Sustainable Growth (2008–2011)

Department of Economics
Project start date:
JUNE, 2008 – JANUARY, 2011


Natural resource dependance

Dependence on natural resources export is a characteristic feature of the economies of Russia and a number of other former Soviet countries as well as of many developing countries. Orientation of economy towards natural resources exploitation becomes a source of serious and diverse problems, both political, related to issues of resource control and resulting income distribution, ethical, related to inter-generation justice, and purely economic (e.g. deindustrialisation, exchange rate shift, investment crowding-out, rent seeking, and corruption, labour market impacts etc). Resource dependent economies as a rule are subject to the so called ‘Dutch disease’, or, more precisely, one of its types, namely, ‘natural resources curse’. In order an adequate economic policy development could become feasible under such conditions, it is needed that these countries should possess significant groups of economists, being able to actively participate in decision-making procedure, but also, and this is even more important, to form the forum for discussion of these issues and to influence, in a qualified way, public opinion and policy-makers’ decisions.



{slide=Programme Objectives}

The major goal of the present programme is to improve the quality of core undergraduate courses studied in the universities of the region, enrich the courses by tools and cases useful for understanding of economic and political issues actual for the region, and to train lecturers, who should be able in their professional activities to train researchers and analysts capable of creating well-grounded policy advice in the situation of resource curse.

{slide=Programme Focus}

The thematic focus of the project is resource curse (in its economic, political, ethical, social aspects), its manifestations, mechanisms, influence on economic development, as well as economic policy analysis and advice accounting for the resource curse problem. The project will consist of three seminar sessions, two periods of inter-session activities and the concluding half-a-year period after the last summer session. It is expected that during the project participants will concentrate on developing a curriculum of a course related to the topic of the project and on their own academic research in the field under the guidance of resource faculty. Upon completing the programme, participants will receive diploma certifying their participation in the project and the progress achieved.

{slide=Who is it for}

The programme attracts lecturers, guest lecturers and tutors from the high-ranking international universities. Different teaching styles, different opinions, different ideas and views will be presented and discussed during intensive two-weeks summer sessions and in the inter-session distant communication. The principal working language of the project is English, Russian is an auxiliary one.

The project targets young university teachers coming from the CIS countries, Mongolia and non-EU members of Southeastern Europe (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia). Submission of several applications from one department (chair) is highly encouraged.

Participation in the Summer Sessions (travel economy class, accommodation, visa) will be covered and reading materials will be provided at the expenses of the project funders (HESP, OSI, Budapest,


It should be stressed that during each year participants will be assessed by the resource faculty on the basis of their involvement, progress and activity shown during the summer session and inter-session periods. Participants demonstrating the most active involvement and interesting research results by the completion of the project will receive further guidelines and advice from the resource faculty to publish their research results received within the project. Participants failing to demonstrate active involvement and substantial progress might be expelled form the project on the basis of the joint decision by the resource faculty.

{slide=Costs and Allowances for Participants}

Within the project participants will be reimbursed the travel costs from their home town to St. Petersburg and back – up to the price of a return railway sleeping carriage, and an economy class airfair in case a railway journey takes more than 36 hours. Accommodation and food of participants during the Summer Sessions will be also covered. All participants will be given basic texts for each course as well as photocopies of selected articles.

{slide=Bringing Spouses, Partners, etc.}

Participants are not allowed to bring their spouses to the Summer Sessions. Because of a very limited number of places, participants are required to attend all classes and participate in all inter-session activities. If a participant fails to meet this requirement he/she will be expelled from the project and his/her University as well as the project’s funders (HESP) will be notified about this fact.



The first year will be devoted to the integration of the relevant knowledge from the major courses in economics into a coherent setting for the discussion of the problems of sustainable growth and resource curse. The particular topics for the first summer session are planned to be: (a) economic growth and development; (b) economics of natural resources; cases of resource dependence and resource curse.


{slide=Seminar session 1}

The proposed project will consist of three seminar sessions, two periods of inter-session activities and the concluding half-a-year period after the last summer session. In accordance with the project structure, the first seminar session will be devoted to the integration of the relevant knowledge from the major courses in economics into a coherent setting for the discussion of the problems of sustainable growth and resource curse. The main topics of the first summer session will be:


- Economic growth and development (leading profs. Pomfret, Rodriguez)

- Economics of natural resources (leading prof. Matveenko, Lambrecht, Borisov)


Participants will be provided with some core reading in advance so that during the seminar sessions after an introduction into certain themes of each topic discussions could follow related to the following issues:(a) discussion of the topics’ content, including assumptions and research methods used; (b) critical evaluation of the teaching practices of participants in these and related disciplines.

It is expected that the first summer session will ensure that all participants have the prior understanding of the core economic theories underlying more advanced topics related to issues of sustainable growth and resource curse.


Preliminary programme (Word, 50.5KB)

Trip outline (WinRar, 5.82MB)


The first summer session of the project will take place in helios-hotel near Zelenogorsk, St.Petersburg, in the period 5-19 August 2008.

