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Milestones in economic research and institution building | SITE’s 35th Anniversary

The Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics (SITE) celebrates 35 years of pioneering economic research, institution building and policy analysis.

June 15, 2024 marks a significant milestone for the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics (SITE) as we celebrate our 35th anniversary. Over the past three and a half decades, SITE has established itself as a leading institution dedicated to economic research and the development of policies for transition economies.

From our beginnings as Östekonomiska Institutet in 1989, under the leadership of Anders Åslund, to our rebranding as SITE in 1996 with Erik Berglöf at the helm, we have continuously evolved as a research institution, securing a position among the world's top think tanks in the field of economics, with a focus on Eastern Europe. In 2006, Torbjörn Becker brought his expertise from the International Monetary Funds (IMF) to lead SITE into a new era of research excellence, strengthening the focus on institution building in the region.

Reflecting on this anniversary, Torbjörn Becker, Director at SITE, says:

"As we celebrate 35 years of economic research, policy analysis, and institution building, we are reminded of how important it is that we continue to work in this region. I am particularly proud that we are able to work with our fantastic partners in the FREE Network that make significant contributions to how their respective countries reform and develop.”

Building institutions for change

Since its foundation in 1989, SITE has been at the forefront of economic research and policy development in transition economies, playing a crucial role in establishing independent think tanks and academic institutions in Belarus, Georgia, Latvia, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine. These research institutes collectively established the Forum for Research on Eastern Europe and Emerging Economies (FREE Network); an umbrella organization that fosters collaboration and mutual learning among researchers, as well as administrative and institutional capacity building. As one of its key initiatives, the network publishes weekly policy briefs addressing contemporary economic policy challenges in Eastern Europe and emerging markets.

Bridging the gap between research and policy making 

SITE’s ambition for the years to come remains unchanged: to bridge the gap between leading academic research and current policy making through debate and communication. At our flagship events, such as SITE Development Day and the SITE Academic Conference, we are committed to debating topics where research can pave the way to solving global and regional challenges. In our weekly seminars and regular workshops, we remain dedicated to exchanging ideas with leading experts and policymakers. In the last decades, SITE’s research has been cited by top journals in economics, while its impact beyond academic journals has resulted in more than 30 million impressions across local and international news.

Key milestones in SITE's history

Photo: Ink Drop, Shutterstock


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