Post-Communist Russia in the context of the world socio-economic development

On 1-2 of the December 2000, the Institute for the economy in transition held an international conference "Post-Communist Russia in the context of the world socio-economic development".

The conference was divided into two plenary meetings and work in sections. At the plenary meetings the participants discussed the problems of macroeconomic, political and economic problems of post-communist reforms. Working session was devoted to the analysis of macroeconomic and social problems, questions of regional development. Participants of the discussion also touched upon international experience of transformation of economies, revolutionary and evolutionary way of development of the post-communist world. All speakers stressed the practical importance of the conducted research. The conference participants had the opportunity to ask questions and to comment on the topics covered in reports. Opposing points of view were expressed, which often coincided with those that were announced by the speakers.

Well-known foreign economists made presentations in the conference: Robert Mundell, Professor of Economics at Columbia University and winner of the Nobel prize for Economics in 1999, Arnold Harberger, Professor of Economics at the University of California in Los Angeles, Laurence Kotkikoff, Professor of Economics at Boston University, Anne Krueger, Professor, Stanford University, Robert Conrad, Professor at Duke University in North Carolina, Graham Scott, Professor of Economics from New Zealand, Anders Aslund, researcher of the Carnegie Endowment in Washington and others.

Great contribution to the conference was made by the Russian speakers, notably First Deputy Finance Minister, Alexei Ulyukayev, head of the Working center of economic reforms under the RF Government, Vladimir Mau, Deputy Minister of economic development and trade, Mikhail Dmitriev.

Opening the conference, Director of the Institute for the economy in transition, Yegor Gaidar said, that over 10 years, Russia has accumulated a very difficult, but a wide experience in conducting economic reforms. There has formed a research area «Economics of transition», one of the most quickly developing modern economic theory. On many issues that have been little known ten years ago: nonpayments, barter, management in the conditions of soft budget constraints and many others - hundreds of articles have been written, including very interesting and talented.

As the understanding of the transition process was formed, many issues were solved. Yegor Gaidar stressed that not knowing the past, it is impossible to comprehend the future, and in this regard, the comprehension of the dramatic period of political and socio-economic history, which was the era of Russian reforms, is extremely important for the formation of future strategies, and this is the main task and objective of the conference.

Academician Abel Aganbegyan reminded the audience about the history of creation of Institute for the economy in transition: emerged in 1990 as the economic policy Institute (the name was suggested by Egor Gaidar), it attracted young talented scientists. In the short term the program of research was formed. Institute Programs, the hard work on which was conducted in 1990-1991, were used by the new Russian leadership under President Boris Yeltsin. Russia began its transition to the market. Rapporteur reminded audience of the hardest, dramatic situation in the country on the eve of the reforms, aggravated by the collapse of the USSR, the collapse of the planned economy and rupture of traditional economic ties. This situation was exaserbated by huge foreign debt accumulated in the last years of the Communist regime.

In these circumstances, according to Abel Aganbegyan, despite shortcomings in the work of the first Russian Government, which are obvious today, a great courage was necessary to take all the responsibility for the reform. And it is not the fault but misfortune of the Gaidar Government, that they couldn't finish it. According to Abel Aganbegyan, the most important result of the work of the first Russian Government composed largely of employees of the Institute, are the irreversible changes, the foundations of which were created in the era of 1991-1992.

Chairman of the management Board of RAO UES of Russia, Anatoly Chubais, said that the main result of the work of the Institute during the past decade is that those who respect Gaidar as well as his haters still live according to Gaidar. Today's studies of the Institute, as Anatoly Chubais noted, find worthy application in the field of transformation of the real sector, introduction of financial discipline, modern management, occupational budgeting schemes, formation of system of marketing and sales.