The unbalanced dynamics of russian regions: towards a real divergence process (p.11-37)  [Fichier PDF]
Elena Sharipova, RECEP
Frédéric Carluer, University of Grenoble II
Keywords : Russian regions, unbalanced dynamics, real divergence
JEL classification : L00, O41, R1
This article examines the uneven evolution of Russian regional per capita income and productivities during the late 1980s and 90s. Following the studies by Baumol and Barro and Sala-i-Martin, we examine the convergence process of the Russian economy under two aspects. First we point out the sources of growth stressed by the new growth theories (accumulation of physical capital, education effort, and public expenditures). Secondly, we examine the economic-geography perspective, by analysing the impact of the distance to Moscow and the North-East diagonal on growth. This first application to Russian regional data confirms the regional divergence which results from the paradox of a beta-divergence (except in the case of gross regional product), a fifteen years sigma-divergence and a weak conditional convergence in the late 1990s, from both the macroeconomic and geographical perspectives.



Structural upgrading of manufacturing industry in transition countries: evidence from foreign trade indicators (p.39-79)  [Fichier PDF]
Ekaterina Ivleva, Russian-European Centre for Economic Policy
Irina Levina, Russian-European Centre for Economic Policy
Karoly Attila Soos, Russian-European Centre for Economic Policy
Keywords : Manufacturing, transition countries, foreign trade indicators
JEL classification : F14 , L60 , P27
This paper aims to reveal and compare the trends in qualitative development of manufacturing industry of selected transition countries over the transition period, and to find out the most important institutional and economic factors that determined these trends. The research is largely based on the prerequisite that performance of a country in the world markets reflects the state of development (i.e. competitiveness) of national industry. The authors use indicators of intraindustry trade, intensity of trade in technological goods, the proportion between exports and imports of high-tech products, export specialization, and relative export and import unit values as proxy variables to assess the technological advancement and quality of manufacturing exports from selected CEE and FSU transition countries to the countries of the European Union. The data used is yearly for 1993-2000 from Eurostat trade database. The results show that different groups of transition countries follow different patterns of trade development with the EU countries. The authors use the aforecited indicators to construct by means of principal components method a synthetic indicator, which assures intertemporal and cross-sectional comparability of countries’ performance. Further regression analysis is applied to find the possible determinants of faster/slower upgrading. The estimates show that the most important factors, which influence patterns of industrial upgrading (and, respectively, trade development), are the development of banking system, investment activity, financial integration into the global economy, lower level of protectionism and institutional stability.



Metal sector in CEECs and Russia: a comparative analysis in the european context (p.81-99)  [Fichier PDF]
Doris Hanzl, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW) and RECEP
Peter Havlik, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW) and RECEP
Keywords : Transition economies, metals, Russia, Central and Eastern Europe
JEL classification : F13, F21, L61
This paper deals with the situation of the metals sector in Russia and Central Eastern Europe, as well as with their EU trade. In both CEECs and Russia, the metals sector inherited huge production overcapacities from the command economy, which are not viable under the market economy conditions. Russian metals sector focuses mainly on basic metals, whereas CEECs specialize rather on fabricated metal products. Due to more active industrial restructuring during the past decade, basic metals became less important in the CEECs’ economies, whereas in Russia, due to the lack of restructuring, the opposite occurred. In Russia, metals exports to the EU are concentrated on basic precious and non-ferrous metals. In the CEECs, the sector’s exports to the EU come also from fabricated metal products. Russian basic metals exports to the EU grew more dynamically than those of the CEECs, when at the same time fabricated metal products exports to the EU grew faster in the CEECs than in Russia. There is no evidence that the EU would discriminate against basic metals imports from Russia. On the contrary, Russian exporters of basic iron and steel were more successful on the EU market than those from CEECs. The takeover of the “acquis communautaire” would require additional investment, but lead to benefits in the medium and long run.



Changes in Russia’s gas exportation strategy: Europe versus Asia? (p.100-116)  [Fichier PDF]
Catherine Locatelli, LEPII-EPE, CNRS-University of Grenoble II
Keywords : Russian gas exports, Liberalisation, European gas market, Russian gas policy
JEL classification : F14, L21, L71
With almost 40% of world gas reserves, Russia’s international strategy is currently undergoing fundamental changes. The institutional and organisational developments in the European Union, its principal export market, and the emergence of Asia as a significant importer is likely to modify the Russian gas export policy. To some extent, Russia could bring its various potential markets into competition, at least as far as Europe and Asia are concerned.