IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Developing commercial law in transition economies : examples from Hungary and Russia

  • Gray, Cheryl W.
  • Hendley, Kathryn
Registered author(s):

    Implementing decentralized legal frameworks requires reasonable laws, adequate institutions, and market-oriented incentives. All three must exist together. In transition economies, not only must new laws be drafted but they must be accompanied by the growth of supportive institutions. And they must be accompanied by economic reforms - whether privatization or banking reforms - that separate actors from the state and reinforce market-based incentives. The authors of this paper use two case studies - Hungarian bankruptcy law and Russian company law - to illustrate the interaction of these three elements in practice. These cases illustrate their general view that Central Europe is somewhat further along on all three dimensions than Russia. As for incentives, in both countries relevant actors exert weaker demand for proper implementation of thelaws on the books than one would expect in more mature market economies. The cases belie any simplistic notion that the rule of law can be mechanically dictated from above. Top-down reform of bankruptcy law in Hungary appears to have been at least marginally successful in changing expectations and behavior, partly because it stimulated the growth of new supporting institutions. Finally, top-down reform of company law in Russia has had little impact to date on either institutional development or firm behavior.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1528.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 30 Nov 1995
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1528
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
    Phone: (202) 477-1234
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Milan Vodopivec, 1994. "Appropriability of Returns in the Yugoslav Firm," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 337-348, Summer.
    2. Maxim Boycko & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1993. "Privatizing Russia," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(2), pages 139-192.
    3. Gray, C.W., 1993. "Evolving Legal Frameworks for Private Sector Development in Central and Eastern Europe," World Bank - Discussion Papers 209, World Bank.
    4. János Kornai, 2014. "The soft budget constraint," Acta Oeconomica, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 64(supplemen), pages 25-79, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1528. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.