First published in 1998, this volume focuses on the special category of countries popularly referred to as ‘transition economies’ through an analysis of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and their role in Asian economies, with a view to assessing whether they could or should provide a model for African countries. The present volume explores the institutional peculiarities displayed by ‘transition economies’. These are economies which are undergoing a comprehensive and fundamental societal transformation with a view to creating a utopian communist society within the frame of a centrally administered economy, then a pluralistic society based on a market economy and the rule of law.
Much of the debate on the economic performance of African LCD's has focused on informal sector activities or on the imperative to achieve structural adjustment. By highlighting instead the challenges facing two of the least successful among the African economies - Ethiopia and Tanzania, both of which share a socialist past - this book moves beyond the above issues. It argues that institutional adjustment is critical to the prospects for success in developing transition economies. As such the book investigates the transaction costs environment within which small-scale industrial activities are set. By drawing extensively on the Asian experience, (predominantly China and Vietnam but also India and Taiwan), it identifies sources of transaction costs by examining not only the transactional disadvantages of small-scale production, but also the past and present sources of institutional inefficiency.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction. Per Ronnås. 2. Institutional Adjustment: Reforming the Developing Socialist Economy. Örjan Sjöberg. 3. Small Industries and Institutional Framework: a Transaction Costs Approach. Bhargavi Ramamurthy. 4. The Asian Experience I: China and Taiwan. Bhargavi Ramamurthy. 5. The Asian Experience II: India and Vietnam. Bhargavi Ramamurthy. 6. Ethiopia. Maud Hemlin. 7. Tanzania. Pernilla Sjöquist. 8. Institutions and SSIs: Some Lessons from Diverse Experiences. Örjan Sjöberg.