On April 22, 2021, Prof. Dr. Michael Rochlitz took part in an online panel discussion „From socialist planned economy to a free market“. The round table was organized by Deutsche Historische Institut Moskau together with ZOiS, Körber-Stiftung, German Association for East European Studies (DGO), Friedrich Ebert Foundation and International Memorial. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Sandra Dahlke (DHI) and joined by Dr. Andreas Hilger, Dr. Peter Wegenschimmel, Prof. Sergej Zhuravlev und Dr. Marcus Böick.
Michael Rochlitz talked about the problem of secure property rights in the former Soviet states, how the legacies of the 1990s still linger on and how China performs better because of a different approach to security of property rights. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, because of the ill-functioning institutions and economic downturn, newly emerging businesses found themselves under violent pressure from various criminal groups. In the late 1990s this racketeering by organized crime was replaced by corporate raiding - when state agencies became involved in predatory behavior against businesspeople. This threat of expropriation, together with the fact that some of those who were involved in criminal activities in the 1990s later became a part of political and economic elite in Russia, has a detrimental effect on economic development. In the case of China, on the contrary, property rights security is linked to bureaucratic incentives when promotion of officials depends on their economic performance. This is one of the factors that drive China’s economic growth.