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Regular version of the site
Book
BRICS Innovative Competitiveness Report 2017

Bingqing X., Boyang W., Changlin G. et al.

Beijing: China Science and Technology Exchange Center (CSTEC), 2017.

Article
Guaranteed approach for determining the optimal design of accelerometer unit calibration.

Golovan A. A., Matasov A. I.

Journal of Mathematical Sciences . 2018. Vol. 22. No. 2.

Book chapter
Hawkes processes for forecasting currency crashes: Evidence from Russia

Egorova L. G., Klymyuk I.

In bk.: Procedia Computer Science. 5th International Conference on Information Technology and Quantitative Management, ITQM 2017. Vol. 122: 5th International Conference on Information Technology and Quantitative Management, ITQM 2017. Elsevier B.V., 2017. P. 1182-1188.

Political engineering?

Eric Maskin, Nobel laureate in economics and Chief Research Fellow of DeCAn lab, gave an interview to RT.

HSE Seminar on Political Economy: Alberto Vesperoni (University of Klagenfurt) about Democracy and International Conflict

During the past two centuries, western nations have successively extended the voting franchise to citizens of lower income. We explain this process of democratization as a rational way for incumbent elites to wage war effectively on other nations, as in a strategic game of international conflict handing over military spending decisions to citizens who face a lower tax cost of arming may confer a strategic delegation advantage. We find supporting empirical evidence in case studies of franchise extensions in the United Kingdom, France, and the United States.

HSE Seminar on Political Economy: Ted Gerber (University of Winsonsin) about homeownership, regime support, and civic engagement in four post-Soviet societies

The mass privatization of housing was one of the most dramatic elements of the transformation of post-Soviet societies following the collapse of the USSR. However, the potential long-term consequences of the rapid creation of a large contingent of homeowners have not been fully appreciated or studied empirically. The growing scholarly literature that examines the political and social effects of homeownership is based almost entirely on market economies, in which homeownership is closely tied to family wealth, income, and other aspects of socioeconomic status. Due to its sudden and relatively arbitrary nature, housing privatization in the former USSR provides a unique research opportunity to assess the validity and mechanisms of the effects of homeownership on political attitudes and civic engagement that are proposed in this literature. The lecture presents results from the 2015 Comparative Housing Experiences and Stratification Survey (CHESS), implemented in Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Kyrgyzstan. A range of analyses indicate that homeowners are more supportive of incumbent regimes, more civically engaged, and more politically active than non-homeowners in all four societies, with some variation by outcome.

HSE Seminar on Political Economy: Gunes Gokmen (New Economic School) about the Role of Russo-Georgian Conflict in Well-Being in Russia

This paper assesses the effect of the Russo-Georgian conflict of 2008 on the well-being of minorities in Russia. Using the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS), we first provide evidence that, on impact, the well-being of Georgian nationals suffered negatively from the conflict of 2008, both in comparison to their own well-being across time and to the well-being of the Russian majority. We also show that this negative effect of conflict does not have a long-term legacy that goes beyond 2008. Additionally, we demonstrate that the conflict has no direct effect on the livelihoods or the labor market outcomes of Georgian nationals. Therefore, we attribute the negative effect of conflict on well-being to more indirect channels such as fear, altruism, or sympathy. We also analyze the spillover effects of the Russo-Georgian conflict on other minorities that live in Russia. We find that while the well-being of migrant minorities who have recently moved to Russia is negatively affected, there is no effect on local minorities who have been living in Russia for at least ten years.

HSE Seminar on Political Economy: Vladimir Kozlov (Higher School of Economics) about the Role of Testosterone and Repression in Non-Democracies

The paper examines the role of testosterone-driven aggressive behavior in politics of non-democratic regimes and, in particular, its influence on the extent of the repressiveness of these regimes. To measure testosterone exposure, we apply the facial width-to-height metric (fWHR) – a standard proxy widely used in the psychological literature - and look at a sample of Russian regional governors. We find a positive relationship between the fWHR metric and the level of repression in the region of the governor. Testosterone-related behavior is, however, more widespread among younger governors and among governors with shorter tenure in office. Thus, the paper contributes to the recent trend of integrating insights of behavioral economics into political economics research.

