The article develops a simple framework for a discussion of the structure of property rights in the Russian economy. The framework suggests how barter and enterprise restructuring can be evaluated simultaneously with political motivation. Using the notion of politicians with inefficient control over the private sector, it also assesses the recent virtual economy hypothesis. It emphasizes the importance of incentives that were carried over from the Soviet era, which, it is suggested, must be duly considered while analyzing parametric changes in the Russian economy. This point is supported with the help of two examples at the end of the paper.

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