Do budget bills change during review in the Russian State Duma? If so, by how much and why? Portrayals of the contemporary Federal Assembly as a ‘rubber stamp’ parliament would suggest that budget initiatives undergo no amendment during the formal period of legislative review. There is, however, evidence of bill change. The article’s primary goal is to present this surprising evidence, focusing on changes to spending figures in the 2002–2016 budget bills. The article also discusses why such changes are made, assessing hypotheses concerning legislator influence, technical updating and intra-executive conflict.
This article analyses antitrust enforcement practice in Russian courts in the area of competition-restricting agreements. The analysis is based on the court decision database of litigations with the Russian competition authority (the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS)). In the database litigations that officially started in the period 2008–2012 were included. Final court decisions were evaluated, taking into account litigation duration (sometimes up to 3 years). The database contains 400 cases, including 236 horizontal agreements and 164 other agreements (mostly vertical agreements). Based on the evidence of this database, important features and problems of the interpretation and implementation of competition law in Russia and priority areas of enforcement were identified. Antitrust policy was analysed taking into account the risks of type 1 and type 2 errors, including the problem of flexibility of prohibitions (per se vs Rule of reason (ROR) approaches), standards of proof and the problem of consistency of enforcement.
Agricultural cooperatives in Russia have had an uneven evolution: from their initial form of service cooperatives based on classical principles of cooperation in the decades before 1929, they evolved to predominantly production cooperatives during the Soviet era and then back to service cooperatives with the rapid decline of the number and share of production cooperatives after 1992. The number of agricultural cooperatives providing product marketing, input supply, machinery, and farm credit services matches the number of production cooperatives as of 2016 but the formal membership in service cooperatives is minuscule. Yet, the potential membership in agricultural service cooperatives is conservatively estimated between 3.8 and 7.5 million rural households, or between 29% and 56% of the rural households in 2017. These numbers represent the pool of small agricultural producers in Russia that are most likely to benefit from cooperation in farm services. More optimistic estimates put the potential number of cooperators at over 90% of all rural households. Examination of possible policy measures for the development of service cooperatives has led to a disturbing conclusion that cooperatives flourish in regions that provide ample budgetary support. No tendencies for significant bottom-up development of cooperatives are observed.
In spite of a growing body of literature investigating the determinants of youth unemployment, studies at sub-national level are still scarce, especially for Russian regions. This article is an innovative attempt to analyse econometrically the key factors affecting the youth unemployment rate and the ratio between youth and total unemployment rates for 75 Russian regions in 2000–09. The existing literature on regional labour market performance and dynamics suggested the use of a large set of explanatory variables (with indicators of the level of economic development, the demographic situation and migration processes, and the export–import levels) in a GMM panel data analysis, taking into account both spatial correlation and endogeneity problems. Although we were searching for structural determinants, we also investigated the effect of the 2008–09 financial crisis. The econometric results, presented and discussed using several models, have key policy implications for both national and regional levels of government.
This article studies the relationship between exporting and past productivity at the firm level. Panel data from two surveys of Russian manufacturing firms conducted in 2005 and 2009 are used. We analyse the difference between continuing and new exporters, and study how drivers to exporting differ if firms export to CIS or high-wage advanced countries. We find empirical evidence for the self-selection hypothesis: both continuing and new exporters are more productive and larger than non-exporters and export quitters. Path dependence in the nature of foreign trade ceased to exist: serving the markets of the former Soviet Union requires the same productivity advantage as exporting to the developed countries.
Despite the impressive economic growth in Russia between 1999 and 2007, there is a fear that Russia may suffer the Dutch disease, which predicts that a country with large natural resource rents may experience a de-industrialisation and a lower long term economic growth. In this paper we study if there are any symptoms of the Dutch disease in Russia. Using a variety of Rosstat publications and the CHELEM database, we analyse the trends in production, wages and employment in the Russian manufacturing industries, and we study the behaviour of Russian imports and exports. We find that, while Russia exhibits some symptoms of the Dutch disease, e.g. the real appreciation of the rouble, the rise in real wages, the decrease in employment in manufacturing industries and the development of the services sector, the manufacturing production nonetheless increased, contradicting the theory of the Dutch disease. These trends can be explained by the gains in productivity and the recovery after the disorganisation in the 1990s, by new market opportunities for Russian products in the European Union and in CIS countries, by a growing Chinese demand for some products and by a booming internal market. Finally, investments in many manufacturing industries were largely encouraged, whereas those in the energy sector were strongly regulated, which contributed to the economic diversification.
This paper reports the results of a survey of top executives at Russian manufacturing subsidiaries of multinational corporations (MNCs). We examine the prevailing types of job contacts and the use of monetary and non-monetary benefits and compare such arrangements with those in locally owned industrial companies. We also reveal differences in human resource management (HRM) policies based on the source of authority over HRM issues (global headquarters, regional headquarters, local groups of companies, etc.). These findings can be used to help predict the evolution of HRM policies in Russian manufacturing subsidiaries of MNCs during the anticipated period of economic recession in Russia.
