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Andrei Yakovlev – Lev Freinkman – Anton Zolotov. Domestic and external factors in the development of Russia’s economic think tanks sector//BOFIT Policy Brief 3/2016. (full text)

This paper considers the development and current state of Russia’s think tank sector. As in Eastern Europe, international technical assistance played an important in development of Russian think tanks in 1990s. However unlike Eastern Europe, especially new EU members, demand for economic policy input in Russia at the national level has remained strong. As a result, members of Russian expert community today commonly serve in government posts and act as first movers in the consensus-building process for government policy. Russia’s leading economic think tanks have organized professionally to secure a high standard of independent economic analytics and ethical behavior. In this sense, the sector seems more mature than local think tanks in Eastern Europe. While the sector today faces serious challenges from legislative changes that have largely limited the client base to government entities, the economic analysis provided by think tanks remains critical to policy-setting. The findings are based on two surveys of Russia’s leading think tanks. The surveys, conducted in 2012–2013 and 2015, are augmented with in-depth interviews with representatives of Russia’s top think tanks.

Limonov L., Nesena M. Regional cultural diversity in Russia: does it matter for regional economic performance?// Area Developement and Policy. Vol 1. Issue 1. 2016. 63-93 pp. (full text).

About 80% of the population of contemporary Russia are Russians. The remaining 20% are members of more than 180 other nationalities. In spite of processes of ethnic assimilation throughout Russian history, many ethnic groups retain their cultural identities. Cultural diversity in contemporary Russian society is determined by the historically rooted structure of ethnic and cultural space, and recent international and interregional migration. Although there is in general no relationship in Russia between ethnic heterogeneity and regional economic growth and convergence, there is an association between migration-induced diversity and growth, and there are regionally differentiated impacts of diversity on productivity. Regional spending on education is inversely related to ethnic heterogeneity. Differences between these results and the results of comparable studies of rich countries are considered.

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