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‘A wide range of fundamental issues will be discussed’

Dr. Pablo Spiller, Jeffrey A. Jacobs Distinguished Professor of Business and Technology at the University of California, Berkeley, will give an honorary lecture at the XIV HSE April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development. He gave a special interview for the HSE News Service.

— Dr. Spiller, it’s a great honor to see you actively supporting the HSE April Conference. What would you specify as the most acute and sensitive issues for you at the conference?

— The efficiency and efficacy of public procurement is fundamental for the workings of governments at all levels.  Public procurement, however, is directly affected by the workings of the nation’s institutions.  So, understanding the interrelations between procurement and the institutional environment in which governments and firms operate is key to the design of effective procurement methods.  In this conference a wide range of topics related to this fundamental issue are going to be discussed, and I look forward to hearing and contributing to the discussion.

— What hopes and fears do you have for the world economy in 2013 and especially for BRIC countries?

— While the developed countries are still trying to get rid of the financial excesses of the last decade, many developing countries (including BRIC nations), while being on a better financial footing, still have fundamental institutional weaknesses that are going to keep them from exploiting their human and resource potential.  While some countries like Brazil have been able to move up the institutional scale, and hence place themselves in a good position to sustain growth, others, such as African countries – who are experiencing rapid growth, may see their potential limited by those same weaknesses. Paying attention to those institutional shortcomings is fundamental.

— You’ve been researching the issues of contracts and regulations in different countries and areas. The issue of procurement is a major focus in the Conference’s programme. What’s your view of this specific issue for Russia and what should be done to improve results?

— That, I hope to answer in a week's time.

— The University of California, Berkeley has been “your” university since 1995. What’s the key message of your teaching philosophy? Has it changed much over the years?

— My teaching philosophy has been affected radically by my experience at the University of Chicago, where I was taught that challenging the status quo, whatever it is, should always be the guiding principle for an academic.  In that sense I try to instill in my students an inquisitive and critical approach.  Not only should any research start with the word “why”, but also it should challenge preconceptions and established ideas. This is the only way we can move knowledge forward, even though it may be difficult.

Anna Chernyakhovskaya, specially for HSE news service

See also:

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The HSE Centre for Studies of Income and Living Standards studied the dynamics of the middle class and its behaviour with regard to paid services. The study was based on data drawn from the HSE Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS-HSE) for the years 2000 to 2017, and the results were presented at the 20th April International Academic Conference hosted by HSE.

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Live Long There and Prosper: How Internal Migration from Small Towns Works

More than half of school graduates in medium-sized Russian cities will change their place of residence either forever or at least for a long time. According a report on internal migration presented by HSE demographers at the XX April International Academic Conference, these people are lost to their cities.

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Implementing a digital analytical platform, opportunities for Big Data, and other prospects for the development of Russian statistics were discussed by participants at a plenary session of the XX April International Academic Conference.

Can Youth Bullying Ever Be Eradicated?

Dr. Dorothy Espelage (University of Florida) presented a comprehensive account of her research into youth bullying spanning more than two decades in an invited paper ‘Prevention & Intervention of Youth Bullying and other Forms of Youth Aggression: Research Informed Strategies’ at the XX April International Academic Conference.

‘To Achieve Our Goals, We Need to Involve a Wide Range of Universities in National Projects’

The role of regional and industrial institutions of higher education in achieving national development goals must increase, and leading universities will help them. This was the conclusion reached by participants of the plenary session on Russian higher education that took place as part of the XX April International Academic Conference.

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The plenary session ‘Strategy of Russian Presence at Global Food Markets’ took place as part of HSE University’s XX April International Academic Conference, where participants discussed the prospects for Russian agricultural exports to Asia, as well as the use of nonconventional investment models, such as Islamic financial tools.

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National objectives for social development, as well as existing risks and opportunities in implementing these objectives were discussed by participants of HSE International April Conference.