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Economic growth in the post-socialist Russian Federation after 1991: The role of Institutions

  • Dobler, Constanze
  • Hagemann, Harald

The paper emphasizes the transition in Russia and the role institutions played before and during the process. In Russia, a big bang approach was applied. That is to say, transition was conducted all of a sudden, omitting important underlying reforms. This practice should function as a shock therapy. Hence, the approach should leave no other chance than an abrupt adaption to the new free-market rules. These rules would then lead to fast economic growth and development, as they did in other places. However, since Russian GDP per capita and thereby living standards deteriorated dramatically in the years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the plan did not work. At any rate, since then Russian economic indicators recovered and partly achieved their pre-1991 levels at the end of the last decade. The paper depicts Russia's reform efforts and the subsequent developments. The close ties among the political elite, the banking sector and the old nomenklatura are demonstrated. The patrimonial system that persisted for centuries is still observable at the state level. At any rate, Russia can neither evade its historical and institutional development path nor its societal structures that are based on networks and nepotism. Russia's systemic lack of the rule of law and therewith of secure property, the character of the Russian political system with the patriarch as the head of state and the resulting necessity of corruption and bribes inhibit the realization of its full growth potential.

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Paper provided by Promotionsschwerpunkt "Globalisierung und Beschaeftigung" in its series Violette Reihe Arbeitspapiere with number 34/2011.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:hohpro:342011
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  1. Sergei Guriev & Andrei Rachinsky, 2005. "The Role of Oligarchs in Russian Capitalism," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/1cu21pio6c9, Sciences Po.
  2. Serguey Braguinsky, 2009. "Postcommunist Oligarchs in Russia: Quantitative Analysis," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(2), pages 307-349, 05.
  3. Rodrik, Dani, 2000. "Institutions For High-Quality Growth: What They Are And How To Acquire Them," CEPR Discussion Papers 2370, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Nauro F. Campos & Fabrizio Coricelli, 2002. "Growth in Transition: What We Know, What We Don't, and What We Should," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 470, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  5. Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2007. "Whither Russia? A Review of Andrei Shleifer's A Normal Country," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(1), pages 127-146, March.
  6. Polterovich, Victor, 2007. "Institutional Trap," MPRA Paper 20595, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Kenneth J. Arrow, 2000. "Economic Transition: Speed and Scope," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 156(1), pages 9-, March.
  8. Abbigail J. Chiodo & Michael T. Owyang, 2002. "A case study of a currency crisis: the Russian default of 1998," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 7-18.
  9. Ickes, Barry W. & Ofer, Gur, 2006. "The political economy of structural change in Russia," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 409-434, June.
  10. Andrei Shleifer & Daniel Treisman, 2005. "A Normal Country: Russia After Communism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 151-174, Winter.
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