What characteristics of firms give them the confidence to invest in settings rife with expropriation by local officials? Empirically, firms in the developing world often face the threat of expropriation from local agents of the state rather than a centralized autocrat. Because policing local officials is costly, the state cannot easily credibly commit to doing so. This has negative consequences for investment. We argue that one solution is to allow firms to approach the state directly to ask for intervention. Not all firms are equally able to successfully get the attention of the state, however, so this mechanism only works for some. We develop an argument about the firm-level characteristics – large-scale employment, political connections, foreign ownership, and business association membership – that should make the central state more attentive to calls for help. Because firm with these characteristics are more likely to secure intervention against predatory bureaucrats, the latter are less likely to try to expropriate them. These firms’ investment decisions should be less sensitive to local expropriation than other firms. We test this argument using data on cases of decentralized expropriation across Russia’s regions and firm-level data from a cross-regional, large scale survey of Russian firms.
The transition from a short-term cost-plus tariff regulation to either a long-term rate-of-return or long-term price cap regulation in Russia started in 2009 and was completed in 2012, causing substantial changes in investment over the course of the reform. We estimate panel data of 46 Russian electricity distribution entities with a dynamic investment model using the system generalized method of moments and addressing potential endogeneity issues. We show that, despite the noncredible regulatory policy, the transition from short-to long-term regulation had a positive and significant effect on the investment rate of regulated entities. The specific long-term regulation design applied in Russia from 2008 to 2017 (either rate-of-return or price cap) had no effect on the investment rate. These results are important for the introduction of changes in regulatory frameworks in developing countries.
During the past few decades, many developing countries have initiated public procurement reforms. One of their prime objectives was to limit corruption, enhance competition, and reduce the scope of procurer opportunism. However, radical changes in regulations have resulted in the emergence of new opportunities for opportunism this time on the supplier side.
What conditions enable governments, educational institutions, and enterprises to organise joint, comprehensive technical and vocational education systems (TVET) in developing and transitional countries? This paper explores this question on the basis of an original survey of enterprises in 12 Russian regions designed to determine the factors affecting local adoption of German-style ‘dual education’ in TVET. We distinguish between firm-level and regional-level factors influencing firms to form institutionally costly partnerships with vocational schools and government entities for the sake of upgrading skill formation. Our findings point to the importance of state intervention in fostering and enforcing firm-school partnerships in settings lacking the dense network of labor and business organizations characteristic of coordinated market economies in Western Europe.
In the modern world, competition policy is an important part of global governance. Coordination of efforts between different countries is not an easy task, because the distribution of gains and losses from anticompetitive conducts is uneven across the globe. We identify joint interests of BRICS to influence international competition policy regime and analyse the effects of domestic enforcement on global markets. Among the targets of competition enforcement with large effects on global markets are conducts of international property rights holders. BRICS authorities apply remedies in order to weaken intellectual property rights (IPR) protection, both under merger approval and infringement decisions on unilateral conducts.
Similarity of the rules on merger control in BRICS gives reason to believe that global governance in the form of a supranational advisory body with the right of legislative initiative is possible in this area. On the other hand, a review of existing legislation and the institutional structure of BRICS enforcement indicates that enforcement against anticompetitive conducts is unlikely to become the focus of coordinated action.
Effective systems of vocational education are crucial to economic and social development. However, coordination of labor market demand and supply of skill requires either well-functioning labor market institutions or institutionally-embedded strategic partnerships among government, labor, and employers. In particular, the transplantation of German-style dual education methods to a different environment poses significant institutional dilemmas. Russia presents a useful case for examining the conditions under which such arrangements can be established. Based on a series of interviews in six Russian regions and a set of case histories, we seek to draw testable hypotheses that can be applied to other settings.
Modern clientelist exchange is typically carried out by intermediaries—party activists, employers, local strongmen, traditional leaders, and the like. Politicians use such brokers to mobilize voters, yet we know little about their relative effectiveness. We argue that broker effectiveness depends on their (1) leverage over clients and (2) ability to monitor voters. We apply our theoretical framework to compare two of the most common brokers worldwide, party activists and employers, arguing the latter enjoy numerous advantages along both dimensions. Using survey-based framing experiments in Venezuela and Russia, we find voters respond more strongly to turnout appeals from employers than from party activists. To demonstrate mechanisms, we show that vulnerability to job loss and embeddedness in workplace social networks make voters more responsive to clientelist mobilization by their bosses. Our results shed light on the conditions most conducive to effective clientelism and highlight broker type as important for understanding why clientelism is prevalent in some countries, but not others.
