Входя в красную зону: рождение рынка кредитных карт в посткоммунистической России
The book “Into the Red: The Birth of the Credit Card Market in Postcommunist Russia” by Alya Guseva explores the emergence of the credit card industry in Russia and discusses the demand creation process for absolutely new product. The research is based both on the written sources and on interviews and archival data collected in two series in Moscow (Russia) from 1998 to 1999 and from 2003 to 2005. The author finds out that the socialist legacies shaped the Russian credit card market development. This path-dependence of the Russian market resulted in non-trivial solutions discovered by the market actors trying to cope with uncertainty and complementarity as two critical factors. Social networks play a vital role here as well. Networks joined by consumers and organizations aid to develop markets for mass consumption.
The journal “Economic Sociology” publishes the first chapter of the book, “The Architecture of Credit Card Market”, providing with the theoretical foundations for the empirical research. This chapter addresses the problems faced by banks in nascent credit card market. Banks are expected to cope with uncertainty in credit lending, to create consumer demand and at the same time to appeal to merchants. In addition, there is a specific problem generated from cultural factors, including a mistrust of formal institution of money lending. The author briefly considers how the US banks and their Russian counterparts coped with the mentioned challenges.
By analyzing the logs of corporate e-mail networks we found a number of patterns, showing how the size of ego-networks of individual employees changes on a day by day basis. We proposed a simple model that adequately describes the observed time dependence of an employee's "social circle". Comparison of experimental data with the theoretical model showed that employees are divided into two groups - with fast and slow changes in their social circles, respectively. We believe that the presence of these groups reflects both project-type and process-type of employees' activities. Comparison of data obtained before and during the global economic crisis has shown that the crisis led to an actual reduction in project-type activities.
Legal pluralism and the experience of the state in the Caucasus are at the centre of this edited volume. This is a region affected by a multitude of legal orders and the book describes social action and governance in the light of this, and considers how conceptions of order are enforced, used, followed and staged in social networks and legal practice. Principally, how is the state perceived and how does it perform in both the North and South Caucasus? From elections in Dagestan and Armenia to uses of traditional law in Ingushetia and Georgia, from repression of journalism in Azerbaijan to the narrations of anti-corruption campaigns in Georgia - the text reflects the multifarious uses and performances of law and order. The collection includes approaches from different scholarly traditions and their respective theoretical background and therefore forms a unique product of multinational encounters.
The Working Paper examines the peculiarities of the Russian model of corporate governance and control in the banking sector. The study relies upon theoretical as well as applied research of corporate governance in Russian commercial banks featuring different forms of ownership. We focus on real interests of all stakeholders, namely bank and stock market regulators, bank owners, investors, top managers and other insiders. The Anglo-American concept of corporate governance, based on agency theory and implying outside investors’ control over banks through stock market, is found to bear limited relevance. We suggest some ways of overcoming the gap between formal institutions of governance and the real life.
The article presents the results of study dedicated to interrelation of trust, cooperative behavior and the size of the winning prize in the multi-way decision modified prisoner's dilemma. The experiment was organized using a specially designed computer program application. The study involved six groups of participants and each group was consisted of 7 players. The experiment consisted of a 15-series and included preliminary and final testing. The study found that the cooperative behavior within the members in the group had fallen down during the 11-series, but there was a tendency to continuously improving it. The trust level of an individual and his/her choice of cooperative strategy in the first series of the experiment are interrelated. Generalized trust is a rather stable construct, but it does not remain unchanged with the actual reduction of cooperative behavior.
This book presents a course of English for Specific Purposes devoted specifically to the widely-discussed topic Web 2.0. It covers several aspects of online communication ranging from online friendship to business interacions. The activities presented in the coursebook are aimed at developing students’ communicative competence in both written and oral discourse. Web 2.0 includes a variety of authentic articles that arouse interest and provoke discussions. It also presents listening texts based on professional podcasts. Most grammar and vocabulary activities are developed from authentic texts as well.
Web 2.0 can be used at the B2-C1 levels of Common European Famework. The coursebook will help learn and practice the target vocabulary. It will be relevant to those interested in the development of Information and Communication Technologies in general and the Internet in particular.
