trends and specific peculiarities of the Bulgarian economic development36). In this context, the studies conducted by the following authors were clearly original: Roumen Avramov’s study on the economic history of Bulgaria during the 20th century. (Avramov, 2007), Marin Ivanov (born in 1970) and Daniel Vachkov’s (born in 1963) study on the issues of Bulgaria’s external debt (Ivanov, 2002; Vachkov and Ivanov, 2008), Martin Ivanov’s study regarding the efforts to expand the calculations of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and balance of payments from a historical perspective (Ivanov and Tooze, 2007; Ivanov, 2006), and Ninel Kioseva’s study on monetary crises in the newly liberated Bulgaria (Kioseva, 2000). Recently, there has been growing interest in the analysis of the country’s socialist period within the scope of the working paper series that has been issued by the Institute for Studies of the Recent Past37).
The institutional aspects of economic development were also analyzed at a subsequent stage of the development of the Bulgarian economic thought. Here, in addition to the previously mentioned study of economic culture (Avramov, 2007), we could also emphasize the publications by Garabed Minassyan (2002) and the concept of the currency board as a radical institutional change (Nenovsky and Rizopoulos, 2003, 2004)38). The Centre for the Study of Democracy39) and the Institute for Market Economy40) identified topics such as corruption, shadow economy, and the administrative obstacles to business as objects of analysis; these were primarily applied character analyses.
Evidently, there existed numerous traditional economic topics regarding economic growth, labour market, and social issues; the object of analysis was established by the Institute of Economics at BAS and the universities in a majority of the cases and these will not be discussed in this study. However, I would only like to mention the concept of flat tax that was introduced by the Institute for Market Economics (IME) (by George Angelov, in particular); although initially flat tax was met with extreme hostility, eventually it was successfully realised during the term of office of the leftist cabinet that was led by Sergey Stanishev (10% income tax as of January 1, 2008). Although evidently this was a result of analogous ideas and interests, the introduction of the flat tax was a symbolic moment in Bulgaria’s recent economic history. Owing to the global character of economic science, the remarkable achievements of the Bulgarian economists working abroad, who have played an important role in the overall development of economic science, deserve a mention. In this context, Ilian Mihov (INSEAD, Singapore) is the most significant example; he is a former Ph.D student of Ben Bernanke. In this sense, if these scholars are viewed as Bulgarian economists, then Bulgaria may be considered to be at least partially integrated into the global stream of economic science (in numerous respects, this is similar to the position of Bulgarians during the period between the two World Wars).
Although on the basis of Ricardo Faucci’s division of economists into visionaries and system-builders, i.e., pragmatists, Bulgarian economists can definitely be categorized under the latter group, a majority of them present inadequate methodological and theoretical debates41); an example of an exception in regard may be that of Roumen Avramov’s research on the fundamental characteristics and historical determinants of Bulgaria’s economic history. Roumen Avramov believes that communal, statist, and anti-capitalist conceptions of economy have always prevailed in Bulgaria and there appears to be no way out of this situation, i.e., we will continue to perceive the future pessimistically42). The studies of Ludjev (2005), Daskalov (2005), and Prodanov (2003)43) may be mentioned with regard to this methodological line of research, as well as the historically and socially embedded economy.