Advance price announcements in the form of general rate increase (GRIs) by liner shipping companies have recently become the subject of investigations by competition authorities in different jurisdictions, including the European Union and Russia. The main goal of this paper is to answer the question whether GRIs predict price changes of competitors. Comparison of GRIs with actual price changes in particular routes, defined as antitrust markets in competition investigations in Russia, shows a limited anti-competitive effect of advance price announcements, albeit under specific market conditions. Regression analysis, undertaken in the context of the Russian investigation, rejects the hypothesis that the GRI of a particular company would be followed by price increases of its competitors. Moreover, the frequent changes in the market shares of liner companies support the hypothesis of competition vis à vis collusion. Remedies applied by competition authorities address content and timing of GRIs. The theory of tacit collusion suggests that remedies, which further specify the content of price announcements, may paradoxically enhance non-cooperative pricing, in contrast to remedies that restrict audience of GRIs by customers.
In this paper we describe a methodology that allows researchers to measure empirically, in the form of well-defined indicators, the extent to which economic analysis and evidence is been applied in the enforcement of competition law, using data collected from the decisions of competition authorities. By mapping the value of these indicators to different legal standards, our methodology also allows one to identify the legal standards adopted in the assessment of different conducts that were investigated by the authorities. The policy implications of empirical work in this area are potentially very important, since the extent to which economic analysis is applied in the assessment of anti-competitive conduct by competition authorities may well influence the quality of this assessment (i.e. the quality of enforcing competition law, measured by the extent to which decision-errors and deterrence effects are minimised). Empirical analysis using the indicators can be used to undertake comparative analysis in different countries, to examine the extent to which authorities favour specific legal standards in the assessment of specific conducts and the way in which the judicial review process treats decisions depending on the legal standard used.
The report engages with one of the most crucial questions of our time, the public governance of the digital economy, in particular focusing on the new forms of competitive interaction in the era of digital capitalism. New questions emerge out of the transition from the old to the new economy, which require ‘outside of the box thinking’ in order to inform policymakers and help to broaden the current narratives. Competition authorities have recently engaged in significant preparatory work, often in partnership with academics, in order to reflect on the challenges set by the digital economy to modern competition law enforcement. There have been a number of insightful reports already published the last few months and more work in the making. None of these reports has nevertheless so far engaged with the rapidly developing digital economy of emerging and developing jurisdictions, and in particular the BRICS, which represent a third of the world economy and a significant part of the global digital economy.
Do economic sanctions turn the public against the target government or cause it to rally around the flag? How do sanctions affect attitudes toward the sanctioner? How does bad economic performance under sanctions shape support for the target government? Despite their importance, these questions have rarely been explored with survey data. Results from two surveys in Russia find that exposure to information about economic sanctions does not generate a rally around the flag, leads some groups to withdraw support from the target government, and reduces support for the sanctioner. Respondents also react more strongly to the reasons why sanctions were put in place—the annexation of Crimea—than to the sanctions themselves. These results suggest the need to reevaluate theories of the impact of economic sanctions and blame-shifting under autocracy.
How do elections and post-election protest shape political trust in a competitive autocracy? Taking advantage of largely exogenous variation in the timing of a survey conducted in Moscow in 2011, we find that an election had little systematic effect on political trust, perhaps because vote improprieties were not new information. In contrast, the unexpected protest that followed increased trust in government. We argue that when autocrats permit protest unexpectedly, citizens may update their beliefs about the trustworthiness of the government. In this case, heightened trust arises largely from opposition voters - those most likely to be surprised by permission to hold the protest - who update their beliefs. Our results suggest that citizens may cue not off the content of a protest, but off the government's decision to permit it. In addition, autocrats can increase trust in government by allowing protest when it is unexpected.
Elite cohesion is a fundamental pillar of authoritarian stability. High-level defections can signal weakness, embolden the opposition, and sometimes, lead to regime collapse. Using a dataset of 4,291 ruling party candidates in Russia, this paper develops and tests hypotheses about the integrity of elite coalitions under autocracy. Our theory predicts that ruling elites defect when there is greater uncertainty about the regime’s willingness to provide spoils. Regimes that share power with the opposition, limit access to spoils, and lack formal institutions see more defections. Co-opting the opposition assuages outside threats but leaves regime insiders disgruntled and prone to defection. Those with personal followings and business connections are the most likely to defect, since they can pursue their political goals independently of the regime. Taken together, our results highlight important tradeoffs among authoritarian survival strategies. Many of the steps autocrats take to repel challenges simultaneously heighten the risk of defections
Based on the synthesis of a large empirical and theoretical literature on centre-region relations in China and Russia, Federalism in China and Russia is one of the first attempts to integrate this literature from different disciplines into a coherent common framework. Libman and Rochlitz argue that the divergence in growth performance between Russia and China can be at least partially explained by a number of features of the Chinese system of centre-regional relations.The authors offer a comparative analysis of the development of centre-region relations in Russia and in China and explore several dimensions of these relations: fiscal ties and incentives; bureaucratic practices; flows of information; and local government practices, while addressing the determinants of divergence between both countries. They also examine how the Chinese system has recently started to change, by adopting several features of the Russian model, which might be one of the reasons for Chinas declining growth performance in recent years.Federalism in China and Russia should be read by scholars in public economics, political economy and comparative politics, as well as by students and policy analysts. For scholars, the book serves as a point of reference in studying the comparative evolution of the two countries. It will enrich the discussion on fiscal federalism, centre-region relations and sub-national political regimes, and could potentially become an important part of syllabi in political economy, public economics and comparative politics courses. For policy analysts, the book offers a comprehensive survey of the evolution of centre-periphery relations of the two countries and the differences between them, which is important to better understand the overall development of Russia and China.
