chapter  1
25 Pages

Romania’s dependent market economy

The role of higher education in setting up a low-skills equilibrium trap 1
BySilvana Tarlea

This chapter analyzes the role of higher education (HE) in Romania post-89 in the context of the country’s broader political-economic development. It argues that Romania has evolved into a dependent market economy (DME) trapped in low-skills equilibrium, and that the lack of quality in HE is an element in this process. The chapter offers an overview of incentives to invest in HE given the structure of demand for and supply of skills in the Romanian labour market. The student age cohort continued to grow 2009, when the first cohort born after the cancellation of Romania’s anti-abortion legislation came of age. To assess research output in Romania it is important to recognize that universities in communist Central and Eastern Europe were generally focused relatively more on teaching and relatively less on research. Romania’s European Union membership contributes to the reinforcement of dependency through improved access of students and highly skilled workers to the European common market.