastern Europe

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Abstract

The transition of the »Old Communist« countries of East and Central Europe has been disappointingly slow given the amount of physical and human capital available at the start of the transition. We argue that this slowness is caused by the lack of social capital, which is an important factor of production. The Communist system replaced it with an official organization of society. Further, the communist system needed a set of grey/black networks of »fixers« to give it the necessary flexibility. These networks were tolerated, but controlled. When the Communist regime ceased the official organizations collapsed and so did most of the control systems. This allowed a flourishing of the grey/black networks, which can be harmful to the operations of a market economy. The available data are still scanty, but they confirm the argument.

Suggested Citation

  • Paldam, Martin & Svendsen, Gert Tinggaard, 2000. "Missing social capital and the transition in Eastern Europe," Working Papers 00-5, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:aareco:2000_005
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    File URL: http://www.hha.dk/nat/WPER/00-5_gts.pdf
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    1. John F. Helliwell & Robert D. Putnam, 1995. "Economic Growth and Social Capital in Italy," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 295-307, Summer.
    2. Chand, Sheetal K. & Moene, Karl O., 1999. "Controlling Fiscal Corruption," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 1129-1140, July.
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    Keywords

    Social capital; network; communism; Eastern Europe; Trust; Corruption; Political participation;

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General

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