Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Demand for Law and the Security of Property Rights: The Case of Post-Soviet Russia

  • JORDAN GANS-MORSE (a1)
Abstract

Studies of property rights overwhelmingly focus on whether states expropriate or protect property, overlooking the crucial issue of whether private sector actors will use state institutions. By contrast, I argue that the “supply” of formal legal institutions often fails to ensure firms will rely on the state for property rights protection. Instead, firms frequently avoid formal legal institutions and turn to illegal strategies based on violence or corruption. Whether firms adopt legal strategies depends on: (1) firm-level practices and beliefs that impede the use of law, (2) the effectiveness of illegal strategies, and (3) coordination problems resulting from firms’ expectations about each other’s strategies. Drawing on interviews with firms, lawyers, and private security agencies, as well as an original survey of Russian enterprises, I illustrate how “demand-side” factors led to a surprising increase in Russian firms’ reliance on formal legal institutions over the past two decades. The findings suggest that comprehensive understanding of property rights and the rule of law requires not only attention to state institutions’ effectiveness, but also to private actors’ strategies.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Jordan Gans-Morse is Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Northwestern University, 601 University Place, Evanston, IL 60208 (jordan.gans-morse@northwestern.edu).
Footnotes
Hide All

The author thanks Neil Abrams, Karen Alter, Marc Berenson, Jose Cheibub, Georgy Egorov, M. Steven Fish, Timothy Frye, Scott Gehlbach, Anna Grzymala-Busse, Kathryn Hendley, Alisha Holland, Sarah Hummel, William Hurst, PJ Lamberson, Benjamin Lessing, Pauline Jones Luong, James Mahoney, Stanislav Markus, Israel Marques, Evgeniia Mikriukova, Stephen Nelson, Simeon Nichter, Robert Orttung, Andrew Roberts, Jason Seawright, David Szakonyi, Kateryna Vago, Steven Vogel, Jeffrey Winters, Matthew Winters, Andrei Yakovlev, Dong Zhang, and John Zysman. This research has received support from an NSF DDIG grant (SES-0921635), the Fulbright-Hays DDRA program, the SSRC Eurasia program, the American Bar Foundation, and the Kellogg School of Management Dispute Resolution Research Center.

Footnotes
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Daron Acemoglu , and James A. Robinson . 2006. “Economic Backwardness in Political Perspective.” American Political Science Review 100 (1): 115–31.

Kenneth J. Arrow 1962. “The Economic Implications of Learning by Doing.” The Review of Economic Studies 29 (3): 155–73.

Andrew Barnes . 2003. “Russia’s New Business Groups and State Power.” Post-Soviet Affairs 19 (2): 154–86.

Yoram Barzel . 1997. Economic Analysis of Property Rights. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Gerald M. Easter 2012. Capital, Coercion, and Postcommunist States. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Timothy Frye . 2004. “Credible Commitment and Property Rights: Evidence from Russia.” American Political Science Review 98 (3): 453–66.

Timothy Frye , and Ekaterina Zhuravskaya . 2000. “Rackets, Regulation, and the Rule of Law.” Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 16 (2): 478502.

Jordan Gans-Morse . 2012. “Threats to Property Rights in Russia: From Private Coercion to State Aggression.” Post-Soviet Affairs 28 (3): 263–95.

Tom Ginsburg , and Glenn Hoetker . 2006. “The Unreluctant Litigant? An Empirical Analysis of Japan’s Turn to Litigation.” The Journal of Legal Studies 35 (1): 3159.

Stephen Haber , Armando Razo , and Noel Maurer . 2003. The Politics of Property Rights: Political Instability, Credible Commitments, and Economic Growth in Mexico, 1876–1929. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Kathryn Hendley , Peter Murrell , and Randi Ryterman . 2000. “Law, Relationships and Private Enforcement: Transactional Strategies of Russian Enterprises.” Europe-Asia Studies 52 (4): 627–56.

Karla Hoff , and Joseph E. Stiglitz . 2004. “After the Big Bang? Obstacles to the Emergence of the Rule of Law in Post-Communist Societies.” American Economic Review 94 (3): 753–63.

