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Asymmetric Federalism in Russia: Cure or Poison?

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Abstract

In the early years of its existence, the Russian Federation adopted a system of differential treatment of its regions in order to cope with the great degree of diversity present in them. This paper examines the Russian Federation’s asymmetric federalism by evaluating the system’s role, significance and effects on the Federation’s development. The study incorporates a detailed description of the asymmetric federalism over time along with the benefits and costs incurred by its implementation. It also stresses the importance of the system within the process of nation-building in the Federation over the last decade. The paper concludes that asymmetric federalism helped significantly to glue the country together in the early years when national preservation and unity were the main issues in the Federation. However, as the separatist threats significantly decreased and the political friction and economic difficulties of the asymmetric treatment of regions became more pronounced and obvious, most of the country rightly demanded a simpler, more transparent and fair approach to intergovernmental fiscal relations. Asymmetric federalism, therefore, contributed to the Federation’s 1998 debt crisis and had eroded national solidarity and a national purpose. Thus, the early cure had become poison.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University in its series International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU with number paper0304.

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Length: 59 pages
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper0304

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Keywords: Asymmetric Federalism; Russia;

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References

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  1. Roy Bahl, 1999. "Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations in Leningrad Region," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper9902, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  2. Broadman, Harry G. & Recanatini, Francesca, 2001. "Where has all the foreign investment gone in Russia?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2640, The World Bank.
  3. Olivier Blanchard & Andrei Shleifer, 2001. "Federalism With and Without Political Centralization: China Versus Russia," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 48(4), pages 8.
  4. Richard M. Bird & Francois Vaillancourt, 2001. "Reconciling Diversity with Equality: The Role of Intergovernmental Fiscal Arrangements in Maintaining an Effective State in Canada," International Tax Program Papers 0406, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, revised Apr 2004.
  5. de Melo, Martha & Ofer, Gur, 1999. "The Russian city in transition - the first six years in ten Volga capitals," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2165, The World Bank.
  6. Lavrov, Aleksei & Litwack, John & Sutherland, Douglas, 2001. "Fiscal federalist relations in Russia: a case for subnational autonomy," MPRA Paper 26537, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Daniel Berkowitz & David DeJong, 1998. "Russia's Internal Border," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 189, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  8. Vladimir Popov, 2004. "Fiscal Federalism in Russia: Rules versus Electoral Politics," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 46(4), pages 515-541, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Pertti Haaparanta & Tuuli Juurikkala & Olga Lazareva & Jukka Pirttila & Laura Solanko & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2003. "Firms And Public Service Provision In Russia," Working Papers w0041, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  2. Torgler, Benno, 2011. "Tax morale and compliance : review of evidence and case studies for Europe," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5922, The World Bank.
  3. Richard Bird, 2001. "Fiscal Federalism in Russia: A Canadian Perspective," International Tax Program Papers 0409, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, revised Dec 2003.
  4. Roy Bahl & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2013. "Sequencing Fiscal Decentralization," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(2), pages 641-687, November.
  5. Benno Torgler & James Alm & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2005. "Russian Attitudes Toward Paying Taxes – Before, During, and After the Transition," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0518, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  6. Ariane Lambert-Mogiliansky & Konstantin Sonin & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2003. "Capture of Bankruptcy: Theory and Russian Evidence," Working Papers w0038, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  7. Richard M. Bird, 2012. "Subnational Taxation in Large Emerging Countries: BRIC Plus One," IMFG Papers 06, University of Toronto, Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance.
  8. Kwon, Goohoon & Spilimbergo, Antonio, 2005. "Russia's Regions: Income Volatility, Labour Mobility and Fiscal Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5265, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Libman, Alexander, 2008. "Federalism and regionalism in transition countries: A survey," MPRA Paper 29196, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Denis Nitikin & Chunli Shen & Heng-fu Zou, 2011. "Canada's and Russia's Experiences with Land Taxation Reform: Lessons for China," CEMA Working Papers 519, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  11. Goohoon Kwon & Antonio Spilimbergo, 2005. "Russia's Regions," IMF Working Papers 05/185, International Monetary Fund.

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