Fiscal federalism and socio-economic asymmetry
in Federalism and democratisation in Russia

There are factors other than the ethnic one that must be considered in assessing the likelihood of secession and the prospects for democratic consolidation in the republics. He who controls the economy controls the polity. But who does control the purse strings in Russia, and how are federal funds distributed across the federation? To what degree have federal policies ameliorated the high levels of socio-economic asymmetry inherited from the USSR? The most important additional factor is the overall wealth and economic status of the federal subjects and the degree to which they are economically dependent on the centre. This chapter discusses socio-economic asymmetry and fiscal federalism.

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