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Zugzwang in the Russian Economy and Society (on the Book by V. Shmat «Oil-and-Gas Zugzwang»)

Zugzwang in the Russian Economy and Society (on the Book by V. Shmat «Oil-and-Gas Zugzwang»)

Journal of Economic Regulation, , Vol. 8 (no. 2),

The mainstream past and present issues of the oil-and-gas sector in Russia as well as in the world are described. The author is well versed in the topic and his style is absorbing. The sectoral questions are discussed in the context of the general economic challenges facing Russia. It is argued that the oil-and-gas sector of Russia becomes deadlocked, and the fault lays with both government and private sector institutions. The author anchors his hopes on the third force - the society. In this regard, the author’s public stance and his concern of the Russia’s place and future in the world are greatly valuable. The book’s drawbacks include an excessive reliance on the state and corporate statistics of the sector which errs most in the estimates of fixed capital. My recalculation shows that its replacement value is underestimated by the factor of seven. This radically changes the estimate of the cost of petroleum extraction and the dynamics of fixed capital in the industry. There is no foundation to the hopes the author puts on the role of the society. The contemporary Russian society is dead as a result of the historic tradition and the uprooting of social institutions during the past fifteen years. The statement is based on the failed attempts to invoke interest of the civil society, mass media and the academic economic community in alternative evaluations of Russian economy, without which, evidently, it is not possible to determine the state and the prospects of Russian economy, the nature of the national economic policy.

Keywords: oil and gas sector, Russian economy, cost of petroleum extraction in Russia, technological level of the petroleum industry in Russia, institutions of Russian economy, qualities of Russian society

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Publisher: Ltd. "Humanitarian perspectives"
Founder: Ltd. "Humanitarian perspectives"
Online ISSN: 2412-6047
ISSN: 2078-5429