What comes after COVID-19? Special issue in the journal Population and Economics

Population and Economics

At this alarming time, when the COVID-19 pandemic is on everyone’s mind, a new special issue in the open-access peer-reviewed journal Population and Economics by Lomonosov Moscow State University (Faculty of Economics) provides a platform for discussion on the impact of the pandemic on the population and economics, both in Russia and worldwide by opening a special issue. An introductory overview of the issue is provided by its Editor-in-Chief, Irina E. Kalabikina of the Faculty of Economics at Lomonosov Moscow University.

Today is still too early to draw any final conclusions, with too many things yet to happen. Nevertheless, the time is right to start a discussion on how to soften the possible consequences of the pandemic. 

In the first published papers, brought together in the special issue, various teams of economists assess the uneasy dilemma – saving lives now or saving the economy to preserve lives in the future; demographers draw parallels with previous pandemics and its impact on demographic development; and sociologists analyse the state of various strata throughout the crisis.

The coronavirus pandemic came to Russia in mid-March – two months after China, two weeks after Spain, Italy, France, and about the same time as the United States.

As of 24th April, according to the data available at the Center for System Science and Engineering at John Hopkins University, Russia is amongst the top 10 countries by number of recorded cases. International comparability of national data on COVID-19 is a separate issue; it will be addressed in one of the special issue articles.

“Now I just want to state that Russia is affected by the pandemic, and it disturbs population and society. Moreover, a number of anti-epidemic measures taken in the country can bite the economy. In this context, the search for specific Russian consequences of the pandemic initiated by our authors along with the global consequences are particularly interesting”,

shares Editor-in-Chief of Population and Economics, Prof. Irina E. Kalabikhina.

All economists, demographers and sociologists are invited to consider the impact of the pandemic and its attendant recession on the population and economy in Russia and the global world. Research papers are welcome to the special issue, which will remain open for submissions until the end of June 2020.

Special issue already includes contributions from top economists, sociologists, demographers from  Lomonosov Moscow State UniversityHigher School of Economics (Moscow), Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), Global Migration Policy Associates (Geneva), University of Chicago, Federal Research Institute for Health Organization and Informatics of Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation; Institute of Socio-Political Research at the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Science, the New School for Social Research (New York) and Feminist Data and Research Inc. (Toronto), University of Manchester and New Economic School (Moscow).

Different aspects of the current pandemic are considered in a series of research: cost of the pandemic to globalisation, proposals of tax system revision and reforms, future technological shift and a change in the direction and volumes of trade flows.

The current COVID-19 pandemic is “a global social drama”, after which income and wealth inequalities are expected to increase, and it’s still a good question how reliable are the data on the virus we are receiving and what could be the perception of the mass public and voters. While citizens are getting used to the existing rules, both the population and the state are in uncertainty, and lacking the flexible informal rules, which normally determine human behaviour.

Many countries face the issues of unemployment, caused by the virus outburst, and in many countries young people and those of low education level, as well as migrants and refugees are the most vulnerable groups.

Russian families face new issues in the conditions of self-isolation, while “dachas” (countryside family houses) play an important role during the pandemic.

On one hand, the current reduction in production makes a positive impact on the environment, but in the upcoming years it can get replaced by the negative effect – as weakened attention to environmental issues and redirection of cash flows to maintain or prevent a significant drop in the material standard of living.

Scientists try to consider the lessons of the previous pandemics, based on the cases of the Spanish flu of 1918 and the latest Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone.

These and many other topics are considered by researchers in the COVID-19 issue, and it is already quite obvious that even though the pandemic may have touched every side of our lives, life doesn’t stop. These early research works are meant to help humanity to overcome the following crisis, find the way out and adjust to the life after the pandemic.

“We are going through difficult times, and it is hardly possible to overestimate the role of science in the quickest passing through the crisis with the least human and economic losses. We hope that our Journal will contribute to the crucially important discussion on the impact of the pandemic on the economy and population”,

concludes Editor-in-Chief of Population and Economics, Irina E. Kalabikhina.

Additional information

About Population and Economics

Population and Economics is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal, published by Lomonosov Moscow State University (Faculty of Economics). The journal covers basic and applied aspects of the relationship between population and economics in a broad sense.

