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date: 15 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter discusses evolution and performance of Russia’s economic institutions. Outcomes and driving forces of institutional change in the country throughout its postcommunist history are analyzed and related to exogenous factors such as culture, resource abundance, and economic inequality. A failure to establish market-supporting institutions, including secure property rights, as a spontaneous outcome of economic liberalization and privatization is explained. It is argued that Russia’s natural wealth drove a wedge between institutions and economic growth. Institutions established de jure do not always function in accordance with their raison d’être and are often misused in pursuit of opportunistic gains. The 2008 global crisis did not have a healing effect on Russian economic institutions. Economic and political elites are unlikely to become champions of institutional modernization in the country, and improvement of Russian institutions could occur in response to grassroots demand articulated by civil society.

Keywords: institutions, private property, rent extraction, spontaneous institutional change, resource abundance, misused institutions, elites, society

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