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"Arrears" in the Russian Enterprise Sector


  • G. Alfandari
  • M.E. Schaffer


This paper offers an analysis of payment arrears in the Russian enterprise sector, using both official aggregate data and data from a World Bank survey of 439 large and medium industrial Russian enterprises conducted in mid-1994. The focus is on trade credit arrears, tax arrears, and wage arrears (a companion paper discusses bad bank debts in detail). Among the findings of the paper are: contrary to the standard view of an ongoing "inter-enterprise arrears crisis" in Russia, levels of trade credit arrears in Russia are compable to those found both in other transition countries and in Western market economies; trade credit arrears and inflation are closely inversely correlated, the likely reason being that when macro policy is being tightened, firms try to create liquidity by extending payment periods; basic credit control mechanisms are in wide use by firms; and financially-distressed firms raise the priority of paying suppliers and lower the priority of paying taxes, with the result that tax arrears are significantly concentrated in financially-distressed firms. The paper concludes with a discussion of policy options.

Suggested Citation

  • G. Alfandari & M.E. Schaffer, 1996. ""Arrears" in the Russian Enterprise Sector," CERT Discussion Papers 9608, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hwe:certdp:9608

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Begg, David & Portes, Richard, 1993. "Enterprise debt and financial restructuring in Central and Eastern Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 396-407, April.
    2. David Bigman & Sérgio Pereira. Leite, 1993. "Enterprise Arrears in Russia; Causes and Policy Options," IMF Working Papers 93/61, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Steven T Phillips & Vincent Koen, 1993. "Price Liberalization in Russia; Behavior of Prices, Household Incomes, and Consumption During the First Year," IMF Occasional Papers 104, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Jacek Rostowski, 1994. "Interenterprise Arrears in Post-Communist Economies," IMF Working Papers 94/43, International Monetary Fund.
    5. M Belka & S Estrin & M Schaffer & I.J. Singh, 1995. "Enterprise Adjustment in Poland: Evidence from a Survey of 200 Private," CEP Discussion Papers dp0233, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    6. Timothy Condon & S. Ramachandran, 1995. "Cash Constraints and Credit Corsets : The Chimera of Interenterprise Credit," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11676, The World Bank.
    7. Abel, István & Siklos, Pierre L, 1993. "Constraints on Enterprise Liquidity and their Impact on the Monetary Sector in Formerly Centrally Planned Economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 841, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Ickes, B.W. & Ryterman, R., 1992. "Inter-Enterprise Arrears and Financial Underdevelopment in Russia," Papers 9-92-6, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
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