nep-cis New Economics Papers
on Confederation of Independent States
Issue of 2014‒12‒24
fourteen papers chosen by

  1. Problems of the transborder spatial planning in the North-West of Russia By Gennady Fedorov
  2. Interregional Inequality and Federal Expenditures and Transfers in Russia By Alexander Torbenko
  3. To raise or not to raise: Impact assessment of Russia's gas price reform By Christophe Heyndrickx; Victoria Alexeeva-Taleebi; Natalia Tourdyeva
  4. Infrastructure of Public-Scientific Partnership (PSP) in Spatial Development of the Russian Far-East and North-Eastern Asia By Boris Krasnopolski
  5. Pro-environmental Behaviors, Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Development in Russia By Svetlana Ratner
  6. Inequality of level of living in the Russian Federation: some regional and municipal aspects By Anna Bufetova
  7. The settlements of the North: sustainable development or disappearance (case of Yakutia) By Tuyara Gavrilyeva
  8. Sometimes, Winners Lose: Economic Disparity and Indigenization in Kazakhstan By Ira N. Gang; Achim Schmillen
  9. Population Structures in Russia: Optimality and Dependence on Parameters of Global Evolution By Yuri Yegorov
  10. Актуальные проблемы подготовки страховщиков в России в условиях глобализации страхового пространства By В.В.Ивантер; Б.Н.Порфирьев
  11. Nikel and Kirkenes: a Twin City Pair over the Polar Circle By Ekaterina Mikhailova
  12. Does Participatory Budgeting Improve Decentralized Public Service Delivery? By Diether Beuermann; Maria Amelina
  13. Assessment of cross-sectional and longitudinal components of a difference with an algorithm of contour replacement By Dmitri A. Jdanov; Vladimir M. Shkolnikov
  14. Transformation of suburbs of Saint-Petersburg in post-Soviet period By Maria Podkorytova

  1. By: Gennady Fedorov
    Abstract: Regional planning in Russia includes strategic and spatial planning. The spatial planning is implemented in accordance with the Town Planning Code of the Russian Federation (2004) at the federal, regional and municipal level. It installs functional zones, zones of planned capital construction objects for state or municipal needs, zones of special use conditions. There have been identified and are being studied many possibilities of development and implementation of joint projects of territorial planning of subjects of Northwest of Russia with border countries. Unfortunately, Russia is extremely sluggish in participation in the program VASAB, while in the program Interreg IV (2007-2013), implemented within the framework of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument - Interreg IVA 'The Baltic Sea Region' Russian organizations are involved only as associate members. However, Russia is involved in cross-border cooperation programs such as Interreg IVB: 'Kolarctic', 'Karelia', 'South-East Finland / Russia', 'Estonia / Latvia / Russia', 'Poland / Lithuania / Russia'. Precondition for expanding and deepening joint development is activities of 7 Euroregions. There is the definite value in the Local border traffic between Russia (the Kaliningrad region) and neighboring provinces of Poland. There are a number of specific proposals, developed by scientists from Russia, Poland, Finland, the Baltic countries in the development of both national and international projects. Among them are: the formation of the South-Baltic and East-Baltic growth triangles, the creation of a bipolar system of territorial Tricity (Gdansk ? Gdynia ? Sopot) ? Kaliningrad and tripolar system, including also Klaipeda, the cross-border cluster on both sides of the Russian-Estonian border, common resources-use of Vistula Bay and its coast by Russia and Poland, increased production functions of Euroregions, the formation of cross-border regions, etc. Preparation of joint projects of territorial planning in the new Cross-border cooperation program (2014 ? 2020), in the framework of activities of Euroregions and other forms of international cooperation , even in the absence of an appropriate legislative framework would be very useful for the development of border regions of neighboring countries and the adjustment of their own documents. Would be very useful as soon as possible to pass a federal law 'On the cross-border cooperation'. Moreover, for the border regions of the Russian Federation the inclusion of recommendations for the development of joint cross-border projects in the strategic documents and spatial planning at the federal, regional and municipal levels will be even more effective.
