Transition Economies and Trust Building: A Network Perspective on EU Enlargement

Posted: 29 Feb 2008

See all articles by Hans van Ees

Hans van Ees

University of Groningen

Reinhard Bachmann

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: November 2006


Many transition economies are characterised by a relatively rudimentary institutional framework. Weak legislative structures and the absence of effective market regulation and property right enforcement rules diminish the chance of mutually profitable business transactions and-more generally-restrict the chances for innovation and sustainable growth. Against this background, we analyse the extent to which more efficient governance mechanisms can contribute to a more favourable business environment. In doing so, we adopt a network perspective. We argue that both in developed market economies as well as in centrally planned economies much of economic exchange takes place in networks. However, the characteristics of these networks, in particular the concept of trust, can differ significantly. This leads us to conclude that the real challenge of the process of economic transition is connected to building new economic exchange networks. In this paper, we discuss this argument and analyse how the current enlargement of the EU into Eastern Europe may favourably affect this process of institutional change in the accession countries.

Keywords: Governance mechanisms, Institutional change, Organisational networks, Organisational resources, Transition economies

Suggested Citation

van Ees, Hans and Bachmann, Reinhard, Transition Economies and Trust Building: A Network Perspective on EU Enlargement (November 2006). Cambridge Journal of Economics, Vol. 30, Issue 6, pp. 923-939, 2006. Available at SSRN: or

Hans Van Ees (Contact Author)

University of Groningen ( email )

Department of Economics
P.O.Box 800
9700 AH Groningen

Reinhard Bachmann

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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