A view at the Russian economic transformation

Baranov E.F., Bessonov V.A.

The transition of the Russian economy from plan to market is considered at a qualitative level. The analysis of economic dynamics in the transformation paradigm is conducted. The main stages of the transition process are discussed. Bonuses and costs due to the transition to market economy are considered. The reasons for the outstripping growth of well-being as compared to the growth of output are discussed. The signs of exhaustion of the potential of factors ensuring an abnormally high rate of recovery and accompanying welfare growth are discussed. The conclusion is made that the transformational recovery has been completed. The Russian economy has moved to the stage of development with relatively low growth rates of output and welfare, typical for stable (nontransition) economies.

Household deposits and bank license withdrawals in the Russian regions

Vasilyeva O.G., Novopashina A.N.

In our paper we try to answer the question whether license withdrawals undermine households’ confidence in banks and decrease their incentives to make deposits in Russia. To address this question we use balanced panel data for Russian regions for 2010—2016. We find some evidence in favor of a small positive statistically significant effect of banks branches closures due to license withdrawals on household deposits. At the same time we don’t observe statistically significant increase of households’ deposits in the large state-owned banks.

Marx and the “law of value”: Critical appraisal on the occasion of his 200th birth anniversary

Kurz H.D.

The paper celebrates Karl Marx’ 200th birthday in terms of a critical discussion of the “law of value” and the idea that “abstract labour”, and not any use value, is the common third of any two commodities that exchange for one another in a given proportion. It is argued that this view is difficult to sustain. It is also the source of the wretched and unnecessary “transformation problem”. Ironically, as Piero Sraffa has shown, prices of production and the general rate of profits are fully determined in terms of the same set of data from which Marx started his analysis.

Money multiplier in the context of modern views on money creation: theory and facts

Grishchenko V.O.

For a long period of time, multiple money expansion has been regarded empirically proven. Nevertheless, in recent decades it has been widely disputed, particularly in the publications of central banks and those of the BIS. In this paper we show that multiple money expansion is characteristic of underdeveloped financial systems. In the era of multiple money expansion the volume of lending was limited by the supply of bank reserves. Today, however, the main constraint is the demand for credit. This is supported by our analysis of banks’ balance sheets as well as VAR analysis of factors of bank lending in Russia in 2005—2017.

Over-indebtedness of Russians: Myth or reality?

Kuzina O.E., Krupenskiy N.A.

The main objective of the study is to assess the level of indebtedness and over-indebtedness of Russians. Despite the fact that according to official statistics, the level of household indebtedness in Russia is one of the lowest in the world, the percentage share of non-performing loans is higher than in the countries with a higher level of household indebtedness. During 2015—2017, every fourth of those who had an outstanding loan in Russia spent more than 30% of his or her income on paying back a loan. The reason is that in Russia, within retail lending consumer loans prevail over mortgages. Consumer loans are taken for a short time and at a high interest rate. As a result, debt service of relatively small loans creates a greater burden on the family budget for Russians than in Europe and the United States. In this context, the increase of retail lending can only be sustainable if banks change their business model and transit from short-term consumer credits to long-term loans secured by real estate or other assets.

Secular stagnation in the modern world

Drobyshevsky S.M., Trunin P.V., Bozhechkova A.V.

The paper studies the factors of secular stagnation. Key factors of long-term slowdown in economic growth include the slowdown of technological development, aging population, human capital accumulation limits, high public debt, creative destruction process violation etc. The authors analyze key theoretical aspects of long-term stagnation and study the impact of these factors on Japanies economy. The authors conclude that most of the factors have significant influence on the Japanese economy for recent decades, but they cannot explain all dynamics. For Russia, on the contrary, we do not see any grounds for considering the decline in the economy since 2013 as an episode of secular stagnation.

The influence of inflation targeting on the pass-through effect of the exchange rate

Kartaev Ph. S., Yakimova Yu. I.

The paper studies the impact of the transition to the inflation targeting regime on the magnitude of the pass-through effect of the exchange rate to prices. We analyze cross-country panel data on developed and developing countries. It is shown that the transition to this regime of monetary policy contributes to a significant reduction in both the short- and long-term pass-through effects. This decline is stronger in developing countries. We identify the main channels that ensure the influence of the monetary policy regime on the pass-through effect, and examine their performance. In addition, we analyze the data of time series for Russia. It was concluded that even there the transition to inflation targeting led to a decrease in the dependence of the level of inflation on fluctuations in the ruble exchange rate.

Towards a general theory of socio-economic development. Part 1. Geography, institutions, or culture?

Polterovich V.M.

A new approach to understanding socio- economic development is proposed, based on consideration of the evolution of coordination mechanisms. The work consists of two parts. In the first part, a critical analysis of four recently proposed theories of development, focusing on geographical, institutional, or cultural factors, is given. These theories have greatly enriched our understanding of the evolution of society. However, as our analysis shows, none of them provides a satisfactory description of the driving forces and mechanisms of this evolution; the main reason is rooted in their common shortcoming — monocausality. It is proposed to distinguish between two types of development, catching-up and leading one. Basic ideas of the theory of catching-up development are presented. It explains the phenomenon of the “economic miracle” as a result of mutually conditioned changes in culture, institutions, technological progress and well-being in the context of interaction of competition, power and collaboration mechanisms. The second part is devoted to the theory of leading socio-economic development.

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