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Economic History of Russia and Other Post-Soviet States

The International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development (ICSID)
 at the Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Moscow, Russia, established in cooperation with the Harriman Institute (Columbia University), invites applications for a postdoctoral research position with a focus on economic history of Russia and other Post-Soviet states.

A burgeoning body of literature uses evidence from the past in order to test institutional economics and political science theories. Russia, with its rich history, profound variation in institutional environments across time and space, ethnolinguistic and religious diversity is still underexplored within this literature despite the strong potential it offers for making an important contribution. Our Center is currently looking for an ambitious researcher ready to contribute to the exploratory effort on the long-term determinants of economic development of Russia and other Post-Soviet states using state-of-the-art statistical techniques.

Current projects undertaken by the Center’s fellows in the field of economic history concentrate mostly on long-term consequences of both extractive and inclusive institutions, like serfdom, Alexander II’s liberal reforms of the mid-XIX century, Soviet-era political persecutions and development efforts. Available datasets include digitalized Russian census publications and statistical yearbooks since the late XIX century covering topics like demographics, human capital, agriculture, manufacturing and services, together with contemporary social surveys. We are particularly interested in applications by candidates willing to integrate datasets from external sources, like RIStat Russian historical statistics database, Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey, World Values Survey, and Life in Transition Survey with the datasets compiled within the Center. A successful candidate is free to join the already existing projects or pursue a new research agenda of mutual interest.

The responsibilities attached to the position include:

-       working in a research group with Dr. Ekaterina Borisova and Dr. Denis Ivanov;

-       collaboration with other ICSID researchers, including those from foreign Universities;

-       taking part in ICSID research projects/pursuing independent research;

-       publishing papers in peer-reviewed academic journals in economics, political science, regional studies, public policy, history, sociology;

-       presenting research results at seminars and conferences;

-       participation in organization of the ICSID events and other contribution to the Lab’s development.


The Center offers access to its unique databases on the socio-economic indicators of the Russian regions, political elites and historical roots of institutions in Russia. ICSID also provides all necessary support for research such as up-to-date analytical software, funding for attendance at international conferences and research assistantship. Moreover, the HSE library provides access to a large collection of academic journals.



-     a PhD in economics, political science, public policy, economic geography, sociology, or history;

-     interest in history and culture of Russia and the former Soviet nations;

-     a strong background in the fields of economic history and quantitative political economy;

-     strong quantitative skills, ability to carry out research using Stata/R/similar software to meet standards of academic journals;

-     peer-reviewed publications, working papers or a job market paper in the field will be a strong advantage;

-     knowledge of GIS software and/or programming skills will be a valuable asset;

-     ability to work in a team;

-     ability to understand and communicate in Russian is not a requirement but will be a plus.


General conditions for Post-Doctoral Research positions can be found here. Appointments will be normally made for one year.


A CV, research statement and two letters of recommendation should be submitted directly via the online application form by March 15, 2017. Please note that direct applications to the hiring centre may not be reviewed.


About HSE
Higher School of Economics is a young, dynamic, fast-growing Russian research university providing unique research opportunities.

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