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Kazakhstan’s Emerging Economy

Between State and Market


Roman Vakulchuk

Kazakhstan has become a successful market reformer under the leadership of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. But what type of a market economy has emerged in the country since 1991? This book focuses on Kazakhstan’s transition path, examines the role of the state in steering economic processes, and analyses the state – business interaction. The Varieties of Capitalism approach and a core – periphery analytical framework are applied to classify the evolving model of capitalist economy in the country in detail. The research design is based on a qualitative cross-sectional interview study, where 159 semi-structured interviews were conducted. This study makes an innovative contribution to the scholarly literature on the economic and institutional transition of Kazakhstan.
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Chapter 5. The emerging hybrid market economy: the ‘core–periphery’ model


Before presenting the results of the content analysis, it is necessary to highlight several caveats and limitations in connection with the data analysis and interpretation of results (recall also subsections 4.7.1 and 4.7.3, on caveats and limitations in data collection). First, for data analysis, only 48 interviews out of 159 were used: that was a smaller sub-set of the entire sample. Using a smaller sample reduces the degree to which the sample can be considered representative and increases the probability of error, which may negatively affect the results obtained. Second, the results of the interview analysis are based on people’s perceptions and thus cannot be viewed as the ‘ultimate truth’ as regards comprehending the essence of market economy in Kazakhstan. Perceptions are based on respondents’ subjective judgments and personal observations, so the element of subjectivity and possible biases should be taken into account in interpreting the interview results. That said, systematization and content analysis of respondents’ views helped to reduce these biases and made it possible to draw some general conclusions regarding the type of market economy in Kazakhstan (see also section 5.5).

The first main category of the coding frame is ‘state–business interaction’ and the first subcategory is ‘the role of the state in the economy’. The question was: what has been the role of the state in shaping a market economy in Kazakhstan? I begin with a general overview of respondents’ perceptions of the role of the state in the economy, which covers most areas...

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