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Political Economy of Development (International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development)

The Higher School of Economics International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development (ICSID) in Moscow, Russia, established in cooperation with the Harriman Institute (Columbia University), invites applications for a postdoctoral research position in political economy of development.


Understanding the root causes of economic growth and well-being stands among the most fascinating and important topics in the social sciences. A large body of literature demonstrates the importance of a variety of factors including technologies, institutions, human capital, culture, and decisions of political elites. We know a great deal about the developed world, but there is still lack of understanding of developing and transition countries.


Russia is a fertile ground for research in political economy of development. ICSID offers unique databases needed for such kind of research. Among them are:

  • surveys of around 35,000 individuals in almost all Russian regions conducted in 2000-2011 and containing rich information about norms, preferences and the quality of institutions;
  • detailed statistics of economic and social life at the regional and municipal levels;
  • data on biographies of almost 900 governors and representatives of the federal elite in 2000-2012, 3,500 officials from the regional elite in 2000-2012, 830 mayors in 1996-2012;
  • data on Russian censuses starting from the Census of 1987;
  • special surveys such as the one of 3,300 attorneys in 35 regions of Russia and the other including 1600 owners in homeowners associations.

Our databases are partly available on our website.


Current ICSID projects concentrate on a variety of topics, including empirical studies of political elites, collective action, trust and cultural norms and their link to economic development, institutional quality and historical roots of institutions. Candidates are welcome to participate in ongoing projects or offer other topics of research that will be of mutual interest. 


The position involves:

  • working under the supervision of Professor Timothy Frye with ICSID researchers, including those from foreign Universities;
  • taking part in the ICSID’s 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 the organization of ICSID events.


The Center offers access to its unique databases on 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, sociology, political science, public policy, or government;
  • a strong interest in the field of political economy of development;
  • strong quantitative skills, ability to carry out research using Stata/R/similar software to meet standards of academic journals;
  • ability to design lab and/or survey experiments is an asset;
  • peer-reviewed publications, working papers or a job market paper in the field will be a strong advantage;
  • 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 and research statement should be submitted via online application form while two letters of recommendation should be submitted by the referees directly to fellowship@hse.ru by February 15, 2019. Please note that direct applications to the Center may not be reviewed.


About HSE

HSE is a young, dynamic, fast-growing Russian research university providing unique research opportunities. For more information about HSE, please visit: International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development (ICSID)

Apply now


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