Michael S. Bernstam

Research Fellow
Biography: 

Michael S. Bernstam, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, is an economic demographer who studies the centrality of income redistribution for the taxonomy and evolution of economic systems, long-run economic growth, demographic transition, social revolutions, conflict, and other social changes.

The focus of his work in the past ten years has been on the causes of economic growth and contraction in former central plan economies, with special emphasis on Russia, China, and the former East Germany, and how to reconcile them with earlier global experience. To this end, he is at work on the book From Predation to Prosperity: How to Move from Socialism to Markets (with Alvin Rabushka). Several chapters of this book, as well as numerous articles and commentaries on the subject, are posted at www.russiaeconomy.org, a web site created jointly by Bernstam and Rabushka.

Bernstam's previous books include Fixing Russia's Banks: A Proposal for Growth, with Alvin Rabushka (Hoover Institution Press, 1998); Inter-Enterprise Debt and the Russian Coal Sector, with Thomas E. MaCurdy (Partners in Economic Reform for the USAID, 1996); and Reform without Shock, with Vladimir Leksin (Supreme Economic Council of Russia, 1992).

Bernstam's other major publications include Resources, Environment, and Population: Present Knowledge, Future Options, with Kingsley Davis (Oxford University Press, 1991); The Wealth of Nations and the Environment (Institute of Economic Affairs, 1991); Malthus and the Evolution of the Welfare State, with Peter L. Swan (University of New South Wales, 1989); and Below-Replacement Fertility in Industrial Societies: Causes and Consequences, with Kingsley Davis and Rita Ricardo-Campbell (Cambridge University Press, 1986). He has also authored numerous articles, papers, and book chapters.

Bernstam served as visiting professor of economics at Monash University, Victoria, Australia, in 1989 and as an adjunct professor in Stanford University's Overseas Studies Program in 1997–99.

During 1991–95, Bernstam served as economic adviser to the Russian Parliament, the Central Bank of Russia, and the Russian government on several policy projects. He is a regular commentator on the Russian economy and finance for Radio Liberty, Voice of America, and the BBC.

His research papers are available at the Hoover Institution Archives.

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Recent Commentary

Healthcare warning
Featured Commentary

The Impossible Trinity of ObamaCare

by Michael S. Bernstamvia FoxNews.com
Monday, December 16, 2013

The ultimate problem with ObamaCare is that it cannot be affordable for all, cannot be comprehensive, and cannot be universal.  

Gaza camp

The Palestinian Proletariat

by Michael S. Bernstamvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Permanent refugees, generation after generation: these are the fruit of a U.N. agency that blocks both peace and a Palestinian state. By Michael S. Bernstam.

Kurds protest for an independent Kurdistan
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Considering Kurdistan

by Michael S. Bernstamvia Harvard International Review
Monday, March 7, 2011

There is a simple way to stop Iran from its nuclear ambitions, a way less costly than war and more effective than sanctions. It is by the creation of Kurdistan.

The Palestinian People
Featured Commentary

The Palestinian Proletariat

by Michael S. Bernstamvia Commentary
Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Gaza is a totalitarian paramilitary camp at war with its neighbors and other Palestinians. It is a paramilitary camp because it is a unique type of refugee camp...

From Predation to Prosperity

From Predation to Prosperity, Chapter 1

by Michael S. Bernstam, Alvin Rabushka
Monday, October 20, 2008

From Predation to Prosperity, Chapter 1, "Free and Not So Free to Charge: Income Redistribution and Russia's GDP Contraction, 1992-98, and Recovery, 1999-2007," consolidated, revised, and updated (Book chapter)

From Predation to Prosperity

From Predation to Prosperity: How to Move from Socialism to Markets

by Michael S. Bernstam, Alvin Rabushkavia Books by Hoover Fellows
Monday, October 20, 2008

This book starts with the experience of Russia since the end of central planning. It covers the great contraction of 1992-98 and the subsequent recovery in 1999-2006. It offers and empirically supports a uniform explanation of both the contraction and the recovery.

Featured Commentary

China vs. Russia: International Bankers Run a Natural Experiment

by Alvin Rabushka, Michael S. Bernstamvia russianeconomy.org
Thursday, April 13, 2006

Who would imagine international bankers running a natural experiment for us, free of charge? And yet, they did, in the mid-2000s in China and Russia.

China vs. Russia: International Bankers Run a Natural Experiment

by Alvin Rabushka, Michael S. Bernstam
Thursday, April 13, 2006

Who would imagine international bankers running a natural experiment for us, free of charge? And yet, they did, in the mid-2000s in China and Russia.

An Accidental Illiberal Recovery: Russia, 1999–2005

by Michael S. Bernstam, Alvin Rabushka
Tuesday, January 10, 2006

This is a story of an accidental series of policy decisions with enormous consequences.

Featured Commentary

The Other Way to Win Iraq

by Michael S. Bernstamvia russianeconomy.org
Thursday, December 15, 2005

It's economic policy. The new Iraqi government will be well positioned to implement it. Replace food rations with prepaid debit cards.

Pages

From Predation to Prosperity: How to Move from Socialism to Markets

From Predation to Prosperity

This book starts with the experience of Russia since the end of central planning. It covers the great contraction of 1992-98 and the subsequent recovery in 1999-2006. It offers and empirically supports a uniform explanation of both the contraction and the recovery.