Natural Rent in the Russian Oil and Gas Sector
Detailed estimates of the hydrocarbon rent for 1999—2009 are presented. Size, sources, and usage patterns of the hidden rent (which is not included into hydrocarbons prices, but provides the source of energy subsidies) are built for the first time. This part of the natural rent is estimated to vary from 8 to 17% of GDP. The largest losses in hydrocarbon rent were related, first, with subsidizing domestic users of natural gas, and second, with diminishing value added in the refinery sector. The obsolete refinery was implicitly supported with relatively low taxation regime. This support reflects overall soft budget constraint stance pursued by the government that constitutes an important impediment to the modernization of Russian economy.
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