Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Ex ante and ex post institutional convergence: Case of the post-Soviet space

Libman, Alexander (2007): Ex ante and ex post institutional convergence: Case of the post-Soviet space.


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Abstract: The paper discusses the interaction of ex ante and ex post institutional convergence in the post-Soviet world, i.e. 12 members of the Commonwealth of Independent States. It starts with analysing empirical evidence for institutional convergence in the CIS, and then considers two channels of convergence: institutional competition for mobile capital and ex ante harmonization via interaction in political sphere. In both cases the paper points out potential positive and negative features of the processes from the point of view of institutional transformation. The influence of institutional competition is ambiguous, as both factors of “demand for good institutions” and “demand for bad institutions” influence corporate behaviour. The ex ante harmonization is much less influential and seems to be most successful in preserving semi-authoritarian regimes from potential competitors and therefore supports inefficient equilibrium. Finally, the paper focuses on interaction between ex ante and ex post harmonization, i.e. demand for harmonization from businesses and support of institutional competition environment from the governments. For the governments ex post harmonization could be an attractive way to avoid long and costly bargaining: this factor is probably relevant for the current support of business expansion of Russian corporations by Russian government. For the businesses the situation is more difficult: since historically post- Soviet business did not express significant interest in formal integration (associated with ex ante harmonization), the paper discusses three variables (lobbying, changes in market structure and preferences of the demand side) able to influence their decisions.

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