Abstract. The article is dedicated to the 30th anniversary of “The Russian Economic Barometer” – an independent research program being implemented under the auspices of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations. The program was launched in the end of 1991 with the purpose to conduct regular business surveys in order to compensate for the shortage of statistical data revealing changes in the behavior of the Russian industrial enterprises during economic transition. The article describes the distinctive features of REB data base which at present contains over 200 monthly indicators of enterprise performance and changes in the business environment. The main advantages of REB time series consist in the continuity of information gathering throughout a period of 30 years and immutability of the methodology for calculating indicators. The other advantages of REB data base are a short time span from conducting a survey to the data release and availability of indicators that are difficult or impossible to measure by conventional methods such as factors limiting output and investment, capacity and labor utilization rate, managers’ assessments of the current situation of their enterprises and expectations for the nearest future, their views on the overall economic situation and the economic policy of the government. Furthermore the authors outline the stages of the development of the research program, key studies and major achievements as well as current problems and challenges for the future. Special attention is paid to the evolution of the main end users of REB statistical information: from directors of enterprises – survey participants, to whom REB helped to cope with new realities at the early stage of the transition period, and foreign researchers, who experienced shortage of statistical information on developments in the Russian industrial sector – to the public authorities and scientific community of Russia which use REB statistics as a reliable source of independent data supplementing the official statistics. The regularly updated time series of REB indicators and analytical articles are published in the quarterly bulletin “The Russian Economic Barometer” available on the IMEMO website both in Russian https://www.imemo.ru/publications/periodical/reb-quarterly and in English https://www.imemo.ru/publications/periodical/reb-quarterly-eng.
Keywords: The Russian economic barometer, market surveys, survey statistics, behavior of economic entities, industrial enterprises, IMEMO
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