The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd


  • Sergei Guriev
Reference work entry


In several countries economic transition was accompanied by the emergence of ‘oligarchs’ – businessmen who amassed fortunes and used them to influence economic policies. At their height in 2003, a few oligarchs controlled much of Russia’s economy, as did a similar elite in Ukraine. Oligarchs seem to run their empires more efficiently than other domestic owners. While the relative weight of their firms in the economy is huge, it is not excessive by the standards of the global economy where most of them are operating. Policymakers should therefore focus on ‘political antitrust’ to prevent state capture and subversion of institutions.


Arbitrage Berezovsky, B. Bribery Democracy Hold-up problem Khodorkovsky, M. Loans-for-shares auctions (Russia) Market power Oligarchs Ownership and control, separation of Ownership concentration Private property Privatization Putin, V. Rent seeking Tariffs Total factor productivity Transition and institutions Vertical integration World Trade Organization 

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This articledraws substantially on Guriev and Rachinsky (2005) and mostly refers to the situation in Russia prior to the renationalization campaign that started in 2004.


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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sergei Guriev
    • 1
  1. 1.