After Central Planning: The Restructuring of State Industry in Bulgaria's Bourgas Region

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Abstract

Industrial regions in eastern Europe developed under central planning are now confronting the pressures associated with political and economic transition to market‐focused systems. Using the case of the Bourgas region, on Bulgaria's Black Sea coast, the article examines how state industries are faring in these new conditions, analyzing developments in production, employment, ownership, management, market‐orientation and other factors. Massive financial and human resources were poured into the region's industrial development during more than four decades of state socialism, building a modem industrial infrastructure, but one heavily characterized by the particular features and constraints of central planning which emphasized quantity over quality and large‐scale, integrated plants. As central control collapses, the region's state‐owned firms are in crisis. Production is down, unemployment has risen, and except for a handful of plants restituted to former owners, privatization is moving slowly. The region's industries have been battered by highly unfavorable outside forces, yet have been mostly unable to marshal the necessary management, financial, or technical resources to implement coherently any indigenous strategic initiatives to address the changed institutional environment and new supply and demand conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-157
JournalEuropean Planning Studies
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1994

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