In our paper, we study the impact of active investment strategies and factors of their success in the Russian market of collective investment — self-confidence of managers, commissions of management companies (MC) — on return rates of mutual funds. For the first time, not only equity mutual funds, but also bond mutual funds are considered as an object of study; the time period is since 2012. Our study is based on data on the structure of mutual fund portfolios provided by Investfunds. We propose a number of original indicators of an active management style and consider the profitability of mutual funds relative to various benchmarks. Based on testing of multivariate regression models, it has been revealed that the return rate of equity mutual funds is negatively affected by a share of stocks in the fund portfolio which are not included in the market index. When managers take into account their previous negative investment experience, it contributes to the growth of mutual fund return rates. Active investment strategies correlate with increased commissions (up to 4.5% of NAV), but they do not allow an investor to receive higher return rates than index investments. An increase in the share of corporate bonds allows the fund manager to outperform benchmarks for bond funds. For the first time, a nonlinear relationship between the size of mutual funds and the value of commissions has been revealed for the Russian market.
The results of a rural survey in two Russian regions demonstrate that agriculture is no longer the main source of income for rural families. They are diversifiers, earning non-agricultural income through both non-agricultural wage employment and non-farm self-employment. The rural population is risk-averse, preferring relative security of wage employment to individual entrepreneurship. Although all respondents would like to earn more, they are reluctant to consider the option of changing their place of work and are afraid of losing their current job. It may be difficult for new profit-oriented employers to offer equitable solutions to all segments of the rural population without properly designed government support programs which furthermore should be targeted at the labor force of the future, i.e., the Russian youth.
Using different cross-country data sets and simple econometric techniques we study public attitudes towards the police. More positive attitudes are more likely to emerge in the countries that have better functioning democratic institutions, less prone to corruption but enjoy more transparent and accountable police activity. This has a stronger impact on the public opinion (trust and attitudes) than objective crime rates or density of policemen. Citizens tend to trust more in those (policemen) with whom they share common values and can have some control over. The latter is a function of democracy. In authoritarian countries — “police states” — this tendency may not work directly. When we move from semi-authoritarian countries to openly authoritarian ones the trust in the police measured by surveys can also rise. As a result, the trust appears to be U-shaped along the quality of government axis. This phenomenon can be explained with two simple facts. First, publicly spread information concerning police activity in authoritarian countries is strongly controlled; second, the police itself is better controlled by authoritarian regimes which are afraid of dangerous (for them) erosion of this institution.
Debt practices and strategies of Russian regions are surveyed, as constrained by federal legislation. Major factors that impact debt policy reviewed and regions are grouped depending on their approach to debt financing.
This paper analyzes the trends in the corporate bond market of the Russian Federation, denotes its weaknesses. We first empirically investigate determinants of the development of corporate bond markets with account of different sensitivity to the influence of institutional factors for different groups of countries. Methodology of our research ‑ multifactor regressions and generalized method of moments. The sample includes 28 developed and developing countries. We obtain original conclusions about influence of institutional factors on corporate bond markets: in particular, we reveal a positive influence of quality of institutional environment on the fast-growing Next11 countries, as well as significance of human capital for a number of developing countries.