Shleifer and Triesman (2005) as a disclaimer state that they are not the first to use the term 'normal' in reporting the current state of Russia's progress since the fall of communism. However, they fail to consistently define what normal is. Rosefielde (2005) in his rebuttal to the Shleifer and Triesman perspective point out that the definition put forth by the authors fluctuates between two definitions used interchangeably depending upon the point they are trying to make. According to Rosefielde, these two definitions are:
As Rosefielde points out the second definition is uncontested. The mid level income status is statistically documented and the second portion implies that anything is possible. The controversy of opinions lies in the first definition and that will be the definition of normal which will be used in our examination.
The first area to examine then becomes the status of Russia's free market economy. As Rosefielde succinctly points out this is done by evaluating several factors: "the characteristics of ownership, property rights, rule of contract law, price determination, market entry, profit maximising, utility maximising, efficient equilibration, and state regulation responsive to popular will" (2005, 4).
The 2007 Index of Economic Freedom published by the Heritage Foundat ...