Members of the research unit on economics prepare analysis and conduct research on a wide range of economic topics concerning the country’s economic policy. In preparation for accession to the EU and the fundamental obligations of membership, members of the Research Forum analyse the present state of affairs in the Serbian economy. They also prescribe guidelines for Serbia’s interior and foreign economic policy that would boost economic growth, increase macroeconomic stability, and advocate the use of fiscal and tax policy as means of improving the business environment. Similarly they advocate measures that would enlarge the volume of foreign trade and attract foreign investment. Since there is a clear need for suitable analysis and alternative policies to ensure efficiency in all fields, especially when taking into account the current unfavorable environment, this research unit sets out to provide the research and analysis required.


Serbia, the European Union and Russia – analysis of economic relations


Authors: Ivan Knezevic, Mihailo Gajic and Kristina Ivanovic

Belgrade, December 2012

The paper analyses the economic relations of Serbia with respectively the European Union and Russia, relations between the EU and Russia themselves and the implications of Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on its trade with Serbia. Throughout the research the authors present recommendations as to what strategic direction Serbia should take in its future economic policy.

The study is available in English






Analysis of competition policy – experiences thus far and recommendations for improvement

Authors: Bojan Ristic and Veljko Mijuskovic

Belgrade, February 2013

The aim of this paper is to provide recommendations for improving the instruments of protecting competition in the Republic of Serbia, all of which can be enacted within a relatively short timeframe. The fundament for implementation thereof exists already as suitable legislation been in place for the past six years and the proposals should thus be seen as an incitement to fine-tune these policies. These recommendations were developed through a comparative study of competition policies in the United States, European Union and individual member states that have an established history of functional competition law.


The Study is available only in Serbian



State aid in the European Union and Serbia

Author: Miroslav Prokopijevic

Belgrade, March 2013

This paper deals with the granting of state aid to certain industries in the EU and Serbia. High levels of state aid are economically inefficient and are undesirable because they undermine the common market, one of the fundaments of European integration. State aid in Serbia differs from similar policies in the European Union in several regards: whereas EU members spend 0.6% of GDP on state aid, this amounts to 2-3% of GDP in Serbia. The structure is very different as well as respectively 20 and 80 percent are horizontal in Serbia and the EU. Additionally the objectives of state aid diverge greatly: the EU uses state aid to increase development, promote research, boost employment and protect the environment whilst Serbia employs state aid to subsidise industries in decline. Hence the author concludes that state aid in Serbia will have to change fundamentally if the EU accession process is to be continued. 

The Study is available in English



Improving the performance of small and medium enterprises through tax reform

Authors: Sasa Randjelovic and Aleksandar Djordjevic

Belgrade, April 2013 

The competitiveness and growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is dependent on a number of factors, including the height of the tax burden, the simplicity and transparency of tax codes and procedures created thereby. Even though taxation might only be one of the determinants for development in the SME sector, public opinion polls have consistently cited the taxation of SMEs as a key barrier to their growth and development. This paper is based on empirical data based upon the financial statements of companies for the year 2010 that was evaluated to establish the structure and level of taxes relative to company size and types of taxation. The authors estimate that SMEs experience a higher tax burden when compared to larger corporations but admit the difference is minimal. They additionally assess that SMEs are specifically exposed to higher tax burdens on the local level and in the taxation of labour (especially contributions to social security). Therefore the authors propose reforming the tax system in the subsequent manner: 1. reducing and/or eliminating multiple local duties, whilst simultaneously increasing the tax base for properties and introducing a local income tax so total public revenues remain stable, 2. reducing contributions to social security and increasing value added tax to balance these policies. They conclude that reforming the tax code can contribute to improving the business climate for SMEs, but state it is also necessary to implement further reforms of greater importance that would remove all other barriers to growth.

The Study is available only in Serbian