UDC 33

RUSSIAN ECONOMISTS ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY: SURVEY

Shemetev Alexander Aleksandrovich
Saint-Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance
PhD

Abstract
The paper is devoted to the analysis of the main trends of development of the Russian economic science in its main scientific schools: Central, North-Western, Ural-Siberian.

Keywords: economic science in Russia, economics of Russia, scientific economic centers of Russia, trends of economic thoughts in Russia


Category: 08.00.00 Economics

Article reference:
Russian Economists on Economic Development Strategy: survey // Modern scientific researches and innovations. 2012. № 12 [Electronic journal]. URL: http://web.snauka.ru/en/issues/2012/12/19378

View this article in Russian
  1. Developments in the Russian economic science against the backdrop of other sciences since the collapse of the Soviet Union (within the last 22 years)

Russia – this is a very big country. Russia is also an important research center. Currently Russian science is in the process of an indigenous leap in its development. In the view of this, there is a special interest in the analysis and structuring of researches. There are some pressing questions: how many of Russia’s researches are made by PhDs, and how many of them are made by Dr.Scs (Doctors of Sciences). There is even no sufficient data on the dynamics of even PhDs and Dr.Scs even in their total numbers.

The author of this paper conducted his own research that determined the place of economics in the system of scientific knowledge in Russia. The results of this study became the basis for the writing of the first introductory part of this paper devoted to the review of economic schools of Russia for the last 27 years.

Russian science from the year 1932-1934 is centralized. This means that it has a single supervisory body – it is the Verifying Supreme Attestation Commission of the Ministry of Education and Science (hereinafter VAC). All academic degrees and titles, as well as leading researches in Russia are subject to expert verification by the Russian VAC. Thus, in fact, supreme doctorate (Dr.Sc.) and Ph.D. certificates in Russia are issued by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation after testing by the VAC expert commission. These rules are being applied, in particular, to the economics. The scientific degrees issued in Russia (Ph.D., Dr.Sc.) that are not issued by the VAC, – these degrees have no significant value at the territory of the Russian Federation. It is also a fair statement about the scientific degrees in economics. The working languages ​​of science in Russia are Russian and English – any research in Russia can be made in any of these languages.

In 99.8% of cases the PhD degree or Dr.Sc. degree is conferred on the basis of a comprehensive scientific study that includes a number of smaller studies. In the remaining 0.2% of cases such degree is conferred on the basis of the cumulative sum of the researcher’s achievements.

The author of this paper was able to determine the position of economic science in the structure of scientific knowledge of Russia by means of comprehensive studies. It was made by the number of most significant fundamental and applied researches over the last 27 years in Russia.

 

Alexander Shemetev Figure 1 - Ph.D. Theses in Russia (1985-2012 / outlook /)
Alexander Shemetev Figure 1 – Ph.D. Theses in Russia (1985-2012 / outlook /)

Figure 1 – Ph.D. Theses in Russia (1985-2012 / outlook /)

 

Alexander Shemetev Figure 2 - Doctoral Theses in Russia (1985-2012 / outlook /)
Alexander Shemetev Figure 2 – Doctoral Theses in Russia (1985-2012 / outlook /)

Figure 2 – Doctoral Theses in Russia (1985-2012 / outlook /)

Place of Economics in the structure of the research in the Russian Federation:

 

Alexander Shemetev Figure 3 - The structure of the basic and applied successful integrated researches in the field of economy (in% of total researches), 1985 - 2012 (forecast)
Alexander Shemetev Figure 3 – The structure of the basic and applied successful integrated researches in the field of economy (in% of total researches), 1985 – 2012 (forecast)

Figure 3 – The structure of the basic and applied successful integrated researches in the field of economy (in% of total researches), 1985 – 2012 (forecast)

According to the forecast of the author of this paper, there will be about 81,268 basic and applied researches in all the sciences in 2012 in Russia; 55,138 studies of them will be considered unsuccessful, that is, they will be rejected by the expert commissions at various stages;

In 2012, Russia is likely to be carried out 81,268 basic and applied researches in all the sciences, of which, 55,138 studies go fail, that is, they are to be rejected by expert commissions at various stages, and only 26,130 studies will be considered as successful. These successful studies should make their significant contributions to the development of the Russian science. 14,297 of these researches will be made in the field of economics; at the same time, 9,700 of them will be considered as unsuccessful.

If we look at difference between  2011 and 2012, the total amount of successful researches can be increased by 1.86%; at the same time, the total amount of successful researches in the field of economics can be increased by 6.43%.

57,249 studies can be considered unsuccessful in Russia in 2011. The proportion of successful researches is 30.94%. There were provided 13,655 investigations in the field of economics in 2011; at the same time, only 4,319 of them (31.6%) were considered as successful.