{slide=Inter-session activities 1}

The first inter-session period will pursue twofold aim. First, participants will be given reading lists consisting of two parts: obligatory for all (serving as a preparation for the next summer session) and elective (composed by the core resource faculty to suit particular research and teaching interests of each participant/group of participants). The work on reading lists will be controlled by periodical discussions on the web-forum created specifically for the project advanced and moderated by the core resource faculty. Secondly, participants will be asked to (a) develop a draft of a course/part of a course related to the problems of natural resources, resource curse, Dutch disease, sustainable development; (b) develop a research proposal on one of the related topics.



The second year of the project will be devoted to the discussion of narrower topics central to the understanding of the resource curse influence on such issues as institutional and policy design or economic policy. Accordingly, the main topics of the second summer session are planned to be: (a) sustainable growth problems; (b) Dutch disease and resource curse; (c) institutional and political economy; (d) economic and social policy and natural resources.


{slide=Seminar session 2}

The second summer session will be devoted to the introduction of the different aspects of the resource curse. The major planned topics are:


- Economic mechanisms of resource and environment protection

- Sustainable growth, Dutch disease and resource curse

- Institutions and political economy: implications of resource curse

- Issues in economic policy accounting for natural resources


The topics will be discussed so as the introduction into a certain theme by the resource person (in the morning) follows by the presentation of further aspects and discussion of the theme by participants (in the afternoon). The participants will be given the literature in order to facilitate the discussion.

Besides, the second summer session will include the seminars/roundtables devoted to discussions of the draft versions of courses’ curricula developed by participants and their research proposals.

{slide=Inter-session activities 2}

During the second inter-session period participants will be assigned (a) further reading (both obligatory and elective with the same forms of control) and (b) to proceed with their course development of research. It is expected that participants' work over the development of the course curriculum will lead to the preparation of the set of accompanying materials for the course including mandatory and additional reading lists, databank of examples, databank of tasks/problems/case studies, lecture notes. Participants' work over their own research is expected to result in production of a draft version of the paper reporting research results by the third summer session. Individual work during the inter-session period will be guided by the assigned members of resource faculty team. Besides it is expected that during the second inter-session period the participants will extensively involve their colleagues from their home departments to the work over course curriculum or research as co-authors and contributors thus providing for knowledge sharing.



The third year will be devoted mostly to the discussion of undergraduate curricula and teaching materials proposed by participants, the research advancement in the adjacent areas exploring political and social aspects of the resource curse, as well as to the presentation of participants’ own research progress over chosen topics.


{slide=Seminar session 3}

The third summer session of the project will serve to broaden the participants’ research horizon by providing them with the discussions of the issues relevant for the problems of resource curse and sustainable growth from adjacent areas of political science and sociology. The main topic of this summer session will be Political and social aspects of natural resource abundance. Besides discussion of research conducted in these fields (including methods, assumptions, results), all participants will have to present the results of their inter-session work so as to receive feedback from the resource faculty along with the comments and suggestions for further elaborating the work. Additional roundtables will be organised devoted to the dissemination practices of their research results, advices on academic writing and effective communication.

{slide=Inter-session activities 3}

It is expected that after the third summer session the participants will have several months in order to account for comments and suggestions to improve their work (over the new course and over their own research projects) and to present the resource faculty the final results. On the basis of evaluation of the final results by resource faculty, participants will receive suggestions for publication of their results, encouragement for introduction of their newly developed courses, diplomas of attendance.



The core resource faculty is composed of local and foreign professionals in the field. All members of the core resource faculty team have established high professional record in the major topics of the present project. The core resource faculty of the project includes:



Prof. Richard Pomfret (University of Adelaide, Australia); as one of the leading experts on the economies of Central Asia, he has written 5 books on the transition Asian economies, in which a role of resource curse (other than oil and gas) is thoroughly investigated; he, together with Prof. Rodriguez will be responsible within the programme for the issues of sustainable growth, economic development, resource curse and its consequences, as well as for the relevant economic policy issues.


Prof. Francisco R. Rodriguez (Wesleyan University, USA); his research interests are related to economic growth in developing countries, interaction between inequality, distributive conflict and economic performance, economic and societal conflicts; he is one of the leading specialists on resource-dependent economies of Latin America; together with Prof. Pomfret within the project he will be responsible for the for the issues of economic development, resource curse and its consequences, as well as for the relevant economic policy issues.

VMatveenko sh

Prof. Vladimir Matveenko (HSE-SPb, previously EUSP, Russia); Prof. Matveenko is one of the leading experts in Russia in studying the problems of economic growth and resource curse; he will be responsible for the overall academic guidance of the project as well as for some particular topics of the summer session.

KBorissov sh

Prof. Kirill Borisov (EUSP, Russia); Prof. Borisov is one of the leading experts in Russia in the area of economic growth and development; he will be responsible for the growth-related modules within the programme.


Dr. Stephane Lambrecht (Université des Sciences et Technologie de Lille, France); Dr. Lambrecht is an expert in the issues of economic growth and related questions of economic policy, including those accounting for natural resources abundance.


Several other professors will be invited to take part in the project and present some particular topics of research interest.


Contact details:

Contact persons:

Yulia Vymyatnina (administrative director)


Postal address:

Department of Economics

European Universiy at St.Petersburg

Gagarinskaya Str., #3

St. Petersburg, 191187



Telephone/fax: + 7 (812) 386-7632


Web site:

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