    Keywords: transborder regions; spatial planning; Baltic region; North-West of Russia;
    JEL: R
    Date: 2014–11
  2. By: Alexander Torbenko
    Abstract: The paper considers the influence of federal government expenditures and transfers on interregional convergence in gross regional product (GRP) per capita and wages in Russia over 2005?2011. Such an influence is not found. The federal government's policy was reactive and was not focused on decreasing interregional inequality during this period. Wages growth depended more on GRP per capita growth than on federal govern- ment spendings and transfers per capita growth. The dependence between GRP per capita growth and federal government spendings and transfers per capita growth was very weak. Moreover, the paper shows that in this period inequality of Russian regions in GRP per capita and wages was diminishing. In the given period in Russian regions there existed un- conditional beta-convergence, poor regions grew faster than rich ones. This result confirms the prediction of neoclassical theory of regional growth and challenges a new economic geography prediction. Comparing our results to the results of previous research the process of interregional convergence in Russia can be seen. In the 1990s, with the state pressure having been eliminated, the differentiation between Russian regions began, while in the 2000s a natural process of (conditional or unconditional) convergence started.
    Keywords: convergence; federal expenditures and transfers; wages; Russia; regions; gross regional product;
    JEL: C13 R11 R12 R58
    Date: 2014–11
  3. By: Christophe Heyndrickx; Victoria Alexeeva-Taleebi; Natalia Tourdyeva
    Abstract: One of grand challenges which are faced by Russia today is to deregulate its gas market while favouring longer-term growth of economy. Since the 1990s, several proposals for structural reforms of Russian gas industry have been intensively debated, including the split-up of Gazprom. From the mid-2000s onwards, the key component of the reforms has become the introduction of a new pricing scheme for natural gas supply at the domestic markets. This is claimed to fit in a policy promoting energy efficiency, increasing investments in natural gas production and bringing the natural gas price on the domestic market closer to long term cost recovery. Underpricing of natural gas at the domestic markets was an explicit feature of the Soviet era, aimed at stimulating industrial growth. In the post-Soviet period, domestic gas prices were kept at relatively low levels to back up economic recovery, though this strategy had become increasingly untenable by 2006 in the light of Gazprom's investment needs into new extraction fields. A number of studies supported an upward price correction as a prerequisite for any structural reforms of Russian gas industry. Price increases on domestic market have been considered as a remedy to overcome the risk of a shortage in Russian gas sector. Since then domestic gas prices have been following a steady upward trend. The average regulated gas prices for both industrial consumers and private households have more than doubled from 2006 to 2011 . Nonetheless, today Russian consumers pay one third of the gas price charged abroad.. The growing momentum for gas price liberalization in Russia is increasingly constrained by fears of potentially strong adverse impact that market-based price setting principle will have on the economy. Based on a novel multi-regional, multi-sector and multi-household computable general equilibrium (CGE) model of the Russian Federation, this paper presents a simple yet a flexible framework for evaluating gas price reform. We found that the reform is feasible at low economic cost, without greater disparities in terms of increased inequity within and between country's federal districts. Large redistributive impacts can arise from specific mechanisms to recycle revenues. In terms of global environmental credentials, gas price liberalization can bring Russia on a substantially more sustainable path. The potential to foster adoption of energy efficiency measures by exploiting the revenue-recycling effect is, however, limited.
    Keywords: Regional general equilibrium model; sustainable development; natural gas pricing; Russia
    JEL: D58 H21 H22 Q48
    Date: 2014–11
  4. By: Boris Krasnopolski
    Abstract: Boris Krasnopolski Infrastructure of Public-Scientific Partnership (PSP) in Spatial Development of the Russian Far-East and North-Eastern Asia (JEL code R110) Keywords: Public-Scientific Partnership (PSP), PSP Infrastructure, Russian Far East, North-Eastern Asia, Declarations of Ministerial Conferences for Infrastructure Development The Public-Scientific Partnership (PSP) is examined as a mechanism of the interests' coordination of the regional scientific organizations, government bodies and local businesses in realization of the detailed scientific researches of the social-economic and ecological development and introduction of their applied results into the practical economy. The Infrastructure of PSP is a network of the "technological chain" between all these organizations that is created in the concrete region or in the inter-regional/international system. This infrastructure has the inside and outside elements. The implementation of this project is based on the huge complex of the scientific researches described in the monograph "Pacific Russia ? 2050" (Synthesis of the applied results of the scientific-technical and economic prognosis / editors: P. Minakir, V. Sergienko), Vladivostok, 2011. First of all, the regional and inter-regional/international analysis of development of the inside and outside elements of the PSP infrastructure should be realized. It is reviewed all the necessary technological chains: "scientific organizations - government structures ? local businesses" on example of the Russian Far East by the most important economic branches. The estimation of the main international infrastructure elements of PSP is realized also for the North-Eastern Asia. The role of all these countries, including Russian Far-East, is discussed in formation of the inter-regional infrastructure network and the institutional state and regional bodies for practical realization on the infrastructure projects in this zone. These analysis and estimations are based on the Declarations of the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conferences on Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) for Infrastructure Development in Jakarta and Tehran (2010 and 2012) including materials of a High-level Expert Group Meeting in Tehran (2012) organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). The foreign experience of the organizational-methodical approaches in the use of the regional analysis and mechanisms of the infrastructure formation is discussed also in connections with the scientific researches in the area of the spatial economy.
