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

Analysis and 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.

An Accidental Illiberal Recovery: Russia, 1999–2005

by Michael S. Bernstam, Alvin Rabushkavia Analysis
Tuesday, January 10, 2006

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

Analysis and 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.

Figure 1
Analysis and Commentary

China vs. Russia: Wealth Creation vs. Poverty Reduction

by Michael S. Bernstam, Alvin Rabushkavia russianeconomy.org
Monday, April 25, 2005

The 2005 press release of the World Trade Organization (WTO) highlights the new role China is playing in the world.

Analysis and Commentary

China's Economic Policy is Systemic

by Michael S. Bernstam, Alvin Rabushkavia russianeconomy.org
Thursday, February 24, 2005

A terse announcement in China Daily on February 24, 2005, deserves a brief note.

Figure 1. China: Non-performing loans, 2001-2004

China's Economic Policy is Systemic

by Michael S. Bernstam, Alvin Rabushka
Thursday, February 24, 2005

A terse announcement in China Daily on February 24, 2005, deserves a brief note.

7 + 1 = 8. China Will Join the Economic Group of Seven

by Michael S. Bernstam, Alvin Rabushka
Monday, September 27, 2004

On October 1, 2004, on the 55th anniversary of the founding of the Communist People's Republic of China, the born-again China will effectively join the Group of Seven major industrial economies.

Analysis and Commentary

Cambodia joins the WTO

by Alvin Rabushka, Michael S. Bernstamvia russianeconomy.org
Tuesday, September 7, 2004

A recent announcement that Cambodia joins the WTO, on the heels of China's accession in November 2001 and bypassing the disqualified Russia, makes abundantly clear who is what.

G-8. Russia or China?

by Alvin Rabushka, Michael S. Bernstam
Thursday, June 10, 2004

With the official addition of Russia in 1998, the G-7 group of nations—the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, and Canada—formally became the G-8.

Analysis and Commentary

Beijing Consensus for Russia?

by Michael S. Bernstam, Alvin Rabushkavia russianeconomy.org
Wednesday, June 2, 2004

Hong Kong's economic writers believe that Russia is beginning to adopt the Beijing consensus, China's pragmatic approach to economic policy.

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.

The Russian Economy