Spring 2010 — MW 12:30-13:45
After the collapse of the Communist system in Eastern and Central Europe, some countries-- Hungary, Poland, and the Baltic states-- created institutions that have effectively safeguarded economic actors from arbitrary governmental intervention, while others - for example, Russia-- have failed to protect the private sector from politically motivated interrogations by tax police, bribe extraction by street-level bureaucrats, and unfair practices by politically connected organized crime groups. What factors account for such cross-country variation in business-government relations, quality of property right protection, and corruption levels? How do formal and informal institutions that regulate business-government relations affect a country's economic performance? Who are the losers and the winners of existing business-government relations? This course will examine how political factors, such as electoral systems, competitiveness of elections, bargaining power of NGOs, EU membership, and capital mobility, shape the development of business-government relations in Eastern and Central Europe and analyze how business-government relations affect macro-economic outcomes.