Property Rights in Land and Output Growth in Russia during Expansion Periods (2001-2008, 2010-2014)
This paper tests whether the implementation of a key market-oriented reform in post-Soviet Russia, property rights in land, proxied by the percent of privatized land by region, affected the pace of sub-national economic growth during two unprecedented expansion periods: 2001-2008 and 2010-2014. Individuals gained the Constitutional right to own land in 1993, but implementation was stalled. The pace of land privatization can be explained by arguably exogenous factors such as distance to Moscow, as well as climate and also regional political culture, proxied by concentration of votes in the 2004 presidential election. We show that this rate of land privatization in Russia’s regions was significantly associated with output growth in 2010-2014, confirming the policy importance of this measure for developing economies. Regions where private holdings expanded most rapidly with the enforcement of property rights in land, gained a competitive advantage in the growth process through increased investment in fixed assets and private consumption.
Abstract: the article is dedicated to approbation of the methodology of new institutional economics to the problems of the Russian housing and communities amenities. In the article the author proposes the model of choice of solution to the negative housing externalities for improving housing and utility services.
Our research shows that ECHR protection of property rights standards in general may be regarded as “legal transplant” for the Russian law. The broad concept of “property”, requirements of proportionality and balance of public and private interests, rule of law prescriptions that form the core elements of property rights protection under the ECHR were mostly unfamiliar for the Russian legal system at the time Russia ratified the European Convention in 1998. Russian legal system cannot be said to be a fertile ground for human rights norms and the ECHR provisions in particular. Long-standing socialist legal tradition (including public interest domination and ultra-positivism) explains many difficulties and challenges of the ECHR implementation process in Russia. The eight chosen empiric examples of the ECHR violations demonstrate numerous collisions of ECHR spirit with attitudes common for the Russian law. Inherent features of the mentioned tradition (that remains dominant in Russia) produce most of the problems that result in disproportionate, unpredictable interference with private property rights, failure of the State to comply with its positive obligations and provide effective remedies to private parties in case of property rights violations. And it is not a coincidence that most of Article 1 P-1 violations by Russia are coupled with violation of Article 6 (for example, non-execution of court decisions, breach of legal certainty in supervisory review proceedings, confiscatory measures taken in course of criminal or administrative proceedings). This brings us to conclusion that Russian courts and judges need to play more proactive and significant role in property rights protection then they do now. Our study also shows that situation with property rights protection is not static but improving. None of the eight problematic areas of property rights violations remained intact; there were numerous positive developments, changes of legislation and case law necessary to remedy the situation. Overall, we may say that Russia has demonstrated its readiness and willingness to reform its legal system and to strengthen private property rights protection. In most instances, we observed dynamic and productive dialog between Russia, ECtHR and Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. But the most important impact of the ECtHR on Russia is expressed in gradual evolution of the Russian legal tradition. ECtHR and its legal doctrines, principles, concepts influenced Russian legal system by diffusing, transferring new values, knowledge, best-practices to lawyers, judges, and scholars. ECtHR provoked internal discussions in the Russian legal community, stimulated changes in interpretation of law by courts.
In an economy with weak economic and political institutions, the major institutional choices are made strategically by oligarchs and dictators. The conventional wisdom presumes that as rent-seeking is harmful for oligarchs themselves, institutions such as property rights will emerge spontaneously. We explicitly model a dynamic game between the oligarchs and a dictator who can contain rent-seeking. The oligarchs choose either a weak dictator (who can be overthrown by an individual oligarch) or a strong dictator (who can only be replaced via a consensus of oligarchs). In equilibrium, no dictator can commit to both: (i) protecting the oligarchs' property rights from the other oligarchs and (ii) not expropriating oligarchs himself. We show that a weak dictator does not limit rent-seeking. A strong dictator does reduce rent-seeking but also expropriates individual oligarchs. We show that even though eliminating rent-seeking is Pareto optimal, weak dictators do get appointed in equilibrium and rent-seeking continues. This outcome is especially likely when economic environment is highly volatile.
In the early twentieth century, a large number of households resettled from the European to the Asian part of the Russian Empire. We propose that this dramatic migration was rooted in institutional changes initiated by the 1906 Stolypin land titling reform. One might expect better property rights to decrease the propensity to migrate by improving economic conditions in the reform area. However, this titling reform increased land liquidity and actually promoted migration by easing financial constraints and decreasing opportunity costs. Treating the reform as a quasi-natural experiment, we employ difference-in-differences analysis on a panel of province-level data that describe migration and economic conditions. We find that the reform had a sizeable effect on migration. To verify the land liquidity effect, we exploit variation in the number of households participating in the reform. This direct measure of the reform mechanism estimates that land liquidity explains approximately 18% of migration during this period.
Smoking is a problem, bringing signifi cant social and economic costs to Russiansociety. However, ratifi cation of the World health organization Framework conventionon tobacco control makes it possible to improve Russian legislation accordingto the international standards. So, I describe some measures that should be taken bythe Russian authorities in the nearest future, and I examine their effi ciency. By studyingthe international evidence I analyze the impact of the smoke-free areas, advertisementand sponsorship bans, tax increases, etc. on the prevalence of smoking, cigaretteconsumption and some other indicators. I also investigate the obstacles confrontingthe Russian authorities when they introduce new policy measures and the public attitudetowards these measures. I conclude that there is a number of easy-to-implementanti-smoking activities that need no fi nancial resources but only a political will.
One of the most important indicators of company's success is the increase of its value. The article investigates traditional methods of company's value assessment and the evidence that the application of these methods is incorrect in the new stage of economy. So it is necessary to create a new method of valuation based on the new main sources of company's success that is its intellectual capital.
We address the external effects on public sector efficiency measures acquired using Data Envelopment Analysis. We use the health care system in Russian regions in 2011 to evaluate modern approaches to accounting for external effects. We propose a promising method of correcting DEA efficiency measures. Despite the multiple advantages DEA offers, the usage of this approach carries with it a number of methodological difficulties. Accounting for multiple factors of efficiency calls for more complex methods, among which the most promising are DMU clustering and calculating local production possibility frontiers. Using regression models for estimate correction requires further study due to possible systematic errors during estimation. A mixture of data correction and DMU clustering together with multi-stage DEA seems most promising at the moment. Analyzing several stages of transforming society’s resources into social welfare will allow for picking out the weak points in a state agency’s work.