However, the number of studies does not necessarily represent the direction of movement of economic science in the country. The author of this paper has conducted research relevant to Russia’s main trends in the development of economic thought on the objects and subjects of economic inquiries. The results are represented in the following diagram:

 

Alexander Shemetev I suggest tracing the main stages of the development of the Russian economic science over the past 30 years with the 6 main stages
Alexander Shemetev I suggest tracing the main stages of the development of the Russian economic science over the past 30 years with the 6 main stages

I suggest tracing the main stages of the development of the Russian economic science over the past 30 years with the 6 main stages[1].

STAGE 1. The researches related to the management of large state enterprises and state budget planning were dominating until 1992 in Russia. The macro- and microenvironment was considered as a stable constant in those researches. The Marxist economic school was regarded as the primary economic school in those inquiries. The main focus of research was the distribution and redistribution of capital, in fact, the state capital. Competition, quality management, theory of supply and demand, the theory of macroeconomic equilibrium, the theory of the free market, and some other concepts – they were analyzed in those studies from the standpoint of criticism only.

STAGE 2. In 1992, Russia finally abolished the state control of public enterprises, and cancelled price controls and control of macro-economic indicators. Consequences of such decisions had never been studied in the Russian economic researches before. Many of large Russian companies went bankrupt due to their inability to operate in a competitive environment.

Russia suffered from an acute shortage of knowledge in the field of economics. There appeared chaotic researches of new for the then Russia terms and concepts, such as leasing, factoring, credit, stock market, and others. Russian studies were often unwell adapted for the practical application in the workplace. This created a kind of gap between the science of economics and its practical implementation. At this stage, the leading economic school can be called the political economy of Adam Smith. The introduction of the proposed by academic economists measures rapidly led to complete cancellation of state control over the economy, and so the market began to attempt to regulate itself.

STAGE 3. In 1995, there began a stage when economics had begun to show the features of descriptive science. Actual goals, objectives, subject and object of about 76% of scientific economic researches in Russia were devoted to the description of crisis trends in the economy. Recommendations for dealing with the crisis were often theoretical, and, for the most part, they have never been applied in practice. Leading economic course of this stage was monetarism. The government sought to control the economy through the methods of monetary policy. However, this could not stop, in fact, speculative nature of many operations within the then economy. This has resulted in a sharp crisis in August 1998, when the Russian government bonds were actually depreciated, Russian banks stopped paying money to depositors, the currency was devalued, and many Russian companies went bankrupt.

STAGE 4. In 1999, the course was set for the modernization of the economy. The first empirical researches in economics were held in this period. Economic science sought to support the rapid growth of the Russian economy. Then there were created new theories of budgeting, new metrics for management purposes, creation of effective industries …. Often efficiency was put on a par with the concept of profitability. Russian science found the most profitable industry – oil production, fossil fuels and mineral extraction. Priority school at the beginning of this phase was Keynesianism – the state acted in the role of a “watchman” who sought to provide and maintain long-term-prospective industries connected with the production and sale of fossil fuels and mineral resources to foreign markets. For this, there were many projects under development connected with the new projects of gas and oil pipelines, infrastructure improvements of ports and border points of sale, …. Keynesian school in Russia gradually developed into a theory of maximizing revenues through highly profitable industries.

STAGE 5. The global economic crisis hit Russia, mainly, in autumn 2008. Oil, gas and other natural resources became no longer a stable and predictable source of “easy” income. This affected the overall economic background within Russia. Small and medium enterprises became the most vulnerable in this economy. The Academic School of Economics started to support the concept of monopolization of the economy and the creation of large corporations in the country. In practice, this corresponded to the absorption of small and medium-sized corporations by big business, mainly, by the “Moscow business”. At the same time with it, there emerged the concept of an ideal industry, mainly fossil fuel industry, which should continue to generate revenues to the Russian budget. Risk reduction was considered largely by means of development of risk management science; – a lot of modern Russian researches are addressed to the risk management.

STAGE 6. This stage began to emerge in 2006, when it went on the simultaneous decentralization of the Russian science by creating of large federal universities, and, at the same time, it went about the monopolization of Russian science by creating the largest centers of research and elimination of small and medium-sized universities and research centers. Today in Russia we can talk about the formation of just three centers of science: the Central School (Moscow), the Northwest School (St. Petersburg), the Ural-Siberian School (Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk).

The main feature of the sixth stage is the fact that less than 2.5% of all economic researches in Russia are devoted to the practical application of the results of economic researches in high technology industries. In 2011, there were only 90 studies in all of Russia devoted to the practical application of economic innovations in the high-tech sector. According to forecasts of the author of this paper, in 2012 this figure should be about 75 studies.

