Zhuravskaya E., Sonin K.
Laws that work well in developed market economies may produce unexpected outcomes in a corrupt environment. Once a legal institution is formally in place, it might be subverted by those who control its day-to-day operations. This paper focuses on the institution of bankruptcy to provide a case study of institutional subversion in a transition economy. The firm-level data analysis shows that Russia's bankruptcy law of 1998 did not result in improving managerial budget constraint. Instead of removing weak management and closing down loss-making enterprises as intended, it initiated a wave of inefficient property redistribution controlled by regional political elites.
The attempt to configure general contours of the economic theory of government control and supervising activity is undertaken in the article. Basing on the prerequisite of the benevolent state, the author considers its function of prevention of occurrence and compensation of undesirable (harmful) externalities caused by activities of economic agents. The author classifies types of externalities and offers corresponding mechanisms of their internalization.
Kleiner G., Petrosyan D., Bechenov A.
The concept of the role of the state in the economy is developed. It is based on the systemic representation of the structure of independent and cooperating macrolevel actors as a triad "the state - the society - the economy". The concept assumes the balanced and coordinated functioning of these three spheres and the existence of functions of the state that cannot be delegated to others spheres, the main one of which is to maintain the evolutionary and progressive development of the country. Such representation allows creating in a new fashion the list and subordination of the functions of the state in the economy and the society, defining targets of the state ownership management.
The general scientific context of evolution of fundamental economic science is considered in the article. Possible changes of the status of economics as one of the universum spheres, shifts in fundamental economic science, its subject, object, subject space and methodical toolkit in connection with priority development of a post-nonclassical paradigm of scientific thought are analyzed.
Housing and communal services (HCS) tariffs are growing in Russia. In 2002, the population spent 100 billion rubles more for HCS than in 2001. The purpose of this article is to evaluate real thresholds of readiness and willingness of households to pay for HCS, as well as to evaluate parameters of HCS demand price elasticities and factors determining payments collection rates. Two thresholds were evaluated: the threshold for low-income families, which is 10-14% of their personal incomes spent to pay utility bills, and the threshold of 5-6% for the whole population. These thresholds are valid for the collection rate of 95% (with other required collection rates they will be different). Both identified thresholds present very stable and solid proportions of the structure of consumer expenses and are universal for different countries.
The paper deals with one of the characteristic trends of the 2000s, that is, the government's property expansion. It is accompanied by attempts to consolidate economic structures controlled by the state and state-owned stock packages and unitary enterprises under the aegis of holdings. Besides the government practices selective severe enforcement actions against a number of the largest private companies, strengthens its control over companies with mixed capital and establishes certain informal procedures of relationships between private business and the state. The author examines the YUKOS case and the business community's actual capacity to protect its interests. One can argue that in all likelihood the trend to the 'state capitalism' in its specific Russian variant has become clearer over 2003-2004.
The paper examines a specific model of wage-setting evolved in Russia under transition. Using new survey data author reveals paradoxical characteristics of wage-setting mechanisms at Russian industrial enterprises: very high union and collective agreement coverage; nearly unilateral control of managers over wage determination; close correlation between earnings and enterprises' performance; voluntary utilization of wage standards established by the state. The special section explores effects of fulfilling a new provision stipulated for by the recently adopted Labor Code to raise minimum wage to the subsistence minimum level. The author concludes that wage-setting in the Russian labor market is at odds with a textbook competitive model and poorly fits into many other sophisticated theoretical schemes (such as labor-managed firms, bargaining models etc.).
Main features of the new economic model for Russia are considered in the article. The strategic vision of the problem of economic transformations in the country is presented, directed at its deep modernization. The goals of the state concerning economic policy in general and industrial policy in particular are formulated. The necessity of making a number of key political decisions for successful implementation of the long-term strategy of Russia's development is noted.