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Postcommunist Oligarchs in Russia: Quantitative Analysis

  • Serguey Braguinsky

The transition in Russia has not been a revolutionary jump to a market economy and democracy but an incremental process that has so far resulted in a hybrid system aptly called "oligarchic capitalism." I study the evolution of the first postcommunist oligarchy by examining the careers of the 296 most prominent first-wave postcommunist business tycoons. Forty-three percent of them were insider oligarchs deriving their status from a privileged nomenklatura background dating back to the previous regime. The rest were outsider oligarchs with no such background. Compared with insider oligarchs, outsider oligarchs were younger, better educated, and disproportionately Jewish. Their initial business successes tended to happen in sectors neglected in the planned economy, but the overwhelming majority of them subsequently developed their own special relationship with the government. It appears that instead of changing the rules of the socioeconomic game, the new entrants were themselves changed by those rules. (c) 2009 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved..

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal The Journal of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 52 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 307-349

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:52:y:2009:i:2:p:307-349
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