 2.     Review of Economic Studies in Russia at the present stage

The author of this paper conducted an independent research on trends of Russian economic studies. According to the findings, nearly all studies conducted in Russia in recent periods of time (since the beginning of 2011 to August 2012) can be roughly classified into four macro-areas of research:

1) Development of economic sectors (and functioning of enterprises);

This sector can be divided into five areas of research:

1) Risk management and systems of performances;

2) Industrial Approach (building of strong industrial enterprises);

3) Management of liquidity and cash flows;

4) Control on the amount of borrowed funds, improving of credit management;

5) Economic aspects of improving the efficiency of extraction of fossil fuels (hereinafter – the fossil fuel).

2) Migration, human resources and infrastructure;

This sector can be divided into four main areas of research:

1) Reduction of the control of the government and senior management;

2) Complete overhaul; the development of housing and infrastructure;

3) Targeted public funding;

4) Strengthening of the control of the government and senior management.

3) Innovations;

This sector can be divided into five areas of research:

1) Innovations through the establishment of specialized institutions;

2) The development of methods of innovations’ investment;

3) Innovations for high-tech industries and enterprises;

4) Education, knowledge management;

5) Innovations for fossil fuel and mining.

4) Improving the efficiency of enterprises.

This sector can be divided into five areas of research:

1) Improvement of the quality management systems and product quality;

2) Logistics and related research;

3) Improving of tax / accounting policies;

4) The image and corporate culture;

5) The transformation of companies into global business, integrated business alliances.

If we consider the data of macro-trends in the schools, we’ll get the following picture.

Area of ​​research/School

North-Western

Central

Ural-Siberian

1) Development of economic sectors

51,1%

35,7%

27,3%

2) Migration, human resources and infrastructure

17,1%

7,7%

24,0%

3) Innovations

21,2%

25,3%

23,1%

4) Improving the efficiency of enterprises

10,6%

31,3%

25,6%

TOTAL

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

% Of the total number of economic studies

96%

92%

97%

 

The author has analyzed about 13,346 studies in economics for the last 5 years in Russia; this scope covered 93.5% of the total volume of researches made in the field of economy in Russia for the last 1.5 years. The results are presented in the following table:

Macro trend of research

Micro-trend (improvement)

North-Western

Central

Ural-Siberian

Russia, in general

Development of the sectors of the economy (and the operation of enterprises)

Risk Management and Metrics

4,1%

12,7%

11,7%

10,7%

Sectoral approach (building of strong industrial enterprises)

32,0%

5,4%

5,8%

11,3%

Management of liquidity and cash flows

1,7%

7,1%

3,6%

5,6%

Control of the amount of borrowed funds, improved credit management

5,8%

5,0%

1,5%

4,8%

Fossil fuel production

7,2%

5,6%

3,1%

5,6%

Migration, human resources and infrastructure

The weakening of the control of the government and senior management

3,1%

1,5%

4,5%

2,1%

Major overhaul and development of housing, infrastructure

7,8%

1,0%

7,3%

3,2%

Targeted programs of public funding

4,2%

1,1%

7,6%

2,5%

Strengthening of the control of the government and senior management

1,9%

4,1%

3,1%

3,5%

Innovations

Through the formation of special institutions

8,3%

5,7%

1,9%

5,8%

Through the development of methods of investment

3,1%

6,6%

9,3%

6,2%

Innovations for individual industries

5,5%

2,6%

0,7%

3,1%

Education, knowledge management

3,6%

8,7%

10,5%

7,8%

For fossil fuels

0,5%

1,6%

2,9%

1,5%

Increase the effectiveness of enterprises

Improving the quality of management of systems and products

1,8%

8,9%

10,2%

7,5%

Logistics

5,8%

1,9%

1,5%

2,7%

Improving the tax / accounting policies

1,5%

4,1%

5,2%

3,7%

Image and corporate culture

1,5%

1,9%

8,6%

2,5%

The integration into a GLOBAL BUSINESS, and integrated business alliances

0,6%

14,5%

1,0%

10,0%

 

Notes to table:

1) The economic researches that have a significant share in the total volume of researches in Russia are marked in bold black font.

2) The economic researches that have an insignificant share in the total volume of researches in Russia are marked in red color.

The main share of the researches is taken by the Central School (about 2/3 of the total volume of researches in economics). Main researches’ direction of Central (Moscow) school – is the transformation of companies into big corporations by means of absorption of small and medium-sized businesses in federal cities and regions (circa 15% of all studies in economics are devoted to this issue); the second direction – is risk management and metrics, primarily for effective capital management (circa 13% of all studies). About 20% of all studies of the Central School are dedicated to education and knowledge management, as well as to improving of quality of management and quality of production.

