The health of the Russian economy still depends heavily on natural resource revenues. The history of the economic collapse and recovery in 1970–2004 provides new evidence on the sources of Russian economic growth, while a survey of the economic literature suggests that the Russian economy could be viewed as a weighted combination of virtual and normal forces. If the Russian economy is considered to be dominated by normal market economy forces, higher energy export receipts provide an opportunity for structural reforms while compensating for social costs, making the economy less vulnerable to decline in world energy prices. However, the domination of virtual forces—value transfers from the energy sector to strategic enterprises—suggests that high world energy prices are masking an inefficient manufacturing sector, and that the Russian economy is highly vulnerable to energy price declines.
Mr. Jonathan David Ostry, Mr. Eduardo Borensztein, and Mr. Dimitri G Demekas
This paper analyzes the declines in economic activity experienced by Bulgaria, the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic (CSFR), and Romania in the period since the initiation of market-oriented reforms in these countries. The paper reviews developments in the three countries and empirically investigates two questions that are key to the interpretation of the output decline: First, to what extent does the output fall reflect “structural change” (or a reallocation of resources across sectors) rather than a conventional recession? Second, to what extent have demand-side or supply-side forces been dominant in generating the output decline?