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Self-Organization of Imperfect Markets under Price Dispersion: Invisible Hand Against Conspicious Consumption

Self-Organization of Imperfect Markets under Price Dispersion: Invisible Hand Against Conspicious Consumption

Journal of Institutional Studies, , Vol. 10 (no. 2),

The article confirms the identity of the marginal utilities of both consumption and leisure under the «common model» of the optimal search, when consumers reduce search and home production in favor of both labor and leisure, and under the classical labor-leisure choice. This identity takes place only for necessities when consumption is positively income inelastic. The willingness to accept, which matches the equilibrium price in the optimal search, under the «common model» is equal to marginal costs of purchase, that moves the marginal approach towards the labor theory of value. The income elastic demand takes place in the «leisure model» of optimal search when consumers reduce labor time in favor of search, home production, and leisure. Thus, the consumption of «luxuries» falls under the Veblen effect, it becomes conspicuous and gets the negative marginal utility. The willingness to accept under the «leisure model» is equal to marginal costs of missed enjoyment on consumption. The Invisible hand reduces the consumption to necessities and proposes to save the residual income where cash holdings become «luxury». Opportinity costs of cash holdings are equal to the utility of income elastic goods. The utility of cash holdings becomes negative and should be separated from consumption. If an investment does't become a necessity in time, it falls first as «luxury» during economic crisis.

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Innovations in The Institutional Modelling of The Sharing Economy

Innovations in The Institutional Modelling of The Sharing Economy

Journal of Institutional Studies, , Vol. 10 (no. 2),

The aim of our research paper is to develop the economic principles for modelling the new trend in the economic relations called “sharing economy”. Sharing economy which is a product of social, economic, societal, and technological changes recently emerging and shaping up in the human society is marked by a high penetration into all sectors of the “traditional” economy. The rise of the Internet and the popularity of smartphones enabled its high effectivity and usage, while the rise of the creative economy and “gig” economy made its application very easy to handle. Our paper is based on the methods of institutional analysis. We obtain a number of valuable theoretical results that can be summarized as follows: First, the model of sharing economy has been examined, the main agents of interactions have been identified, among which state structures, digital platforms and companies creating them, as well as citizens themselves, actively participating in economic activities are singled out. Second, transaction costs for the most common types of transactions (peer-to-peer) were determined. Sub-transaction costs (for example, information retrieval), transaction costs in the transaction process, as well as post-transaction costs (for example, reputational costs) are noted. Third, the principles of institutional modelling of sharing economy from the perspective of its effectiveness are defined, a typology of institutions of sharing economy based on the model of interactions of economic agents is proposed. Our results and outcomes might be useful for helping to shape up the rules of the game for the use of sharing economy in the modern economic relations and might be applied by the researchers, stakeholder and policy-makers alike.

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The Human Potential Of Russian Workers: Values And Attitudes

The Human Potential Of Russian Workers: Values And Attitudes

Journal of Institutional Studies, , Vol. 10 (no. 2),

The empirical basis of the analysis undertaken in the article was the materials of the project "The dynamics of social transformation of modern Russia in the socio-economic, political, socio-cultural and ethno-religious contexts" which was carried out in March 2016 by the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. On the example of the perception of "life success" concept the author analyzes certain features of the values and attitudes of various professional groups, first of all the workers. The value priorities of the workers are considered as a component of their human potential which is interpreted through the extensive characterization of human capital. Two models of "life success" are singled out - the basic model, determined by the generally accepted cultural norms and values in the society, and the individualized model which is formed by the interests and needs of the individual. In both cases the workers are characterized by a less emphasis on values related to work activity than other professional groups. This is expressed both in a smaller number of such values among the significant values for them and in the general blurring of their value orientations in this area. At the same time from the point of view of classical labor values that affect the quality of their human capital as a combination of knowledge and skills, the specificity of workers is shown mainly in the lack of attention to "education" as an independent value. The workers associate life success not so much with the education they receive but also with practical activity (the value of "work"). It is also shown that one should not expect from workers independent actions, due to the internal need for self-development to increase their human capital. This will require special measures to stimulate them, and for workers under the age of 40 with such stimulation the emphasis should be done on professional growth and career opportunities associated with it, and for workers over 40 it is advisable to expand the use of traditional for the domestic production culture artel forms of labour organization. Besides, considering the importance of the “financial well-being” value for workers in general, such stimulation should be based on the workers' orientation to maximizing their earnings, i.e. their qualifications should be much more strongly correlated with their wages than it is in modern Russian society.

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Comparative Role of Institutional Factors and Ascriptive Characteristics in Determining the Quality of Human Capital of Russian Workers

Comparative Role of Institutional Factors and Ascriptive Characteristics in Determining the Quality of Human Capital of Russian Workers

Journal of Institutional Studies, , Vol. 10 (no. 2),

In the article, based on the data of the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS-HSE) from 2016, factors that determine the quality of human capital of Russian workers are identified. As the main method of analysis, binary logistic regressions are used. It is shown that at present the quality of the human capital of Russian workers is determined by a relatively small set of factors. The main role in its formation is played by the institutional factors forming attitudes and behavioral patterns of workers in respect of education at different stages of their life. Most of the workers with a high quality of the general human capital grew in the cities and that is the most important, in the process of socialization got a valuable perception of education, therefore, they are ready to spend for its receiving own money and time irrespective of their economic situation. However, these are relatively few and the bulk of workers do not see a value of education. In addition, only in some sectors of the Russian economy, there is aт effective demand for workers with high-quality human capital, which discourages the bulk of the workers to change their attitudes which were formed in childhood. The lack of effective demand for a high-quality human capital of workers, on the one hand, is a consequence of the general ineffectiveness of a number of existing institutions in the country, and on the other hand, it’s a serious structural limitation to the growth of the number of workers with high-quality human capital. Also, we have confirmed the conclusions made using other methods of analysis in our previous studies, that age plays an important role in the processes of accumulation and renewal of general human capital in modern Russia, and as a result, the working youth is characterized by a higher quality of this capital compared with the workers from older generations.

