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Russia: austerity and deficit reduction in historical and comparative perspective

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  • Vladimir Popov

Abstract

This paper looks at Russian experience with austerity programmes since the breakdown of the former Soviet Union in 1991. Downsizing of the state was one of the major elements in a reform package designed to transform the centrally planned economy into a market one (together with deregulation, privatisation, macroeconomic stabilisation and the opening up of the closed economy). This downsizing, however, proved to be the single most important reason for the collapse of state institutions, which in turn deepened the transformational recession, contributed to the dramatic rise of income inequalities, corruption and crime, and the decline in life expectancy. The story of the successes and failures of transition is not really the story of consistent shock therapy and inconsistent gradualism. The major plot of the postsocialist transformation 'novel' is the preservation of strong institutions in some countries (very different in other respects--from Central Europe and Estonia to China, Uzbekistan and Belarus) and the collapse of these institutions in other countries. At least 90% of this story is about government failure (the strength of state institutions) and not about market failure (liberalisation). Copyright The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Cambridge Political Economy Society. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Vladimir Popov, 2012. "Russia: austerity and deficit reduction in historical and comparative perspective," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(1), pages 313-334.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:36:y:2012:i:1:p:313-334
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cje/ber042
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    Cited by:

    1. Ichiro Iwasaki & Keiko Suganuma, 2015. "The impact of FDI and socio-cultural similarity on international trade: Poisson pseudo-maximum likelihood estimation of a Russian trade model," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(2), pages 1020-1033.
    2. Ichiro Iwasaki & Taku Suzuki, 2016. "Radicalism Versus Gradualism: An Analytical Survey Of The Transition Strategy Debate," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(4), pages 807-834, September.
    3. Iwasaki, Ichiro & Suganuma, Keiko, 2013. "A Gravity Model of Russian Trade: The Role of Foreign Direct Investment and Socio-Cultural Similarity," RRC Working Paper Series 40, Russian Research Center, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    4. Sundaram, Jomo Kwame & Popov, Vladimir, 2013. "Whither Income Inequalities?," MPRA Paper 52154, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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