Access to bank loans in economic transition: An oral history approach

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Year of publication 2024
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source BUSINESS HISTORY
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Economics and Administration

Keywords Access to credit; oral history; transition; SOEs; de novo firms; bankers; pressure; credit for permanently revolving stocks; credit history; contacts; corruption; Czechoslovakia
Description By means of the oral history method, this paper examines the factors that facilitated access to loans in the early years of Czechoslovak transition. Giving voice to entrepreneurs, bankers, and policymakers, I show that the research based on this approach is complementary to scholarly written literature, as it fills in the gaps and offers the human dimension of historical events. The oral history narratives are an essential part of the historical discourse and have enormous potential for explaining and understanding the experience of businessmen and bankers in periods of huge turmoil such as pivoting from a centrally planned economy to capitalism. Three dominant motifs emerged in our interviews that relate to who got credit in the early years of transition: (1) pressure from the government; (2) the debts from socialism and other criteria for granting loans; and finally (3) social capital and corruption.
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