This paper aims at explaining the differences in valuation of banking firms in Russia through the impact of selected elements of corporate governance. We rely upon value-based management theory to test the hypothesis that expenses on corporate governance system create shareholder value. The price at which share stakes are acquired by strategic foreign investors is for us a criterion of market-proven value, so we use the standard valuation tool, i.e. price-to-book-value of equity (P/BV) multiple, as the dependent variable. The set of corporate governance parameters whose materiality for a would-be external investor we would like to test includes: the degree of concentration of ownership and control; maturity of corporate governing bodies; degree of Board independence; qualification of external auditors; stability of governing bodies (Management Board and Board of Directors); and availability of external credit ratings from the world’s leading rating agencies. We test our approach on a sample of acquisition deals and public offerings over the period 2004-2008 that we develop for the first time. Firstly, we find out which factors are statistically significant and relevant to a bank’s selling price. Secondly, a least squares multiple linear regression model is devised to check how each individual variable impacts the dependent variable. We discover that external investors attach value to high concentration of ownership, external credit rating coverage, stability of the Board of Directors, and involvement of well-established external auditors. Investors of a strategic nature tend to pay a higher acquisition premium. Independence of the Board of Directors might be perceived by external strategic investors as a disadvantage and might destroy shareholder value.
Uncertainty is a concept associated with data acquisition and analysis, usually appearing in the form of noise or measure error, often due to some technological constraint. In supervised learning, uncertainty affects classification accuracy and yields low quality solutions. For this reason, it is essential to develop machine learning algorithms able to handle efficiently data with imprecision. In this paper we study this problem from a robust optimization perspective. We consider a supervised learning algorithm based on generalized eigenvalues and we provide a robust counterpart formulation and solution in case of ellipsoidal uncertainty sets. We demonstrate the performance of the proposed robust scheme on artificial and benchmark datasets from University of California Irvine (UCI) machine learning repository and we compare results against a robust implementation of Support Vector Machines.
Using data on foreign borrowing, I identify Russian banks that were affected by the sudden stop of external financing caused by the Lehman Brothers’ collapse. Applying the difference-in-difference method, I compare these «affected» banks to «unaffected» ones and find that the Russian Central Bank’s (CBR) anti-crisis financial assistance primarily went to the former group. Tracing the impact of the CBR’s liquidity infusions on banks’ portfolio allocation decisions, I find that banks used CBR funds not only to pay out foreign debt, but also to accumulate cash deposits in non-resident banks. I also find that affected banks increased their holdings of market securities significantly more than unaffected ones, which suggests that the CBR’s bailout policies impacted their risk-taking strategies. While there was no significant difference in corporate lending growth between the two groups after the sudden stop, lending to borrowers with weaker banking relationships (individuals and entrepreneurs) decreased more among affected banks.
It is known that charity, as with any social institution that depends on both external and internal factors. In this article the author analyzes the relationship of charity and the level of development of such internal factors as trust. The analysis was conducted on a global level and at regional level in Russia. The resulting lack of relationship to regional level and its presence in the world say that in Russia at the moment there is no required number of relevant data, based on which one could draw a conclusion about the level of philanthropy.
Several approaches to the concept of fatherhood present in Western sociological tradition are analyzed and compared: biological determinism, social constructivism and biosocial theory. The problematics of fatherhood and men’s parental practices is marginalized in modern Russian social research devoted to family and this fact makes the traditional inequality in family relations, when the father’s role is considered secondary compared to that of mother, even stronger. However, in Western critical men’s studies several stages can be outlined: the development of “sex roles” paradigm (biological determinism), the emergence of the hegemonic masculinity concept, inter-disciplinary stage (biosocial theory). According to the approach of biological determinism, the role of a father is that of the patriarch, he continues the family line and serves as a model for his ascendants. Social constructivism looks into man’s functions in the family from the point of view of masculine pressure and establishing hegemony over a woman and children. Biosocial theory aims to unite the biological determinacy of fatherhood with social, cultural and personal context. It is shown that these approaches are directly connected with the level of the society development, marriage and family perceptions, the level of egality of gender order.