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A cross-country comparative analysis of the Russian financial sector model

Stolbov Mikhail I., Goloshchapova Irina O., Solntsev Oleg G., Akhmetov Renat R., Pankova Vera A., Tsepilova Elizaveta A.

In this paper, based on a cross-country analysis, the authors distil different models of the financial sector, which are characterized by peculiar interrelations among size, structure, efficiency, stability, inclusion and the institutional quality of financial development. Against this backdrop, the model of the Russian financial sector is described. To identify the financial sector models, cluster analysis involving the EM algorithm with a Bayesian extension is performed on a vast sample of countries. The analysis allows setting key long-term indicators of the Russian financial sector development, taking into consideration its potential of transition to the cluster of more financially advanced economies.

Analysis of debt burden and credit of corporate sector: Estimates for Russia and cross-country cases

Sheremeta Sergei V., Mogilat Anastasia N.

The paper discusses dynamics of private sector debt-to-GDP ratio and debt service ratio (DSR). We show that the level of DSR for developing countries is less than that of DSR for developed countries, and has a more volatile dynamics. Developing countries face significant risk from external sector of the economy due to high level of their dependence on external debt - through currency revaluation, on the one hand, and reciprocal growth of interest rates, on the other hand. This is illustrated, for example, by the situation in Russia in 2014-2016. We also show that countries with monetary policy based on inflation targeting face much more downplayed response of DSR shocks on their economic activity than countries with different regimes of monetary policy. That is why currency crises in several regions including South-East Asia and Russia, have led to significant growth in DSR and forwarded shift to inflation targeting in these countries. Along with shocks of DSR related to volatility of foreign currency, we explore those related to inflation and monetary conditions, abrupt changes in economic activity, etc. The paper also focuses on factors of DSR dynamics, including interest rates, terms, volumes, foreign currency revaluation, and its decomposition on the long period of time.

Consumer finance in Russia: Income shocks and consumption smoothing

Mamedli Mariam O., Sinyakov Andrey A.

On the basis of the Russian Survey of Household Finance, we investigate the consumption behavior of Russian households, who faced a negative income shock at the end of 2014. We also analyze the role of crisis-adjusting consumption strategies based on the instruments of financial market, namely an increase in the stock of debt or decrease in liquid and non-liquid assets. Results based on two identification procedures of income shocks show that Russian households were able to smooth around 50% of their income shock. The ability to smooth consumption is lower for those living in rural areas, households with higher levels of debt accumulated before 2014 and those with lower income. Overall, Russian households are not used to spend savings or increase their debt in response to the income changes with the exception of those who already had a higher level of debt by 2014. The results may have important implications for the Bank of Russia policy.

Hidden “holes” in the capital of banks and the supply of credit to the real sector of economy

Mamonov Mikhail E.

Our analysis documents that the existence of hidden “holes” in the capital of not yet failed banks - while creating intertemporal pressure on the actual level of capital - leads to changing of maturity of loans supplied rather than to contracting of their volume. Long-term loans decrease, whereas short-term loans rise - and, what is most remarkably, by approximately the same amounts. Standardly, the higher the maturity of loans the higher the credit risk and, thus, the more loan loss reserves (LLP) banks are forced to create, increasing the pressure on capital. Banks that already hide “holes” in the capital, but have not yet faced with license withdrawal, must possess strong incentives to shorten the maturity of supplied loans. On the one hand, it raises the turnovers of LLP and facilitates the flexibility of capital management; on the other hand, it allows increasing the speed of shifting of attracted deposits to loans to related parties in domestic or foreign jurisdictions. This enlarges the potential size of ex post revealed “hole” in the capital and, therefore, allows us to assume that not every loan might be viewed as a good for the economy: excessive short-term and insufficient long-term loans can produce the source for future losses.

On current state of economics: Subjective semi-sociological observations

Kapeliushnikov Rostislav I.

The paper analyses recent sociological and epistemological trends in the evolution of economics as a scientific enterprise and as a social institution and tries to evaluate its current state and further perspectives. It concludes that now there is neither triumph nor crisis in modern economic science. Rather, economics is in an ordinary working state though not very promising since the period of big theoretical ideas seems to be over for it, since new atheoretical tendency in it is becoming stronger, and since it would become more and more interventionistic in the nearest future.

Quantitative easing operations as an instrument of monetary policy

Usoskin Valentine М.

Quantitative easing operations (QE) carried out during the last ten years by world central banks have become a reaction to the weakness of traditional instruments used to counteract the financial crisis of 2007-2009 and the following recession. This article reviews the peculiar features of QE, theoretical explanations of their influence on economic situation and the evidences of their efficiency as an instrument of monetary policy. The author concludes that QE exerted a considerable impact on financial markets processes but they were much less successful in reaching macroeconomic goals of monetary policy.

Russian bank insurance in the retail segment: Myths and reality

Ezrokh Yuri S.

The article examines key problems of the domestic market of bank insurance (banks’ provision of insurance services under agency programs) in the segment of servicing individuals. It is shown that their accumulation led to a significant “devaluation” of the economic meaning of insurance in the credit segment: (a) the direct (insurance) effect remains extremely low; (b) banks and insurance companies are focused on the indirect effect (super profits against the background of ultra-low payments). The main problems of the accumulative bank insurance segment have been identified, which can lead to similar consequences in the medium term. The measures to regulate the market of bank insurance with the purpose of its recovery are grounded.

Simplicity of complexity (On the book “Essays on economic synergetics” edited by V. I. Maevsky, S. G. Kirdina-Chandler, and M. A. Deryabina)

Maltsev Alexander A., Maltsev Andrei A.

The aim of this article is to give an overview of the key ideas of the book “Essays on economic synergetics”, written by a group of economists from the Institute of Economics, RAS. The peculiarities of the synergetic approach perception by Russian economists are considered. It is shown that despite of some differences in theoretical and methodological views, Russian scientists desire to view the economy as an open system subject to endogenous evolution. Special attention is paid to the possibility of using synergetics to analyze the problems of current economic practice.

The behavioral economics of monetary policy

Moiseev Sergey R.

Macroeconomics is the basis of monetary policy analysis in most researches. At the same time a new cross disciplinary approach has emerged - at the crossroad of macroeconomics and behavioral economics. Alternative theories describe the impact of personnel independence of monetary authorities, career incentives, staff properties and the gender diversity of central bank governors on monetary policy results. They shed the light on personnel policy characteristics and the staff profile in a central bank.

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