The journal is running on the innovative scholarly publishing platform ARPHA, developed by scholarly publisher and technology provider Pensoft

Original sources:

Kalabikhina IE (2020) What after? Essays on the expected consequences of the COVID-19 pandemics on the global and Russian economics and population. Population and Economics 4(2): 1-3. https://doi.org/10.3897/popecon.4.e53337

Auzan AA (2020) The economy under the pandemic and afterwards. Population and Economics 4(2): 4-12. https://doi.org/10.3897/popecon.4.e53403

Buklemishev OV (2020) Coronavirus crisis and its effects on the economy. Population and Economics 4(2): 13-17. https://doi.org/10.3897/popecon.4.e53295

Grigoryev LM (2020) Global social drama of pandemic and recession. Population and Economics 4(2): 18-25. https://doi.org/10.3897/popecon.4.e53325

Kartseva MA, Kuznetsova PO (2020) The economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic: which groups will suffer more in terms of loss of employment and income? Population and Economics 4(2): 26-33. https://doi.org/10.3897/popecon.4.e53194

Shastitko AE (2020) COVID-19: moments of truth and sources of controversy. Population and Economics 4(2): 34-38. https://doi.org/10.3897/popecon.4.e53285

Kurdin AA (2020) Institutional continuum in the context of the pandemic. Population and Economics 4(2): 39-42. https://doi.org/10.3897/popecon.4.e53299

Ivakhnyuk I (2020) Coronavirus pandemic challenges migrants worldwide and in Russia. Population and Economics 4(2): 49-55. https://doi.org/10.3897/popecon.4.e53201

Bobylev SN (2020) Environmental consequences of COVID-19 on the global and Russian economics. Population and Economics 4(2): 43-48. https://doi.org/10.3897/popecon.4.e53279

Contact:

Prof. Irina E. Kalabikhina
Editor-in-Chief of the “Population and Economics”
Email: niec@econ.msu.ru


Challenges for Russia’s agriculture: new special issue in Russian Journal of Economics

While Russia seems to have successfully tackled its historic problem: food shortage – with the agri-food sector becoming one of the most steadily developing of the national economy – the country is already facing a new set of challenges. Today, Russia needs to address several key growth factors, such as sustainability, missing national strategies and lagging research and development progress. These are the topics of the research articles comprising the latest special issue of the open-access peer-reviewed Russian Journal of Economics. An overview and introduction for the issue is provided by its guest editor Eugenia Serova of the Institute for Agrarian Studies at HSE University in Moscow.

Since 2012, Russia’s agriculture is the most steadily developing sector of the national economy. Production of selected crops is reaching historical records. Today, Russia is a world champion for export of wheat and buckwheat and amongst the top ten in terms of export of many other crops. The country has also begun exporting livestock products and value-added food products. Additionally, the past ten years have seen a significant progress in the food quality and safety in Russia, which has already been recognised. According to conventional indicators applied to food security, the country keeps a consistent place amongst the top three in the world.

However, even though Russia has been successful at achieving national food security, largely contributed to a strong emphasis on self-sufficiency, world known experts in food security at KU Leuven (Belgium) and International Food Policy Research Institute (USA) point out that this might have come at the expense of neglecting nutrition in the national policies, thus potentially exposing the nation at a higher risk of already concerning and quite common public health risks, such as malnourishment and obesity. In their paper, Saule Burkitbayeva, Johan Swinnen and Nele Warrinnier evaluate the state of art of food security in major Eurasian countries, in order to see where Russia stands compared to other former Soviet republics. The researchers also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of self-sufficiency policy.

Along with growth in the food sector in Russia, there have been drastic changes in the agrarian structure. With their profound analysis of two censuses from 2006 and 2016, recognised experts on Russia’s farming structure Renata Yanbykh and Valeriy Saraikin (both affiliated with the Institute for Agrarian Studies at HSE University, Moscow) and Zvi Lerman (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel) conclude that the old classification used for statistical purposes (organisations, family farms and households) does not reflect adequately the dynamic changes stemming from the response to market signals. In their study, the authors find that over 90% of the agricultural producers contribute less than 5% of the total standard revenue.

A need to shift budget support to general services which support all Russian producers is highlighted in the research article by Olga V. Shik of the Institute for Agrarian Studies at HSE University. The renowned expert in the field conducts an exhaustive analysis of the public expenditures in the Russian agri-food sector from the last decade to conclude that despite having a positive effect on agricultural growth, Russia’s budget support benefits mostly the larger and already the most successful producers. The second major drawback of budget support in agriculture the author identifies is the inefficient distribution of support between the federal and regional budgets, which leads to market disintegration and reduces the efficiency of budget spending.

