The European Journal of Comparative Economics

ISSN: 1824-2979

EJCE Year: 2006, June. Volume: 3 - Issue: 1

Professor Gerschenkron goes to Brussels. Russian Catch-up Economics and the Common European Space

by Stefan Hedlund

Start page: 51 - End page: 74

Keywords: Gerschenkron; Russia; Catch-up; Brussels

Jel code: N23; P48; P52; P26

Abstract:

Ongoing discussions between Russia and the EU on the formation of a Common European Economic Space bring back to mind Alexander Gerschenkron's classic essay on economic backwardness in historical perspective. This paper argues that the institutions that once produced a specific kind of catch-up economics in Czarist Russia still remain largely the same. Unless negotiations between Moscow and Brussels take into consideration such fundamental institutional incompatibility, attempts at harmonization, expressed by Brussels as an attempt tp spread Western values, will be doomed to fail. A cynical conlusion views potential convergence as adaptation by Brussels to traditional Russian institutional patterns of rule evasion, rather than a Westernization of Russia

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