Economic laws of history

Nefedov Sergey

In the second half of the XX century the neo-Malthusian theory became the basis for the practical politics of many developing countries. Thus, governments have recognized that Malthusian laws are a reality of the traditional society, that they are the laws of history. The neo-Malthusian school exists in modern historiography, which studies the effect of Malthusian laws in the past. Historians-Malthusians argue that the historical process consists of demographic cycles — repeated periods of growth, stagnation and crisis. The article reviews the works of historians of the neo-Malthusian school.

From Craft to Institution: Accounting in Italy from the Middle ages to the Early Modern Period

Volkova Olga

The article describes the evolution of accounting from the simple registration technique to economic and social institution in medieval Italy. We used methods of institutional analysis and historical research. It is shown that the institutionalization of accounting had been completed by the XIV century, when it became a system of codified technical standards, scholar discipline and a professional field. We examine the interrelations of this process with business environment, political, social, economic and cultural factors of Italy by the XII—XVI centuries. Stages of institutionalization are outlined.

How to Reduce Violent Pressure on Business in Russia?

Yakovlev Andrei

The paper considers the factors explaining violent pressure of law enforcement agencies on businessmen in Russia in recent years. This phenomenon has been analyzed from the viewpoint of “destructive entrepreneurship” concept (Baumol, 1990) and “limited access order” framework (North et al., 2009). The paper stresses the key role of economic and political organizations in defending entrepreneurs’ interests. It proposes a number of policy recommendations on incentive system design for law enforcement agencies and development of their public communications with business and civil society organizations.

In Defense of the Euro: Austrian School Approach

Huerta de Soto Jesús

The mechanism of euro functioning is analyzed in the article from the standpoint of limiting the autonomy of monetary authorities of the European monetary union members, which precludes them from manipulating national currency for the short sighted political interests and postponing painful structural reforms under crises aimed at liberalizing the economy. In some aspects euro excels the classical gold standard, which fell under monetary nationalism attack in the 1930s. Motives and arguments of critics and adversaries are analyzed and the reasons for euro defense are exposed. Real economic and social problems of Europe and ECB errors are described.

Institutional Changes: An Application

Ktsoev Aslan

This article examines the possibility of constructing an optimal mechanism for the distribution of subsidies in Russian agricultural sector using the theory of economic mechanisms. The effectiveness of direct state support of agricultural companies is assessed. An approach to optimize the mechanism of subsidies on the basis of the model of rankings allocation of financial resources is presented.

Institutional foundations for the Organization of the real Economy

Deryabina Marina

The article studies theoretical and methodological foundations for the organization of the real economy. It analyzes the forms of market coordination in the real sector — the price mechanism and the hierarchy. The article studies the extent to which the organizational institutions of an advanced market economy are comparable to the organization of the real sector of the Russian economy formed during the last two decades. The most important aspects of the research are the factors of the evolution of the major element of the Russian economy under the market transformation, as well as specific characteristics of corporate governance.

Right to contestation, patron-client networks, and corruption

Orekhovsky Petr

In the paper the nature of Russian corruption is considered along the lines proposed by D. North, J. Wallis, and B. Weingast. The author considers patron-client networks as basic political and economic actors of the limited access order. The redistributive rent allocated within patron-client networks is not a corruption phenomenon. The main factor that is able to destroy patron-client networks and autonomous centers of power is the right to contestation (liberalization) according to R. Dahl. Realization of that right together with the right to participate in political life enables transition to the open access society.

Scanner of Our Capitalism

Bunich A.

According to the opinion of the author of the book, in present Russia is at a deadlock of beaurocratic-oligarchic capitalism. Sustainable economic development can be maintained only on the basis of social-democratic principles. Deliberate construction of convergent society is necessary that would combine advantages of capitalism and socialism, market and plan.

Trust in the Police: Cross-country Comparisons

Gimpelson Vladimir, Monusova Galina

Using different cross-country data sets and simple econometric techniques we study public attitudes towards the police. More positive attitudes are more likely to emerge in the countries that have better functioning democratic institutions, less prone to corruption but enjoy more transparent and accountable police activity. This has a stronger impact on the public opinion (trust and attitudes) than objective crime rates or density of policemen. Citizens tend to trust more in those (policemen) with whom they share common values and can have some control over. The latter is a function of democracy. In authoritarian countries — “police states” — this tendency may not work directly. When we move from semi-authoritarian countries to openly authoritarian ones the trust in the police measured by surveys can also rise. As a result, the trust appears to be U-shaped along the quality of government axis. This phenomenon can be explained with two simple facts. First, publicly spread information concerning police activity in authoritarian countries is strongly controlled; second, the police itself is better controlled by authoritarian regimes which are afraid of dangerous (for them) erosion of this institution.

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