Although many scholars have analyzed the role played by the siloviki in Russian politics, they usually focus on the presence of siloviki in the federal elite or the pressure they exerted on business. In this article, we use new data on the appointments of regional governors and the heads of regional departments of the Federal Security Service (ufsb), as well as data on regional economic growth from 2005 to 2017, to examine how decisions by the Kremlin with respect to the appointment of key regional siloviki have affected economic development in Russian regions. We find that regions where the governor-siloviki relationship has been stable over time also display higher rates of growth. We then investigate whether regional fsb heads are specifically appointed to start investigations on regional governors, but do not find a statistically significant relationship. Finally, we show how a number of newly appointed political heavyweights among Russia’s governor corps have been given their “own” silovik to support them in their region.
From robocalls to vote buying to electoral intimidation scholars have identified many ways that politicians mobilize voters to the polls. We develop a simple argument about the conditions under which autocrats will use positive inducements such as vote buying and negative inducement such as employee coercion of workers. Using survey experiments and crowd-sourced electoral violation reports from the 2011-12 election cycle in Russia, we find little evidence that vote buying was practiced on a large scale in this election. This finding is consistent with arguments about the decline of vote buying in middle-income countries. Voter intimidation, however, was relatively common, especially among employed voters and in Russia’s many single company towns where employers have much leverage over employees. In these single company towns, the consequences of job loss are so grave that employer intimidation may often be sufficient to induce compliance even without direct monitoring of voter behavior. Outside of company towns where employers have less leverage, active forms of monitoring may supplement intimidation in order to encourage compliance. These results suggest that employers can be reliable vote brokers; that voter intimidation can persist in a middle-income country; and that, under some conditions intimidation may be employed without the need for active monitoring.
Since 2008, tighter budget constraints have forced the Russian federal government to adjust the system governing its relations with the regions. This paper argues that more advanced Russian regions have the potential to develop a constructive response to the recent deterioration in their operational environment. This argument is based on an analysis of the experiences of coping with the external shocks that have occurred over the last 25 years in the Republic of Tatarstan. The paper identifies key factors that have helped the republic successfully tackle previous shocks, such as elite cohesion and internal consensus regarding republican developmental priorities.
December 19, 2016, witnessed three tragedies that could not go unnoticed by the Russian media: dozens of people died as a result of a surrogate alcohol poisoning in Irkutsk, a Russian ambassador was killed in Turkey, and a terrorist attack took place at the Christmas market in Berlin. In this article, we use the network agenda-setting theory to analyze how these tragedies were covered by different types of mass media. We show that ties between the tragedy and a network of other acute issues are more important than objective circumstances, such as the number of victims or the geography of the event. The context in which the events were examined led to greater attention to the killing of the ambassador and less attention to the surrogate alcohol poisoning. We believe that the state can exercise indirect control over the agenda by creating a network of events that will correctly guide discussions about tragedies.
The paper studies the effects of competition on innovation in various technology groups of mature Russian manufacturing firms. The purpose of the research is to establish whether more intense competition is good or bad for innovation, and to learn how the response to competition varies between technology leaders, followers and laggards. The study uses the 2014 survey data, which includes 1920 manufacturing firms from 19 sectors and size groups between 10 and 10,000 employees. The finding is that commitment to product innovation increases with competition at a modest level of competitive pressure, especially if foreign entry and import are considered. However, this result is mostly driven by technologically weak plants, which innovate less than leaders and followers at a low level of competition, but are encouraged to innovate more by a modest increase of competitive pressure, when theoretically predicted optimal behavior would be to refrain from innovation. When competition is strong, plants in all technology groups give up the innovation race. Competition is less influential in explaining process (as opposed to product) innovation, and the findings demonstrate a clear inverted U-shaped link: laggards and leaders are more likely to upgrade process technologies when weak competition increases slightly, and are less likely to do so when strong competition becomes stronger