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Higher School of Economics

Understanding Russian Economy. Problems of Transition

Higher School of Economics via Coursera

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The aim of this online course is to convey fundamental information about elements of the Russian economic policy that have had influenced significantly on the today’s tendencies in the economic system in Russia.
Basics of economics is a prerequisite in order to find out the main principles. So this is not just a story about Russia’s economy. Besides major goal of the course is to teach some outlines of economics as a science. Thus, the course will reveal common principles and instructions based on an analysis of features in the Russian economic history.
This HSE course will introduce you into basic details
of the post-Soviet economy and the place of transition in the elaboration of fundamentals of the modern Russian economy. So starting from the insights of the common problems of market reforms in Russia you will learn the economic peculiarities of today’s Russia as well. Understanding the features of the Russian economy will show the base of the most important changes in the economic history, modern situation and rank of Russian Federation in the world economy. Thus the lecturer will offer tools for analyzing the Russian economy in order to understand the business environment in Russia and to get remotely the skills required for working and investing in Russia.
Nowadays, various economic indicators have a certain impact on our every day’s life - for example, rates of exchange, level of inflation and other factors determine how our income is distributed between saving and investing. In order to reach these aspects, it is necessary to understand main laws of economic theory.
The course consists of short video lectures, 4 to 23 minutes long. Each week there will be a 15-question graded test.
Do you have technical problems? Write to us: [email protected]


  • Introduction to ‘a transition in Russia’ course
    • Welcome to the Week 1! This module will introduce you to the basics of the given course and to the general issues of transition in Russia. You will learn about economic features of Russia. Our video-lectures will answer the following question: how the transition was at all possible in Russia. Finally, the end of the module is accompanied with a test. Test questions are based on the information from the lectures, but for some of them you will have to find the right answer using different statistical and informational sources.
  • Brief Russian economic history
    • Welcome to the Week 2! On this week you’ll learn how the transition was set up and organized. In this module we begin the analysis of the Russian economic policy. Understanding the specifics of transition process is crucial for understanding the roots and reasons of modern domestic issues of Russian Federation. That’s why we will make a thorough analysis of it.
  • Pillars of market reforms
    • Welcome to the Week 3! Today we continue to analyze initial measures within market reforms in Russia. The module will cover several topics like price liberalization including radical reform widely known as ‘’shock therapy’’ and real estate privatization. Then we will proceed to major controversies and paradoxes of transition. This module provides discussion on the ‘’New Russians’’.
  • Lost opportunities of transition
    • Welcome to the Week 4! Now we are coming to the next period of the Russian economic transition, namely the period since 1993. As usual you will get useful knowledge through video-lectures. However don’t forget to look at the list of recommended literature in case you want to learn more about the topic of this week. Also you will have to pass a short quiz in order to be assessed as a result of the Week 4.
  • Understanding the golden decade and the subsequent crisis
    • Welcome to the Week 5! We continue to analyze Russian economy in transition. This week we pass on to an extremely interesting period of Russian economic history. We will look at the decade of steady growth, which can be called the golden decade for Russian economy. Economic crisis in 2008 in Russia will be the second important point of this week.
  • Lessons of transition. Searching for solutions
    • Welcome to the Week 6! Now we will focus on some lessons of transition. To be more precise you will learn what role Stabilization Fund plays in Russian economy. ‘’To save or to borrow’’ dilemma and its solution in Russia will be discussed in this module as well. Then we are going to look at the impact of 2008 financial crisis on Russian economy.
  • Fundamental challenges to the Russian economy
    • Welcome to the Week 7! Special focus will be on difficulties which Russia has faced as a result of the transition. There is rather long list of current challenges to Russian economic development. These problems have different roots, which we will consider. Please finish with the weekly quiz, which will help you to refresh your knowledge and help us to assess them.
  • Fundamental challenges to the Russian economy (follow up)
    • Welcome to the Week 8! We continue to speak on major challenges of Russian economy. It is our final lecture on the domestic issues of Russian economy. So you will get some general conclusions over economic transition in Russia. We offer you to pass a test that differs a bit from the previous ones - it includes a few questions from the previous topics. Good luck with your further studies!

Taught by

Vladimir Zuev


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