Land Market and Urban Development in Russia
From the outset of privatization in Russia researchers from a number of countries have been studying the emerging real estate market and the residential sector development in Russian cities. Typically, their attention has been focused on legal and institutional challenges like the inconsistency and inadequacy of legislation, blurred or duplicated functions of different power bodies, the immaturity of real estate market infrastructure and low professionalism of the market's agents (appraisers, developers, intermediaries, notaries, etc.). They also pointed out that privatization required tighter control over area development, and introduction of new townplanning instruments and regulations. While accepting many points raised by the above publications, we must nevertheless emphasise that the development of real estate market in Russia has shown impressively high rates. Despite all the difficulties the private sector now prevails in construction; and professional associations of realtors, appraisers, and notaries, as well as associations of mortgage banks and insurors are in good progress. The state sector's level of adjustment to market is less impressive, but one should not forget that the main reason behind all reform's controvercies and inconsistencies is politics. The existing political pattern of Russian legislative bodies blocks radical market transformations, and the confrontation between the President and the State Duma leads to controvercial decisions.
Our results suggest a more nuanced view of Russian privatization than that offered by either its critics or its defenders. We confirm earlier findings that the average impact on productivity of privatization to domestic owners is around -3 to -5 percent, though some regions show productivity gains similar to those in Central Europe (an increase of 10 to 20 percent). The regional variation is strongly positively associated with the size of the regional bureaucracy. Notwithstanding the average negative effect, our updated results through 2005 (the most recent year for which comparable data are available) show a pronounced change after 2002 as the productivity effects of Russian privatization have begun to approach those seen elsewhere much earlier. Privatization became most effective west of the Urals, in areas with greater market access. Initially an outlier, by 2005 Russia appeared to be becoming more of a “normal country,” at least in the narrow sense of the impact of private ownership on firm productivity.
The review provides a detailed analysis of main trends in Russia's economy in 2013. The paper contains 6 big sections that highlight single aspects of Russia's economic development: the socio-political context; the monetary and credit spheres; financial sphere; the real sector; social sphere; institutional challenges. The paper employs a huge mass of statistical data that forms the basis of original computation and numerous charts.
In Soviet period absence of market prices led to extremely inefficient land use and spatial development of cities. Centralized planning system was not flexible and responsive to changing demand, preoccupied with minimization of construction costs and characterized by very low density of land use. In 20 years after the beginning of market economic reforms and mass privatization of real property the situation in land use and spatial development of Russian cities didn’t change much. Main reasons of this are: unclear, non-specified and often not registered property rights; quasi-monopoly of the state on urban lands; absence of clear distinction between federal, regional and municipal lands; high transaction costs and administrative barriers for developers; still very much administrative approach to planning and land use regulation, absence of real dialog with community development groups and NGOs. In this legal and institutional environment regional and/or local authorities often act in interests of big and influential investors and developers, scarifying interests of community as well as of small private owners and tenants. As a result we can see a further worsening of the urban environment, decreasing of green areas, disappearance of historical character of whole parts of city centers, sprawl developments in suburbia etc.
To measure transaction costs and administrative risks in urban development and construction, a survey of developers, builders and real estate agents was undertaken in St Petersburg and Leningrad region, the results of which are presented in the paper.
This book is about twenty-year's experience of privatization in different countries including Russia. The book also includes sestematozation of academic views at the problems of state failures and effectiveness of the state owership.
Few economic events have caused such controversy as the privatization process in Russia. Some see it as the foundation of political and economic freedom. For others it was economics gone wrong, and ended in "Russians stealing money from their own country". As Russia reasserts itself, and its new brand of capitalism, it is ever more important that policy makers and scholars understand the roots of the economic structure and governance of that country; what was decided, who made the decisions and why, what actually transpired, and what implications this has for the future of Russia.
This work, written by two senior advisors to the Russian government, has unique access to documentation, tracking the decision making process in the Russian Mass Privatization process. By close reference to events, and supplemented by interviews with many of the key participants, it shows that the policies adopted were often influenced and shaped by different forces than those cited by current popular accounts. The book challenges the interpretation of Russian privatization by some of the West’s most eminent economists. It underlines that economists of all schools, who bring assumptions from the West to the analysis of Russia, may reach false or misleading conclusions. It is an essential guide for anyone interested in Russian economic reform, and anyone who seeks to understand this enigmatic country, and its actions today.
We review the transition of the Russian banking sector focusing on the interplay between ownership change and institutional change. We find that the state's withdrawal from commercial banking has been inconsistent and limited in scope. To this day, core banks have yet to be privatized and the state has made a comeback as owner of the dominant market participants. We also look at the new institutions imported into Russia to regulate banking and finance, including rule of law, competition, deposit insurance, confidentiality, bankruptcy, and corporate governance. The unfortunate combination of this new institutional overlay and traditional local norms of behavior have brought Russia to an impasse - the banking sector's ownership structure hinders further advancement of market institutions. Indeed, we may now be witnessing is a retreat from the original market-based goals of transition.
The article is devoted to the questions of functioning markets related to base market. The problems of identification product and geographic market boundaries and monopolization of base market influence on such markets are analyzed. As an example in the research the telecom market is considered.
Polish model of system transformation and its flexible approach to privatization of state-owned enterprises appeared to be successful. While the vast majority of East European countries as well as Russia suffered a GDP contraction, Poland goes on ahead, though at a slower pace. The article analyses concepts and mechanisms of privatization in Poland, reveals its strong points and opportunities which may provide Russian decision-makers with a necessary insight to develop strategies under Russian reality.