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Regular version of the site

The Crisis Is Forcing Us to Seek New Answers to Old Questions

On 7-10th April 2015 the HSE, supported by the World Bank will be holding the XVI April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development. Top political scientists, sociologists and economists, government officials and businessmen will discuss the burning issues we are facing today; should we take the path of international integration, how can we resolve the current economic crisis and where should we look for new drivers of economic growth? Andrei Yakovlev and Fuad Aleskerov told the HSE news website about what novelties and special events the conference has in store.

Many kinds of integration

‘When we were putting the 2015 conference programme together, we couldn’t ignore the fact that the world has changed a great deal since last year,’ says Andrei Yakovlev, Director of the HSE Institute for Industrial and Market Studies and Deputy Chairman of the April Conference Programme Committee

The main themes for plenary meeting, seminars and roundtables will be connected to issues of international integration, new ways to achieve economic growth and the relations between business and power in the new economic climate. 

On the first day there will be a plenary debate for researchers and experts to discuss the choice the international community faces of integration or fragmentation.

A number of well known personalities are planning to attend the conference. Among them is Marcel Timmer, Professor of Groningen University who will give a paper on Offshoring, technical changes and increases in capital share: an analysis of international industrial production.He has promised to show the level of real interconnections between different parts of the modern world, in particular, what is the real added value of western companies and corporations on goods manufactured in China. Professor Timmer asserts that the share of added value in the huge volume of Chinese goods actually made in China is currently quite small.  

Economists will be joined in a discussion on globalisation by political scientists and sociologists. Dean of the HSE Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, Sergey Karaganov will take a look at the processes of integration from various points of view.

Leading Russian economists will discuss the basic short and medium term risks for the Russian economy, why the diversification programme didn’t produce the results expected, what are the most likely scenarios for the economy in the crisis and post-crisis period

The April Conference won’t shy away from internal Russian issues. Economic policymakers in the government, leading economists and businessmen have been invited to discuss the new challenges and what are possible new drivers of economic growth. 

In the context of the new economic situation we’ll be discussing the reasons for success and failure of Russian reforms. We hope that Alexei Kudrin, Alexander Shokhin, German Greff, World Bank representatives and regional leaders will all be there at the plenary discussion.

Every year the April Conference becomes wider and more varied. Last year we had a very successful round table with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. We hope to repeat it and to invite other members of the government. It’s possible that Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak will agree to lead a roundtable discussion on problems of regional development.   

There are also plans for academic discussions on socio-economic policy issues in the new economic climate, reform of surveillance, the state of the judiciary and law-enforcement systems and contracts in government commissioning. HSE staff will present papers on each topic.  

The April Conference will not avoid the question of the relationship between business and power in the current crisis. A roundtable to discuss it with the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and foreign business associations is being organised.

It’s worth drawing attention to the roundtable discussions organised by the Association of Russian Economic Think-Tanks (ARETT) on the Russian Economy: A diagnosis of the problems and How to return to dynamic development? Leading Russian economists, headed by Director of the Economic Expert Group, Evsei Gurvich and Director of the HSE Centre for Development Natalia Akindinova, will discuss the basic short and medium term risks for the Russian economy, why the diversification programme didn’t produce the results expected, what are the most likely scenarios for the economy in the crisis and post-crisis period, and will the crisis open a window of opportunity to transfer to a new model for economic growth and how can we make the most of it?

The practitioners and theoreticians fight it out

‘The April Conference is intended to throw everyone into the melting pot, give people the chance to listen to one another, exchange views and know-how, stir up some synergy’, says Fuad Aleskerov, Head of the School of Mathematics at the HSE Faculty of Economics.

800 participants have registered to take part in the conference, 547 papers have been accepted, 80 of them will be presented by foreign researchers, and there will be 185 roundtable discussions in 34 sections.

A huge number of young academics have been invited. It’s very important that they should know and tell other people around the world about us. Another important aspect of this year’s conference is that economic practitioners and economic theorists will be brought together in one place. At present, modelled (basic) and applied research (connected with conducting and analysing surveys) are kept apart. But it shouldn’t be that way. We need to radically reduce the distance between practitioners and theorists so that they start working together. Understanding large quantities of research on the most varied aspects of how society functions through internet analysis is another particular topic for the conference. This is a fast developing area in Western research that we need to catch up on. While, last year’s conference had five papers on the subject, this year we already have twenty lined up.

Maria Denisova, specially for HSE News Service



See also:

Russia’s Middle Class: Who Are Its Members and How Do They Spend Their Money?

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.

Reproductive Evolution: How Birth Rates Are Changing in Post-Soviet Countries

Reproductive behavior is modernizing at different rates in post-Soviet countries. Things are changing faster in Russia, Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine, where, over the last fifteen years, the average maternity age has increased and the contribution of women in their thirties to their countries’ birthrates has grown. Meanwhile, old reproductive patterns persist in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, where firstborns are usually born to parents under 30, demographers Vladimir Kozlov and Konstantin Kazenin note in a paper delivered at HSE’s XX April International Academic Conference.

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.

What Drives Innovation in Russian Companies

As part of the Management session of the XX April International Conference, Carl F. Fey from Aalto University School of Business, Finland, presented his paper on Facilitating Innovation in Companies in Russia: The Role of Organizational Culture. In his talk, Professor Fey spoke about the results of three studies he has been conducting with his team.

‘In a Digital Environment, the Role of Human Teachers Only Becomes More Important’

How does digital technology affect the behavior and health of schoolchildren? What opportunities does it proved teachers and school administrators? These and other issues were discussed by participants in the plenary session ‘Children’s Wellbeing in the Digital Age’ at the XX April International Scientific Conference of HSE.

‘Statistics Should Be Available and Comprehensible to Everyone’

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.

How to Boost Russian Food Exports

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.

‘The President is Focused on Increasing the Birth Rate and Reducing Poverty by Half’

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.