In their article, distinguished American experts on Russia’s agri-food trade William M. Liefert and Olga Liefert of the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service (USDA ERS) report on how Russia’s move from planned to a market economy has fundamentally restructured the country’s agricultural production and trade since the 1990s. Most notably, previously a large importer of grain, soybeans, and soybean meal, the former Soviet state has transitioned to becoming one of the world’s major grain exporters. In fact, Russia has become the world’s top wheat exporter, responsible for 20-23% of the total world exports in 2017-2018. Having also discussed the consequences for the world agricultural markets, the researchers forecast further increase in Russia’s presence in the global market along with slight growth in its produce of value-added foods.

The last article, authored by researchers of the Institute for Agrarian Studies at HSE University Natalia Karlova and Eugenia Serova also addresses the issue of Russia’s presence in the world agri-food market with a focus on the trade with China. Since the significant increase in export is one of the major targets of Russia’s modern agri-food policy, China is seen as the most prospective market. However, there are a number of obstacles and risks that need to be taken into consideration. On one hand, Russia has a fairly limited list of exported agri-food products that have comparative advantages in the Chinese market. On the other hand, the Chinese market is limited by the scale of the country’s domestic demand. Moreover, China has already embarked on a course to self-sufficiency in terms of staple food produce.

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Original sources:

Burkitbayeva S, Swinnen J, Warrinnier N (2020) Food and nutrition security in Eurasia: Evolution, shocks and policies. Russian Journal of Economics 6(1): 6-25. https://doi.org/10.32609/j.ruje.6.49749

Yanbykh R, Saraikin V, Lerman Z (2020) Changes in Russia’s agrarian structure: What can we learn from agricultural census? Russian Journal of Economics 6(1): 26-41. https://doi.org/10.32609/j.ruje.6.49746

Shik OV (2020) Public expenditure for agricultural sector in Russia: Does it promote growth? Russian Journal of Economics 6(1): 42-55. https://doi.org/10.32609/j.ruje.6.49756

Liefert WM, Liefert O (2020) Russian agricultural trade and world markets. Russian Journal of Economics 6(1): 56-70. https://doi.org/10.32609/j.ruje.6.50308

Karlova N, Serova E (2020) Prospects of the Chinese market for Russian agri-food exports. Russian Journal of Economics 6(1): 71-90. https://doi.org/10.32609/j.ruje.6.50824

CO2 emissions in Russia go up in line with economic growth up until a certain point

This is the first detailed study to test whether the environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis holds true for the Russian Federation

Pollution in Russia increases along with economic growth, but only until it reaches a certain threshold, from where it starts to decrease, demonstrates a recent study conducted by Prof. Natalya Ketenci, Yeditepe University, Turkey.

The validity of the phenomenon, recognized as the environmental Kuznets curve, demonstrates a promising progress for the environmental policies and practices in the Russian Federation. Published in the open-access Russian Journal of Economics, the study also seeks to identify the relationships and causality between pollution, quantified by carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and the main factors which affect them.

To do so, the author employs annual data on energy consumption, real income, international trade, level of education and level of urbanization for the period 1991-2016, available from the World Bank’s World Development Indicators database. As a result, the research paper provides recommendations to policy makers in Russia responsible for the environmental quality on national level.

According to the data, Russia remains the fourth largest contributor in terms of CO2 emissions in the world after China, the USA and India in terms of total kilotons, but is ahead of the US when Gross domestic product (GDP) is taken into account. While the US contributes with 0.33 kg of CO2 emissions per 2010 dollars of GDP, Russia accounts for 0.99 kg. Furthermore, despite the global tendency of decreasing annual amounts of CO2 emissions, Russia continues to increase its own.

Interestingly, while Russia has increased its overall CO2 emissions by 14% since 1998 (8% since 2009), its quantity turns out to have actually declined by 45.6% (7.3% since 2009) when the GDP is considered. In agreement with the environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis, this is due to the gradual deployment of more environmentally-friendly equipment in a growing economy.

When studying the key factors for pollution, Prof. Natalya Ketenci concludes that energy consumption, real income, education and urbanization levels are all significant determinants, and open trade has no impact.

