Illegal markets involving illicit products and transactions have been largely ignored by the scholars, despite their significance in various economies. There is a lack of conceptual categorization and scarcity of reliable data. The study examines the structure and evolution of heterogeneous illegal markets in Russia with a special emphasis on markets of homemade alcohol, counterfeit alcohol, and illegally manufactured alcohol. A variety of statistical sources and survey data is used to demonstrate that the compositions of these markets have come through four different stages since late socialism, depending on the constellation of political, legislative and economic factors. At each stage, some of these markets prevail, whereas others remain undeveloped. Overall, illegal alcohol markets tend to grow in periods of exogenous political or economic shocks and shrink in periods of economic growth. Changes in the structure of illegal markets are backed by a continuous requalification of products, organizations and transactions contesting the boundaries between legality and illegality. Some illegal activities retain their legitimacy due to the ignorance or tolerance of enforcement agencies and final consumers. Boundaries between legitimate and illegitimate activities are blurred and move slowly.
Background: Alcohol is a common target of counterfeiting in Russia. Counterfeit alcohol is defined here as the manufacture, distribution, unauthorized placement (forgery) of protected commodity trademarks, and infringement of the exclusive rights of the registered trademark holders of alcoholic beverages. It is often argued that the expansion of the counterfeit product market is due to the steady demand of economically disadvantaged people for low-priced goods. The situation becomes more complicated once deceptive and nondeceptive forms of counterfeiting are taken into account. This study aimed to identify markers of risky behavior associated with the purchase of counterfeit alcohol in Russia. Methods: The analysis relied on consumer self-reports of alcohol use and purchase collected nationwide by the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS-HSE) in 2012 to 2014. I used a generalized linear mixed-model logistic regression to identify predictors of risky behavior by consumers who purchased counterfeit alcohol, either knowingly or unknowingly, during the 30 days preceding the survey. Results: Purchases of counterfeit alcohol declined slightly from 2012 to 2014, mainly due to a decrease in consumers mistakenly purchasing counterfeit products. Predictors of counterfeit alcohol purchases differed between consumers who knowingly and unknowingly purchased counterfeit products. Nondeceptive purchase of counterfeit alcohol was related primarily to an indifference to alcohol brands. Consumers with social networks that include drinkers of nonbeverage alcohol and producers of homemade alcohol were highly likely to consume counterfeit alcohol deliberately. Problem drinking was significantly associated with a higher risk of both deceptive and nondeceptive purchases of counterfeit alcohol. Poverty largely contributed to nondeceptive counterfeiting. Conclusions: The literature has overestimated the impact of low prices on counterfeit alcohol consumption. Problem drinking and membership in social networks of consumers of surrogate alcohol (i.e., nonbeverage) are more influential in explaining why people purchase counterfeit alcohol. Further research on these 2 factors is needed to more fully understand the purchase and consumption of counterfeit alcoholic beverages.
The Journal of Economic Sociology (Ekonomicheskaya Sotsiologiya) (http://ecsoc.hse.ru/en) was established in 2000. It was one of the first academic e-journals in Russia at the time when only 3.6% of Russians had Internet access, uploading a 1Mb file took up to 10 minutes on average, and 56% of urban residents in Russia did not have an idea what the Internet meant.
В статье рассматриваются последствия расширения присутствия глянцевых журналов на digital платформах на примере издательского дома Conde Nast. Информационной базой исследования являются десять экспертных интервью с сотрудниками редакций и коммерческих отделов журналов издательского дома, собранных в мае 2016 года. Делаются выводы относительно организационных изменений связанных с выходом на электронные платформы в период кризиса. В частности, обращается внимание на то, что многие сотрудники одновременно решают задачи, связанные как с выпуском печатной версии журналов, так и с наполнением контентом и рекламой digital версий журнала. Подчеркивается, что развитие онлайн платформ не приводит к потере рекламодателей печатными журналами, ввиду того, что на выбор между рекламой в печати или электронной версии журнала влияет в первую очередь специфика бренда и ценовая политика журналов издательского дома. Потери читательской аудитории бумажными журналами в результате расширения присутствия в интернете также относительно невелики.
The authors examine the changes in the level and composition of consumption expenditures and their associations with household per capita incomes across the four different economic shocks that Russia has experienced since 1994. Data were collected from a nationally representative annual panel survey of households between 1994 and 2014, supplemented by the Federal State Statistics Service source. Four hypotheses on the relationship between per capita income and consumption, the composition of cutbacks, a levelling of expenditures among income groups, and the stability of the pattern of consumer response to economic shocks are proposed. The data demonstrate that consumption expenditures on food, non-food, and services decreased together with per capita income during the four economic shocks. Only a few examples of significant smoothing effects were found. All income groups recomposed their expenditures to maintain consumption of necessities. The high-income group reduced a higher proportion of expenditures on food and services, implying that economic shocks produce a temporary levelling effect on the living standards of different income groups. A relatively stable pattern of consumer responses to economic shocks was revealed, despite these shocks’ divergence; this pattern implies a temporary economization and simplification of expenditures with a fast return to pre-crisis spending once the crisis is over.
The article discusses the price perception of Russian consumers. The data gathered from in-depth interviews with economically active residents of Moscow demonstrate that the interpretation of price can be thematized according to four main categories: “not to be deceived,” “prices are watched by the clever not the poor,” “people like me buy at such prices,” and “some products are worth the price.” The study shows that Russian consumers are more and more artfully mastering the grammar of market prices. Prudence in relation to prices and expenses is forming its own place among cultural values in Russia, where prodigal waste was once an indicator of social success.