The article investigates certain aspects of the national higher education system of Russian Federation. Special attention is paid to the presence of formal and informal mechanisms that facilitate the capture of regulation and rent extraction by the existing actors. The article presents an analysis of possibilities of opportunistic behavior of the administration of a higher education organization. As a source of the rent there might be inappropriate use of the institutions facilitated by the various mechanisms. In this case this source can be warranted by the internal regulatory documents of the organizations, as well as the external legal statutes. The research also presents analysis of rent extraction sources and examples of the use of administrative resources. The article points out the negative trends and growth of opportunities of rent seeking behavior of the actors of this market.
The author deals with the issues of the variety, systematization and evolution of definitions concerning different forms of taxation and obligations (census, tribute, corvée etc.) in early medieval Europe. Author pays his special interest to late ancient and early medieval legal sources (known as leges barbarorum) as well as to some historical sources (namely The History of the Franks written by Gregory of Tours and Chronicles of Fredegar), Frankish legal formulas of the 6th-8th centuries, Carolingian capitularies and polyptychs of the 9th century. The evidence of the imperial landsurveys of the 4th and 5th centuries confirms universal character of taxation (census and tributum) in late Roman Gaul and Spain. The revival of this tradition attempted by Frankish kings Chlothar I and Childebert II wasn’t such successful as in Visigothic Spain in the 6th century but prevented the total destruction of the system of taxation of Roman and Germanic population before the end of the 7th century. Nevertheless the simplification of rural economy and the growth of monastic estates as well as royal and private land possessions in Western Europe in the 8th and early 9th centuries led to the diminution of freedom and peasant tenures and to the increase of number of their payments and obligations (e.g. most of formerly payable taxes were replaced with food supply, personal services and corvée).
A new book by the economic anthropologist Stephen Gudeman presents the analysis of the balance between self-interest and mutuality in economic relations. It is based on the extensive ethnographic data collected by the author and his colleagues during 20th century. As a theoretical schema Gudeman offers a model of the five institutional spheres: house, community, commerce, finance and meta-finance, in which the combination of the last three characterizes the state of modern capitalism. These spheres, on the one hand, represent a historical sequence that reflects changes in the speed, quantity and level of abstraction in economic transactions. On the other hand, the economic spheres are interdependent and exist simultaneously in close cooperation and conflict. Collaboration works through various linking mechanisms such as rent, barter, money, etc., and conflicts manifest themselves when two sides of the economic life – empathy and competition – confront each other. According to Gudeman, the feature of modern market capitalism is the unrestrained growth of rents. Rents give the banks, manufacturers, sellers of goods and services non-competitive benefits, which are covered by the rhetoric of competition and displace empathy as an important part of economic life. This imbalance creates inequality for household and community as the least protected participants in economic relations. A field anthropologist, Gudeman demonstrates the commitment to disciplinary traditions to advocate and represent the groups under study. For him, these groups are not ethnic, religious or subcultural, but all people living in the mundane rules of the first two economic spheres. Although the measures that Gudeman proposes to restore the balance of self-interest and mutuality can hardly be discussed and certainly won’t be implemented by governments, the book represents an important contribution to the anthropological critique of modern capitalism.
The paper examines the structure, governance, and balance sheets of state-controlled banks in Russia, which accounted for over 55 percent of the total assets in the country's banking system in early 2012. The author offers a credible estimate of the size of the country's state banking sector by including banks that are indirectly owned by public organizations. Contrary to some predictions based on the theoretical literature on economic transition, he explains the relatively high profitability and efficiency of Russian state-controlled banks by pointing to their competitive position in such functions as acquisition and disposal of assets on behalf of the government. Also suggested in the paper is a different way of looking at market concentration in Russia (by consolidating the market shares of core state-controlled banks), which produces a picture of a more concentrated market than officially reported. Lastly, one of the author's interesting conclusions is that China provides a better benchmark than the formerly centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe by which to assess the viability of state ownership of banks in Russia and to evaluate the country's banking sector.
The paper examines the principles for the supervision of financial conglomerates proposed by BCBS in the consultative document published in December 2011. Moreover, the article proposes a number of suggestions worked out by the authors within the HSE research team.