How to Create a Proper Macroeconomic Picture of the World
Boris Kuznetsov, Professor at the HSE Subdepartment of Economic Analysis of Organizations and Markets has recently returned from the US where he read a series of lectures on Russian economics to students at Stanford University. The HSE news portal asked him to talk about his impressions after the trip and about what prospects there are for working together in the future with our American colleagues.
— Who is your course intended for?
— It’s aimed mainly at third and fourth year economics undergraduates. This year there were more of them than in 2011, when I taught there the first time. But some international students taking their Master’s came to my lectures as well. I had 24 students taking my course this time.
— What do you think provokes an interest in your course among American students?
—This course is complex, it’s neither about macro- nor microeconomics. The idea was to show how different economic theories work and also how historical, geographical and other factors influence the economy by looking at individual countries. Besides, it was quite a substantial course, credits-wise (Stanford’s system is quite like the HSE’s in that respect). Quite a lot of students are seriously looking for career opportunities in large Russian companies like Rosneft and Gazprom. Competition is growing constantly and finding a good job is getting harder even for Stanford graduates.
—Which topics were your students most curious about?
— In contrast to the HSE, at Stanford there are more people with a humanitarian cast of mind and they are more concerned in how economics affects society and the connections between economics and politics… As in the past, students also wanted to compare the Russian economy with their own and with the other BRIC countries.
—Did you have to teach in a different way from what you are used to at the HSE?
— The general standard of education and the range of interests of the people who came to my course were more varied than I would find in a group of students at HSE so I had to adapt some of my material to make sure everyone could understand it. I told them from the start that I didn’t expect students to memorize facts and figures and I tried to use illustrative examples to draw their particular attention to tendencies and changes. I also tried to have discussions in a fun way, dividing the students into competing teams to get them more engaged.
— What do you think might be ways for the HSE and Stanford to work together in the future?
— Two years ago one of my American students came to the HSE on a internship and right now Stanford Professor Martin Carnoy is Academic Supervisor at the HSE International Laboratory for Educational Policy Research. But in general, cooperation between Stanford and the HSE hasn’t been formalized yet. I do think, however that if we set up an organised exchange programme then people from Stanford would definitely want to participate. For Stanford it would without doubt be very useful as they have a lot of courses oriented towards Asian countries but their students know next to nothing about Russia. Without that knowledge they cannot form a proper macroeconomic picture of the world in their minds.
Maria Glazyrina, second year law student, intern at the HSE News Portal
It is believed that carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere are mainly regulated by ‘direct’ economic instruments - the carbon tax and the Emissions Trading System (ETS). However, a comparative analysis has shown that ‘indirect’ instruments, such as excise taxes on motor fuel and other energy taxes, did not yield any lesser impact than their ‘direct’ counterparts, and, over time, were even more effective. This is the conclusion drawn by HSE researcher Ilya Stepanov in his article, ‘Taxes in the Energy Sector and Their Role in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions’.
Experts from the HSE Centre for Business Tendency Studies (CBTS) analysed for the first time the growth of the manufacturing industry in CIS countries between 2004 and 2016. It was conducted within the framework of a regional project of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) “Improvement of industrial statistics and development of indicators of industrial performance for policy-relevant analysis in CIS countries”.
Post-Soviet life and the economic ups and downs of recent years have changed the attitude of Russians towards saving. Now, it is not the less fortunate who save, but the more intelligent, according to Elena Berdysheva and Regina Romanova. Or, more to the point, it’s the more intelligent women: domestic finances are usually dealt with by females. At HSE’s recent XIX April International Academic Conference, researchers explained how Russians adjusted and optimized family budgets following the crisis of 2014-2017 and how this relates to gender issues.
The notion that Karl Marx's works have been studied inside and out is fundamentally incorrect. The huge body of his manuscripts has still not been completely processed, and his seminal work, Capital, was only recently published with the final edits of the author. The 19th April Conference at the Higher School of Economics included the section ‘Methodology of Economic Science’ which was devoted to the work of the German philosopher and political scientist. Independent researcher and professor from Berlin, Thomas Kuczynski, gave a presentation at the conference which pointed out numerous aspects of Marx’s continuous rethinking of allegedly fixed truths.
Experts at HSE have shown that the foreign direct investment is an important and necessary determinant for positive return on exports. Such companies consequently encounter a higher level of competition in terms of quality and intensity. Research results have been published in the Baltic Journal of Management.
HSE experts demonstrated that companies with foreign participation have an easier time overcoming the consequences of economic recessions. The results of the study were presented in the paper ‘Lean against the wind: The moderation effect of foreign investments during the economic recession in Russia’ published by the Journal of Economics and Business.
Oleg Ananyin, Tenured Professor, Professor in the Department of Theoretical Economics (Faculty of Economic Sciences), Academic Supervisor of the ‘Politics. Economics. Philosophy’ master’s programme, Chairman of the Education and Teaching Methods Council, Member of the HSE Academic Council, spoke on his academic interests, as well as shared his thoughts on the development of HSE and Russian economic community.
HSE ICEF student Alexander Lee delivered a presentation titled ‘The Economy for Future Development’ during the session ‘Youth 2030. The image of the future’ at the XIX World Festival of Youth and Students, which took place in Russia from October 14-22. The presentation was based on creative work and discussions held over the course of one week among a group of international students led by experts from ISSEK and Yuri Simachev, Director for Economic Policy. Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, took part in the event.
Sergey Roshchin, HSE Vice Rector, discussed the main trends in graduate employment at a panel discussion titled ‘University-Graduate-Business: How to Build Constructive Partnership’ organized by the Ural Federal University and Sistema Charitable Foundation as part of the XIX World Festival of Youth and Students in Sochi. The participants discussed the changes required in education due to growing competition and the approaches that universities and employers take to pooling efforts and creating a joint vision.
In deciding to join HSE as a post-doc fellow in the Center for Institutional Studies), François Guillemin sought to combine a sense of adventure with a post-doctoral experience that would allow him to continue his research in the field of banking regulation. HSE ended up on the top of his list, and he accepted an offer to start this September.