From Cocktail to Dependence: Revisiting the Foundations of Dependent Market Economies
GEGI Working Paper Series
By Cornel Ban
Recent contributions to the comparative political economy of East European capitalisms have found that a distinctive variety of capitalism emerged in some new EU member states. The new variety has been dubbed “dependent market economy” (DME). This paper makes several contributions to this literature. First, it marshals evidence to show that this institutional variety now includes the political economy of Romania, a case previously excluded from it. More importantly, this analysis also finds that earlier scholarship on dependent capitalism has failed to capture crucial mechanisms of dependence created by transnationalized finance. Third, the paper suggests that some of the arguments made in the existing scholarship on the interests of foreign capital with regard to domestic innovation and labor training need to be qualified. Finally, by showing reflexivity towards select critiques of the dependent market economy framework, the analysis proposes by this paper is a self-limited attempt to bridge the differences between the varieties of capitalism and Polanyian analyses of capitalist diversity in semi- peripheral middle-income states.