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Russian Military Personnel Under Institutional Reforms: Professional Attitude and Identity

Russian Military Personnel Under Institutional Reforms: Professional Attitude and Identity

Journal of Institutional Studies, , Vol. 10 (no. 2),

Russian military reform influences conditions and mechanisms of professionalization of the servicemen's consciousness, their values and labor strategies. Multiple increase in the personnel wages, benefits for improving housing conditions, medical care, etc., allow the military to claim a special social position compared with the civilian population. Military reforms expand the opportunities for social mobility in the army, and the profession of the serviceman becomes again a competitive one. The research findings of the mass survey of 470 servicemen in Moscow and 256 servicemen in Rostov-on-Don, complemented by in-depth interviews with 15 officers demonstrate a positive trend in social status military positions in Russia. At present, among servicemen living in major cities, pragmatic orientations prevail, combined with a set of specific values (military duty, patriotism, partnership, attitude to one's profession as a calling), which form the basis of military-corporate identity. Dynasties (mainly relatives from military families are recruited) and the possibility of social mobility, which attracts representatives of low-income families and residents of rural areas, are the mechanisms of strengthening the corporate professional identity. The research findings indicate a greater degree of professionalization of the Moscow military personnel’s consciousness and the growth of pragmatic orientations in their work, a neutral prestige assessment of the military profession and a higher satisfaction with the quality of their lives. Professional identity is important, but not a prior component of their self-determination. For the Rostov servicemen, civil-patriotic and material-monetary parameters of professional activity are more significant indicators. Military identity is an axial characteristic of their identity. However, the claims about the significance of their work do not coincide with the assessment of their socio-economic security for the Rostov military personnel. Thus, the transition to the professional army model implies a shift from the heroic and patriotic foundations of the servicemen's identity to the growth of rational professional orientations. In the capital of Russia, this vector of transformation is more expressed than in the South-Russian region. Thus, in the face of the economic crisis and unresolved issues of army's modernization, the expectations for the privileged position of professional soldiers are inadequate for their real socioeconomic support.

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Human Capital in Post-Crisis Russia: Status and Impact

Human Capital in Post-Crisis Russia: Status and Impact

Journal of Institutional Studies, , Vol. 10 (no. 2),

The paper deals with spatial disproportions related to human capital accumulation, as well as to the impact of human capital depending on the professional group. The author ddresses the data from a National Sample Survey conducted by the Federal State Institution of Science, Sociological Institute of the Russian Academy of Science (spring 2017). In general, this study proves that special institutional environment in modern Russia, generates significant spatial disproportions of the impact of human capital of Russian workers. A regression analysis shows that living in megacities provides a 139% increase in personal incomes for people engaged in manual labor, compared to their counterparts working in rural areas. However, as the analysis suggests, inclusion of skill differences among workers allows us to reconsider modest estimates of inpact of their human capital obtained in previous studies. As a result, existence of redistribution institutions organized on meritocratic principles is suggested. Thus, high-level qualifications of workers (from the 5th category) leads to an increase in their incomes: by 36.3% in the centers of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, and by 23.7% in the district centers, when compared with the salaries of low-skilled workers employed in enterprises of the same settlements.

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Devil's Advocate for Werewolf in Epaulets: What Kind of Lawyers Defend Misconducted Law Enforcers in Russian Courts?

Devil's Advocate for Werewolf in Epaulets: What Kind of Lawyers Defend Misconducted Law Enforcers in Russian Courts?

Journal of Institutional Studies, , Vol. 10 (no. 2),

If the rule of law does not prevail, certain privileged groups gain an advantage in court. Recent studies have shown that law enforcers in Russia are one of the social groups, which, being be explained in different ways, including their special status and loyalty of the judges. Without rejecting these possible reasons, we assume that law enforcement officers, having a unique experience within the law enforcement system, are able to choose for themselves more effective criminal attorneys. Based on a survey of 3,317 attorneys, we show the difference of ethics and effectiveness of lawyers who have or do not have the experience of protecting law enforcers and judges. Attorneys of law enforcers often had working experience in the law enforcement system. Such lawyers achieve more significant results in conditions of "accusatory bias". In addition, they more often record violations of the rights of defendants, more often achieve positive results for their clients. Finally, the defenders of law enforcers are often "devil's advocates" as they declare their willingness to protect the interests of people who enjoy the reputation of mafia.

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Civilizations, Cultures, Institutions in Economic History (on the Book by R. M. Nureev and Yu. V. Latov)

Civilizations, Cultures, Institutions in Economic History (on the Book by R. M. Nureev and Yu. V. Latov)

Journal of Institutional Studies, , Vol. 10 (no. 2),

The book by R. M. Nureev and Yu. V. Latov is valuable as a rare case of theoretically reflected systematized selection of the available evidence on historical development of the national economy from the emergence of the Russian statehood. Its content stimulates the author of the article to make reflections on methodological issues of economic history research as well as on characteristic features of the selected periods of the national economy development and its subjects. The author shares the approach to economic history as the process of global competition of economic systems that results in selection of efficient set of institutions. Moreover, the book confirms high cognitive value of the modernization multi-disciplinary paradigm for understanding regularities and peculiarities of development of the Russian economy. The author also discusses strong and weak points of civilization approach which is frequently utilized in social sciences. It is stressed that specific features of Russia, which is attributed to “catch-up” type of modernization, under strong “path dependence” in the immediate future it is more important to give priority to the tasks of catching up rather than the tasks of innovation per se.

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