Socio-Economic Predictors of Student Mobility
This article examines the relationship between pre-entry coaching (both in terms of money and effort) and the achievement of Russian high school graduates as measured by the results of the Unified State Examination (USE). Using a data set of students from the 16 biggest Russian cities, which includes information on USE results, family background, school characteristics, and patterns on pre-entry coaching, I estimate the factors that determine the final USE results. Characteristics of pre-entry courses (the duration of the program as well as the total fee) are related to higher USE scores, but the size of this association is moderate. Attending individual classes has a significant (but still moderate) relationship with the USE score in Russian, but the duration of a program moderately and positively relates to the USE scores. Other factors, like parental education, family income, student abilities, and the type of school attended are significant predictors of USE results in Russian, Mathematics, and the average USE score.
This paper explores factors responsible for strength of various forms of academic ties between countries. It begins with examining several theoretical models of international academic collaboration: “the republic of letters”, “academic (neo)colonialism”, “the classical world-system”, and “the world-society”. Propositions about factors affecting intensity of ties between countries and configuration of their overall network are then derived from each of the models. These propositions are then tested against empirical data on two kinds of academic ties: volumes of international student flows between pairs of countries (UNESCO statistics) and number of co-authored papers (Web of Science database). Negative binomial regression is used to estimate influence of various independent variables (funding of science, distance, historical experience of dependency) about the significance of which the models make different predictions. We discover that expectations associated with “the classical world-system” fit the data best, with “academic neo-colonialist” factors also important in the case of international student flows. To account for possible differences between disciplines and to capture the directions of evolution of the system, we then explore changes in international collaboration network in two fields: geoscience and economics during a 30-year interval (1980-2010).
The paper examines the structure, governance, and balance sheets of state-controlled banks in Russia, which accounted for over 55 percent of the total assets in the country's banking system in early 2012. The author offers a credible estimate of the size of the country's state banking sector by including banks that are indirectly owned by public organizations. Contrary to some predictions based on the theoretical literature on economic transition, he explains the relatively high profitability and efficiency of Russian state-controlled banks by pointing to their competitive position in such functions as acquisition and disposal of assets on behalf of the government. Also suggested in the paper is a different way of looking at market concentration in Russia (by consolidating the market shares of core state-controlled banks), which produces a picture of a more concentrated market than officially reported. Lastly, one of the author's interesting conclusions is that China provides a better benchmark than the formerly centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe by which to assess the viability of state ownership of banks in Russia and to evaluate the country's banking sector.
The paper examines the principles for the supervision of financial conglomerates proposed by BCBS in the consultative document published in December 2011. Moreover, the article proposes a number of suggestions worked out by the authors within the HSE research team.