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Bulgarian Economic Thought since 1989: - page 14 / 22





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Douglass North, Kenneth Galbraith, and Frederic Bastiat. Moreover, the traditional textbooks of micro and macroeconomics, and the more specialized economic disciplines such as the textbook on the theory of money and monetary policy by Frederic Mishkin, investment by Zvi Bodie, etc., were also translated Overall, however, the translations do not follow any systematic pattern and the basis on which the titles and authors were chosen remains unclear; clearly, the number of translated books in Bulgaria are lesser than those of other former socialist countries.

Moreover, it would be educational to note that the quality of doctoral theses have slowly yet steadily been improving; although this does not offer any major novelties, it virtually demonstrates a reasonable standard for both theoretical and empirical as well as for statistical and econometric research. In recent years, a number of theses of theoretical and applied character such as those by Silvia Trifonova, Svetoslav Petkov, Peter Chobanov, Guergana Mihailova, Darina Koleva, Irina Kazandzhieva, Ralitsa Ganeva, Kaloyan Ganev, Peter Ignatiev, Roumen Andreev, Stella Raleva, etc.,48) have been defended.


Transmission Mechanisms of Economic Theory in Bulgaria

What conclusions may be derived on the basis of this study? The following three concluding remarks are presented, which are of course, debatable. The first, second, and third concluding remarks are associated with negative, positive, and neutral inferences, respectively.

First, the negative inference is that Bulgaria, just as the other Eastern European countries, produced nothing new or original. No new theories were developed in order to reflect the collapse of the system in the former planned economies or in the world economic thought. Despite the obvious prerequisites and demand for new theories that could consider the collapse of the planned economy, no pertinent theories emerged and there was almost no theoretical contribution of economic science to transition. Original research in purely theoretical and conceptual terms was completely absent. Nevertheless, we understand that in the past, every crisis in the economic system led to fundamental changes in economic theory; the Marginal Revolution in the 1870s or the appearance of Keynesianism or monetarism are some such events. This, of course, applies to economic science both globally and regionally with Bulgaria being a very relevant example. Unlike large countries (such as Russia49) or even Romania) Bulgaria does not discuss traditional, or rather fundamental, topics such as whether to follow the universal development path, or to study something more specific instead, such as investigating the proportion between theory and history or apriority and empirical verification, etc. Alternatively, if this is happening, it can be said that then these traditional topics are so insignificant that they can simply be disregarded.

Second, the positive inference is that Bulgaria and the others former socialist courtiers are not the only “unproductive” regions. This may be ascribed to the modern Western economic science, which has been in a serious crisis for decades; it has been attempting to recover by physically moving into the intellectual space of the former socialist countries, which has been facilitated by the IMF and numerous academic and grant programs. The fact that Western economic thought in its existing form was absolutely unsuitable and even detrimental for evaluating and explaining the transformation encouraged the development of new theories. A futile scheme—the political economy of socialism—was substituted by an ineffective and “decaying” economic paradigm of the developed countries; the various schools in economics

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