The Evolution of Russia’s International Specialization from the Beginning of the Transition

By Olga Garanina

"Following the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russia faced two major challenges: the shift from a closed to an open economic system, and the shift from the planned to a market economy. This paper analyses the evolution of Russia’s international specialization since the beginning of the transition. Indicators of international specialization (market position and observed comparative advantages) are estimated. Until now, Russia has pursued a development model based on the specialization inherited from the Soviet economy since the country is endowed with natural advantages in the form of hydrocarbons and raw materials (timber) and in energy-intensive production (metals). The paper deals with three major topics: (i) the evolution of product specialization in the Russian economy,; (ii) the evolution of the geographical structure of Russia’s foreign trade,; and (iii) future prospects for the future, with a special emphasis on the hydrocarbons sector. JEL codes: F14, F15"


  • foreign trade
  • comparative advantages
  • international integration
  • Russia
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