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Vol. 64, No. 4, pp. 338-352 (2013)

“Market Transition and Path-Dependency —A Systematic Review—”
Satoshi Mizobata (Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University), Norio Horie (Center for Far Eastern Studies, University of Toyama)

Path dependency is the key concept which helps to broaden the understanding of institutional change in transition economies and explains the fact that development paths of countries in transition do not converge, but rather remain diverse. The present paper, whilst depending on the literature targeting transition economies in relation to issues of path dependency, analyses the recent controversy over path dependency and empirically investigates theoretical trends which are the basis of the Economics of Transition. The literature for the analysis has been randomly selected from EconLit data base by using key words search options and is referred to as the “basic sample literature on path-dependence”. By analyzing theoretical development of the path-dependency concept, we conclude that the significant source of the discussion originates in works of David Stark, and based on this finding we later provide original coding of the path-dependency hypothesis support and correlation of literature characters on path-dependency. Our major findings are that the general level of support of path-dependency hypothesis has decreased in 2000s and path-dependency issues are often raised in studies in almost all regions of transition economies, whilst for Russia and South-East Europe, which is a rather backward mover towards EU accession, path-dependence hypothesis is strongly supported. Moreover, the role of path dependence is relatively strong in studies on institutions, regions and local identity.