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Russia's Warped Transition: The Destructive Consequences of Ethically Unconstrained Utility Seeking


  • Steven Rosefielde

    () (Department of Economics, University of North Carolina)


The Russian transition economy is best understood as a system that decriminalizes all power-seeking behaviors proscribed by textbook general competition. It is failing because the government sanctions oligopoly, monopoly, asset-grabbing, rent-seeking, elite misappropriation of state funds, the mis-administration of state assets, the mis-regulation of the private sector, and the forced suppression of competition. The efficiency losses caused by these abuses are examined in the factor, product, finance, distribution, and redistribution markets. The analysis suggests that the Russian economy won't recover until it empowers competitive efficiency and recriminalizes private and social exploitation.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven Rosefielde, 1999. "Russia's Warped Transition: The Destructive Consequences of Ethically Unconstrained Utility Seeking," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 25(4), pages 459-476, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:25:y:1999:i:4:p:459-476

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Steve J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1991. "Wage Dispersion Between and Within U.S. Manufacturing Plants, 1963-1986," NBER Working Papers 3722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Bound, John & Johnson, George, 1992. "Changes in the Structure of Wages in the 1980's: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 371-392, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kenneth Koford, 2000. "Citizen Restraints on “Leviathan” Government: Transition Politics in Bulgaria," Economic Studies journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 3, pages 30-62.
    2. De Clercq, Dirk & Danis, Wade M. & Dakhli, Mourad, 2010. "The moderating effect of institutional context on the relationship between associational activity and new business activity in emerging economies," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 85-101, February.
    3. Lance Brouthers & Dana-Nicoleta Lascu & Steve Werner, 2008. "Competitive Irrationality in Transitional Economies: Are Communist Managers Less Irrational?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 83(3), pages 397-408, December.
    4. Koford, Kenneth, 2000. "Citizen restraints on "Leviathan" government: transition politics in Bulgaria," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 307-338, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • P21 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Planning, Coordination, and Reform
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
    • P31 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Socialist Enterprises and Their Transitions


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