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Regular version of the site
Book chapter
Possible Oil Spills in the Barents Sea and their Consequences

Aleskerov F. T., Demin S. S.

In bk.: Управление развитием крупномасштабных систем (MLSD'2017): Материалы Десятой международной конференции, 2 окт. - 4 окт. 2017 г.. Vol. 1: Пленарные доклады, секции 1 - 4. 2017. P. 308-309.

Working paper
Polarization and optimal allocation of migrants

Aleskerov F. T., Yakuba V. I.

Математические методы анализа решений в экономике, бизнесе и политике. WP7. Высшая школа экономики, 2017. No. 01.


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.

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. 

HSE Seminar on Political Economy: Anne Meng (University of Virginia) about Leadership Succession in Dictatorial Regimes

Under what conditions can autocratic regimes undergo successful leadership transitions? The problem of transferring power has long been identified as one of the key challenges of continued authoritarian rule. Two main mechanisms that have emerged as potential solutions for autocratic succession are the presence of a ruling party and the implementation of hereditary succession. However, using a global dataset of autocratic successions from 1946-2015, I show that hereditary successions are incredibly rare in modern dictatorships, and that the presence of a ruling party is not a strong predictor of peaceful leadership succession. Instead, I argue that constitutional rules play a critical role in regulating the process of autocratic succession. I show evidence of this argument using original data on constitutional amendments outlining succession rules and the appointment of a de facto successor in 47 African countries from 1960-2005. I find that regimes that have formal succession rules written into the constitution and leaders who designate a clear successor are significantly more likely to undergo multiple leadership successions – regardless of whether the regime has a long-standing ruling party. Rather than introducing the crown prince problem, planning for leadership succession seems to be a stabilizing force for continued autocratic rule.

HSE Seminar on Political Economy: Austin L. Wright (Harris School of Public Policy, The University of Chicago) about Civilian Abuse and Wartime Informing

Civilian support is central to the success of counterinsurgent campaigns. Harm to civilians, and who harms them, infuences when and with whom non-combatants collaborate. Drawing on newly declassi ed military records and a novel instrumental variables approach, we nd robust, direct evidence that civilians respond to victimization by insurgents by providing intelligence to security forces in Afghanistan. These results clarify the conditions under which civilian casualties can shape the course of internal war, with implications for future research on political violence.

HSE Seminar on Political Economy: Julian G. Waller (George Washington University ) about the formation of political protests

Political protests are one of the effective ways for citizens to influence authority. Despite a widespread opinion about the preeminent role of opposition parties in the formation of protests, some research shows that the activity of ordinary citizens, activists is more valued in this matter. However, in his article a professor of George Washington University Julian G. Waller shows that everything is ambiguous. Perception of the impact of an opposition party on political protests depends on political beliefs of citizens as well as on demographic characteristics. On the presentation of the article «Popular Perceptions and the De Facto Role of Political Parties in the Euromaidan Protests of 2013-2014» this result was covered in more detail.

HSE Brings the Whole Wide World Together

On June 4, 2017, the annual festival ‘The Whole World at HSE’ took place in the courtyard of the HSE building on Shabolovka Street. In our photo report, we present lectures, workshops, Armenian dances, Mongolian sweets, the nardi game from Azerbaijan, and many other things that people saw at the festival.

HSE Seminar on Political Economy: Lauren A. McCarthy (University of Massachusetts Amherst) about the consultative bodies attached to government agencies in Russia

Do public councils matter for development of civil society? Or their activity is just window dressing? Actually, according to research, these state agencies play a rather important role. For instance, the council attached to MVD takes part in sponsor programs aimed at development of the region as well as controls police activity. On the presentation of the article «Managed Civil Society and the Realities of Police Oversight in Russia» the professor of University of Massachusetts Amherst Lauren A. McCarthy spoke about this in more detail.

Ten Facts about HSE's International Community

Every year, the HSE family welcomes representatives of new countries and becomes more interesting and diverse. On June 4, 2017, international students will talk to visitors about their home countries and introduce them to their cultures at The Whole World at HSE festival. To give you a quick pre-festival snapshot of how international HSE is, we’ve brought together ten facts about the university international life for you.

HSE Best Teachers Election Starts

From May 29 to June 18 students can vote for HSE’s best teachers of the academic year. This year there is no need to come to the university to vote. Students can submit their scores online via LMS. 

HSE Seminar on Political Economy: David Martimort (Paris School of Economics) about the social welfare and the relationships between the government and operators

The relationships between the government and operators are regulated by a contract. In theory such contracts offer a choice among a continuum of options, but due to the complexity, it is impossible to realize them. Therefore the government usually offers a contract with just two alternatives, for instance, a fixed-price or a cost-plus one. However, using such binary contracts instead of the ones obtained in theory leads to a sufficient decrease in social welfare. On the presentation of the article «Full versus binary menus: What are the welfare gains?» the professor of Paris School of Economics David Martimort told us how, actually, big the loss of the society is.