    Keywords: Public-Scientific Partnership (PSP); PSP Infrastructure; Russian Far East; North-Eastern Asia; Declarations of Ministerial Conferences for Infrastructure Development; R110
    Date: 2014–11
  5. By: Svetlana Ratner
    Abstract: The studies of environmental awareness or the so-called people's pro-environmental behaviors (PEBs) became a popular topic in Europe, North America and Asia, but not yet in Russia. Many studies investigated PEBs revealed that monetary saving and health concern are considered to be the most common influential factors for many PEBs. Because of the lowest electric power and heat tariffs in the world as well as abundant natural resources it can be assumed that the level of environmental awareness in Russia is low comparing to EU. Nowadays this problem can became a barrier for innovative development and diffusion of new energy efficient technologies. In this paper we present the results of empirical research aiming evaluation of environmental awareness in one of the southern region of Russia ? Krasnodar region. In research we also evaluate the informational transparency in the field of ecology in Russia and distinguish the most popular sources of information. The method of research is medium-scale face-to-face inquiry. The survey involved 112 respondents from one big city (Krasnodar), it's suburbs, several small cities and rural areas. Data analysis was performed using StatSoft STATISTICA 10.0. The non-parametric Mann-Whitney tests and Kruskal?Wallis one-way analysis of variance were used to reveal the optimal quantification that describes the relationships between the categorical scores of each variable as well as the relationships between the variables themselves. In order to identify relationships between variables, measured in nominal scales, contingency tables (cross tabulation) were used. In some cases (where it was appropriate) correlation analysis and one-way ANOVA were used.
    Keywords: environmental awareness; pro-environmental behaviors; informational transparency; sustainable development; regional economy; nonparametric analysis; multiple correspondence analysis
    JEL: O13 Q21 Q42 Q51
    Date: 2014–11
  6. By: Anna Bufetova
    Abstract: Social disparities in Russia were increasing since transition started in the 1990s on the background of decline of all social indicators. In the first decade of 2000-th growth of economy contributed to improvement of wellbeing of population. Policy of budgetary alignment and state social policy carried out in the first 10 years of 2000-th at the expense of redistribution of a resource rent was aimed at mitigation of social disparities. This empirical paper attempts to add evidence on the issue of disparities and convergence in levels of living within regions and cities of the Russian Federation (the RF) in the period 2000-2011. Combination of regional and urban aspects of analysis allows making assessment and examination of inequalities in level of living more adequate. The study covers 79 regions and 193 cities of the RF with population over 100,000. The paper considers various components of level of living: income, poverty rate, employment, quality and affordability of housing, health care and education and analyzes their differences between regions and between cities and their evolution in time. Quantitative analysis was complemented by analysis of qualitative characteristics of health services, education, housing in regions and cities. Further quantitative assessment of level of living in regions and cities is made on the base of synthetic indicator of level of living. Introduced indicator comprises information of different indicators and allows classification of RF regions and cities and evaluation of disparities and convergence tendencies of levels of living. The analysis of dynamics of the synthetic indicators of level of living provides evidence for regional convergence of levels of living and a slight mitigation of inter-city inequality of levels of living. But within the considered set of cities we can observe groups of cities that characterized by different dynamics of levels of living. Analyzing these groups we made an attempt to identify the main factors that determine the spatial trends in inequality in levels of living.
