Description - Privatizing Russia by Maxim Boycko
This work offers an inside look at one of the most remarkable reforms in recent history. Having started on the back burner of Russian politics in the autumn of 1991, mass privatization was completed on July 1, 1994, with two thirds of Russian industry privately owned, a rapidly rising stock market and 40 million Russians owning company shares. The authors describe the events and the ideas driving privatization, arguing that successful reformers must recognize privatization as a process of depoliticising firms in the face of massive opposition: making the firm responsive to market rather than political influences. The book first reviews the economic theory of property rights, identifying the political influence on firms as the fundamental failure of property rights under socialism. It then details the process of coalition building and compromise that ultimately shaped privatization. The main elements of the Russian programme - corporatization, voucher use and voucher auctions - are described, as is the responsiveness of privatized firms to outside investors.
Finally, the market values of privatized assets are assessed for indications of how much progress the country has made toward reforming its economy. In many respects, privatization has been a success. Market concepts of property ownership and corporate management are shaking up Russian firms, creating powerful economic and political stimuli for continuation of market reforms. At the same time, however, the political landscape remains treacherous as old-line politicians reluctantly cede their property rights and authority over firms.
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(203mm x 137mm x 15mm)
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
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Author Biography - Maxim Boycko
Junko Ito is Professor of Linguistics at University of California, Santa Cruz.