On December 5-6, 2016 Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics (SITE) hosted its annual academic conference – 25 Years of Transition. The conference brought together researchers with an interest in transition economics, to contribute to a scholarly debate on the current state of transition.
This year's SITE Academic conference was devoted to transition economics and the noteworthy fact that this year marked the 25 year anniversary of the breakup of the Soviet Union. Looking back on transition during the last 25 year period, countries in the region display wide variety in their progress towards market economies with democratic political systems and strong and independent judicial institutions. There are many reasons brought up in the literature for these differences in outcomes, such as initial conditions, a history of democracy and EU integration. The main point, though, is that transition is still an unfinished business in parts of the region.
Furthermore, the lessons learned from the region’s experience, and the subfield of economics that emerged from the transition experience, is also increasingly seen as relevant for understanding global challenges with economic and political transitions, as for instance seen in the Middle East and North Africa region. The consequences of the unfinished transition is particularly pertinent today, with economic, political and demographic challenges also spilling into global geo-political tensions and frictions within the European Union.
During the conference distinguished economists and scholars in the field of transition economics gathered to contribute to a scholarly debate on the current state of transition, transition economics and the implications for the future of the region and its global implications.
Anders Åslund, Senior Fellow, from the Atlantic Council gave a talk “SITE and the Post-communist Transition”.
Konstantin Sonin, John Dewey Distinguished Service Professor, from the University of Chicago gave a talk “Economic Transition and the Rise of Alternative Institutions”.
Ruben Enikolopev from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra presented a paper ”Social Media and Protest Participation: Evidence from Russia”.
John Earle from George Mason University presented a paper ”Political Connections and Economic Outcomes: Evidence from Oligarchs and the Orange Revolution”.
Pamela Campa from the Calgary University presented a paper “Politico-economic Regimes and Attitudes: Female Workers under State-socialism”.
Erik Meyersson from the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics presented a paper “Industrial Espionage and Productivity”.
Helena Schweiger from the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development gave a presentation “Are science cities fostering firm innovation? Evidence from Russian regions”.
Guido Friebel from the Goethe University Frankfurt gave a presentation “Making managers matter: Evidence from a retail firm in a transition country”.
Leonid Polischuk from the Higher School of Economics and Uppsala University presented a paper “Chronicles of a Democracy Postponed: Cultural Legacy of the Russian Transition”.
Elena Paltseva moderated a panel on the future of CIS and CEE countries:
- Helena Schweiger, European Bank of Reconstruction and Development
- Igor Livshits, University of Western Ontario
- Tymofiy Mylovanov, Kiev School of Economics
- Torbjörn Becker, SITE
- Bas Bakker, IMF
Torbjörn Becker, Director of Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics, gave a presentation "25 Years of Transition—Lessons for the future?".
Bas B. Bakker from the International Monetary Fund gave a presentation "Remaining Challenges for Faster Growth".
Gerard Roland, E. Morris Cox Professor of Economics and Professor of Political Science, from Berkeley gave a talk “The Evolution of Post-communist Economic systems”.
Monika Oczkowska from the Centre for Economic Analysis presented a paper “Shocked by therapy: employment patterns across the socioeconomic transition threshold in Poland”.
Charles Becker from the Duke University presented a paper “Bride Abduction in Kyrgyzstan: social rationale and personal consequences”.
Olga Kupets from the Kiev School of Economics gave a presentation “Investment in human capital in post-Soviet countries: Why are firms not training more?”.
Lukas Kleine-Rueschkamp from the University of Oxford gave a talk “The Impact of Transition on Well-Being”.