This article explains the main stages and results of economic development in Russia since the early 1990s. It describes the process of the formation and the basic features of a three-sector economic model, as well as the the reasons for its stability and existing constraints on economic growth. The authors consider the most likely scenario for the evolution of the current economic model under steadily declining export revenues. They also investigate fiscal and social risks and alternatives in economic policy.
Although productivity decline in the global economy was observed before 2008, the global financial crisis of 2008 stimulated study of its source. In this context, recent literature mentions inefficient investments in machinery, human capital, and organizational processes. This can include skill mismatch and the lack of technology diffusion from advanced to emerging industries and firms. To what extent is this global view helpful in understanding recent productivity decline in the Russian economy? The present study reports that at least some of these sources can be observed in Russia as well. Using conventional industry growth accounting, it compares pre- and post-crisis sources of growth for the Russian economy. Specifically, it presents aggregate labor productivity growth as the sum of capital intensity and total factor productivity (TFP) growth in industries, and the contribution of labor reallocation between industries. It shows that the stagnation of 2008–2014 is more the result of the TFP decline and the deterioration of the allocation of labor than the lack of capital input. Moreover, the TFP decline started in Russia a few years before the crisis, as it did in major global economies, such as the United States, OECD countries, China, and Brazil. At the same time, relatively stable capital intensity made the Russian pattern to some degree similar to resource abundant Australia and Canada. Furthermore, the contribution of information and communications technology capital to labor productivity growth in Russia declined after 2008, which could have also hampered technology diffusion. Finally, the structure of the flow of capital services in Russia changed after 2008. Before the crisis, the contribution of machinery and equipment dominated, while after the crisis, construction provided the lion's share of capital input.
The article considers the problem of the relationship of structural changes and economic growth in the global economy and Russia in the framework of different methodological approaches. At the same time, the paper provides the analysis of complementarity of economic policy types, which, on the one hand, are aimed at developing the fundamentals of GDP growth (institutions, human capital and macroeconomic stabilization), and on the other hand, at initiating growth (with stable fundamentals) with the help of structural policy measures. In the study of structural changes in the global economy, new forms of policies of this kind have been revealed, in particular aimed at identifying sectors — driversof economic growth based on a portfolio approach. In a given paper a preliminary version of the model of the Russian economy is provided, using a multisector version of the Thirlwall’s Law. Besides, the authors highlight a number of target parameters of indicators of competitiveness of the sectors of the Russian economy that allow us to expect its growth rate to accelerate above the exogenously given growth rate of the world economy.
Foreword to the special issue of the "Russian Journal of Economics" includes seven papers presented at the 2nd World Congress of Comparative Economics held in Saint Petersburg, Russia on June 15-17, 2017. The papers analyze various aspects of the Russian economy, economic policy, and economic and institutional reforms in Russia and compare them with other countries. Plus edition of the entire issue No.4.
This article will analyze the activity of state-owned companies and their place in the structure of market relations from the standpoint of contemporary approaches to the study of “state failure” and “market failure”. It will also consider the implications of the systematic embedding of private property rights. In addition to considering the costs of the functions of state-owned companies, the authors address the actual experience of the Russian economy in the present day, the experience of forming state corporations and the risks associated with their operation. Particular attention will be paid to the inhibition of incentives to improve the general institutional environment and, conversely, to the increasing incidence of direct state intervention in matters that affect economic development. We will examine the various ways in which the growth of the public sector, de jure and de facto, reduces opportunities for implementing private property rights.
In the proposed paper, an attempt is made to estimate the proportion of unstated income for Russian households based on micro data. An overview of microeconomic approaches to estimating the scale of under-reported income is provided. These approaches are weakly represented in the national literature, so their strengths and weaknesses are also analyzed. A theoretical model of household consumer behavior is described that allows the size of under-reported income to be estimated. The structure of household incomes and expenditures is studied based on an RLMS sample for 2012. The model is estimated using household subsamples based on the type of household and household income. The estimation technique utilizes regression variables and random effects. The resulting subsample estimates were applied to the general population and compared with those obtained by other researchers using alternative methods and other data. A comparison is made to estimates of under-reported income developed for British households.
We try to determine with the help of the Oaxaca–Blinder decomposition technique whether foreign workers are discriminated against in Russia. We use the Russian Ministry of Labor (Rostrud) data on migrants’ applications and the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS, provided by the Higher School of Economics) for the period 2009–2013. We show that there is significant discrimination against foreign workers. The average salary of Russian workers with the same level of productivity as migrants exceeds migrants’ average salary by 40%. The industries in which the workers are employed have made most substantial contribution to the discrimination gap. Moreover, there is evidence that the lower salaries of foreign workers do not reduce the salaries of Russians employed in similar positions.
Contrary to the focus on the events of the last two years (2014–2015) associated with the accession of Crimea to Russia and military conflict in Eastern Ukraine, in this study, I stress that serious changes in Russian domestic policy (with strong pressure on political opposition, state propaganda and sharp anti-Western rhetoric, as well as the fight against “foreign agents’) became visible in 2012. Geopolitical ambitions to revise the “global order” (introduced by the USA after the collapse of the USSR) and the increased role of Russia in “global governance” were declared by leaders of the country much earlier, with Vladimir Putin's famous Munich speech in 2007. These ambitions were based on the robust economic growth of the mid-2000s, which encouraged the Russian ruling elite to adopt the view that Russia (with its huge energy resources) is a new economic superpower. In this paper, I will show that the concept of “Militant Russia” in a proper sense can be attributed rather to the period of the mid-2000s. After 2008–2009, the global financial crisis and, especially, the Arab Spring and mass political protests against electoral fraud in Moscow in December 2011, the Russian ruling elite made mostly “militant” attempts to defend its power and assets.
The paper summarizes main recent sociological, epistemological, methodological and ideological trends in modern economics and tries to evaluate its current state and further perspectives. Special attention has been paid to a change in economists’ methodological ideal: economic science began with trying to become like physics but actually has become like medical statistics. The paper’s general conclusion is that what we are witnessing today in modern economics is simply an ordinary working state rather than a triumph or a crisis. However, that state is not very promising since the period of new large theoretical ideas seems to be over for economics, the new atheoretical tendency in it is becoming stronger and in the very near future, economics is most likely to become more and more interventionist.