Renowned economist and chess Grandmaster shared some of his views on current affairs on December 22nd.
Dr. Rogoff's visit commenced at Rector Ilshat Gafurov's office. The Rector and other executives present at the meeting talked with the guest about Kazan University, higher education and economy.
There is no denying that Russian economy is not in its best shape nowadays. The primary reason is its heavy reliance on crude oil prices. In his lecture Kenneth Rogoff said that Russian situation is just a more severe version of what is happening in the global economy. All major economies experience the decline in growth rates.
Some experts think that the reason is that no major scientific breakthroughs have been made in recent years. There have been no real industrial revolutions lately – and it must be said that the same declines in growth happened in between previous such revolutions.
As you might know, Russian government declared its efforts would be directed towards import substitution. But, as Dr. Rogoff opined, import substitution is not the best strategy for crisis management. India tried it before and didn’t have much success at that.
Among the reasons for Russian difficulties there are, in particular, the slow growth of labor productivity, contraction of available workforce, outflow of private capital and infrastructural problems. Diversification is also an issue. The lecturer mentioned that Tatarstan makes significant efforts in that regard.
Among Russian strengths Kenneth Rogoff mentioned the human capital and the higher education system. Russian students look good by world standards.
The other not so obvious advantage, according to Dr. Rogoff, is global warming. It leads to more land in Russia becoming suitable for reclamation.
He also touched upon sanctions and countersanctions. Prof. Rogoff’s opinion is that the sanctions wouldn’t have any sizable effect if not for oil price plummeting. As for countersanctions, they are beneficial for national manufacturers, but for the country as a whole it’s more of an additional problem than a solution.
The distinguished guest especially praised the Russian Central Bank considering its efforts to be crucial in averting a serious crisis. The effectiveness of Elvira Nabiullina’s work was so impressive that she was named the best central bank chairperson in Europe.