The paper introduces the concept of energy periphery to interrogate place-based perspectives on the co-production of uneven geographical development, energy vulnerabilities and low carbon transitions. Energy periphery is defined as places that are systematically disadvantaged through the whole energy system due to their inferior position within the asymmetrical spatial distribution of material, economic, political and symbolic resources and capabilities. Within an energy periphery, energy-related factors are combined with other place-based conditions to subject their communities to a compound and circular effect of precarious energy experiences. The notion of energy periphery is underpinned by insights from the spatial justice, core-periphery and energy justice theories. Using the case of Wales, the paper demonstrates the multi-dimensional and multi-scalar character of energy peripheralization, including political underrepresentation, the absence of economic agglomeration advantages, and dependence on off-grid fuels, energy inefficient homes and other ‘backward’ technologies and practices. Social and spatial contingencies of end-use energy vulnerability factors are outlined. Contrary to common discourses, energy transition further disadvantages energy peripheries and reproduces a fragmented socio-spatial landscape. The study overall demonstrates the importance of considering energo-socio-spatial relationships to better understand uneven energy transitions and social change more generally.
In this paper, we discuss a number of ways to define and measure the affordability of energy consumption, and we examine the emergence of energy poverty in Italy in the period from 1998 to 2011. The paper examines the eligibility criteria for claiming the benefits available to support energy consumption for vulnerable families and it identifies the potential beneficiaries. The study assesses the appropriateness of the eligibility criteria by comparing the population targeted by the policy with the population actually facing affordability problems. A simulation exercise, using the hypothetical scenario most likely to result in energy benefits being made available, shows that, regardless of the affordability index adopted, the provision of state energy benefits has little impact on fuel poverty.
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.
We address the external effects on public sector efficiency measures acquired using Data Envelopment Analysis. We use the health care system in Russian regions in 2011 to evaluate modern approaches to accounting for external effects. We propose a promising method of correcting DEA efficiency measures. Despite the multiple advantages DEA offers, the usage of this approach carries with it a number of methodological difficulties. Accounting for multiple factors of efficiency calls for more complex methods, among which the most promising are DMU clustering and calculating local production possibility frontiers. Using regression models for estimate correction requires further study due to possible systematic errors during estimation. A mixture of data correction and DMU clustering together with multi-stage DEA seems most promising at the moment. Analyzing several stages of transforming society’s resources into social welfare will allow for picking out the weak points in a state agency’s work.