In conclusion, the researcher suggests that policy-makers in Russia need to continue with the implementation of policies meant to sustain economic development, thereby favoring cleaner technologies.

Efforts in raising environmental awareness among the population is also a priority. Interestingly, while education in Russia is linked to better access to advanced, yet energy-intensive technology, it is through education that people can be motivated to improve environmental quality and thus persuaded into practices such as recycling and giving up on non-renewable products.

Quite an ambiguous effect on environmental pollution is found in the case of urbanization as well. While generally linked to increased CO2 emissions as a result of greater and denser population, improved recycling organization and hygiene provisions in urban areas work in favor of environmental quality. Therefore, the author recommends that the focus for urban areas needs to be placed on maintaining current policies and decreasing energy intensity, while in rural areas, it is important to implement new efficient environmental policies.

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Original source:

Ketenci N (2018) The environmental Kuznets curve in the case of Russia. Russian Journal of Economics 4(3): 249-265. https://doi.org/10.3897/j.ruje.4.28482

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Russian Journal of Economics is one of the journals hosted on ARPHA through the platform’s white-label publishing solution.

Physical and human capital rather than military spending key for economic growth in Russia

Calculations based on government expenditure data gathered between 2002 and 2016 suggest a budget maneuver could increase Russia’s GDP with 25-35% in a single generation

Investment in education, healthcare, sports, road infrastructure and transportation, rather than national defense and, to a lesser extent, national security and law enforcement, is what drives economic growth rates and GDP level upwards in Russia, suggests a recent analysis of government expenditure data gathered between 2002 and 2016.

The empirical study, conducted by Dr Alexey Kudrin of St. Petersburg State UniversityGaidar Institute for Economic Policy and the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, and Dr Alexander Knobel, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy and the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, was published in the open-access journal Russian Journal of Economics.

In their analysis, the economists apply the Structural vector autoregression (SVAR) methodology: a modification to the traditional Vector autoregression (VAR), which allows for identification of interdependencies between data series coming from various points in time, while allowing for variables. Thus, the researchers analyzed the efficiency of Russia’s government spending and how the distribution of resources impacts the national economic development, with the Gross domestic product (GDP) set as a structural variable.

In particular, Drs Kudrin and Knobel looked into expenditure on national security and law enforcement, national defense, education, healthcare and sports, road infrastructure in order to estimate how resource distribution in these areas affect national economic growth and GDP. They used data from the Russian Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) for the period from 2002 to 2016, while also taking into account multiple international studies on the topic.

As a result, they found that government spending on “power” items such as national defense, national security and law enforcement (areas also recognised as non-productive expenditure), mostly translates to extensive consumption of resources. Meanwhile, investment in physical and human capital, including education, healthcare and sports, road infrastructure and transportation (productive expenditure) is associated with both short- and long-term economic growth.

The data from Rosstat confirm the researchers’ conclusions by demonstrating a drop in Russia’s economic growth rates in recent years, which corresponds to the shift in the general government budget spending towards “power” items. On the other hand, Drs Kudrin and Knobel present evidence that a maneuver in favor of human and physical capital is capable of increasing Russia’s GDP with 25-35% in a single generation (25-30 years).

The researchers conclude:

“Against the background of a deteriorating foreign economic situation, lowering budget spending may have a stabilizing effect, but, from a growth effect point of view, it is best to initially reduce non-productive expenditures while increasing or, at least, maintaining the current level of productive expenditures.”

“Of course, ensuring security against internal and external threats, including through funding ‘power’ items, is an essential condition for the state’s stable functioning and for maintaining social and economic stability. However, one should exercise prudence when determining the requisite amount of non-productive expenditures, realizing the cost to be paid by the society for this or that budget spending composition.”

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Original source:

Kudrin A, Knobel A (2018) Russian budget structure efficiency: Empirical study. Russian Journal of Economics 4(3): 197-214. https://doi.org/10.3897/j.ruje.4.30163

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Russian Journal of Economics is one of the journals hosted on ARPHA through the platform’s white-label publishing solution.

Russian Journal of Economics finds a new publishing home on ARPHA platform

The journal’s 2018 inaugural issue, themed ‘The Austrian School of Economics: Its Reception in European Countries,’ demonstrates an all-new look-and-feel complete with various next-generation technological perks

Russian Journal of Economics (RuJE) is the latest competent and renowned journal to join the ranks of the open access titles published on the next-generation platform ARPHA, developed by scholarly publisher and technology provider Pensoft.

