Upgrading skill formation has become an increasingly urgent task for societies facing the challenges of rapid technological change and globalization. However, reform of systems of vocational education and training (VET) poses severe challenges for aligning the interests of schools, firms, households, and governments, even in societies with relatively efficient markets for labor and education. Where market institutions are poorly developed, these challenges are particularly acute, resulting in endemic mismatches between the supply and demand of skill. Currently governments in many countries, including the United States, Russia, and China, are seeking to adopt elements of the German dual education model. The Russian federal government has undertaken several initiatives designed to upgrade VET by encouraging closer cooperation of vocational schools and firms at the regional level, including the adoption of dual education programs. This paper focuses on one such project: a 2013 pilot program administered by the Russian Agency for Strategic Initiatives, to foster the development of new models of dual education. The paper compares the 13 pilot regions with regions that submitted proposals but were not selected and with all other regions along multiple economic, social, demographic, and institutional dimensions. The findings suggest hypotheses about the conditions that enabled the pilot regions to take advantage of federal policies encouraging the adoption of dual education. More generally, the paper sheds light on institutional solutions to collective action dilemmas in skill formation in transitional and developing societies.
Рассмотрены тенденции развития корпоративного управления в крупных российских компаниях, характерные для 2010х годов. Cтимулы к совершенствованию КУ в крупных российских компаниях шли со стороны регуляторов и активизации федерального государства как собственника. Интересы бизнеса учитывались привлечением его представителей к участию в выработке правовых норм и рекомендаций, заранее объявляемыми изменениями и возможностями их постепенного, «мягкого» внедрения. Это способствовало адаптации собственников крупных частных компаний к ужесточению регулирования при наличии стимулов к использованию корпоративного управления в интересах стратегического развития компаний.
The growing attention of governments, international organizations and NGOs to public procurement issues over the last two decades has been accompanied by many studies on the efficiency of public procurement. However, few researchers have considered the costs of procurement regulation for public customers and private suppliers. This problem is especially acute for the public procurement system in Russia. In this paper we propose an approach to measuring public customers’ procurement costs. We test this approach with the data on a large Russian public customer: Voronezh State University. We show that the proposed approach is universal and can be applied at a micro level by other public customers to measure the efficiency of their procurement and to optimize the costs. This approach can also be used as a basis for a larger inquiry into the costs and effectiveness of procurement at the level of regional authorities or sectoral ministries.
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This article analyses how the intensification of centralized monitoring within public organization may impact incentives for efficiency in those divisions of the organization that have different levels of financial autonomy. The efficiency of divisions’ activities was estimated through their procurement effectiveness. All the divisions were classified as non-commercial units (NCU) funded by the government or as income earning units (IEU) operating in the market and having broader financial autonomy. The results show that under standard monitoring, the IEU had more efficient procurements compared to the NCU. After intensification of centralized monitoring, the differences in performance became insignificant. These findings show that stricter monitoring is efficient for organizations with soft budget constraints, while for organizations with hard budget constraints it is preferable to use more flexible regulations.
The paper is focused on assessing the risk factors for Russian manufacturing firms posed by sanctions imposed on Russia by the EU, US, and other countries in 2014. While there is an extensive literature assessing the successes and failures of international sanctions on the economies of both those imposing and targeted by sanctions on a macroeconomic level, we are more interested in trying to understand the corporate response – i.e. which firms evaluate the introduction and increasing scale of economic sanctions as a threat to their corporate strategy, and their possible reactions aimed at adjusting to a changing environment due to the geopolitical shock. Our research, based on a recent survey of manufacturing companies, provides evidence that over the last decade Russian manufacturing firms have become much more integrated into the global economy than is commonly assumed, through foreign direct investment, foreign trade (including imports of both technological equipment and raw materials and components), international partnerships, and by extensively supplying foreign companies that operate in Russia. Considering the self-selection effect of the top-performing firms in terms of foreign trade, we can state that sanctions could prove most harmful not only for the targeted firms, but for the entire population of better-performing and globalized firms involved in foreign trade with the EU and Ukraine. Thus, the impact of the sanctions on the prospects of the Russian manufacturing sector may be very strong over the medium-to-long term.
We show how a price analysis of stable relations between customer and supplier in the public procurement of homogeneous goods can help differentiate opportunistic from honest behaviour among economic agents. We consider two types of stable relations: repeated procurements and connections based on the state ownership of suppliers. On the basis of a large dataset on the procurement of granulated sugar in Russia from 2011 to 2013, we find that for private suppliers, prices of repeated contracts were lower compared to one-time deals when procured through more transparent procedures and higher when procured through non-transparent procedures. For non-transparent procedures, we observe significant overpricing of contracts with state-owned suppliers compared to private suppliers, especially in the case of repeated contracts, whereas for competitive e-auctions, there is only a small difference between the contract prices of state-owned suppliers and private suppliers.
Compliant activism – that is, political activity of the population, either fully supporting the regime, or merely criticizing individual shortcomings of its policies – strengthens authoritarian rule. However, compliant activism can over time turn into non-compliant one. Hence, the regimes need to ensure that the norms of compliant activism are internalized by the society and become self-enforcing. We use the case of the Communist legacies in Russia to show that compliant activism can, indeed, become highly persistent and outlive the regime, where it emerged. Using cross-regional variation in the levels of compliant activism in the contemporary Russia, we demonstrate that it is strongly affected by the variation in the membership share of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in the 1970s. The results have broader implications beyond the Russian case and provide relevant insights for studying political activism in autocracies.