Institution building and institutional voids: Can Poland’s experience inform Russia and Brazil?


Published: 15Jun2017

Authors: Sheila M. Puffer, Daniel J McCarthy and Alfred M Jaeger

Publication: International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2016


The purpose of this paper is to present a comparative analysis of institutions and institutional voids in Russia, Brazil, and Poland over the decades of the 1980s through to 2015. The paper asserts that Russia and Brazil could learn much from Poland regarding formal institution building and formal institutional voids that cause problems like corruption and limit economic growth.

A comparative case study approach is utilized to assess the relative success of the three emerging market countries in transitioning to a market economy, viewed through the lens of institutional theory.

Poland’s experience in building successful formal institutions and mitigating major institutional voids can be instructive for Russia and Brazil which have shown far less success, and correspondingly less sustained economic growth.

Research limitations/implications
This paper demonstrates the value of applying institutional theory to analyze the progress of emerging economies in transitioning to a market economy.

Practical implications
This country comparison can prove valuable to other emerging economies seeking a successful transition to a market economy.

Social implications
Since institutions are the fabric of any society, the emphasis on institutions in this paper can have positive implications for society in emerging markets.

This paper is an original comparison of two BRIC countries with a smaller emerging economy, utilizing institutional theory. Factors contributing to Poland’s success are compared to Russia and Brazil to assess how those countries might be positively informed by Poland’s experience in building and strengthening sustainable formal institutions as well as avoiding institutional voids and their associated problems.

Read full paper: International Journal of Emerging Markets