Egalitarianism is one of the key elements of the communist ideology, yet some of the former communist countries are among the most unequal in the world in terms of income distribution. How does the communist legacy affect income inequality in the long run? The goal of this article is to investigate this question by looking at a sample of subnational regions of Russia. To be able to single out the mechanisms of the communist legacy effects more carefully, we look at a particular aspect of the communist legacy – the legacy of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). We demonstrate that the sub-national regions of Russia, which had higher CPSU membership rates in the past, are characterised by lower income inequality. This, however, appears to be unrelated to the governmental redistribution policies; we link lower inequality to the prevalence of informal networks.
This article reports the results of a further extension of a quasi-longitudinal survey
among top corporate executives in Russian industry, presenting a snapshot of current
innovation actions and innovation capabilities of Russian enterprises. Through
comparison of the responses from the 2004 and 2010 surveys, changes in the business
and management of Russian companies are examined. The perceived abilities to
perform particular stages of innovation projects have significantly increased and
Russian companies successfully use contractors for various types of innovation
activity. However, the intensity of innovations remains low and the resources that can
be utilised to create innovations at Russian CEOs’ disposal remain limited as few actual
innovation projects satisfy the criteria imposed by Russian owners to improve the
overall profitability of the firm. The owner’s criteria for evaluating innovation
effectiveness particularly impede radical product innovations and breakthrough
innovations in production technologies. The results of this study indicate that the
relationship between the perception of innovative capabilities by CEOs and the
intensity of innovations proved to be a valuable research construct and this suggests
that comparative study of innovation capabilities of firms in emerging and developed
economies would be a profitable extension of this research.
This article addresses sustainable institutional arrangements to support economy-wide improvements in the investment climate in the context of a middle-income economy. The recent experience of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) in Russia provides a valuable example of establishing a new government agency to advance economic deregulation in an environment where the political appetite for reform is limited. In our view, ASI has been the most successful institutional innovation to emerge in Russia since the 2008–09 financial crisis. Rather than engage in the traditional tussle over budget funds and benefits, ASI's mandate has been to organise a strategic dialogue with the private sector and build consensus within the government. We consider ASI's institutional set-up in light of the good practice principles adopted under Russia's ‘new industrial policy’. Our findings suggest other middle-income economies may find ASI's experience applicable when designing institutions to support a deregulation reform agenda. While the crisis in Ukraine has triggered a fundamental shift in Russia's development path that is likely to make ASI's deregulation efforts largely irrelevant, the agency's practical experience remains pertinent to the broader discussion of institutional arrangements to promote deregulation. © 2015 Taylor & Francis.
I report the results of observations of management practices in 20 Russian manufacturing subsidiaries of Western multinational corporations (MNCs). I argue that to counterbalance the higher country-specific risks associated with investing in Russia, MNCs impose on their Russian subsidiaries high demands for superior performance in terms of both technical and economic efficiency. My observations confirm that in most cases such demands are successfully met by the implementation of highly effective practices. Thus, I challenge several beliefs about industrial management in Russia, including the myths that Russian firms are hostile towards knowledge sharing and are wary of talent.
This article considers the mutual influence of antitrust enforcement in petroleum product markets and competition legislation in Russia. An analysis of infringement decisions of the Russian competition authority allows us to understand the perceived goals of economic policy in this sector. The shift from antitrust investigations and infringement decisions to a very specific set of remedies is explained by the desire to maintain low retail prices under increasing concentration without price subsidisation and without promotion of the entry at the refining stage of the value chain. The article highlights the specific use of antitrust legislation to maintain low fuel prices and to support independent retailing companies. We also note the limitation this policy faces. The goals and effects of antitrust enforcement in the industry explain, in turn, the specific path of competition legislation development in Russia.
This paper provides a meta-analysis of studies on the effect of ownership on the performance of Russian firms over 20 years of rapid institutional and economic changes. We review 29 studies extracted from the EconLit and Web of Science databases with a total of 877 relevant estimates. We find that the government negatively affects company performance regardless of its administrative level. In contrast, private ownership is positively associated with firm performance. However, the effect size and statistical significance are notably varied among different types of private ownership. While the effect of insider (employee and management) ownership is comparable to that of foreign investors, the effect of domestic outsider investors is considerably smaller. Our assessment of publication selection bias reveals that the existing literature does not contain genuine evidence for a series of ownership types and, therefore, some of the findings have certain limitations. © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
What conditions enable governments, educational institutions, and enterprises to organise joint, comprehensive technical and vocational education systems (TVET) in developing and transitional countries? This paper explores this question on the basis of an original survey of enterprises in 12 Russian regions designed to determine the factors affecting local adoption of German-style ‘dual education’ in TVET. We distinguish between firm-level and regional-level factors influencing firms to form institutionally costly partnerships with vocational schools and government entities for the sake of upgrading skill formation. Our findings point to the importance of state intervention in fostering and enforcing firm-school partnerships in settings lacking the dense network of labor and business organizations characteristic of coordinated market economies in Western Europe.