The journal’s 2018 inaugural issue and the first since the realization of the new partnership is already live on the journal’s new website.

The articles are brought together under the theme “The Austrian School of Economics: Its Reception in European Countries” and have been briefly presented at the Second World Congress of Comparative Economics “1917-2017: Revolution and Evolution in Economic Development” held in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2017.

Having taken advantage of the white-label publishing solution offered by ARPHA, the open access peer-reviewed journal is to continue being recognized as one of the titles founded and published by the reputed institutions of National Research University Higher School of EconomicsRussian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public AdministrationGaidar Institute for Economic Policy, and non-profit partnership Voprosy Ekonomiki.

Although recently established, the journal is well-known among its audience comprising primarily professional economists working in academia, government and private sector.

Since its launch in 2015, RuJE has been providing a scholarly outlet for research findings in all fields of economics related to policy issues and is being published on a quarterly basis.

While the journal focuses on the Russian economy, economic policy and institutional reform with a broader international context and sound theoretical background, it also welcomes submissions in all areas of applied and theoretical economics, especially those with policy implications.

“I am pleased to see our new collaboration with Russian Journal of Economics coming to fruition, not solely because it looks great in our growing journal portfolio, but also for the amazing opportunity for ARPHA,” says ARPHA’s and Pensoft’s founder and CEO Prof. Lyubomir Penev. “I am certain that we can contribute a lot, so that we can together oversee the further progress of this excellent journal.”

“The task of the project is to create a competent international information resource for academic economists, expert and business communities, devoted to macroeconomic policies in different national contexts, including the Russian one, institutional issues and comparative analysis. The high technological base of ARPHA platform gives all the necessary opportunities to realize the strategic goals of Russian Journal of Economics,” says Andrey Kotkovsky, Director at NP Voprosy Ekonomiki.

 

What does ARPHA bring to the table?arpha_logo

As a result of its transition to ARPHA, not only does the journal look a lot different on the outside, but it also provides a whole range of high-tech innovations beneath the surface.

Among these is the prominent fast-track and convenient publishing workflow provided by the platform. It allows for each manuscript to proceed all the way from submission and reviewing to dissemination and archiving without ever leaving the platform’s singular collaboration-friendly online environment.

Once published, all articles are to be available in three formats (PDF, XML, HTML), enriched with semantic enhancements, so that they are easy to discover, access and harvest by both humans and machines.

To further enhance discoverability and reusability of the findings published in the journal, its content is to be indexed by major interdisciplinary services CrossRef and DOAJ in addition to the economics-specialized database RePEc.

RuJE’s articles are also to be archived in CLOCKSS and Zenodo, in accordance to ARPHA’s standard practices.

 

issue coverWhat’s on in the new issue?

In the opening article by Dr Gilles CampagnoloAix-Marseilles School of Economics, the reader is given a complex overview of the reception of the Austrian ideas in France, while also covering valuable information about the development of the Austrian School of Economics itself. The publication highlights the fact that these ideas increased their popularity in the country following the Russian perestroyka and the?fall of the Berlin Wall.

The topic is carried on into another two articles dealing with the history of this process in Russia (Soviet Union) and Bulgaria. The team of Prof. Vladimir Avtonomov and Prof. Natalia Makasheva, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia, and the one of Prof. Nikolay Nenovsky, University of Picardie Jules Verne, France, and Dr. Pencho Penchev, University of National and World Economy, Bulgaria, both identify three principal periods – initial reception, complete oblivion during the communist regimes, and renaissance in post-communist times.

The Italian perspective on the Austrian economic ideas are given in an article authored by Prof. Antonio Magliulo, University of International Studies of Rome. He explores two periods – before World War II, as linked with Menger’s influence – and compares it with Hayek’s.

The editorial by Prof. Vladimir Avtonomov looks back on the so-called Marginal revolution in economics from the 1870s. Thus, the reader obtains a firm grasp on the origins of the three European schools of economics with a focus on the Austrian one, before tracing the economic environment on the Old Continent well into the 20th century through the pages of the journal’s special issue.

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Russian Journal of Economics is the third Russian title to find its new publishing home with ARPHA Platform after Comparative Cytogenetics and Research Results in Pharmacology. Several new titles are expected to join them later this year.