    Keywords: Regional Disparities; Level of living; inequality; cities; regional capitals; convergence; divergence; Russian Federation;
    JEL: R13
    Date: 2014–11
  7. By: Tuyara Gavrilyeva
    Abstract: Study of disparitiesbetween Russia's territories is mostly carried at the level of the subjects of the Russian Federation or cities with similar populations. Comparative analysis of settlements is obstructed by incomplete statistics, imperfection of tax and account rules and effect of shadow sector. Predominantly the base of comparative analysis of settlements is the data of National Population Census (2002 and 2010). However such studies allow us to determine the main long-term trends in the development of settlements. As known, the imbalance of legislation about local governments does not leave for Russian settlements own resources of growth. Until recently, the concept of uniform development dominated. It suggests the equalizing of social and economic condition of settlements. In Yakutia, this approach is realized by storing of redundant of public institutions and employment. As a result, Yakutia face with budget problems and the quality of life declines. In rural settlements jobs are created only in the public sector. There is a reproduction of rural poverty. All of this stimulates the migration of people in cities for the last 20 years. But these trends do not impact on economic policy. The Government of Yakutia seeks to preserve the rural settlements. The research is based on the use of econometric methods in the study of those disparities. There was created a database for the 2006/2007 and 2010/2012. It includes 389 settlements of Yakutia. Analysis of the data allowed selected all settlements by population. The indices of the demographic potential, the quality of public service, the transport availability, the financial security and the economic activity were calculated by using econometric methods. Analysis allowed to identify the production specialization of settlements and their types, including unpromising (must be disappeared), depressive, stagnating and growth point. Dynamic analysis shows that the settlements with more than 2,000 people are sustainable. Settlements with smaller populations are usually depressed. There was created the vector of settlement protection from the closure. It means that the settlements of historical significance and settlements with traditional economies (reindeer herding and fishing) don't have to be closed. Analysis showed the necessity of moving from the concept of uniform development to the principles of selective development. It requires new approaches to regional policies in Russia.
    Keywords: settlement; comparative analysis; econometrics; local statistics; North; disparities; depression; uniform; selective and sustainable development; C43 Index Numbers and Aggregation; P25 Urban; Rural; and Regional Economics; R11 Regional Economic Activity: Growth; Development; Environmental Issues; and Changes
    Date: 2014–11
  8. By: Ira N. Gang; Achim Schmillen
    Abstract: Several post-Soviet states have introduced policies to improve the relative economic, political or social position of formerly disadvantaged populations. Using one example of such policies – “Kazakhisation” in Kazakhstan – we investigate their impact on the comparative earnings of two directly affected groups, ethnic Russians and ethnic Kazakhs. Oaxaca decompositions show that Kazakhs are better endowed with income generating characteristics but receive lower returns to these characteristics than Russians. The second effect dominates and Kazakhs have comparatively lower average living standards. While “Kazakhisation” may have been successful in a narrow sense – i.e., by empowering Kazakhs to take on leading positions in the public sector – more broadly it has been a self-defeating policy as it has pushed ethnic Russians into jobs that often evolved into positions that (at least in monetary terms) are superior now to those held by Kazakhs.
    Keywords: Ethnicity; Decomposition; Indigenization, Kazakhstan
    JEL: I32 O12 J15
    Date: 2014–10
  9. By: Yuri Yegorov
    Abstract: The paper is devoted to analytical investigation of the division of geographical space into urban and rural areas with application to Russia. Yegorov (2005, 2006, 2009) has suggested the role of population density on economics. A city has an attractive potential based on scale economies. The optimal city size depends on the balance between its attractive potential and the cost of living that can be proxied by equilibrium land rent and commuting cost. For moderate scale effects optimal population of a city depends negatively on transport costs that are related positively with energy price index. The optimal agricultural density of population can also be constructed. The larger is a land slot per peasant, the higher will be the output from one unit of his labour force applied to this slot. But at the same time, larger farm size results in increase of energy costs, related to land development, collecting the crop and bringing it to the market. In the last 10 years we have observed substantial rise of both food and energy prices at the world stock markets. However, the income of farmers did not grow as fast as food price index. This can shift optimal rural population density to lower level, causing migration to cities (and we observe this tendency globally). Any change in those prices results in suboptimality of existing spatial structures. If changes are slow, the optimal infrastructure can be adjusted by simple migration. If the shocks are high, adaptation may be impossible and shock will persist. This took place in early 1990es in the former USSR, where after transition to world price for oil in domestic markets existing spatial infrastructure became suboptimal and resulted in persistent crisis, leading to deterioration of both industry and agriculture. Russia is the largest country but this is also its problem. Having large resource endowment per capita, it is problematic to build sufficient infrastructure. Russia has too low population density and rural density declines further due to low fertility and migration to cities. Those factors limited the growth of the USSR, but after the economic reforms of 1990s the existing infrastructure became exposed to permanent shock of high transport costs. Due to large distances it is optimal to return to gasoline and thus transport subsidy. This will work also against disintegration of the country.
