In the book, the issue of skills formation and utilization in the system of formal education and in the labor market are discussed. The recent mainstream concepts of skills are critically analyzed alongside the less known, alternative perspectives. The book addresses several myths related to skills formation and deployment. The first one concerns the relationship between the level of skills and wages; the second is about the demand on “soft” skills in the future economy; the third one addresses the growth of high-skilled jobs; and the fourth one, the supply-led skills policies. In the handbook, the necessity of a paradigmatic shift from the skills formation towards their better utilization is discussed across the fields of education sciences, economics and political studies. Based on the analysis of recent empirical evidence, the authors elaborate the concepts of social construction of skills, “skills ecosystems”, capabilities and skills, and other. The authors compare institutions and skills policies, including the systems of qualifications, in various countries. Still, most of the empirical illustrations and theoretical concepts presented in the book refer rather to the developed market economies, whereas the analysis of the situation in other countries, in particular, in BRICS, is quite limited. Nevertheless, the handbook is with no doubt of high interest to the Russian readership, as it is, probably, the first successful attempt to systematize and critically reassess the existing knowledge in the fields of skills formation and utilization.
As part of the XVI April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development, HSE — Moscow, two sessions on economics and law were held 9 April 2015. The first session, Law Enforcement and Entrepreneurs, was chaired by a leading researcher from the Institute of Law Enforcement at the European University in St. Petersburg Kirill Titaev and the second session, Economic Analysis of Regulatory Bodies, was moderated by Andrey Shastitko, researcher from the Institute for Industrial and Market Studies, HSE Moscow. Speakers at the sessions included Irina Chetverikova (Institute for the Rule of Law at the European University at Saint-Petersburg), L. Bardin (Central Bar in Moscow), Anton Kazun (Higher School of Economics), Zinaida Poghosova (HSE) and Elena Podkolzina (HSE), D. Tsytsulina (HSE — Nizhny Novgorod), Svetlana Avdasheva HSE), and Svetlana Golovanova (HSE — Nizhny Novgorod). The direction of the debate in the first session was partly formulated by Titaev, when he noted that more correct name for first session would be Law and Rational Choice. According to the Titaev, in this case, it is appropriate to speak about economic rationality, which is common to all parties involved in the process: the accused, the victim, judges and defendants. At the next session, the focus shifted to the discussion of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS). Real decision-making practices and risks of introducing criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of the organization were at the center of the debate. Both sessions highlighted the obvious challenge that often formal rules and their changes do not completely determine the situation, but may also be influenced by informal norms. The distinction between formal rules and informal norms is a key issue of economic sociology. The focus of both sessions was not only the formal rules in law enforcement system, but also real-life practices. Speakers described the logic of awarding judgment using the examples from different legal cases. They concluded that actions which seem illogical for an external observer (such as the refusal of companies to provide FAS evidence in their favor) often have their own internal rationality. Therefore, researchers need to know not only the laws, but also the informal norms. This problem has been widely discussed in recent years and definitely will be an important issue for future studies in economic sociology.
This article is based on the sample of 10 000 decisions of Russian criminal courts and series of expert interviews with judges, investigators, prosecutors and attorneys. In the text, I analyze the probability of pretrial detention and the influence of this decision on the following court behavior. Empirical data is the simple random sample from the decisions published on the websites of Russian district courts (the main level in the system of Russian criminal justice) during 2011. There are two groups of questions in the world scholarly discussion. The first group is bound up with the role of various strongly extralegal (like a gender and a race) and semi-extralegal (like a socioeconomic status and an educational level) characteristics of the defendant in the decision about pretrial detention or release. The second group deals with the effects of pretrial detention on other court decisions (dismissing of the case, the type of punishment and the length of incarceration). These questions are resolved in this article using regression models. The probability of pretrial detention in Russia is statistically significantly higher for unemployed defendants and defendants with informal criminal records. The fact of pretrial detention is closely associated with the probability of case dismissal. The defendants who are detained before trial have less probability of case dismissal. In addition, pretrial detention increases the probability of incarceration as a form of punishment. The linear influence of the pretrial detention on the length of incarceration is not statistically significant.