James Honaker , Gary King , and Matthew Blackwell . 2011. “Amelia II: A Program for Missing Data.” Journal of Statistical Software 45 (7): 147.

Simon Johnson , John McMillan , and Christopher Woodruff . 2002. “Property Rights and Finance.” American Economic Review 92 (5): 1335–56.

Pauline Jones Luong , and Erika Weinthal . 2004. “Contra Coercion: Russian Tax Reform, Exogenous Shocks, and Negotiated Institutional Change.” American Political Science Review 98 (1): 139–52.

Timur Kuran . 1989. “Sparks and Prairie Fires: A Theory of Unanticipated Political Revolution.” Public Choice 61 (1): 4174.

Olga Lazareva , Andrei Rachinsky , and Sergey Stepanov . 2009. “A Survey of Corporate Governance in Russia.” In Corporate Governance in Transition Economies, ed. Robert W. McGee . New York, NY: Springer, 315–49.

Stewart Macaulay . 1963. “Non-Contractual Relations in Business: A Preliminary Study.” American Sociological Review 28: 55–67.

Stanislav Markus . 2012. “Secure Property as a Bottom-Up Process: Firms, Stakeholders, and Predators in Weak States.” World Politics 64 (2): 242–77.

John McMillan , and Christopher Woodruff . 1999. “Dispute Prevention without Courts in Vietnam.” Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization 15 (3): 637–58.

Michael A. McPherson , and Carl Liedholm . 1996. “Determinants of Small and Micro Enterprise Registration: Results from Surveys in Niger and Swaziland.” World Development 24 (3): 481–7.

Joel S. Migdal 2001. State in Society: Studying how States and Societies Transform and Constitute One Another. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Curtis J. Milhaupt , and Mark D. West . 2000. “The Dark Side of Private Ordering: An Institutional and Empirical Analysis of Organized Crime.” The University of Chicago Law Review 67 (1): 4198.

Robert H. Mnookin , and Lewis Kornhauser . 1978. “Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: The Case of Divorce.” Yale Law Journal 88 (5): 950–97.

Mancur Olson . 1993. “Dictatorship, Democracy, and Development.” American Political Science Review 87 (3): 567–76.

Katharina Pistor . 1996. “Supply and Demand for Contract Enforcement in Russia: Courts, Arbitration, and Private Enforcement.” Review of Central and East European Law 22 (1): 5587.

Leonid Polishchuk , and Alexi Savvateev . 2004. “Spontaneous (Non) Emergence of Property Rights.” The Economics of Transition 12 (1): 103–27.

Richard A. Posner 2000. “Is the Ninth Circuit too Large? A Statistical Study of Judicial Quality.” The Journal of Legal Studies 29 (2): 711–9.

Vadim Radaev . 1999. “The Role of Violence in Russian Business Relations.” Problems of Economic Transition 41 (12): 3461.

Thomas C. Schelling 1971. “Dynamic Models of Segregation.” The Journal of Mathematical Sociology 1 (2): 143–86.

Julia Shvets . 2012. “Judicial Institutions and Firms’ External Finance: Evidence from Russia.” Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization 29 (4): 735–64.

Konstantin Sonin . 2003. “Why the Rich may Favor Poor Protection of Property Rights.” Journal of Comparative Economics 31 (4): 715–31.

Regine Spector . 2008. “Securing Property in Contemporary Kyrgyzstan.” Post-Soviet Affairs 24 (2): 149–76.

Brian D. Taylor 2011. State Building in Putin’s Russia: Policing and Coercion After Communism. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Jeffrey A. Winters 2011. Oligarchy. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

American Political Science Review
  • ISSN: 0003-0554
  • EISSN: 1537-5943
  • URL: /core/journals/american-political-science-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×
Type Description Title
PDF
Supplementary Materials

Gans-Morse supplementary material
Gans-Morse supplementary material 1

 PDF (680 KB)
680 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 24
Total number of PDF views: 390 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 607 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 20th February 2017 - 23rd June 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.