This paper presents the first critical review of the literature on poverty published in Russia between 1992 and 2006. Using a dataset of about 250 publications in Russian scientific journals we assess whether the poverty research in Russia satisfies the general criteria of a scientific publication and if such studies could provide reliable guidance to the Russian government as it maps out its anti-poverty policies. Our findings indicate that only a small proportion of papers on poverty published in Russia in 1992-2006 follow the universally recognized principles of the scientific method. The utility of policy advice based on such research is questionable. We also suggest certain steps that could, in our view, improve the quality of poverty research in Russia.
We examine transfers from Russia’s federal government to the regions during the two recent economic crises. We show that while federal transfers in 2009 were large and targeted poorer regions, the 2014–2015 transfers were much smaller and not targeted. This policy shift was accompanied by a relatively greater decline in own revenues in the poorer regions and their worse economic performance overall. As a result, interregional budget expenditure inequality in Russia was significantly higher in 2014–2015 than it had been for years. This is important because regional budgets are responsible for a large share of investments, housing, education and healthcare.
This paper investigates the cost efficiency of Russian banks with regard to their heterogeneity in terms of ownership form, capitalization and asset structure. Using bank-level quarterly data over the period 2005–2013, we perform stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) and compute cost efficiency scores at bank and bank group level. We deduct from gross costs the negative revaluations of foreign currency items generated rather by official exchange rate dynamics than by managerial decisions. Results indicate that the core state banks, as distinct from other state-controlled banks, were nearly as efficient as private domestic banks during and after the crisis of 2008-2009. Foreign banks appear to be the least efficient market participants in terms of costs, which might reflect their lowest (and decreasing over time) penetration into the Russian banking system. We further document that group ranking by cost efficiency is not permanent over time and depends on the observed differences in bank capitalization and asset structure. We find that foreign banks gain cost efficiency when they lend more to the economy. Core state banks, conversely, lead in terms of cost efficiency when they lend less to the economy, which can result from political interference into their lending decisions in favor of unprofitable projects. Private domestic banks that maintain lower capitalization significantly overcome foreign banks and do not differ from the core state banks with this respect.
This article provides new evidence on the structure, dynamics and performance effects of corporate boards in publicly traded companies in Russia. It takes advantage of a new and unique longitudinal dataset of virtually all Russian companies whose shares were traded in the RTS/MICEX/MOEX over 1998-2014. The analysis highlights a number of strong trends in the evolution of boards of directors, such as a declining participation of insider directors and an increasing participation of foreign and female directors. It also shows that board characteristics are linked to company performance (market-to-book ratio, Tobin's Q, ROE and ROA), suggesting that boards of directors play a non-trivial role in corporate governance in Russia. Testing for structural breaks in the relationship between board composition and firm performance provides some evidence of the changing role of corporate boards over time.
This paper investigates the role of managerial ownership and incentive payment as potential drivers of innovation decisions by firms and as shifters of the competition-innovation link in Russian manufacturing industry, where poorly protected property rights and path dependent market structure (typical for many transition economies) leads to a variety of outcomes. We use recent survey-based microdata for nearly 2000 non-listed companies in Russia. Our results suggest that managerial ownership, which initially evolved as a means of protecting against and resisting dysfunctional institutions, may stimulate decisions to undertake R&D and risky product innovations. Futher, managerial ownership and competition are complementary motivations for R&D and innovation. Incentive payment to hired managers. Incentive payment to hired managers is a positive commitment instrument but it has no impact on competition-innovation link.
Using the data from the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS), this paper investigates income mobility in Russia during the period of rapid economic growth (2000–2005). Employing a broad set of mobility indices, we show that there is much mobility in household incomes from one year to the next and over longer periods in Russia. Both relative and absolute mobility in Russia are significantly higher than in Western countries. We demonstrate that income growth in Russia was strongly pro-poor in 2000–2005. Incomes of the relatively poor were growing faster than incomes of the relatively rich. However, this inequality-reducing effect was almost exactly offset by changes in the relative positions of individuals and the overall reduction in cross-sectional inequality was merely modest.
In this paper we draw upon the unique natural experiment of post-communist transitions to show how the interaction between democratization and economic liberalization impacts health. We argue that, if occurring simultaneously, these transformations reduce overall uncertainty and thus improve health. Two concrete mechanisms are at work: first, people suffer less from stress-related diseases, and second, they start investing more in their own health. To capture the proposed theoretical mechanisms, we use stress-caused mortality and private expenditures on health as our dependent variables. Empirically, we employ mediation analysis with country and time fixed effects. We find that, ceteris paribus, democratization and economic liberalization exert a cumulatively positive impact upon health. Our findings should be relevant to other countries that undergo politico-economic transitions.
Using panel data on large Polish firms this paper examines the relationship between corporate
control structures, sales growth and the determinants of employment change during the period 1996-
2002. We find that privatised and de novo firms are the main drivers of employment growth and
that, in the case of de novo firms, it is foreign ownership which underpins the result. Interestingly,
we find that being privatised has a positive impact on employment growth but that this impact is
concentrated within a range of three to six years after privatisation. In contrast with the findings of
earlier literature, we find evidence that there are no systematic differences in employment response
to negative sales growth across the ownership categories. On the other hand, employment in state
firms is less responsive to positive sales growth. From these combined results we infer that the
behaviour of state firms is constrained by both insider rent sharing and binding budget constraints.
Consistent with this, we find that privatised companies, three to six years post-privatisation, are the
firms for whom employment is most responsive to positive sales growth and as such, offer the best
hope for rapid labour market expansion.
We show how a price analysis of stable relations between customer and supplier in the public procurement of homogeneous goods can help differentiate opportunistic from honest behaviour among economic agents. We consider two types of stable relations: repeated procurements and connections based on the state ownership of suppliers. On the basis of a large dataset on the procurement of granulated sugar in Russia from 2011 to 2013, we find that for private suppliers, prices of repeated contracts were lower compared to one-time deals when procured through more transparent procedures and higher when procured through non-transparent procedures. For non-transparent procedures, we observe significant overpricing of contracts with state-owned suppliers compared to private suppliers, especially in the case of repeated contracts, whereas for competitive e-auctions, there is only a small difference between the contract prices of state-owned suppliers and private suppliers.
We examine the impact of natural resourses on economic growth in Russia's regions since the introduction of mineral tax in 2002. Using novel measures of regional natural resource rents (mineral tax collections), we demonstrate that non-hydrocarbon wealth has had a slightly positive and hydrocarbon wealth has had no to a slightly negative effect on regional growth since 2002, althouth mineral-rich regions are richer than outher regions/
The focus of this paper is on youth unemployment in Italy and Russia: in both countries, youth unemployment rates (YURs) are higher than adult (or total) ones. Despite these general trends, there are significant regional differences in YURs and above-average YUR regions tend to cluster close to each other. Moreover, a distinction between “North” and “South” regions seems appropriate for both countries. The purpose of this study is to identify key determinants of YURs in the Russian and Italian regions, for the period 2000–2009. We also search for the existence of distance spatial effects. In particular, we estimate a modified Arellano–Bond model for the regional YUR, including some explanatory and control variables (e.g. regional GDP in PPP, regional population density, regional total unemployment rate), together with year dummies and North/South dummies. The use of distance matrixes enables important analysis to be conducted on the role played by spatial effects, which turn out to be significant. Also the negative impact of the 2008–2009 crisis is statistically confirmed (at least in the case of Italy). The relevant policy implications are highlighted in the conclusions.