Calling the Cavalry: Firm-level Investment in the Face of Decentralized Expropriation
What characteristics of firms give them the confidence to invest in settings rife with expropriation by local officials? Empirically, firms in the developing world often face the threat of expropriation from local agents of the state rather than a centralized autocrat. Because policing local officials is costly, the state cannot easily credibly commit to doing so. This has negative consequences for investment. We argue that one solution is to allow firms to approach the state directly to ask for intervention. Not all firms are equally able to successfully get the attention of the state, however, so this mechanism only works for some. We develop an argument about the firm-level characteristics – large-scale employment, political connections, foreign ownership, and business association membership – that should make the central state more attentive to calls for help. Because firm with these characteristics are more likely to secure intervention against predatory bureaucrats, the latter are less likely to try to expropriate them. These firms’ investment decisions should be less sensitive to local expropriation than other firms. We test this argument using data on cases of decentralized expropriation across Russia’s regions and firm-level data from a cross-regional, large scale survey of Russian firms.
This paper develops a strategy for investigating the new institutionalism in economic sociology. An analytical scheme is proposed to link institutional arrangements, structure of incentives, and conceptions of control. Questions regarding the legitimacy of claims on resources and profits, contract enforcements, and business networking are discussed on the theoretical level.
Secure property rights are central to economic development and stable government, yet difficult to create. Relying on surveys in Russia from 2000 to 2012, Timothy Frye examines how political power, institutions, and norms shape property rights for firms. Through a series of simple survey experiments, Property Rights and Property Wrongs explores how political power, personal connections, elections, concerns for reputation, legal facts, and social norms influence property rights disputes from hostile corporate takeovers to debt collection to renationalization. This work argues that property rights in Russia are better seen as an evolving bargain between rulers and rightholders than as simply a reflection of economic transition, Russian culture, or a weak state. The result is a nuanced view of the political economy of Russia that contributes to central debates in economic development, comparative politics, and legal studies.
The chapter of the book systematically examine various effects of resource curse in such arenas as rule of law and property rights in Russia in comparison with the other oil-and-gas exporting countries beginning from the XXI century.
Effective property rights protection plays a fundamental role in promoting economic performance. Yet measurement problems make the relationship between property rights and entrepreneurship an ambiguous issue. As an advancement on previous research in this paper we propose a new approach to the evaluation of the security of property rights based on direct measures that overcomes some limitations of previous studies. We apply this new metrics to a survey of manufacturing firms in Russia to identify the economic effects associated with the lack of property protection in a transition economy. Our analysis supports the view that there is a close relationship between institutions, property rights and economic growth. Our findings confirm that redistributive risks provide a depressing effect on investment and innovative activity of manufacturing enterprises and potentially result in a huge loss in efficiency and economic growth, which in other institutional settings could have been avoided.
The 1986 article by Grossman and Hart, “A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration,” has provided a framework for understanding how firm boundaries are defined and how they affect economic performance. The property rights approach has provided a formal way to introduce incomplete contracting ideas into economic modelling. This book collects papers and opinion pieces on the impact that this property right approach to the firm has had on the economics profession. It shows that the impact has been felt sometimes in significant ways in a variety of fields, ranging from the theory of the firm and its internal organization to industrial organization, international trade, finance, management, public economy, and political economy and political science. Beyond acknowledging how the property rights approach has permeated economics as a whole, the contributions also highlight the road ahead, showing how the paradigm may change the way research is performed in some fields, and what type of research is still missing. The book concludes with a discussion of the foundations of the property rights and more generally the incomplete contracting approaches to the firm and with a series of contributions showing how behavioral considerations may provide a new way forward.
The book presents a political and economic analysis of the the last decades, in the center of which there is a role five "I" - ideas, interests, a historical path, institutions and illusions. Russian economic reforms are a complex of processes, including both forward and back movements and associated not only with the actions of political leaders, but also with objective circumstances. During the reforms there is a mutual influence of new radical ideas, driven by intellectual and political elites, interests that are defended by different groups of influence, and institutions (rules of the game) arising under the influence of these ideas and interests. Key interest groups, in turn, form not accidentally, but under the influence of the specific historical path of the countries. Finally, economic development is seriously influenced by illusions experienced by a society that is not satisfied with the ways of economic development and the dynamics of real incomes.
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.