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Rules for followers: institutional theory and the new politics of economic backwardness in Russia

By David M. Woodruff


I investigate contemporary Russia's real, but shallow success in implementing two borrowed capitalist institutions—a monetary system and the joint-stock company. Even though money and shares of stock in Russia are exchanged in voluntary transactions, they fail to play the legal roles ordinarily expected of them, resulting in weak corporate governance and nonmonetary (barter) exchange. Via a criticism of game-theoretic approaches to institutions in the New Institutional Economics, I argue that the roots of this shallow marketization lie in the distinct social foundations of the transactional and legal roles of money and corporate stock. Arguments drawn from sociological institutionalism then illuminate why Russia displays this limited isomorphism to authoritative international models of market institutions. The article concludes by discussing implications for a third body of institutional theory, historical institutionalism, and the possible broader relevance of the pattern of shallow marketization in contemporary relatively backward countries

Topics: HC Economic History and Conditions, HB Economic Theory, HJ Public Finance
Year: 2000
DOI identifier: 10.1177/0032329200028004002
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lse.ac.uk:3476
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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