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Out by the door, in through the window: Politics and natural gas regulation in Russia


  • Ménard, Claude
  • Kurdin, Alexander
  • Shastitko, Andrey


This article deals with the regulation of the natural gas sector in Russia through the lens of institutional economics. It proposes a framework in which ‘meso-institutions’ bridge the gap between the macro-institutions shaping the ‘rules of the game,’ with the Kremlin at the core, and the micro-layer within which firms operate. We argue that the slow reform process comes from conflicts of interest embedded in these meso-institutions, specifically: the Federal Antimonopoly Service, the Ministry of Energy, and the Ministry of Economic Development. Based on official documents, data from various public sources, and semi-directive interviews and discussions, our analysis shows that parties are locked in a sub-optimal equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Ménard, Claude & Kurdin, Alexander & Shastitko, Andrey, 2020. "Out by the door, in through the window: Politics and natural gas regulation in Russia," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juipol:v:64:y:2020:i:c:s0957178720300461
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jup.2020.101051

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tarr, David G., 2010. "Export restraints on russian natural gas and raw timber : what are the economic impacts ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5195, The World Bank.
    2. Brown, J. David & Earle, John S. & Gehlbach, Scott, 2009. "Helping Hand or Grabbing Hand? State Bureaucracy and Privatization Effectiveness," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 103(2), pages 264-283, May.
    3. Elinor Ostrom, 2014. "Do institutions for collective action evolve?," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 3-30, April.
    4. Idrisov Georgy & Gordeev Dmitry, 2017. "Theoretical and Practical Aspects of Natural Gas Pricing in Domestic and Foreign Markets: The Case of Russia," Working Papers wpaper-2017-274, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, revised 2017.
    5. Oliver E. Williamson, 2000. "The New Institutional Economics: Taking Stock, Looking Ahead," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 595-613, September.
    6. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, February.
    7. Laffont,Jean-Jacques, 2005. "Regulation and Development," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521840187, Fall.
    8. Claude Ménard & Alejandro Jimenez & Hakan Tropp, 2018. "Addressing the policy-implementation gaps in water services: the key role of meso-institutions," Water International, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 13-33, January.
    9. North,Douglass C. & Wallis,John Joseph & Weingast,Barry R., 2013. "Violence and Social Orders," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107646995, Fall.
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