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Agglomeration effects, institutions, and natural resources in the changing economic geography of Russia

Skorobogatov Alexander

The paper discusses a number of hypotheses as potential explanations of the spatial income distribution in Russia. The hypotheses include the increasing return hypothesis, the institutions hypothesis and the simple and sophisticated versions of the geography hypothesis. According to the existing evidence, the sophisticated geography hypothesis fits best Russian data. This suggests that the changes in spatial income distribution follow the changes in local geographical characteristics and in their economic value.

Assessing the impact of banking intermediationon the economy of Russian regions: The post-crisis trends

Krinichansky Konstantin, Fatkin Andrey

The paper explores the changes in relative levels of banking services availability in Russia’s regions in 2007-2015 and the relationship between the regional financial development characteristics and the indicators of GRP and investments on the regional level in 2002-2014. For 2013-2015, the paper demonstrates the divergence of regions by the composite indicator - the composite banking services density index by region and its separate components. A significant positive relationship of indicators characterizing the regions’ financial mediator services density with the indicators of GRP has been revealed. This relationship is non-linear which is demonstrated in different sensitivity of GRP per capita by groups of regions to the indicators of financial mediation, so that regions with relatively lower or, on the contrary, higher GRP per capita show weaker or no relationship between finance and growth, whereas regions of “central” groups with medium values of GRP demonstrate stronger connection.

Basics of contract theory

Izmalkov Sergei, Sonin Konstantin

The 2016 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded to Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström “for their contributions to contract theory”. In their papers, they have demonstrated that strategic analysis of environments with asymmetric information might be very fruitful in providing answers to many natural economic questions: How should firms reward their managers? Why insurance contracts often include deductibles and co-payments? When do firms outsource and when do they prefer in-house production? In its brief exposition, the paper starts with the basics of contract theory and discusses some most important results of 2016 laureates.

Buzdalov I. N. Agrarian relations and agrarian policy in contemporary Russia

Krylatyh Elmira

Long-term macroeconomic processes and conditions for economic growth in Russia

Manevitch Vitaly

The article examines long-term macroeconomic processes that have resulted in the stagnation of the Russian economy. Such processes include the reduction of the marginal efficiency of labor and capital in a number of major activities, the distortion of motivation of investors due to multiple undervaluation of the ruble, the decline in the share of savings in the income of non-financial corporations, cyclical fluctuations in consumer behavior. The author connects possible long-term or cyclic substitution of private sources of investment for resources of the general government with controlling the dynamics of the monetary base, which is considered in the article as the endogenous, dependent variable, not the one that is exogenously set by the monetary authorities.

Optimization of Russia’s international reserves structure: Theoretical approaches, practical implementation

Ivanchenko Igor

The article analyzes the transformation of theoretical principles that underlie the formation of the international reserves structure over the past few centuries. It is concluded that these principles are based on the postulates of different schools of economic thought that perpetuate unequal exchange of goods in international trade, stimulate export of raw materials from developing countries and accumulation of international reserves, and also contribute to improving the level of consumption in developed countries. In addition, the article presents the results of studying the structure of Russia’s international reserves portfolio using the method of H. Markowitz. The implementation of this approach would make it possible to increase the income generated by the Russian reserves, and reduce the risk of fluctuations in their value.

Planning and opportunism

Tambovtsev Vitaly

The paper analyzes the occurrence of opportunistic behaviour opportunities in the planning processes. The following types of planning are distinguished: self-planning, collective planning, planning on behalf (or by contract), and directive (or prescriptive) planning. It is shown that any type of it excluding self-planning generates incentives to opportunistic behavior. Within this frame-work, two popular approaches in the planning theory are analyzed: participative planning and communicative one; it is shown that they are open to opportunism too. Basing on this analysis, the spheres of economy where government planning can be more efficient than market coordination mechanism are outlined.

Regional banking system in Russia: Trends and factors of spatial distribution

Ageeva Svetlana, Mishura Anna

We examine the spatial distribution of banks in Russian regions to identify the factors that affect changing territorial architecture of the banking system. The object of the study is dynamics of the number of commercial banks and their branches in 1991-2016. Besides the well-known tendency of concentration of the banking business in Moscow and reducing the number of banks in other regions we analyzed situation in the federal districts taking as an example the Siberian Federal District. This approach allowed us to formulate hypotheses about the causes of differences in the availability of banking institutions in Russian regions.

Through the prism of Spain. Socio-economic causes of different outcomes of Russian and Spanish civil wars

Rozinskiy Ivan, Rozinskaya Nataliya

The article examines the socio-economic causes of the outcome of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1936), which, as opposed to the Russian Civil War, resulted in the victory of the “Whites”. Choice of Spain as the object of comparison with Russia is justified not only by similarity of civil wars occurred in the two countries in the XX century, but also by a large number of common features in their history. Based on statistical data on the changes in economic well-being of different strata of Spanish population during several decades before the civil war, the authors formulate the hypothesis according to which the increase of real incomes of Spaniards engaged in agriculture is “responsible” for their conservative political sympathies. As a result, contrary to the situation in Russia, where the peasantry did not support the Whites, in Spain the peasants’ position predetermined the outcome of the confrontation resulting in the victory of the Spanish analogue of the Whites. According to the authors, the possibility of stable increase of Spanish peasants’ incomes was caused by the nation’s non-involvement in World War I and also by more limited, compared to Russia and some other countries, spending on creation of heavy (primarily military-related) industry in Spain.

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