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Empirical methods in comparative institutional analys

Priority areas of development: economics
Department: International Laboratory for Institutional Analysis of Economic Reforms (LIA)
The project has been carried out as part of the HSE Program of Fundamental Studies.

The project brings together research in three important economic fields: education, government procurement and banking. The object of this study covers the factors, determining and influencing the behavior of economic agents in these markets.

Goal of Research: The aim of the project is to analyze how individual and institutional factors influence the behavioral strategies of economic agents in different markets.

Empirical Base of Research:

  • World Bank Banking Regulation and Supervision Survey (2010);
  • EBRD household survey “Living in Transition II”, in 2011, 39,000 households in 35 countries;
  • Mobile database on Russian banks,
  • Publicly available data of the Bank of Russia
  • Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS), HSE ;
  • A survey of HSE students (Moscow), which was held earlier. The sample consists of students of the Economics department, who entered the university in 2009-2010 academic year;
  • A longitudinal survey of HSE students (Nizhny Novgorod). The sample consists of the students at the Economics department, Management department, Business Informatics and Applied Mathematics department, and Law department HSE (Nizhny Novgorod). The students entered the university in the 2012-2013 academic year. The first wave of the longitudinal survey took place in March - April 2013 and covered 320 students;
  • Data set on public procurement system composed by researches of the Center for Institutional Studies on the basis of information from federal and regional procurement web-sites, from Federal State Statistic Service and data base on Russian companies “FIRA.”

Results of Research:

In the field of education, we show that the tuition fee discounts are associated with higher student achievements. The discounts as well as individual financing plans improve students’ motivation and allow talented students with low socio-economic status, to study at to university. We also provide a connection of the level of income and education of the respondents with their physiological characteristics through their profession choice.  Finally we show that people with higher levels of human capital demonstrate more trust into small and medium private enterprises and prefer the state not to interfere into economic issues.

While studying banking markets, we, first of all, provide some evidence for the asset-side market discipline for Russian banks: corporate borrowers pay higher interest rates for loans in more reliable banks. Secondly, we show that the combination of the positions of board members and top managers reduces bank profitability. Finally, we demonstrate that social capital, measured by tightness of the ties with friends, relatives, neighbors, affects the choice of sources of household borrowing: in emerging markets those with closer relations prefer informal credit markets.

Analyzing the public procurement mechanisms, we show that high degree of monopolization of commercial retail fuel market in a region leads to high fuel prices fixed in government contracts. Suppliers prefer to register in the platforms where their preferred customer operates due to wide spread long-term relations between the customers and the suppliers in the petrol market in the Russian regions. We construct a simple model, comparing the incentives of the parties in an electronic auction and in an oral auction. We show that, if the platform and the customer behave opportunistically, an electronic auction minimizes the losses. Both types of actions imply the incentives for rent-seeking for all the parties. Finally, under certain conditions (low costs and high number of participants) the honest customer prefers an electronic auction.

Level of implementation,  recommendations  on implementation or outcomes of the implementation of Results

Our results were presented in 16 published papers (including 11 papers in English). We presented our results at 32 different academic conferences and scientific seminars. Also, our results were included into the courses taught by faculty members of the Center for Institutional Studies (basic and advanced institutional economics, research seminars for master and bachelor students).

Field of application:

Our results could be implemented in the regulation of education system, procurement system and banking sphere in Russian Federation. We focus our attention on incentives effects of discounts in educational system. We show the positive effect on the willingness to study. This scheme could be implemented in different universities. In the regulation of procurement system governors should not rely too much on competitive tenders. We show that auctions were not so sufficient on the markets with high concentration. Also our results could be used in the estimation of effectiveness of incentives contracts for top-managers in banking sector.


Валеева Д. Р., Польдин О. В., Юдкевич М. М. Связи дружбы и помощи при обучении в университете // Вопросы образования. 2013. № 4. С. 70-81.
Орел Е. А., Кочергина Е. В., Най Дж. В. Факторы «Большой пятёрки» как психологические предикторы академической успеваемости у студентов вузов // Психологические исследования: электронный научный журнал. 2013. Т. 6. № 27
Ostrovnaya M., Podkolzina E. What impact does antitrust intervention have on competition? The case of public drug procurement in Russia / NRU Higher School of Economics. Series WP BRP "Economics/EC". 2013. No. 32.
Polyachenko S. S., Nye J. V. Does education or underlying human capital explain liberal economic attitudes? / NRU Higher School of Economics. Series WP BRP "Economics/EC". 2013. No. 40.
Semenova M., Rodina V. I. Informal loans in Russia: credit rationing or borrower’s choice? / NRU Higher School of Economics. Series FE "Financial Economics". 2013. No. 14.
Morozov I. A., Podkolzina E. Collusion detection in procurement auctions / NRU Higher School of Economics. Series WP BRP "Economics/EC". 2013. No. 25.
Orel E., Kochergina E. V., Nye J. V. Big Five Personality Traits And Academic Performance In Russian Universities / Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ. Series WP BRP "PSYCHOLOGY". 2013.
Irina Andrievskaya, Semenova M. Market Discipline and the Russian Interbank Market / Bank of Finland Institute for Economies in Transition. Series DP "BOFIT Discussion Papers". 2013. No. 29/2013.
Бальсевич А. А., Подколзина Е. А. Влияние структуры розничного рынка на цены государственных контрактов / Высшая школа экономики. Серия WP10 "Научные доклады Института институциональных исследований". 2013. № 2.
Savchenko P. V., Semenova M. Sitting on the fence: does having a ‘dual-director’ add to bank profitability? / NRU Higher School of Economics. Series FE "Financial Economics". 2013. No. 16.
Nye J. V., Al-Ubaydli O., Houser D., Paganelli M., Pan X. The Causal Effect of Market Priming on Trust: An Experimental Investigation Using Randomized Control // Plos One. 2013. Vol. 8. No. 3 doi
Popov S. V. Decentralized Bribery: The Costs, The Benefits, and The Taming // The Scandinavian Journal of Economics. 2013. Vol. Forthcoming
Савченко П. В., Семенова М. В. Управлять и контролировать: приносит ли разделение власти в банке дополнительную прибыль? // Журнал Новой экономической ассоциации. 2013. Т. 4. № 20. С. 12-32.
Poldin O. V., Valeeva D., Yudkevich M. M. How social ties affect peer-group effects: a case of university students / NRU Higher School of Economics. Series SOC "Sociology". 2013. No. 15/SOC/2013.
Andrievskaya I. K., Semenova M. Efficiency of Market Discipline in the Interbank Market: The Case of Russia, in: XIV Апрельская международная научная конференция по проблемам развития экономики и общества: в 4-х книгах. Книга 1 / Отв. ред.: Е. Г. Ясин. М. : Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2014. P. 477-486.