Volume 16 (1998)

The Regional Problem and the Break-Up of the State:
The Case of Yugoslavia
Časlav Ocić

The Nature and the Scope of the Regional Problem
Regional Policies and Changes in the Institutional Framework
Regional Development Levels: Grouping of Regions
Structural Change: Shift-Share Analysis
Efficiency: Shift-Share Analysis
Interregional Relations: Autarky
Some Other Results of the Regions' Development
Regional Development Costs: Ratios of Investment
Interregional Income (Re)distribution
Regional Convergence or Divergence?
Equality: The Failure of the Positive Discrimination Model
"The National Question" and Nationalism
Separatism: Economic and Political
A Long Journey from Utopia to Dystopia
Selected Bibliography
Data Sources & Documents
Appendix  (1)  (2)

Interregional Relations: Autarky
Interregional economic relations include the flow of traditional production factors (labour and capital), the flow of information, of technology, of goods and services, money flow, organizational linkage, as well as special forms of business cooperation. The volume and structure of interregional relations depended on: (a) the size of regions or their respective economic power; (b) the level of economic development of regions; (c) the proximity (or distance) of regions, and (d) the structure of regional economies. Since in Yugoslavia the exchange of commodities and services was the most prominent feature of interregional relations,10 by observing it we can get reliable data on the changes in the interdependence of republics and provinces.
An increasing autarky of regions was the fundamental trend in interregional trade. In general, the most closed were the most developed and/or the largest regions. The process of closing was the most rapid in the least developed and smallest regions (with the exception of Macedonia), although they were unable to catch up with the developed regions since, initially, they had been very open in relative terms. Developed regions (Slovenia, Croatia and Vojvodina) were more open in deliveries than in purchases. Trade within this group, including central Serbia, was more intensive. Less developed regions generally traded more with developed regions, although in the observed period links between underdeveloped regions grew somewhat stronger (with the exception of Kosovo-Metohia) despite the general pattern of increasing closure.
The relatively high volume of trade among neighbouring regions confirms the hypothesis that proximity is an important determinant of the intensity of interregional trade. However, relations between bordering regions displayed a tendency to decline, while relations between remote regions grew relatively stronger. The best examples are the relations between Slovenia and Kosovo-Metohia and between Montenegro and Vojvodina.
The more developed regions (Slovenia, Croatia and Vojvodina) had a positive total trade balance. On the other hand, total trade balance of less developed regions (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia and Kosovo-Metohia) was negative. Central Serbia also had a negative total balance of trade. Thus, there is a noticeable regularity in terms of a correlation between the degree of a region's economic development and the number of positive (or negative) balances in transactions with other regions. Vojvodina's specific structure of production made it an active region in terms of trade with other regions almost without exception. Hence, the strongest influence on the volume and the balance of trade between regions was exerted by their levels of economic development.