BRICS Journal of Economics No.1 (2020)

Editor-in-Chief’s introductory note

Marina Sheresheva

Our contemporary world is highly interconnected. There are multiple interactions between states, businesses, and people. In such circumstances, long-term goals of sustainable economic development cannot be achieved by a single actor, even a major one. A combination of diverse resources and competencies plays a crucial role in the making of the winners of the future. That’s why partnerships at all levels, including collaborative alliances of countries, are just as important as competition.

Strengthening coordination and cooperation among the BRICS countries (China, Russia, Brazil, India, and South Africa) is one of the most impressive examples. These five countries together are the largest emerging markets in the world. BRICS is now taking on a constantly growing geopolitical role that stimulates a global shift in power, both politically and economically.

BRICS countries, which are transforming from regional leaders into the major players on the global arena, vary greatly, ranging from their size and population to their institutional environment. At the same time, many aspects of their economic development are not familiar to academics and practitioners from other countries, even to those from the five BRICS countries themselves. The world economic and business society needs a deeper understanding of the BRICS countries' specifics and a more broad knowledge about prospects that emerge in these economies.

The BRICS Journal of Economics (BJoE) starts its work in the year of the Russian BRICS Chairmanship – 2020, in which the main emphasis is on the five countries' cooperation in the field of digital transformation, as well as on boosting the role of sustainable and inclusive development agenda. It is a quarterly peer-reviewed journal that serves as a platform for encouraging research on internationally significant economic issues of middle-income developing countries, primarily BRICS countries. It was founded by the Faculty of Economics of Lomonosov Moscow State University, which holds high positions in the world ratings and has extremely broad partnerships with many leading universities all over the world.

The journal’s objectives are to expand knowledge about contemporary economic trends in the BRICS countries, theoretical approaches and relevant academic studies that shed light on economic developments within the BRICS countries, their joint economic activities, and the role and position of BRICS in the world economy. It welcomes original research papers that present outcomes of initiatives and findings in all fields of economy and management in these countries. The scope of research includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • conceptual/practical approaches and methodologies of revealing characteristics of developing economies
  • clarification of particular features intrinsic to developing economies, especially the BRICS countries
  • development of approaches to boosting entrepreneurship, innovations, as well as cooperative behavior in and between developing economies
  • assessing and determining the impact of economic policies on developing countries.

Independent quality control of our editorial policy is guaranteed by the International Editorial Board composed of eminent professors from different countries engaged in research in middle-income developing economies, primarily in the BRICS countries. The first issue of BJoE contains five manuscripts written by ten authors located in different countries and affiliated with five different universities.

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The quality of competition law institutions and enforcement (Some comparative empirical evidence from BRICS and other countries)

Vasiliki Bageri, Yannis Katsoulacos

Empirical work on the influence of competition policy relies on the construction of indicators for measuring certain attributes of the relevant laws and institutions that can be hypothesized to influence the “quality” of these laws and institutions and hence their effect on competition and economic performance. This paper contributes to the methodological literature on indicators of the quality of Competition Law Institutions & Enforcement (CLI&E) and to the empirical literature relating to the measurement of these indicators in different countries. It presents the results of a recent empirical study, which objective has been to measure indicators of the quality of CLI&E, using data collected through a Questionnaire based survey of competition authorities in a large number of countries and data available from international organisations for these countries. The measurement of the indicators relies on a new methodology that focuses on the factors influencing the extent to which CLI&E improves competition and so enhances economic performance.

The overall conclusion is that the three BRICS countries included in our survey (Brazil, Russia and South Africa) are coming closer to the advanced jurisdictions in terms of the specific features of the countries’ institutional and legislative set-up relating to CLI&E but still lag far behind in terms of the general conditions (economic, political, institutional, and socio-cultural) influencing the intensity of competition in a country.

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The effect of reverse knowledge spillovers on the total factor productivity in emerging markets

Andrei Panibratov, Megan Fitzpatrick

The aim of this paper is to shed the light on the phenomenon and mechanisms of knowledge spillovers from developed economies to emerging markets through the lens of productivity effects. We hypothesize on the impact of foreign R&D stocks on the total factor productivity growth in emerging markets and on the moderating effect of R&D stocks on the knowledge spillover effects. We use panel data from 38 countries for the period of 2001–2014. Our findings suggest that firms investing in developed markets are able to improve TFP growth via reverse spillovers. Two important findings having managerial value are that, on average, the effect of OFDI on productivity becomes apparent three years after the initial investment. The study also indicates that investment efforts have a negative effect on TFP growth in the year of investment. This research contributes to the ex- isting literature by analyzing bilateral FDI stocks between emerging and developed markets and the impact of both traditional and reverse spillovers on TFP growth in developing economies.

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Towards a new ecological and human type of national accounting for developing economies (The CARE/TDL model)

Jacques Richard

The goal of this article is to show how today’s financial accounting system, notably the IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) and the related National accounts (primarily the famous GDP, Gross Domestic Product), are the main causes of today’s human and ecological crisis. This assertion is justified on the basis of a historical survey of the development of capitalist accounting since the end of the Middles Ages, the time of its foundation. We prove that, in the form, it was invented by big capitalists at that time (and used until today), the concept of capital-debt to be conserved has nothing to do with the one used by economists of either classical, neoclassical, or marxist schools and that it is a very dangerous weapon against the interests of the mankind and ecology.

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The new industrial policy: A chance for the BRICS countries

Alexander Kurdin, Andrey Shastitko

This paper is aimed at investigating the ways of overcoming imbalances concerning competition and industrial policies. The central principles of combining industrial and competition policies have been formulated on the basis of a discussion of challenges and opportunities for interaction in the field of industrial and competition policies in developing countries in general and BRICS in particular. When setting priorities, it is essential to pay attention to those sectors that demand highly qualified resources and that are characterized by relatively strong competition; industrial policy design should be more competition- and innovation-friendly, which, in its turn, means orientation at supporting companies on an equal basis instead of favoring one specific company; industrial policy should be based on a pragmatic approach that involves a cost-benefit analysis of providing assistance to a particular sector.

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Demographic situation in China: Convergence or divergence?

Irina Kalabikhina, Ekaterina Shatalova, Lieming Fang

The purpose of this study is to locate the presence of convergence in the demographic development of Chinese provinces during the end of the demographic transition at the turn of the millennium. We have estimated sigma and beta convergence in fertility, mortality, urbanization, and population ageing basing on the official Chinese statistics for 31 provinces of China. Our results show that the regional convergence in the above indicators has not been sustainable. It was observed only in certain periods, except for the urbanization process. Convergence was accompanied by a catching-up effect in such periods when “lagging” provinces were passing the demographic transition relatively quickly. The paper can serve as a contribution to the regional demographic and economic policy of China, since the issue of the dynamics of the regional demographic development differentiation is the basis for demographic and economic projections and development of local policy measures. The demographic divergence that we discovered in the last decade can determine an obstacle to the sustainable development of the country in the near future.

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