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Regular version of the site

Continuing Last Year’s Success at the Upcoming Conference in Applied Economics

The Second ICEF Conference in Applied Economics will be held at HSE University on September 14. The HSE News service spoke with organizers and participants about the upcoming full-day event, which features eight papers presented by renowned specialists from Russia and across Europe and concludes with an evening dinner.

Excitement and Fun

Fabian Slonimczyk, an Associate Professor at HSE’s International College of Economics and Finance, is serving on the conference’s organizing team for the second year in the row. ‘This is a very exciting event,’ he said. ‘For a long time, we did not have a workshop specifically dedicated to applied work in economics at HSE. Since last year, and thanks to the university's support, we have been able to invite a group of top researchers from some of the best universities in the world to come and present their latest work. It is a great opportunity to showcase the university and make long-lasting connections. It is also a lot of fun!’

The first conference was a considerable success, meeting everyone’s expectations as Fabian noted.

‘I personally keep in touch with all of last year's participants. And the paper presented last year on the effects of the Unified State Exam reform on student mobility recently got published in the European Economic Review,’ he said.

The article ‘Democratizing access to higher education in Russia: The consequences of the unified state exam reform’ was co-authored by Fabian Slonimczyk, his colleague Anna Yurko, who serves as Associate Professor at ICEF, and Marco Francesconi, a Professor of Economics at the University of Essex. 

While the Unified State Exam remains a priority topic for Fabian, he is also occupied with other pursuits, such as a new project that looks at comparisons of wage growth profiles across countries. Fabian has also developed a new course on Big Data and Machine Learning for ICEF's Master’s students.

One of the great features of the conference is that every paper is assigned a discussant. Fabian Slonimczyk will be discussing a paper on issues of financial literacy with Laura Botazzi, Full Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Bologna.

Genes and Fertility

Marco Francesconi, Professor of Economics at the University of Essex, is coming to Moscow to present what is considered the first paper in economics that looks directly at the influence of genetics on a wide range of female fertility outcomes (from age at menarche to age at first birth to age at menopause). 

‘We find there is an important impact of genetics on fertility that accompanies the more conventional and better known impact of the environment in which women grow up,' said Marco.

 An important role is also played by gene-environment interactions, suggesting that fertility outcomes are not just a question of genes or individual decisions.


Marco’s research interests cover several topics in applied empirical economics, ranging from labour and family economics to health and education economics and policy evaluation. He devotes special attention to intergenerational links, expectations, heterogeneity, and measurement error. While he says that he chose these topics out of intellectual curiosity, he did emphasize that he has a preference for issues that are policy relevant and have far reaching consequences.

In addition to his paper on genes and fertility, he is also working on a project concerning expectations and pension reforms in Europe, another on the impact that stricter drink driving regulations have on road accidents, a project on how better measurement of business income can affect our understanding of income inequality, and finally a project on the impact that maternity leave policies have on the employment strategies used by firms.

Climate and Conflicts

David-Enrique Castells-Quintana, visiting professor in the Department of Applied Economics at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, will present a paper on 'Climate, Displacement, and Conflict: the Effects of Floods on Urban Social Disorder.’

‘Climate change has already become a major factor in the process of economic development in many countries worldwide,’ said Castells-Quintana when asked about his reasons for choosing this topic. ‘One key dimension in this regard is conflict: several ongoing major conflicts in the world are in large part an outcome of deteriorating conditions driven by climate change. With my co-authors, we wondered whether climate change could also help us understand more minor conflict in urban areas. 

 The main takeaway is that climate change can fuel social conflict in urban areas, and the reason for this is that climate change is currently a major force displacing population from rural to urban areas, making cities grow very rapidly and in an unplanned way.

Castells-Quintana specializes in topics related to economic development, in particular the concentration of resources in both personal and spatial dimensions. Currently, he is  studying the impacts of climate change on the spatial distribution of population and economic activity and what this means for several socio-economic dynamics.

