Can Russia's recent burst of economic growth be sustained? Taking a comprehensive look at the economic and political regime shift from Yeltsin to Putin, this book explores the key challenges facing the Russian economy: to narrow the productivity gap between Russian and Western firms and industries; to attract more domestic and foreign investment; and, underlying these goals, to implement the judicial, administrative, social, and banking reforms necessary to future growth.
Written by a team of researchers from the Center for Economic and Financial Research—a Moscow-based independent think tank—the book draws on a wealth of new research and data. The authors emphasize the need to strengthen the protection of property rights, restructure the banking sector, and reduce government officials' powers to intervene arbitrarily in private businesses. They also stress the importance of enhancing human capital—through educational reform and by reducing barriers to citizens' geographical and sectoral mobility. Considering political institutions, the authors examine the promise and risks of the centralization of power around President Putin. Finally, they discuss the likely impact of Russia's greater integration into the world economy, notably through its potential membership in the World Trade Organization.
About the Authors
Erik Berglöf is Director of the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economies and Eastern European Economies at the Stockholm School of Economics and President of the Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
Andrei Kunov is a doctoral candidate in political science and international political economy at Stanford University and Senior Economist at CEFIR.
Julia Shvets is a doctoral candidate in economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science, a researcher at the Centre for Economic Performance, and Senior Economist at CEFIR.
"This is a lucid analysis of today's Russia. After nearly two decades of regress, growth is back. But much remains to be done to put it on a safe footing. The report is amazingly clear both in establishing the diagnosis and in outlining the priorities. It should be Putin's bedside reading."
—Charles Wyplosz, Professor of Economics, Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva
"This is a truly outstanding analysis of the economic situation in Russia after ten years of transition. It takes up all the important questions: Is the recent revival of growth due to the devaluation of the ruble and higher oil prices; or is it a sign that structural reforms and the coming of Putin are starting to pay off? How have economic and political dynamics changed since the early 1990s? What are the short-run obstacles to sustained growth? What are the most urgent structural reforms? What would happen if Russia joined the WTO? And—based on a careful examination of the facts and an impressive body of research—it makes much progress in giving the answers. I have learned a lot."
—Olivier Blanchard, Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology