'Our University Is Growing Together with the April Conference'
April 19th marks the official start of the XVII April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development. Below, HSE Academic Supervisor Evgeny Yasin, who is also the Chairman of the Conference’s Programme Committee, discusses what participants can expect from this year’s conference.
In a certain sense, the April Conference is a type of business card for the Higher School of Economics. Most of the conferences that international universities hold typically focus on either classical or applied science, but such conferences have practically no agenda for large-scale reforms. This is what makes the HSE’s April Conference unique; it plays an active role in the transformations that are taking place in our country. Our university has grown together with the April Conference – starting with the fairly narrow spectrum of problems that had to be overcome throughout the process of reform and ending with the point at which we could consider ourselves to be equal participants in the global academic process as concerns economics and its related disciplines.
Our conference, like our university, is a living organism in that we’re constantly growing and changing. This year, the conference’s plenary sessions, of which there are many, will take place in a new format. It truly is a great thing to see HSE alumni participate in the academic discussions, and there are more and more of them every year. Some key alumni taking part in this year’s plenary session on macroeconomics are Maxim Oreshkin, Russian Deputy Finance Minister, and Konstantin Noskov, the Head of the Analytical Centre for the Government of Russia.
This year we’ve decided to take an important step in the evolution of the Conference
HSE First Vice Rector
This session will open the conference and be of particular interest not only because of its participants, who include the Deputy Chairman and Chief Economist of Vnesheconombank, Andrei Klepach, but also because of the papers being presented. Key presenters include Evsei Gurvich, who is the Head of the Economic Expert Group, and First Deputy Governor of the Russian Central Bank, Ksenia Yudaeva.
Overall, all of the plenary sessions feature intriguing papers that, I hope, inspire substantive discussions. The conference will include papers by researchers from outside the Higher School of Economics as well. I am personally looking forward to the paper Lev Gudkov, Director of the Levada Center, is presenting at the session on Wealth and the Dynamics of Social Structure. And, of course, we can all look forward to the paper Victor Polterovich, Mathematical Economics Laboratory Chief at the RAS Central Economics and Mathematics Institute (CEMI), is planning to present at the session on Values, Institutions, and Trust. This session will also feature talks by the Dean of Moscow State University’s Economics Faculty, Alexander Auzan; HSE Professor Alexander Arkhangelsky; and, we are hoping, Alexei Kudrin, who is the Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences at St. Petersburg State University.
In addition, I would like to propose a topic for discussion: how institutional reform programmes should depend on civil culture
Mathematical Economics Laboratory Chief at CEMI
And of course, I’d also like to invite everyone to attend the session featuring the paper, “The Russian Economy: Problems, Solutions, Consequences,” authored by Natalia Akindinova, Yaroslav Kuzminov, and myself. In this paper, we have come up with four possible trajectories for our economy, and we discuss the likelihood of these scenarios based on a survey of various experts.
I also consider Lilia Ovcharova’s paper on investing in human capital to be very important. She’ll present the paper at the plenary session on social policy.
All political parties can consider this paper to be our view on entering a growth trajectory
HSE Director for Social Studies
This year’s sessions cover practically all economic disciplines studied at HSE: economics, macroeconomics, microeconomics, industrial markets, etc. New sessions are arising as well, and we are not just pulling them out of thin air. The April Conference’s programme is developed in two stages. In the first stage, we collect all of the proposals that researchers send us, and we group them into blocks. In the second stage, with the opinions of our researchers in mind, we identify the most important topics and reach out to the experts we’d like to see at the conference. Such a combinatory approach yields the most interesting results.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.