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Managing uncertainty: Hierarchies, Markets and "Networks" in the Russian Timber Industry. 1991-1998

  • Lehmbruch, Barbara



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    The paper investigates institutional development in the Russian forestry sector after 1991. As it argues, while there has been a great degree of decentralization, original market-oriented reform blueprints for the industry were only partially implemented. The reasons for this can be found largely in the failure of weak state institutions to standardize and universalize transactions. Attempts to restore top-down, Moscow-centered branch administration in the form of a state committee have equally failed. The paper asks how best to describe the highly personalistic transactional landscape that has emerged from the failure of hierarchies and markets. It argues that there is little evidence of “clan”-style “directors’ networks” based on direct personal trust. Rather, economic actors prefer a two-pronged strategy of dealing with environmental uncertainty: While attempting to minimize environmental exposure by establishing forms of vertical integration, they also they hedge their exposure by maintaining multiple, often loose outside affiliations. This, it is argued, applies to both the horizontal, business-to-business level and to vertical clientelistic relations with state actors.

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    Paper provided by Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition in its series BOFIT Discussion Papers with number 4/1999.

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    Length: 33 pages
    Date of creation: 14 Sep 1999
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:bofitp:1999_004
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    Bank of Finland, BOFIT, P.O. Box 160, FI-00101 Helsinki, Finland

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    Fax: + 358 10 831 2294
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