HSE Seminar on Political Economy: Maria Ostrovnaya (Higher School of Economics) about Role of political factors in outsourcing of school food provision

Local authorities can significantly affect economic performance of public organizations. Although outsourcing is popular in the private sector, there are few studies about its use in the public sector. Using the data on Moscow region we examine how political characteristics of local authorities influence school decisions to outsource food provision in 2016. We demonstrate that the probability of choosing outsourcing is significantly lower in municipalities with heads elected through direct elections and heads occupying their public position for the first term. Results are robust to inclusion of different economic characteristics of schools and municipalities.

HSE Seminar on Political Economy: Luigi Pascali (Pompeu Fabra University) about Anti-Semitism in German Regions

Luigi Pascali (Pompeu Fabra University) presented a paper "Religion, Division of Labor, and Conflict: Anti-Semitism in German Regions over 600 Years"

HSE Seminar on Political Economy: Andrei Dementiev (Higher School of Economics) about сontracting out public services to asymmetric partnerships

The paper studies an organisational structure of contracting out public utilities to an asymmetric partnership between the local authorities and a vertically integrated firm. Being fiscally constrained and politically motivated the government delegates pricing decision in the downstream market to a partnership while the upstream market for essential input is not regulated directly. The accompanying regulatory instrument, namely the net budget transfer, is valued at the social cost of public funds and can be set ex post making the firm’s participation constraint non-binding. A negative budget transfer effectively extracts the firm’s rent in the non-regulated upstream market and depends on the corporate structure of the partnership. We build a formal model that predicts that local authorities with relatively high share in the partnership should decrease the net transfer when the profit margin in the downstream market falls. The empirical support for this finding is found in the panel data for 25 suburban passenger companies in Russia in 2011-2015. The effect of the share structure on the relationship between the compensation ratio and farebox ratio is captured by the interaction variable highlighting the nonlinear effect. The failure to fully compensate operational losses in the transportation market is interpreted as a system of pseudo-franchising contracts in the Russian suburban railway transport that, to some extent, reflects political preferences of the local authorities in the country.

Time to Nominate: 9th HSE Alumni Awards

The 2017 HSE Alumni Awards will shortly be open for nominations. The awards were founded in 2007 to recognise HSE graduates who have achieved professional success in the corporate sphere or their own businesses. Over the years, the winners have included Maxim Oreshkin, Russian Minister of Economic Development, Ilya Azar and Tonia Samsonova, journalists, Ksenia Mokrushina, Director of the Centre of Urban Studies at Skolkovo Moscow School of Management, and Vladimir Potapov, CEO at VTB Capital, among others.

HSE Seminar on Political Economy: Stephen Wheatcroft (University of Melbourne) about the importance of the grain problem in the Russian Revolution and for the next 40 years of Soviet Economic History

This paper considers the importance of the grain problem in the Russian Revolution, and the developmental policies that emerged out of the Revolution.  It argues that a major and often neglected aspect of the Revolution was the economic catastrophe caused by the grain transportation problem that preceded and accompanied the Revolution, and very much fashioned it. The threat of the recurrence of such grain problems with accompanying economic catastrophe remained a major concern for the first 40 years of the Revolution. The economic catastrophe arose in 1917 and dominated life in the Northern cities of Russia as a result of certain specifics of Russian historical development whereby the capitals and the major industrial cities were located in a food deficit region some considerable distance from the major food producing regions. Although the Russian economy of the time was in general very under-developed, in certain specifics regarding the transport system it could be claimed that the economy was over-developed, ie. that it lacked the infrastructure and resources needed to support the level of development that was already taking place. This situation had not arisen as a result of the free interplay of economic factors on a free market. It had been built by the power of state force on a dependent and subjugated population. Odessa might have been built and supported as a free town, but Moscow, St Petersburg and the northern metallurgical and armaments industries  in the food deficit regions of the north were not. 
The economic system that developed and pulled Russia out of its war time economic catastrophe was appropriate for mobilizing resources and kick-starting economic development in catastrophic circumstances. It was far less appropriate for producing modern economic growth in a mature economy. 
The paper begins with a brief analysis of how the causes of the Russian Revolution have been explained and the importance given to food supply factors in this process. It then looks at the nature of the main supply problem of the time and why it was moving towards catastrophe in 1917.It then considers how the Soviet government handled the catastrophe, before concluding with a brief discussion of what the October Revolution has to teach other economies. 
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