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  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Overlooked in the victory of the pro-Kremlin party, United Russia, in the Duma election last December and President Vladimir Putin's overwhelming victory in the presidential election three months later was a milestone in Russia's post-Soviet political history: the precipitous decline of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF). The single largest faction in the Duma between 1995 and 2003, the KPRF was reduced to 12 percent of the party-list vote in the Duma poll while the Communist candidate for the presidency, who received 40 percent in the 1996 election and 24 percent in 2000, ended up with 14 percent.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Perhaps more than any other structural market reform unfolding today in Russia, pension privatization epitomizes both the enormous progress achieved over the past decade and the equally huge obstacles still ahead on the road to "civilized" liberal capitalism. The reform highlights and tests the quality of key institutions and instruments central to such a system: transparency and liquidity of banks and mutual funds, probity and competence of state regulatory agencies, and stability of equity and bond markets.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The Revolution had, indeed, two distinct phases: one in which the sole aim of the French nation seemed to be to make a clean sweep of the past; and a second, in which attempts were made to salvage fragments from the wreckage of the old order. For many of the laws and administrative methods which were suppressed in 1789 reappeared a few years later, much as some rivers after going underground re-emerge at another point, in new surroundings.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, France
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The December 7, 2003, election to the Russian parliament, the State Duma, has been portrayed in the U.S. media as mostly a product of the Kremlin's machinations. Its "administrative resources"--most importantly, its control of national television channels--are said to be almost entirely responsible for the winning performance of the "party of power," United Russia, which garnered 37 percent of the party-list vote among twenty-three parties and blocs on the ballot.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: When the Russian Federation began its transition toward a market based economy, promoting competition and regulating anticompetitive behavior - issues never previously needing to be addressed - arose as new and unfamiliar subjects for state policymaking and law enforcement activities. In order to address these issues, the Russian Federation created a competition authority and basic law in 1991, quite early in its transition period. Support for competition was expressed in the 1993 Constitution, as well as in other fundamental legislation. As part of a larger study of regulatory reform, the OECD in 2003 undertook a detailed assessment of Russia fs decade of experience with competition law and policy. The Report concludes that despite early legislation on the issue and strong expressions of support for competition in the laws, the creation and protection of competition on domestic markets has not been a policy priority. Emphasis on rapid privatization limited the scope of pre-privatization restructuring to promote competition and the competition authority has been expected to serve as a general regulator of behavior in markets, assigned to fill legislative gaps and to enforce against a variety of undesirable practices in markets. Overly broad responsibilities and a lack of credible sanctions have significantly limited the impact of the competition laws.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The major economic challenge facing Russia is the achievement of long-term, sustainable growth that would allow for a relatively rapid convergence between living standards in Russia and the OECD economies. The nature of this challenge is largely determined by Russia\'s economic structure. At present, Russia\'s economy is highly dependent on the export of a limited range of natural resources, chiefly hydrocarbons and metals. This presents policymakers with a number of specific problems. In particular, resource dependence makes the Russian economy especially vulnerable to external shocks. It is therefore difficult to overstate the importance of prudent macroeconomic policies, especially as the budget relies heavily on resource taxes and is thus influenced by volatile energy prices. Hence, exemplary fiscal discipline, in particular, is crucial to reducing Russia\'s vulnerability to commodity-price cycles. Yet while resource dependence brings with it certain macroeconomic risks, economic performance will continue to depend to a great extent on the performance of resource-exporting sectors for the foreseeable future. This makes reform of the natural gas sector an urgent priority. In the absence of substantial reform, the gas industry, which is critical to both exports and the domestic economy, could well stagnate or decline.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Allan H. Meltzer
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: While Alan Greenspan and most analysts continue to discuss the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs since the Bush administration took office, the Labor Department Household Survey shows such claims to be either wrong or greatly exaggerated.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: In the early morning of October 25, 2003, masked agents of the Russian security agency, the FSB, stormed the plane of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, CEO and principal owner of Russia's largest private oil company, YUKOS; arrested him; and conveyed him to a Moscow prison. He was charged with tax evasion, fraud, forgery, and embezzlement.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Robert Litan, Michael Pomerleano, V. Sundararajan
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Policymakers and analysts are still sifting through the wreckage of the Asian financial crisis of 1997 and the subsequent crises in Russia, Turkey, and Argentina to discern key lessons so that similar crises will not recur. Some lessons are by now well understood. Pegged exchange rates can encourage excessive borrowing and expose countries to financial collapse when foreign exchange reserves run dry. Inadequate disclosures by both private companies and public bodies can lead to similar dangers. Although many factors undoubtedly contributed to these crises, it is now widely recognized that each suffered from a failure in “governance,” and in particular a failure in governance in their financial sectors. Accordingly, the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Brookings Institution devoted their fourth annual Financial Markets and Development Conference, held in New York from April 17-19, 2002, to the subject of financial sector governance in emerging markets. This conference report summarizes some of the highlights of the conference, whose full proceedings will be published as a Brookings book in the fall of 2002.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, New York, Turkey, Asia, Argentina
  • Author: Gary Hufbauer
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Some trade disputes—like long Russian novels—never seem to end. The United States, Europe, and other trading nations have disputed the taxation of export earnings since the 1970s. To understand why the Foreign Sales Corporation (FSC) dispute is so hard to resolve, we must start with a historical tour.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe