Can Oil Prices Explain the Real Appreciation of the Russian Ruble in 1998-2005?
This paper constructs a DSGE model for an economy with commodity . exports. We estimate the model using Russian data, making a special focus on quantitative effects of commodity price dynamics. There is a widespread belief that economic activity in Russia crucially depends on oil prices, but quantitative estimates are scarce. We estimate an oil price effect on the Russian economy in a general equilibrium framework. Our setup is similar to those of Kollmann (2001) and Dam and Linaa (2005), but we extend their models by explicitly accounting for oil revenues. In addition to standard supply, demand, cost-push, and monetary policy shocks, we include the shock of commodity export revenues. The main objective of the paper is to identify the contribution of structural shocks to business cycle fluctuations in the Russian economy. We found that despite a strong impact on GDP from commodity export shocks, business cycles in Russia are mostly domestically based.
Given many developing economies depend on primary commodities, the fluctuations of commodity prices may imply significant effects for the wellbeing of children. To investigate, this paper examines the relationship between child mortality and commodity price movements as reflected by country-specific commodity terms-of-trade. Employing a panel of 69 low and lower-middle income countries over the period 1970-2010, we show that commodity terms-of-trade volatility increases child mortality in highly commodity-dependent importers suggesting a type of ‘scarce’ resource curse. Strikingly however, good institutions appear able to mitigate the negative impact of volatility. The paper concludes by highlighting this tripartite relationship between child mortality, volatility and good institutions and posits that an effective approach to improving child wellbeing in low to lower-middle income countries will combine hedging, import diversification and improvement of institutional quality.
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.