Innovation enhances economic growth but the mechanisms that underpin the spread of products remain largely unclear. Based on new micro-data from Russia, this column argues that access to credit helps firms to adopt products and production processes that are new to them. However, there is little evidence that bank credit stimulates in-house R&D. Thus, banks can facilitate the diffusion of technologies within developing countries but their role in pushing the technological frontier is limited.
Çağatay Bircan, Ralph De Haas, Friday, May 15, 2015 - 00:00
Martin Brown, Ralph De Haas, Vladimir Sokolow, Saturday, March 14, 2015 - 00:00
Maxim Ananyev, Sergei Guriev, Sunday, February 8, 2015 - 00:00
Lorenz Kueng, Evgeny Yakovlev, Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 00:00
Yuriy Gorodnichenko, Gérard Roland, Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 00:00
Aasim M. Husain, Anna Ilyina, Li Zeng, Friday, August 29, 2014 - 00:00
Thorvaldur Gylfason, Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso, Per Magnus Wijkman, Saturday, June 14, 2014 - 00:00
The Ukraine saw EU soft power met by Russian hard power. This column argues that the EU should counter this hard power using trade policy, among other policies. EU members should agree a common policy and seek support from others to execute this policy. To date, the EU’s response has been too little, too late.
Peter A.G. van Bergeijk, Friday, April 25, 2014 - 00:00
In reaction to the Crimean crisis, the EU imposed certain sanctions on Russia. Russia responded by blacklisting EU and US officials. This column discusses the comparative vulnerability of the EU and Russia amid this tit for tat pattern. In purely economic terms, the EU is in a much better position than Russia. However, political regimes also matter. The autocracy score for Russia dampens the impact that the economic sanctions would have politically. The democratic nature of the European governments would translate the sanctions imposed by Russia into great political pressure for the EU. This makes the Russian tit for tat threat realistic.
Alvaro González, Leonardo Iacovone, Hari Subhash, Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - 00:00
Growth in Russia comes from few natural-resource-linked sectors and to a few firms; the economy is currently less diversified than it was during the Soviet times. This column presents evidence that the emergence of new firms is not the binding constraint on diversification: it is the poor survival odds of new firms, created by long, deep Russian economic slumps. More competition would help to drive out less efficient, older firms, and create space for young and efficient ones to survive and thrive.
Thorvaldur Gylfason, Per Magnus Wijkman, Saturday, January 25, 2014 - 00:00
The EU’s Eastern Partnership is currently in turmoil. Armenia and Ukraine – two of the four partner countries (which also include Moldova and Georgia) did not initial association agreements. This column discusses the role of Russia in discouraging such negotiations. The soft power of the EU was apparently no match for the hard power of Russia in the cases of Armenia and Ukraine. A successful partnership would require peaceful international relations between the four partners, and solving their conflicts with Russia.
Anton Cheremukhin, Mikhail Golosov, Sergei Guriev, Aleh Tsyvinski, Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 00:00
Soviet Russia’s industrialisation was a pivotal episode in the 20th century, and economic historians have spent decades debating the role of Stalin’s policies in bringing it about. This column argues that Stalin’s industrialisation was disastrous even in purely economic terms. The brutal policy of collectivisation devastated productivity, both in manufacturing and in agriculture. The massive welfare losses in the years 1928-40 outweighed any hypothetical gains from Stalin’s policies after 1940, and Russia would have been better off under a continuation of the ‘New Economic Policy’.
Anders Åslund, Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 00:00
Emerging markets are under pressure. This column argues that this is not a mere headwind but that the BRICs’ party is over. Their ability to get going again rests on their ability to carry through reforms in grim times for which they lacked the courage in a boom.
Irena Grosfeld, Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 00:00
History influences the politics of every nation. But how exactly can we measure it? This column presents new research that assesses the influence of empires on Poland’s current political makeup. In particular, the centuries-old partition of Poland continues to influence politics through its long-lasting effects on infrastructure and religion.
Simon Commander, Alexander Plekhanov, Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - 00:00
Russia aims to diversify its economy and reduce its dependence on natural resources. Despite laudable aims, this column argues that progress has been sluggish. Longstanding obstacles of corruption, low business-entry rates and weak competition afflict other countries that, like Russia, are in transition. Yet Russia comes pretty much bottom of the class. Crucially, the fact that economic diversification requires improvements to education and skills acquisition has been somewhat overlooked by the state. What attempts the state has made, such as supporting technology innovation, appear to have been ineffectual and, at times, counterproductive. Going forward, Russia would do well to focus on improving incentives for market-relevant research and development, complemented by private sector-led sources of finance for early-stage firms.
Simon J Evenett, Friday, July 20, 2012 - 00:00
Simon Evenett of the University of St Gallen talks to Viv Davies about the recent increase of protectionist measures in the world trading system. They also discuss the implications of the rise in regional trade agreements, the potential effects of Russia joining the WTO and the impact of slow growth in Europe on the region’s trade with the rest of the world. Evenett maintains that defenders of the world trading system should do more to prevent the current subordination of trade policy. The interview was recorded by telephone on 17 July 2012.
Andrei Shleifer, Sunday, February 5, 2012 - 00:00
Twenty years ago, communist countries began their shift towards capitalism. What do we know now that we didn’t know then? Harvard's Andrei Shleifer, the Russian-born, American-trained economist, provides his answers and their relevance for contemporary policymakers.
Ruediger Fahlenbrach, Robert Prilmeier, René M Stulz, Friday, May 27, 2011 - 00:00
Crises are a regular event in financial markets. But do banks that have been hit particularly hard in one crisis learn from the experience and suffer less in future crises? This column suggests not. It shows that banks particularly hard hit by the 1998 financial crisis were also badly affected by the recent financial crisis. It blames the high-risk business models on which these banks rely.
Barbara Oegg, Kimberly A. Elliott, Wednesday, October 8, 2008 - 00:00
Should Western powers take more significant actions against Russia to punish its hostilities with Georgia? This column, based on analysis of all major sanctions episodes in the 20th century, argues that sanctions against Russia would be futile.
Lúcio Vinhas de Souza, Friday, June 13, 2008 - 00:00
Russia has enjoyed impressive economic performance in recent years. This column takes stock of its success, identifies its growth drivers, and highlights the need for microeconomic and structural reforms.
Yuriy Gorodnichenko, Jorge Martinez-Vazquez , Klara Sabirianova Peter, Tuesday, February 19, 2008 - 00:00
Russia’s economic and fiscal successes since adopting a flat tax in 2001 have bred enthusiasm for tax reform amongst casual observers. This column summarises research investigating the flat tax’s effects and suggests that many of the gains came from reduced tax evasion in Russia.