On the basis of in-depth case studies of four Russian regions, Kirov and Voronezh oblasts and Krasnoyarsk and Perm' krais, the trade-offs among social and economic policy at the regional level in Russia are examined. All four regional governments seek to develop entrepreneurship while preserving social welfare obligations and improving compensation in the public sector. Richer regions have a greater ability to reconcile social commitments with the promotion of business. Regions differ in their development strategies, some placing greater emphasis on indigenous business development and others seeking to attract federal or foreign investment. Governors have considerable discretion in choosing their strategy so long as they meet basic performance demands set by the federal government such as ensuring good results for the United Russia party. In all four regions, governments consult actively with local business associations whereas organized labor is weak. However, the absence of effective institutions to enforce commitments undertaken by government and its social partners undermines regional capacity to use social policy as a basis for long-term economic development.
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.
Economy is embedded in ongoing concrete social networks, and economic processes are increasingly international in character. Three interrelated processes are crucial for setting the frame of analysis for this book: globalisation, development of post-industrial societies, and transformation of European post-socialist countries. Within this framework the main issues will be as follows: economies in transition - reliable patterns, imitation, local adaptation, cultural embeddedness; multiplicity of markets - commodification of life, new markets in old societies; economic behavior - households, micro-enterprises, local and global influences; and, contemporary polities i.e. states, the European Union and global corporations. The stress will be placed on actors, relations and institutions as the driving forces of the above described processes. The authors of this collection analyze, based on their empirical material, very interesting socio-economic issues. These are: ethical consumption from the perspective of the moral economy and its connection to political institutions in Europe (and particularly in Hungary); the cultural context of consumption, both in the case of social networks in Bangladesh and of counterfeited goods on the Russian market; the new and old, individual and organizational actors in transition economies, for instance in Poland and Croatia; the new approach to corporations as global actors, stressing their social responsibility; the dynamics of managerial practices in the example of Russia; the influence of EU funds and policies on the Polish SMEs market; the cultural embeddedness of economic behavior, in the case of Poles working in the Scottish market and of entrepreneurs in Damascus; the retirement policy in the fast aging societies of Spain and Poland; and, the emergence of the new markets, like that of health services, in Russia and that of the property market in Eastern and Central Europe.