Friday, 31 March 2023 to Sunday, 2 April 2023

The rentier relationship in Russia: Historical evidence and recent developments of resource and administrative rents in state capitalism

Fri31  Mar04:45pm(30 mins)
Gilbert Scott Room 251


Cornelia Sahling1
1 -, Italy


In Russia, the historical role of central planning and state ownership as well as institutional change in the transition period determined the centralized rentier relationship in state-led capitalism and the redistribution of rents. Institutional change and economic development were not able to destroy the rent-seeking regime in the country. The paper argues that the centralized rentier regime ensured capital inflows to the state budget from resource exports and lowered oligarchs’ influence on the central government. This investigation helps to understand how the new rentier relationship helped to prepare for a longer period of economic isolation (mainly from the Western world).

The theoretical framework of this paper assesses the Russian rentier relationship through the development of two types of rents: resource and administrative rents. The findings of this analysis suggest that the overall rentier relationship over three time periods (late Soviet 1970-1991, transition 1991-1999, post-transition 2000-2021) is stable, but several changes happened. Important transformations were related to a larger variety of administrative rents and a partial redistribution of the resource rent to the state. The post-transition rentier relationship is presented from a principle-agent perspective, and this paper argues that a more centralized regime with growing state control over rents has been developed.