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RSSIA 2012 – An Afterword

The 6th Russian Summer School on Institutional Analysis (RSSIA 2012) began on a hot day, July, 5th, when a comfortable bus drove all the participants away from HSE to the cozy hotel “Klyazma”, not far from Moscow. The Summer School brought together participants, distinguished experts from all over the world and, of course, organizers.


 For some guys this year was the first time they participated in such an event. And the first time they were in Russia. So for someone the fun began even earlier, with learning how to travel by Moscow underground which is so complicated to foreign guests. That is, to say, a little adventure itself! But there were also some participants who took part in the Summer School for the 3rd time or even more (probably got addicted to RSSIA?J). What forces them to participate in such an event? Some guys said RSSIA doesn’t have any Russian competitors in that field.


 It is worth saying that the RSSIA has changed a lot since the first time it was held in 2007. Then it was just a “local” event for Russian researchers – now it is a truly international Summer School. For example, this year some participants came from Belgium, Spain, the USA, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Romania, Indonesia, etc.


 All the researchers believed that participation in the Summer School was a great chance for everyone to discuss their projects with well-known experts as well as with the other participants. Many of them said that they had gathered plenty of new ideas that may help a lot in their future research.


 The first day researchers had only a couple of minutes to present the basic ideas of their works. According to their comments, this way of organization gave all the members a general understanding of what all the projects are about. Thereafter they could more easily contact each other and exchange their opinions and insights.


 Almost every day after lectures RSSIA participants had several hours to discuss their projects with the experts (John Nye, Russel Pittman, Ricardo Perez Truglia, Mikhail Drugov, Sergey Popov, Francisco Martinez Mora and Maria Yudkevich). There young researchers could get not only a bit of support but the constructive ideas and comments on their main issues as well.


 For RSSIA seminars participants were divided into 3 groups according to the topics of their research, to organize a more close communication between presenters and discussants. Many of the participants said they had changed their projects a lot since the beginning of the Summer School. For example, Irina Kirysheva almost created and proved a new theorem!


 The program of RSSIA was really saturated with lectures on various subjects including competition and antitrust laws, bureaucrats and corruption, peer-group effects, econometrics etc.


 Several participants, when discussing lectures,  emphasized a very useful one by John Nye, Professor of Economics from George Mason University and Academic Supervisor of the Laboratory for Institutional Analysis in HSE. During that lecture he told the young researchers how to make presentations in order be interesting for the audience and, of course, to be heard and understood correctly.


 It is worth saying that Summer School events included not only formal events. The game “Mafia” took an honorable place among evening entertainment events: the cards with the characters − citizens, policemen, doctor and, of course, mafiozi − were randomly distributed to the players so that each player knew only his/her card for sure. The aim of the game was for innocent citizens to find out all the mafiozi until the latter kill all the former.


 Evenings were also dedicated to active sport games − for example, badminton or volleyball outside the hotel − and conversations afterwards while eating biscuits (“suschka”-s – that is, to say, the thing one of the experts, Ricardo Truglia, fell in love with) and rich-flavored chocolate candies from Kazakhstan (thanks to Marina Lukmanova).


 The final ceremony took place on the last day before departure. All the participants received the certificates and those who were selected as “the best presenter” or “the best discussant” got some nice sweet prizes.


 All the participants had a great time and enjoyed the friendly atmosphere of the RSSIA 2012! And many of them would like to participate in the Summer School again.

 

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