Welfare change and the elimination of the shortage economy in Russia: some representative‐household results1
Bryan W. Roberts
The Economics of Transition, 1997, vol. 5, issue 2, 427-451
The welfare consequences of eliminating the shortage economy for the representative Russian household are quantitatively assessed. Before price liberalization, households either bought goods and services at state prices and paid searching and queuing costs, or they bought on parallel markets at higher monetary prices. An equation is derived that permits empirical evaluation of the extent to which welfare gains from eliminating searching and queuing costs offset welfare losses from falling real consumption. Available data suggest that when regime change was initiated in Russia in 1992, welfare gains from eliminating shortage were substantial and may have completely offset welfare losses from falling real consumption.
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