Institutions and Development in Russia
On June 26, 2013, a conference ‘Studying Institutions and Development in Russia: New Data and New Approaches’ began at the HSE. Andrey Yakovlev, Director of the HSE Institute for Industrial and Market Studies, told us about the aims and purpose of the conference.
— Dr. Yakovlev, what is main idea of the conference?
— We are organizing this conference together with the Harriman Institute of Columbia University, USA. It is dedicated to new data and approaches to studying interconnections between institutions and development. I’m speaking in particular about Russian empirical data which we’ve collected over the last years as part of a joint project withTimothy Frye and his colleagues, although the innovative approaches we trialled can also be used on similar data in other countries. That’s why we expect one of the results of the conference to be a growing interest in such data, which in turn should promote interest in Russian studies among international researchers in general.
— How representative is the list of conference participants?
— Many international and Russian researchers are at the conference. For us this is a good opportunity to get comments on the results of over two and a half years work at the HSE International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development (CSID). For example, the conference sessions will be moderated by Daniel Treisman from the University of California (he is also member of the International Advisory Committee on the HSE Strategic Development Programme), Professor Byung-Yeon Kim from the Seoul National University, Viktor Polterovich from the Central Institute of Economics and Mathematics, and Konstantin Sonin from the New Economic School. We’ve also invited some colleagues from other countries who will present results of their own research on similar topics. They include Alexander Libman, Professor at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, and colleagues from the Institute of Problems of Law Enforcement at the European University in Saint Petersburg. With the latter we have a mutual interest in analyzing law enforcement practices and attempts to carry out empirical studies in this area.
— Is the conference of interest to businessmen and state officials?
— Yes, of course. Besides academics the conference participants will also include representatives from government bodies and business associations, since we want to look at this project not only from an academic, but also from a practical point of view. The data we’ve collected on regional economic and social development and on the structure of regional elites can undoubtedly be used for expert analytical work: for analyzing the investment climate and business conditions in the Russian regions, as well as for predicting the behaviour of regional elites. A roundtable meeting will take place later today where we’ll discuss the existing data in terms of its application in economic policy. The meeting participants will include Evgeny Yasin, Academic Supervisor of the HSE, Lev Yakobson, First Vice Rector of the HSE, Ksenia Yudaeva, Head of the Expert Department at the Russian Presidential Administration, Oleg Fomichev, Deputy Minister of Economic Development, and Vladimir Drebentsov, Vice President of BP.
After the conference, we plan to discuss with our colleagues on the project the prospects for continuing our studies, since there are many interesting topics where we can use the data and new methods of analysis, which came out of the work we did with our American colleagues.
Liudmila Mezentseva, HSE News Service
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