    Keywords: urban; rural; population density; prices; transport; transition.
    JEL: R14 R23 R40 R48
    Date: 2014–11
  10. By: В.В.Ивантер (Институт народнохозяйственного прогнозирования); Б.Н.Порфирьев
    Date: 2014–11–05
  11. By: Ekaterina Mikhailova
    Abstract: The paper is devoted to the issue of twin-cities using this term in a narrow sense, with geographical proximity as an important criterion (as opposed to the broad sense of the twin-cities where the distance between cooperating cities doesn't matter). The paper is based on academic literature and research field work in the selected towns which included collecting questionnaires and holding interviews. On the basis of the analysis of relevant Russian municipal legislation the article proves the specificity of Nikel and Kirkenes relations as one with less municipal limits for development of the twinning process. Although the town halls claimed to have weekly interactions between each other the joint vision of twin-cities hasn't come into place: usually in the strategic doctrines the focus is made not on the joint transborder potential but on the closeness to the border. The status asymmetry of Kirkenes and Nikel within the Barents region is named as one of the constraints for creating a transborder agglomeration and pooling the resources.
    Keywords: intermunicipal cooperation; transborder agglomeration; twin-cities; cross-border cooperation; border cities
    JEL: H7 Z1
    Date: 2014–11
  12. By: Diether Beuermann; Maria Amelina
    Abstract: This paper provides the first experimental evaluation of the participatory budgeting model showing that it increased public participation in the process of public decision making, increased local tax revenues collection, channeled larger fractions of public budgets to services stated as top priorities by citizens, and increased satisfaction levels with public services. These effects, however, were found only when the model was implemented in already-mature administratively and politically decentralized local governments. The findings highlight the importance of initial conditions with respect to the decentralization context for the success of participatory governance.
    Keywords: Participatory budgeting, Decentralization, Technical assistance, Public Services, Governance, Housing, Revenue, Investment, Decentralization, participatory budgeting, training, technical assistance, Russia
    Date: 2014–11
  13. By: Dmitri A. Jdanov (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Vladimir M. Shkolnikov (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: This study proposes a new decomposition method which permits a difference in an aggregate measure at a final time point to be split into additive components corresponding to the initial differences in the event-rates of the measure and differences in trends in these underlying event-rates. The method is an extension of the existing algorithm of stepwise replacement. We provide a full description of the method and two examples of its application with mortality and fertility data. The outcome of these two decompositions are: 1) age-specific contributions of initial conditions and trends to the Japan-USA life expectancy gap in 2009 with a reference time point at 1970; and 2) age-specific contributions of initial conditions and trends to the difference in Czech-Russian age variations in fertility for the 1970 female birth cohorts with reference to the 1955 cohorts.
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2014–11
  14. By: Maria Podkorytova
    Abstract: The collapse of Soviet Union caused the emergency of completely new conditions in city development. Big cities faced many challenges during the transformation and every part of the city space was involved into the process. Saint-Petersburg was deeply involved into the process of transformation and as provided by the theory of innovation diffusion in absolute majority of cases the transformation was spreading from the core to the suburbs. But for an every suburb this process was quite special. The transformation of suburbs of the city and their further development were determined by the range of conditions including not only location, infrastructure and economical specialization but also historical background and some other special features in every case. Suburbs of Saint-Petersburg differ dramatically in their historical background. Applied to the process of transformation this differences bring us to the necessity of classifying the suburbs into three groups: - Group 1: founded and developed before the appearance of the Soviet Union; faced 2 transformations in their history (like Pushkin and Peterhof); - Group 2: founded and developed after the appearance of the Soviet Union; faced 1 transformation in their history (like Vsevolozhsk); - Group 3: development started after the collapse of Soviet Union and is in progress right now (like Shushary). In every group it's possible to find special development features that showed up in post-Soviet period of city development. The Saint-Petersburg city space is determined by the city core. Suburbs are mostly more connected to the city core than to one another. This tendency can be seen for example in commuting. But with the population increase various projects aimed at creating the alternative to the city center emerge. Many of them include comprehensive development of suburbia and increase of the commuting between the suburbs without entering the center (which is possible after the opening of the encircling highway). So now it becomes even more important to understand the processes that took place in the suburbia and their influence to the city space as a whole.
    Date: 2014–11

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