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MAIN INDICATORS OF BELARUS'S PENSION SYSTEM, 1990 -2012

MAIN INDICATORS OF BELARUS'S PENSION SYSTEM, 1990 -2012

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A peculiar model of post-communist political economy has evolved in Belarus under President Aliaksandr Lukashenka. It features prioritisation of non-entrepreneurial social groups, a strong role for the state, and extensive social security provision. The model appears to be grounded on Lukashenka's understanding of his political powerbase; having no...

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Context 1
... primitive capitalism exists at the level of enterprises and households, in relations between them. (Karbalevich 2004) The choice of a welfare political economy by Lukashenka might have been political-rather than undertaking radical economic reforms which could eventually upset his voters, he decided to focus on things he thought he was elected for-jobs and stability: Lukashenka stopped voucher privatisation (which had barely begun) and secured subsidised transport and utilities and free health care and education. By that time (1995), most industrial workers worked barely 2-3 days a week (as plants ran out of supplies and could not dispose of their output), but they could perhaps eke out a living for a year or so at the most with the aid of their own kitchen gardens. ...
Context 2
... would be unfeasible in a privatised economy, but it might have ensured relatively equal income distribution across the nation, evident in some of the lowest inequality levels in the post- communist world (see Table 1). Maintaining control over state enterprises might have also helped the Belarusian authorities with budget revenues, which in turn facilitated steady pension provision (see Table 2). Lukashenka's government has reportedly paid pensions on time, kept the official retirement age unchanged, and maintained the purchasing power of pension and other benefits through their regular indexation, despite a growing dependency ratio and financial burden of pensions on GDP (World Bank 2004, p. 80). ...

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... After independence in 1991, Belarus flirted with Washington Consensus political and economic reforms. In 1994, however, Alyaksandr Lukashenka came to power, stopped privatization, subsidized transport and preserved free health and education (Ioffe, 2004), preferring 'a somewhat adjusted Marxist-Leninist ideology' over neo-liberalism which 'can be succinctly defined as an ideology of social injustice, profiteering, and individualism … [and] is … not applicable at all to us, to our people, with our tolerance and mentality' (Lukashenka, cited in Yarashevich (2014Yarashevich ( , p. 1705. ...
... As a result, Belarus has managed to retain a social model that differs significantly from other European transition economies, avoiding largescale privatization and the emergence of private oligarchic centres of power as occurred in other transition economies and ensuring full employment and a high degree of social security for its citizens (Yarashevich, 2014(Yarashevich, , p. 1704. In 2016 State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) accounted for almost 50% of employment, over 60% of output and over 77% of industrial output (International Monetary Fund, 2017b, p. 33). ...
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... (Smok, 2013: 1). Other researchers are kinder to Lukashenka arguing that "(…) the Belarusian political economy model amounts to a kind of welfare state, based on a mixture of inherited Soviet and new market principles in both economic and social spheres" (Yarashevich 2014(Yarashevich : 1704. It is difficult to trace market principles in Belarussian economic regime. ...
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Chapter
There is a tendency to explain all the problems and choices made by the Republic of Belarus as a result of the policy of its leadership. This text offers a take on choices made by Belarus in favor of preserving and strengthening relations with Russia through the prism of the concept of path-dependence. Simply said, economic, social, and political circumstances determine the vector of development of the country since the collapse of the Soviet Union, as well as they frame and transform president Lukashenka's intentions. Thus, country's participation in the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union is a predictable step in a chain of interconnected choices that the Belarusian political elite have been making since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Special attention in the text is paid to what the analysis of the Belarusian case can tell about the nature and prospects of integration in the region.