Development of the Financial Sector Infrastructure in an EU Candidate Country (The Case of Estonia)

Vello Vensel

Research output: Working paperResearch


In the 1990s, most of the Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs) went through radical liberalization and adopted large-scale economic and political reform programs. These programs included almost complete price, trade and capital movement liberalization, macroeconomic stabilization, currency reform, and small-scale and large-scale privatization. What is the role of the development of a legal and institutional infrastructure along with these radical changes in society and the economy? The first part of this paper is based on the results of an interview study of entrepreneurs and managers in Estonia undertaken in 1998 and in Estonia, Russia, Finland and Sweden in 2000 in order to obtain their view of the behavior of government agencies, lawmaking procedures and the operation of law enforcement mechanisms. The second part of this paper presents summary results from interview surveys of Estonian manufacturing firms undertaken from 1994-2000. The surveys were designed to quantitatively measure the state of and changes in the Estonian business environment, focusing on the key aspects of financial contractual relationships of Estonian manufacturing firms as well as regulation and dispute resolution mechanisms. Among the observations it is noted that government regulations do not seriously affect business decisions regarding the operation, expansion or closing down of Estonian manufacturing firms. A second observation is that the Estonian court system is perceived as inadequate for resolving a substantial number of disputes and conflicts among economic agents although legislation exists. Most firms rely on mechanisms of self-enforcement when possible.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationKøbenhavn
PublisherLEFIC. Center for Law, Economics and Financial Institutions
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes
SeriesLEFIC Working Paper

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