Russia’s diversification prospects

Publication date
Tuesday, 06.08.2019

Ivan Lyubimov

Russian Journal of Economics. 2019. No.5(2). P.177–198

The Russian economy heavily relies on exports of its natural resources. However, the resource-based status quo does not seem to be the route towards Russia’s long-run prosperity. To improve its position in the global income ranking, Russia needs to diversify its exports and make them more complex. Using highly detailed data on trade flows and applying network theory apparatus, we evaluate the level of export complexity in Russia from 1995 to 2016 and compare it with that of its BRICS fellow members. We find that Russia is stagnant with respects to its relative level of export complexity. This sluggishness embraced the entire period between 1995 and 2016, much longer than the stage of anemic growth that started there a decade ago. We also conclude that the current stock of know-how in Russia is relatively low and fragmented, thus not letting Russia diversify into a broad range of more complex products. Russia might also need to export a wider variety of products to richer economies. Today, on a par with Brazil and South Africa, it supplies a broader range of goods to its slowly growing next-door neighbors.



Full version

Go to other releases