Global Economic Leadership and the Leadership Rent

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2015-10-5-17

O. Buklemishev, Moscow State University, 1, bldg. 46, Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation (
Yu. Danilov, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, 82, bldg. 1, Prosp. Vernadskogo, Moscow, 119571, Russian Federation; Moscow State University, 1, bldg. 46, Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation (

Acknowledgements. The research was supported by the grant of the Foundation «World Public Forum ”Dialogue of Civilizations”». The authors would like to thank the members of the Editorial Board of the “World Economy and International Relations” for valuable policy comments made during the discussion of the article.

Abstract. Nowadays, along with qualitative economic parameters, the absolute size of national economies becomes particularly important for global competition. Due to liberalization of external economic relations and processes of globalization the quantitative economic leadership by a nation produces a potential for reaping certain economic gains, and its combined value can be substantial. We call this amount the “leadership rent”. It stems from natural processes like competitive behavior of the transnational corporations or transformation of the leading national monetary units into the reserve currencies. Current configuration of the global system is characterized by the dominance of four leading economies: USA, EU, Japan and China, and the latter is now replacing the US in its role as the world’s biggest economy in terms of PPP. The emergence of new dominant leaders in the near future is unlikely while deposition of Japan and/or EU cannot be excluded. Despite the presence of the “leadership rent”, the economic dominance of the current leaders in recent years was diminished. This indicates that there exist certain factors preventing the leaders from further consolidating their position. These factors represent the flip side of the economic benefits of the leadership and demonstrate the new possibilities of catching-up progress by the developing countries in the era of globalization. In this regard Russia's role in the future world economic hierarchy now becomes a matter of particular concern as the country is about to persistently lag behind the world average rate of economic growth at least in the middle term. Reversal of this trend will require fundamental policy changes including restart of the deep structural reforms and restoration of unimpeded integration of the Russian economy into the global economic system.

Keywords: globalization, economic leadership, “path dependence”, “leadership rent”, reserve currency, cross-border capital flows, developing countries, catch-up economic growth

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For citation:
Buklemishev O., Danilov Y. Global Economic Leadership and the Leadership Rent . World Eonomy and International Relations, 2015, no. 10, pp. 5-17.

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