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Fiscal Federalism in Russia through the Lens of Government Programs Implementation


  • Oding, Nina

    (International Centre for Social and Economic Research “Leontief Centre”)

  • Savulkin, Lev

    (International Centre for Social and Economic Research “Leontief Centre”)

  • Yushkov, Andrey

    (International Centre for Social and Economic Research “Leontief Centre”)


During the last 20 years, many attempts have been made in Russia to develop fiscal federalism system that can enable sustainable fulfillment of the financial obligations at all levels of government and creates economic incentives for various actors. The evidence of these attempts is the adoption of numerous government programs in the field of public financial management throughout these years. The goal of the present article is to identify whether the implementation of the government programs is conducive or detrimental to the development of fiscal federalism in Russia. The subject of the article is the correspondence between the formally declared goals and objectives of the government programs and the real situation in Russian fiscal federalism. The methodology is based on the descriptive statistical analysis of the major indicators of the budget system and the comparative analysis of the problems, challenges and achievements stated in the government programs. The article collects and analyzes major trends in the development of fiscal federalism in Russia — degenerating structure of the federal budget revenues, increasing dependence of regions on federal fiscal transfers, and imbalances between revenue and expenditure assignments at the regional and local levels. Critical features and contradictions of these documents are also identified. The analysis of the performance indicators present in the latest State Program (2014) allows identifying potential problems in formulating and measuring these indicators and propose alternative indicators as well as other recommendations on the improvement of program documents. The practical significance of the article lies in the development of proposals to adjust indicators for efficient public financial management.

Suggested Citation

  • Oding, Nina & Savulkin, Lev & Yushkov, Andrey, 2016. "Fiscal Federalism in Russia through the Lens of Government Programs Implementation," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 4, pages 93-114, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:rnp:ecopol:ep1644

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Era Dabla-Norris, 2006. "The Challenge of Fiscal Decentralisation in Transition Countries," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 48(1), pages 100-131, March.
    2. Yingyi Qian & Barry R. Weingast, 1997. "Federalism as a Commitment to Reserving Market Incentives," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 83-92, Fall.
    3. Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge & McNab, Robert M., 2003. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 1597-1616, September.
    4. J. Kornai & E. Maskin & G. Roland., 2004. "Understanding the Soft Budget Constraint," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 12.
    5. N. Zubarevich., 2015. "Regional Dimension of the New Russian Crisis," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 4.
    6. Migara O. De Silva & Galina Kurlyandskaya & Elena Andreeva & Natalia Golovanova, 2009. "Intergovernmental Reforms in the Russian Federation : One Step Forward, Two Steps Back?," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2668, 05-2018.
    7. Ulrich Thießen, 2003. "Fiscal Decentralisation and Economic Growth in High-Income OECD Countries," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 24(3), pages 237-274, September.
    8. E. Bukhval’D., 2008. "Russian Federalism at the Critical Stage of Development," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 9.
    9. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
    10. Weingast, Barry R, 1995. "The Economic Role of Political Institutions: Market-Preserving Federalism and Economic Development," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 1-31, April.
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    More about this item


    fiscal federalism; budget system; government programs; target indicators;

    JEL classification:

    • H61 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Budget; Budget Systems
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism


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