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Federal tax arrears in Russia "Liquidity problems, federal redistribution or regional resistance?"


  • Maria Ponomareva
  • Ekaterina Zhuravskaya


Three hypotheses about the nature of federal tax arrears in Russia in the second half of the 1990s are tested empirically. Tax arrears can be a result of: 1) liquidity problems in firms, 2) redistributive subsidies of the federal government, or 3) regional political resistance to federal tax collectors. Liquidity problems in firms explain a large part of the variation in tax arrears. Regional political resistance to federal tax collectors was also an important factor: For a given level of liquidity, federal arrears accumulated faster in regions where governors had a larger popular base, in regions with a better bargaining position "vis-à-vis" the centre, and in regions with governors in political opposition to the centre. We find that patterns of federal arrears are inconsistent with the redistributive politics premise that redistribution favours jurisdictions with 'closer races' for the incumbent in the national elections. Variation in authorized tax deferrals can be explained in part by federal redistributive politics. Copyright (c) The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 2004.

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  • Maria Ponomareva & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2004. "Federal tax arrears in Russia "Liquidity problems, federal redistribution or regional resistance?"," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 12(3), pages 373-398, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:etrans:v:12:y:2004:i:3:p:373-398

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    Cited by:

    1. Lambert-Mogiliansky, Ariane & Sonin, Konstantin & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2007. "Are Russian commercial courts biased? Evidence from a bankruptcy law transplant," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 254-277, June.
    2. Koen Schoors & Konstantin Sonin, 2005. "Passive Creditors," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(1), pages 57-86, July.
    3. Alexander Libman & Lars P. Feld, 2013. "Strategic Tax Collection and Fiscal Decentralization: The Case of Russia," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 14(4), pages 449-482, November.
    4. Mokhtari, Manouchehr & Grafova, Irina, 2007. "Corruption: Theory and evidence from the Russian Federation," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 412-422, December.
    5. Klugman, Jeni & Micklewright, John & Redmond, Gerry, 2002. "Poverty in the Transition: Social Expenditures and the Working-Age Poor," CEPR Discussion Papers 3389, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Ariane Lambert-Mogiliansky & Konstantin Sonin & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2006. "Are Russian commercial courts biased?Evidence from a natural bankruptcy experiment," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590402, HAL.
    7. Zakolyukina Anastasia, 2006. "Bankrtuptcy in Russia: External Management Performance," EERC Working Paper Series 06-09e, EERC Research Network, Russia and CIS.
    8. Dilip Mookherjee & Pranab Bardhan, 2005. "Decentralization, Corruption And Government Accountability: An Overview," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2005-023, Boston University - Department of Economics, revised Jun 2005.
    9. Libman, Alexander, 2008. "Federalism and regionalism in transition countries: A survey," MPRA Paper 29196, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Alexander Libman, 2015. "Words or deeds: what matters? On the role of symbolic action in political decentralization," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 801-838, November.
    11. Elena Jarocinska, 2010. "Intergovernmental grants in Russia," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 18(2), pages 405-427, April.
    12. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Santiago Lago-Peñas & Agnese Sacchi, 2017. "The Impact Of Fiscal Decentralization: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(4), pages 1095-1129, September.
    13. Hochman, Gal & Tabakis, Chrysostomos & Zilberman, David, 2013. "The impact of international trade on institutions and infrastructure," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 126-140.
    14. Alejandro Esteller-Moré, 2011. "Is the tax administration just a money machine? Empirical evidence on redistributive politics," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 275-299, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • R5 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis
    • P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy


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