Behavioral Economy: Main Features in Belarus

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2018-62-6-36-44

K. Rudy (,
Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Belarus, 17, Moscow Str., Minsk, 220007, Republic of Belarus 

Abstract. Long-term transition to the market in Belarus institutionalized hybrid business relations and behavior practices of economic agents. Decision-making is mostly based on the national cultural matrix rather than rational economic rules. The main features of Belarusian behavioral economy: dualism, orientation to the Soviet past, paternalism. Dualism splits such features of Belarusian society as collectivism/individualism, emotional/restraint. Orientation to the Soviet past brings up big-scale thinking and, simultaneously, short-term view. In combination with paternalism this supports persistence of authoritarianism and dirigisme. Belarusian society is united not by the common values but by the state. As a result, economic relations are mainly established by the government with minor role of the private business and other actors. All these social features are reflected in the behavioral economy of Belarus. Dualism can be seen in co-existence of administrative and market relations, in inconsequence of economic transformations, in controversy of different forms of ownership and management models, in combination of public loyalty and pursue of personal interests which increase the level of shadow economy in terms of official economic recession. Orientation to the Soviet past supports economic passivity, increases consumerism and decreases savings and investments, holds back privatization of the state-owned (“public”) enterprises, and keeps alive the mobilization model of managing the national economy. Belarusian paternalism functions cyclically from authoritarianism to dirigisme and back. It is getting stronger with the help of orientation on the Soviet past with far-distanced center for decision-making, searching for the external support from other country, and idealization of the personal role in economy. All this forms paternalistic attitude to such market values as ownership, responsibility, initiative, control. In general, the existing Belarusian cultural matrix seems to present a long-term barrier for economic growth. Given population aging, underdevelopment of public and market counterweights to state this defines persistence of negative features of the behavioral economy in this country. 

Keywords: Belarus, behavioral economy, cultural matrix, transitional economy, business management, private sector, state-owned enterprises 


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For citation:
Rudy K. Behavioral Economy: Main Features in Belarus. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2018, vol. 62, no. 6, pp. 36-44.

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