This paper examines determinants of corruption across Russian regions. Key contributions include: (i) a formal study of economic corruption determinants across Russian regions; (ii) comparisons of determinants of perceived corruption versus those of actual corruption; and (iii) studying the influence of market competition and other factors on corruption. The re-sults show that economic prosperity, population, market competition and urbanization are significant determinants of Russian corruption. The use of alternative corruption measures reveals that economic prosperity and population have a largely similar impact on corrup-tion perceptions and corruption incidence. However, there are significant differences in the effects of competition and urbanization.
The purpose of this paper is to carefully assess the size of public sector within the Russian banking industry. We identify and classify at least 78 state-influenced banks. For the state-owned banks, we distinguish between those that are majority-owned by federal executive authorities or Central Bank of Russia, by sub-federal (regional and municipal) authorities, by state-owned enterprises and banks, and by "state corporations". We estimate their combined market share to have reached 56% of total assets by July 1, 2009. Banks indirectly owned by public capital are the fastest-growing group. Concentration is increasing within the public sector of the industry, with the top five state-controlled banking groups in possession of over 49% of assets. We observe a crowding out and erosion of domestic private capital, whose market share is shrinking from year to year. Several of the largest state-owned banks now constitute a de facto intermediate tier at the core of the banking system. We argue that the direction of ownership change in Russian banking is different from that in CEE countries.
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.
This paper examines what influences Russian households‟ decisions to save and borrow. We use the 2008 data from the 17th round of the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS-HSE). Our results show that the determinants of saving and borrowing are not only those suggested by economic theory but also include psychological and sociological considerations: smarter respondents, who are satisfied with their lives and inclined to help other people, are more likely to save. Those who enjoy stable or improving financial conditions and/or are satisfied with them are more likely to save and less likely to borrow. Financial literacy, a factor cited by institutional theory as positive for both saving and borrowing from banks, lost its significance at the onset of the financial crisis. Household income, suggested by economic theory as a basis for choosing a financial strategy, was found to have much less influence on savings and to have a positive influence on borrowing, confirming the rationing theory rather than intertemporal choice theory. Surprisingly, the fear of job loss does not make people save more, contrary to the precautionary motive.