The way of innovational transformation of Russia from a country that exports its resources into a country that exports its innovations, according to the views of the representatives of the Central School, is next. This way is connected with the establishment of specialized institutions like Skolkovo, improving methods of investments of innovations and getting innovations through the improvement of education and knowledge management; – taken together, for the last 1.5 years a little less than 1,900 studies in economics were performed in this area.

At the same time, there were only about 40 studies devoted to the economy of high-tech industries made by the Central School for the same period (for example, representatives of the North West school had more than 80 studies in this area for the same period).

An important role in the development of Russian economic science belongs to the Northwest Scientific School (about 1/5 of all researches in the economics were made by the representatives of this school). The center of this school is Saint-Petersburg city. Approximately one third of economic researches are devoted to the development of sectoral approach in the economy, that is, the creation of strong industrial enterprises.

Approximately 8% of the studies are devoted to the economy related to fossil fuel, which is almost comparable with the figures from the Central School of Economics. About 1,100 studies on fossil fuel economy were held in Russia for the last 1.5 years.

The way of innovational transformation of Russia is seen by the representatives of the Northwest school through the creation of specialized institutions and innovations for high-tech industries.

A characteristic feature of the Northwest school is a significant amount of research (about 8%) on the overhaul, the development of housing and infrastructure.

Significant share in the research holds the Ural-Siberian School (about a little more than 1/10 of the total amount of all researches in the economics). There are several geographic centers at this school. Two cities should be stressed primary as the centers of this school: Yekaterinburg (Urals) and Novosibirsk (Siberia). A characteristic feature of the Ural-Siberian school is the next fact. About one third of researches within the school are dedicated to risk management, scorecards, education, and knowledge management systems to improve the quality of management and production.

Innovative development of Russia representatives of this school see, mainly, through the development of education and knowledge management systems, as well as through the development of investment methods for innovative sectors.

General conclusions

If we talk about the development of academic economic thought in Russia as a whole, approximately one third of researches are performed in the field of economy concerning risk management systems and indicators, sectoral approach to establish strong industrial enterprises and turning the company into a global business and integrated business alliances.

In general, Russian economists conduct their researches and offer strategies for the Russian economy connected with the risk management, performance, knowledge, ….

At the same time, the economic development of modern Russia requires high-tech industries and major public-private projects, such as, for example, the development of the Arctic shelf. If we take the same Arctic shelf itself, for example, the studies in this direction are made through the aspect of innovation in the economy of oil & gas production.

Other actual direction of Russian studies – is innovation and nano-technology. ¼ part of the Russian researches today are devoted to the creating of an innovation economy in Russia. Within the last few years there were held a little less than 3350 studies in the field of economics of innovations in Russia in various aspects. Moreover, according to the author’s research, only about 130 research studies are focused on the practical application of designed economic innovations in the high-tech sector within the last 1.5 years.

Economic science today develops irrational in this direction, as it mainly studies investments’ distribution to finance innovative projects, education and knowledge management, the creation of specialized institutions for innovative and high-tech production of fossil fuels, while high-tech industries do not get the needed amount of economic researches in the most important areas.

Many Russian scientists and economists today favor to increase the government restrictions, to increase the control of the state and senior management in order to maximize the effectiveness of their development. State really has introduced a number of restrictions, in accordance with the recommendations of some economists that actually didn’t lead to the development of small and medium businesses.

To date, there is a problem of oriented researches in the field of economy in Russia; and also there is a problem of correlating of the actual development of the economy and state-run decision-making connected with the research findings of leading scientists and economists in Russia. There is an evidence of a consensus of the scientific researches made by the economists and practice of the state.

 


[1] It is compiled by the author based on the generalization of the studies of Russian economists in correlation with the economic realities of Russia for each period.

The concept of liberalization and restrictions are similar to those in the definition that were given Hedengren, David, Daniel B. Klein, and Carrie Milton в 2010 году: Hedengren, David, Daniel B. Klein, and Carrie Milton. 2010. Economist Petitions: Ideology Revealed. Econ Journal Watch7(3): 288-319; Daniel Stastny. 2010. Czech Economists on Economic Policy: A Survey. Econ Journal Watch 7(3): 275:287.


References
  1. Hedengren, David, Daniel B. Klein, and Carrie Milton. 2010. Economist Petitions: Ideology Revealed. Econ Journal Watch 7(3): 288-319;
  2. Daniel Stastny. 2010. Czech Economists on Economic Policy: A Survey. Econ Journal Watch 7(3): 275:287;
  3. Alexander Shemetev Complex financial analysis and bankruptcy prognosis and also financial management-marketing manual for self-tuition book. – Saint-Petersburg: Zodchiy, 2012. – 752;
  4. N. Gorodnikova, L. Gohbert and others. 2012. VSE (Highest School of Economics): Indicators of science 2012. – 392;
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