The mission of the Journal of Comparative Economics is to lead a new approach to research in comparative economics. Before 1989, comparative economics focused heavily on the comparison of economic systems, in particular the economic analysis of socialism in its different forms. For the last fifteen years, the main focus of comparative economists has been the transition from socialism to capitalism. In recent years, mostly as a result of transition, a new approach in comparative economics has emerged that focuses on the comparison of the economic effects of the various institutions of capitalism in the legal sphere (common law versus civil law), the political sphere (different types of democracies and electoral regimes), and the spheres of culture and social norms. This new research program is a natural development following the very diverse experience of transitions from socialism to capitalism. The transition experience has indeed shown, with a vengeance, the importance of institutions in the process of economic development.
This new approach is associated with several outstanding research questions including: Which institutions, including courts, credit markets, and good regulations, are critical for successful growth? How should institutions be measured? Why are certain institutions, such as courts and regulatory culture, slow-moving while others, such as constitutions and electoral procedures, relatively fast-moving? Why is there so much cross-sectional variance in the quality of institutions? What kinds of initial conditions or historic natural experiments can be employed to estimate the causal impact of institutions on economic performance? The Journal of Comparative Economics will maintain its tradition of publishing the best papers on the Chinese economy and of being an important outlet for work on economies in Central Europe and the Former Soviet Union. The Journal of Comparative Economics aims to enlarge the interest of the journal to other emerging market economies.
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Buch, Claudia M., Heinrich, Ralph P., Pierdzioch, Christian, 1999. The value of waiting: Russia's integration into the international capital markets. Journal of Comparative Economics 27, 209-230.Diewert, W. Erwin, 1987. Index numbers. In: Eatwell, John, Milgate, Murray, Newman, Peter (Eds.), The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Vol. 2. Macmillan, Basingstoke/London, pp. 767-779.
Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 1999. FAOSTAT Agricultural Data. Available at http://apps.fao.org/cgi-bin/nph-db.pl?subset=agriculture . FAO, Rome.Honkkila, Juha, 1977. Privatization, asset distribution and equity in transitional economies. Working Paper No. 125. UNU/WIDER, Helsinki.
Montias, John M., 1976. The Structure of Economic Systems. Yale Univ. Press, New Haven, CT.Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 1996. OECD Economic Surveys 1995-1996: The Slovak Republic. OECD, Paris.
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