Different paths to economic reform in Russia and China: causes and consequences


Different paths to economic reform in Russia and China: causes and consequences, by Trevor Buck, Igor Filatotchev, Peter Nolan, Mike Wright, Journal of World Business,
Volume 35, Issue 4, Winter 2000, Pages 379–400


Economic reform in Russia has been described as ‘shock therapy’ because rapid industrial privatization, price liberalization and democratic reforms of the political system were introduced simultaneously. However, shock therapy led to insider control of most manufacturing firms, with important consequences for foreign investment. In contrast, China’s ‘gradualist’ reforms, without privatization or significant democratization, facilitated foreign joint ventures as the dominant means of reforming State-owned enterprises incrementally. This paper proposes an explanation for these contrasting reform paths in Russia and China and then traces their consequences for inward foreign domestic investment (FDI), exporting and for corporate governance in the short and long term. The impact of national level policies on enterprises is demonstrated in a matched pair of cases in Russia and China. Conclusions are drawn for policy, for practice and for future research.

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