Difficult times ahead for the Belarus economy
28 May 2021
Policy brief: The Belarus economy was already struggling to generate growth before both the corona pandemic and the political protests following the August presidential election. The lack of growth was the result of an incomplete transition process to modernize the economy combined with a strong reliance on the Russian economy and its dependence on international commodity prices that have not paid off in recent years. With the added political turmoil and, so far, lack of a new political and economic strategy, the economic outlook for Belarus looks grim. Even if a full-blown crisis may be avoided by restrictive economic policies, stagnation will nevertheless be the most likely outcome without fundamental reforms.
The southern Urals as a touchstone for Soviet wartime performance
27 May 2021
Policy brief: As time passes and archives open, ever more topics in Russian military-economic history can be studied with primary sources. One such theme is the colossal evacuation of industrial enterprises and equipment from July 1941 onwards. Thousands of railway cars and lorries carried equipment, raw materials, as well as personnel from Ukraine, the Baltics, and western regions of the Russian Federation to the Urals and beyond.
Carbon tax regressivity and income inequality
17 May 2021
Policy brief: A common presumption in economics is that a carbon tax is regressive – that the tax disproportionately burdens low-income households. However, this presumption originates from early research on carbon taxes that used US data, and little is known about the factors that determine the level of regressivity of carbon taxation across countries.
Inequality in the pandemic: Evidence from Sweden
28 April 2021
Policy brief: Most reports on the labor-market effects of the first wave of COVID-19 have pointed to women, low-skilled workers and other vulnerable groups being more affected. Research on the topic shows a more mixed picture. Researchers from the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics (SITE); Pamela Campa, Jesper Roine and Svante Strömberg explores the Swedish labor market during COVID-19 crisis.
The future of energy storage: challenges and opportunities
26 April 2021
Policy brief: As the dramatic consequences of climate change are starting to unfold, addressing the intermittency of low-carbon energy sources, such as solar and wind, is crucial. The obvious solution to intermittency is energy storage. However, its constraints and implications are far from trivial. Developing and facilitating energy storage is associated with technological difficulties as well as economic and regulatory problems that need to be addressed to spur investments and foster competition. With these issues in mind, the annual Energy Talk, organized by the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics, invited three experts to discuss the challenges and opportunities of energy storage.
Domestic violence – the case of Sweden during the pandemic
21 April 2021
Policy brief: Violence within the home is the most common form of interpersonal violence for women. While children and men are also victims of abuse of various kind within the family, intimate partner violence committed by men against women is generally the most common form of domestic violence. Has intimate partner violence increased in Sweden during the current COVID-19 pandemic?
Does the Russian stock market care about Navalny?
20 April 2021
Policy brief: Alexei Navalny is the most prominent opposition leader in Russia today. During 2020, he entered not only the domestic Russian news flows, but was a major news story around the world following his horrific Novichok poisoning in August. This brief investigates the response in the Russian stock market to news about Navalny.
Understanding Russia’s GDP numbers in the COVID-19 crisis
11 March 2021
Policy brief: Russia’s real GDP fell by a modest 3 percent in 2020. The question addressed here is how a major oil-exporting country can go through the COVID-19 pandemic with a decline of this magnitude when oil prices fell by 35 percent at the same time as the domestic economy suffered from lock-downs. The short answer is that it is mainly a statistical mirage. Read the policy brief to learn more!
Women in politics: Why are they under-represented?
08 March 2021
Policy brief: Women are generally under-represented in political offices worldwide, and their under-representation becomes larger in more senior positions. This brief reviews some recent academic literature in economics and political science on the likely causes of women’s under-representation.
What are the challenges to media freedom in Eastern European countries?
05 March 2021
Policy brief: In recent years, press freedom in many Eastern European countries has increasingly come under threat. This policy brief provides an overview of the importance of a free press for democracy and the challenges to media freedom in these European transition economies.