Ruling elites' rotation and asset ownership: Implications for property rights
We study the impact of Russian regional governors’ rotation and their affiliation with private sector firms for the quality of investment climate in Russian regions. A theoretical model presented in the paper predicts that these factors taken together improve “endogenous” property rights under authoritarian regimes. This conclusion is confirmed empirically by using Russian regional data for 2002—2010; early in that period gubernatorial elections had been canceled and replaced by federal government’s appointments. This is an indication that under certain conditions government rotation is beneficial for economic development even when democracy is suppressed.
We provide a theory and empirical evidence indicating that the rotation of ruling elites in conjunction with elites' asset ownership could improve property rights protectiion in non-democraices. The mechanism that upholds property rights is based on elites' concern about the security of their own asset ownership in the event they lose power. Such incentives provide a solution to the credible comitment problem in maintaining secure property rights when institutional restrictions on expropriation are weak or absent.
The paper examines the structure, governance, and balance sheets of state-controlled banks in Russia, which accounted for over 55 percent of the total assets in the country's banking system in early 2012. The author offers a credible estimate of the size of the country's state banking sector by including banks that are indirectly owned by public organizations. Contrary to some predictions based on the theoretical literature on economic transition, he explains the relatively high profitability and efficiency of Russian state-controlled banks by pointing to their competitive position in such functions as acquisition and disposal of assets on behalf of the government. Also suggested in the paper is a different way of looking at market concentration in Russia (by consolidating the market shares of core state-controlled banks), which produces a picture of a more concentrated market than officially reported. Lastly, one of the author's interesting conclusions is that China provides a better benchmark than the formerly centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe by which to assess the viability of state ownership of banks in Russia and to evaluate the country's banking sector.
The paper examines the principles for the supervision of financial conglomerates proposed by BCBS in the consultative document published in December 2011. Moreover, the article proposes a number of suggestions worked out by the authors within the HSE research team.