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Historical Features of a Weekly Structured Economy - The Case Study of Romania -

Last modified: 2016-01-27


The course of Western economies modern history (since the sixteenth century) appears to have as „target” the rationalization of economic decisions, namely the identification of the most effective solutions to minimize transformation costs and, in particular, transaction costs, to maximize earnings. Throughout each historical period there were civilizations considered superior (core economies), as well as forms of organization (cultures) classified as inferior or „backward” (called periphery). The first ones irradiated to the latter the already implemented and verified modern institutional forms (separation of powers, universal direct and secret suffrage, codifying of national legislation according to the traditional Romano-Germanic laws, etc.). For every area of the globe exposed to modernization pressure, the institutional effectiveness was decided by the higher, lower or almost non-existent compatibility of the previous “cultural accumulation” with the type of "culture" inherent in the new institutional structures. During the periods of institutional transfers, the essential cultural features of the countries that have “imported” institutions modeled in other cultural environments have probably been disregarded. The social, political and economic evolution of Romania during the past five centuries has some peculiarities which consecrate Romania as a weakly structured society during the modern and contemporary periods. The present paper tries to highlight the main features of the Romanian society and economy that reveal the mentalities and explain the behaviors configured and crystallized through the centuries until today.


economic development and growth; core-periphery economies; backwardness; development gap; formal/informal institutions

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