He plans to continue studying the impact of climate change on the process of economic development. Beyond his research on conflict, he is also working on a paper on climate change and the spatial distribution of population and economic activity within countries, and on another paper on cities and pollution.

See also:

Upcoming Neuroeconomics Symposium Aims to Share New Research and Build International Collaboration

On September 23-24, the CCCP19 Symposium ‘Cognition, Computation, Neuroeconomics and Performance’ will be held at HSE University. The goal of the symposium is to exhibit cutting edge research at the CCDM, a leading cognitive neuroscience research centre in Russia, and LNC2, a leading European research centre in neuroeconomics, cognitive neuroscience and neural theory. Ahead of CCCP19, the HSE News Service spoke with the conference organizer and several invited speakers about the plan for this symposium and the importance of their research in the field.

Graduates of HSE ICEF Receive Degrees in Ceremony at British Ambassador Residence

Graduates of HSE University’s International College of Economics and Finance (ICEF) traditionally receive their degrees against a backdrop of grand fireplaces, an oak staircase, and a balcony overlooking the Kremlin. This is because the ICEF holds its commencement ceremony at the British ambassador’s residence on the Sofiyskaya Embankment. And this is not by accident. Graduates of the ICEF’s bachelor’s programme receive two degrees from HSE and the University of London, respectively, while graduates of the ICEF’s Master’s Programme in ‘Financial Economics’ receive a degree from HSE and the London School of Economics. This year marked the ICEF’s 19th commencement ceremony.


proposals for new international laboratories at HSE University have been received from researchers from Belgium, the UK, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Italy, Canada, Norway, the USA, Estonia, and Japan.

Winners of the II International Economics Olympiad Announced in St. Petersburg

On July 31, the II International Economics Olympiad (IEO) for high school students came to a close in Saint Petersburg. In the team competition, the Brazilian team won the gold medal, while teams from China won silver and bronze. One of Russian teams placed fifth.

HSE Students Go to Asia to Study Local Specifics of Economics, Politics, and Cultures

The HSE University and Kyung Hee University double degree programme ‘Economics and Politics in Asia’ is currently enrolling students. Its academic supervisor, Denis Shcherbakov, spoke about the advantages of the programme, internships at Asian universities and companies, as well as the new focus on Southeast Asia.

Second International Economics Olympiad Opens at HSE University in St. Petersburg

On July 24, the second annual International Economics Olympiad (IEO) for high school students kicked off at HSE University in St. Petersburg. The competition is organized by HSE University with the support of Sberbank. Students from 24 countries will compete over the course of a week. The winners will be able to enroll in any HSE Economics programme in 2020 with a full tuition scholarship.

What Does the Lens of Gender Reveal?

In June, faculty members from HSE’s School of Cultural Studies, the School of Philosophy, and the Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities met with colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh (USA) and a Russian art historian to participate in a round table on the importance of gender studies in the humanities. The researchers discussed questions such as what historians, philosophers, and historians can achieve when approaching their fields of study from the standpoint of gender studies, and what the state of gender studies is in contemporary Russia and abroad.

Participants of Russian-Chinese Summer School on International Affairs Tackle Trade, International Institutions, and More

On Thursday, July 11, students and faculty of the International Russian-Chinese Summer School on International Affairs bid farewell with a festive awards ceremony and closing lecture by Professor Sergey Karaganov, Academic Supervisor and Dean of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs.

‘It Is a Great Opportunity to Enhance Your CV and Meet Other Researchers’

One of the perks of studying at HSE University is its wide range of academic mobility programmes. Ksenia Semykina, a master’s student of Comparative Social Research, recently spent a semester at the Free University of Berlin with the support of an Erasmus+ scholarship. She shared some practical advice on how to live and study abroad with HSE News Service.

HSE University and UN-Habitat Sign Collaboration Agreement

HSE University and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme signed an agreement to conduct joint research on urban development. HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov and UN Under-Secretary-General Maimunah Mohd Sharif, who heads the UN-Habitat programme, signed the letter of intent at the recent Moscow Urban Forum, which was held on July 4-7 at Moscow’s Zaryadye Park.