Akos Rona-Tas, Alya Guseva : Plastic Money: Constructing Markets for Credit Cards in Eight Postcommunist Countries. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2014. 318 pp. $45.00, cloth.
From the review:
This fascinating study of the creation of credit card markets in eight European and Asian postcommunist countries is the latest and most expansive work on the subject by Rona-Tas and Guseva. These authors have been studying the institutional underpinnings of fledgling credit card markets in the Eastern Bloc for almost as long as these countries have been struggling to transition away from regimes of central planning, and their knowledge of card markets in particular and market transition in general is extensive. Plastic Money follows Guseva’s 2008 Russia-focused manuscript, Into the Red, by expanding the empirical scope of the research to a comparison of Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, and for the first time two Asian countries, Vietnam and China. The expanded empirical breadth of the book is matched with a new set of substantive questions about how each country overcame a common set of frictions impeding the development of card markets and how variation in local solutions demonstrates the limits of the globalization-as-homogenization perspective.
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