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Bulgarian Economic Thought since 1989: - page 11 / 22

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can refer to the annual report that was prepared by a team that was headed by Ivan Angelov (born in 1934) and comprised scholars from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Institute of Economics, a few scholars from the University of National and World Economy (UNWE) (Stoyadin Savov (born in 1931), Kamen Mirkovich (born in 1939), Roumen Gechev (born in 1956)), and the economist-philosopher Vassil Prodanov (born in 1946); this report was first published in 1992 and henceforth, was published annually (see, for example, Angelov, in co-authorship, 1992, also Angelov, 1990). On the other hand, with respect to faster and more decisive reforms, the research work of economists at the newly established Agency for Economic Analyses and Forecasts (AEAF), which subsequently became the hub of modern economic research studies (see Avramov and Antonov, 1994), may be referred to.

Of particular interest is the research regarding the issues of monetary policy, monetary regime and particularly the operation of the currency board, as well as financial crises32). These issues gained significance with the introduction of the currency board in mid-1997 following the intensification of the financial crisis and the period of hyperinflation (Berlemann and Nenovsky, 2004). The reasons and conditions for the introduction and operation of a Currency Board, etc., were studied and the financial crises were analyzed. In a majority of the cases, the specific features of the financial crisis and the currency board in Bulgaria were emphasized and the studies were of purely applied character; however, in a few cases the research was of comparative and general theoretical character. A majority of these studies were initially conducted in the Agency for Economic Analysis and Forecasting (AEAF); however, subsequently, the studies were conducted in the BNB Research and Analyses Division, where a number of interesting analyses were conducted and published in the Discussion Papers series33) predominantly after 1997.

According to me, the following researches are of special significance: (i) theoretical and empirical approaches for evaluating the automatic mechanisms of the currency board such as the existence of a co-integration between the monetary base and foreign reserves (Nenovsky et al., 2001; Nenovsky and Hristov, 2002); (ii) a composite analysis of the behavior of the currency in circulation and its relationship with the shadow economy (Nenovsky and Hristov, 2000) and banks reserves (Petrov, 2000); (iii) the analysis of credit (Hristov and Mihailov, 2002; Nenovsky et al., 2003); (iv) the money market (Nenovsky and Chobanov, 2004); (v) a theoretical comparison of the currency board and the gold standard (Desquilbet and Nenovsky, 2005); (v) foreign debt management (Minassyan, 2007); (vi) the 1996/1997 crisis (Ignatiev, 2005), etc34).

The monetary regimes are closely associated with the discussion regarding the adoption of the euro in Bulgaria and the compatibility of the currency board with the ERM2 mechanisms and the euro area. The book, From Lev to Euro: Which is the Best Road? by Nenovsky et al. (2001)35), was one of the first books in Eastern Europe (cited in Italian newspaper, Il Sole 24 ore, avril 19, 2000), which after an in-depth comparative analysis introduces the benefits of unilateral euroisation both as a theory and with calculations for Bulgaria. The remainder of the European problematics including various convergence issues, potential to absorb eurofunds, institutional adaptation, etc., were also included within the scope of this analysis; however, overall, the research lacked original contributions and was largely of applied character (see, for example, the Economic Reports for the President of the Republic, 2005, 2006, 2007, and a few AEAF research papers).

At the second stage, research papers began considering the institutional features of the economic development and used the economic history of Bulgaria for capturing the long-run

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