Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center

The VIII International Conference in Economics and Finance 2018

The VIII International Conference in Economics and Finance took place in Minsk on December 21. The event was held by BEROC Economic Research Center.

«BEROC mission is to provide connections between Belarusian scientists and international academic community. For many years Belarusian science in Economics was in isolation, until now it almost doesn’t use modern methods and international standards of research. The Conference is one of the steps to make Belarusian academic community closer to international community. To achieve this goal we organize Conference to show the major trends of the international economic science, the methods of work used by Western researchers. It was important for us to provide not only lectures by prominent scientists, but also a professional discussion according to the standards of the international academic community”, stated BEROC Academic Director Kateryna Bornukova.

Traditionally, the agenda of the Conference is built around a major topic. This year it was gender issues in Economics. Zvi Eckstein (IDC Herzliya, Tiomkin School of Economics; Tel Aviv University), the keynote speaker of the Conference, presented the research “Career and Family Decisions: Cohorts born 1935 – 1975 (joint with Michael Keane and Osnat Lifshitz)”. In his research Eckstein used waves of micro data to study interconnections between the behavior of people on labor and marriage markets, in education and fertility and to compare these interconnections in different cohorts. In the discussion Zvi Eckstein underlined that one of the goals of the research was to show that scientists have to work not only with aggregated data but also with information on different cohorts.

Gender research was also presented in lectures by BEROC researcher Lev Lvovsky “ART vs Abortion: Explaining Trends in Child Adoption” and by David Weiss (Tel Aviv University) “Women’s Liberation as a Financial Innovation”.

According to Kateryna Bornukova gender topic was chosen for a reason. “Gender issues affect life of every person and particularly his or her economic life. Gender topic is important for Belarus because in this post-Soviet country the transition to participation of women in labor market was not smooth. The transition was sharp and cruel when the USSR established “equal right for labor”. As a result, women in post-Soviet countries face the situation when they need both to work and to be responsible for housekeeping. In the Western countries where transitions on labor market were more smooth responsibilities in housekeeping are better distributed between men and women and this fact affects economic life”, said Kateryna Bornukova.

Research of gender issue in Economics is also still important for the international academic community. The reason is great amount of problems in this sphere. According to Igor Livshits, Academic Advisor at BEROC, Economic Advisor and Economist at Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia “today women earn 80 cents for the work where men earn 1 dollar. In the past the difference in salaries had an explanation in worse education and poorer experience of women. But today women have the same education and same experience as men”. Livshits also stated that for a long time research preferred to work only with labor market data on men who didn’t make breaks in their careers for childcare and participated in labor market more consistently. Today there is a possibility to work with data on women, and researchers use this possibility.

Two presentations of the Conference were concentrated on one more topical issue – interconnections between public sphere, corporate sector and economy. Viktar Fedaseyeu, (Bocconi University) presented research “Corporate Interests and the Political Process: International Evidence” and Salomé Baslandze (Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance) made a lecture “Political Connections, Innovation, and Firm Dynamics”. Igor Livshits mentioned that today research of interconnections between public sector, economics and corporate sector become topical as a result of appearance of new technologies. Scientists can use not only search systems in Internet, but also technologies which convert texts into data.

Maxim Troshkin (Cornell University) presented research “Implications of Uncertainty for Optimal Policies” and Olga Timoshenko (George Washington University) presented “Uncertainty and Trade Elasticities”.

Total number of participants of the Conference exceeded 100 people, including Belarusian researchers, students, and representatives of economic authorities.

“We have been organizing the conference for 8 years. And we can see growing interest to the event in Belarus: people take part in the conference and in discussions, ask questions, and do networking. We will be really happy if Belarusian professionals become interested in education in Western universities. Today we can observe that many professionals with Western education who take part in our conferences become consultants of the Belarusian government. We want to keep involving Belarusians with international education into the life of our country. We are happy to see that many of them are open for cooperation”, said Kateryna Bornukova.

Conference materials and photos >>>

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