Policy brief

Russia's growth problem

After the 2014-2016 currency crisis, Russia’s economy has returned to growth, albeit at a slow pace. In this Policy Contribution, the authors analyse

Publishing date
07 February 2019

Between 2014 and 2016, the Russian economy suffered from a currency crisis caused by the collapse of oil prices and the country’s engagement in the conflict with Ukraine. Although the crisis was overcome in the second half of 2016 thanks to prudent fiscal and monetary policies and higher oil prices, economic recovery remains weak and Russia’s medium-term growth prospects look rather disappointing.

The weak growth prospects are caused by several factors including: (i) adverse demographic trends – a declining working-age population and ageing of the population; (ii) a poor business and investment climate; (iii) difficulty in diversifying away from the dominant role of the hydrocarbon sector; (iv) Western sanctions on Russia in response to the annexation of Crimea and Russian support for separatists in the eastern Ukraine Donbas region, and Russian countersanctions.

To increase potential growth, Russia needs comprehensive economic and institutional reforms that, in turn, will be conditioned by political reforms and by improved economic and political relationships with the United States, the European Union and Russia’s neighbours.

About the authors

  • Marek Dabrowski

    Dr. Marek Dabrowski is a Non-Resident Scholar at Bruegel, co-founder and Fellow at CASE - Centre for Social and Economic Research in Warsaw and Visiting Professor at the Central European University in Vienna.

    He was Chairman of the CASE Supervisory Council and its President of Management Board (1991-2011), Chairman of the Supervisory Board of CASE Ukraine in Kyiv (1999-2009 and 2013-2015), Member of the Board of Trustees and Scientific Council of the E.T. Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy in Moscow (1996-2016), Professor at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow (2014-2022), and Fellow under the 2014-2015 Fellowship Initiative of the European Commission – Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs. He is a former First Deputy Minister of Finance of Poland (1989-1990), Member of Parliament (1991-1993) and Member of the Monetary Policy Council of the National Bank of Poland (1998-2004).

    Since the end of 1980s he has been involved in policy advising and policy research in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Egypt, Georgia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Somali, Syria, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Yemen, and in a number of international research projects related to monetary and fiscal policies, growth and poverty, currency crises, international financial architecture, perspectives of European integration, European Neighborhood Policy, trade policy, and political economy of transition.

    He has also worked as a consultant in a number of EU, World Bank, IMF, UNDP, OECD and USAID projects. Marek is the author of several academic and policy papers, and editor of several book publications.

  • Antoine Mathieu Collin

    Antoine Mathieu Collin is a French economist with experience in competition economics, macroeconomics, finance, and network economics. He previously worked as a Research assistant at Bruegel, contributing to the think tank's publications on growth economics, cohesion policy and monetary policy. Antoine is a graduate of HEC Paris and holds a Master's in Public Administration from Sorbonne and a Master's in Macroeconomics from Panthéon-Assas University. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Business Economics and Computer Science at KU Leuven.

    Currently, Antoine serves as a Policy Officer at the European Commission's Directorate-General for Competition, where he bridges the gap between competition policy and the Commission's political priorities as part of the Commission Priorities and Strategic Coordination unit.

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