An adviser at Citigroup has attempted to quantify the Russian rent, at least for the minerals under its soil; defining rent as the difference between world prices for Russian commodities, and extraction costs. Costs came it at $US 150bn, output value at $US650bn, so rents at $US500 billion. And this does not even look at government granted licenses like the spectrum, nor urban land value.
Hence the ability of a Russian oligarch to pay several billion dollars worth of Krysha – protection money – and for access to the Kremlin insiders who make the decisions on to whom to grant the collection of this rent as seen in this Guardian article here:
… very interesting reading and will teach you much about government.
Anyway, if the government collected this rent on behalf of the populace – all 142 million Russians – the people could, if they wished, then have their government pay each Russian citizen a yearly rental dividend of about US$3500. Each and every person in the entire country, imagine that. This is what Singapore, Hong Kong and Alaska do.
Read more on that, here
All land in Singapore is leased, as it is in Hong Kong, and Alaska levy an oil rent on all extracted oil within its boundaries, the monies going into a fund for distribution to the people, who also have a say in how it is spent, shown here.
At the moment, this Russian rent goes to a handful of persons and / or corporations. (And then into London real estate.) This rent-seeking behaviour is also the basis of why we have a real estate boom / bust cycle of course.