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IFR Authoritarian Fragility Lab

Adaptation of Russian Society to the New Realities:
What We Can Observe from the Available Statistics and What Is Hidden


Dr. Vladimir Kozlov works as a researcher at the Economics Department of IOS (Germany). He graduated from Moscow Lomonosov State University and defended his PhD in Economics in 2011. Vladimir worked for a long period until 2022 at the Vishnevsky Institute of Demography of NRU HSE (Moscow, Russia). Among all, he supervised a Master research program ‘Population and Development.’

His research focuses on several areas of population studies and political economy, ranging from labor economics, economic demography, and institutional economics to epidemiological studies. Vladimir has a long record of publication in international peer-reviewed journals, including top-5 in their fields (British Journal of Political Science, Accident Analysis & Prevention). Vladimir has successful experience in mentorship and papers supervision – he won several awards for the best teaching and as an advisor.

Project Description

In the very beginning of the full-scale invasion of Russia into Ukraine, attention to the transformation of Russian society was limited to studying the formal economic indicators and the (potentially highly biased) official public opinion surveys. Nevertheless, after 2 years, much more research papers with the analysis of the current situation in Russia are available. In the recent literature, both academic and analytic, different specialists already observed the situation in Russian society after the beginning of the war, paying attention to the social and political attitudes. There were also detailed reports and papers devoted to the economic development of Russia and effects of sanctions. However, even taking into consideration the growing literature about the current situation and predictions of the Russian society development, many areas are still beyond the state of the arts.

Throughout the project, we intend to fulfill the following aims. The main goal of the research project is to understand the influence of the war on Russian society, measured by the indicators available from open sources. The research question here is whether the war really led to the consolidation of Russian society, new state economic model formation (Russian military Keynesianism), and future confidence? Under this goal, the idea of the project is to find how sustainable this model is, what are the main problems that are observed now in the economic structure, labor market, demographic conditions, and society, and what are the strongest points that could be in the future transformed into the robust parts of the new society.

The second goal of the project is more technical. If we look at the data quality and reliability of Russian statistics within the period from the beginning of the 2010s until the current time, we will see a certain evolution of the indicators of Russian social and economic development quality, with the situation becoming worse for some indicators after the beginning of the full-scale invasion in 2022. Within this project, to follow the first goal correctly, we will see the determinants of the changes and the explanation of the manipulations. The research task here is to find the reasons for the non-random data doctoring and manipulation observed in the Russian regions (so-called “Southern gradient of cheating”), and to see what was changed after the beginning of the war with the data manipulation.

As the sources of information, we will use the data from publicly available sources, many of them integrated (and described, and commented on) in independent platforms like: “Cedar (Center for Data and Research on Russia)” and “Known Unknowns.”

The publication in peer-reviewed journals is expected as the results of the project, and active students could be taken as co-authors in case of active contribution (taking into consideration the long reviewing process, the preprint will be published, so the successful students will have several texts to increase the chances for their further career in academia and other fields).

Intern Workload

No more than 8 hours per week

Intern Requirements

The overall purpose of the project is to give the interns the opportunity for independent data analysis for testing different hypotheses and making forecasts and predictions, as well as results interpretation.

The project will require interns that could work in 3 directions:

  • Theoretical part of the project: Literature review and storytelling. The situation with Russian data is not unique, so we need persons willing to find analogous situations and theoretical backgrounds under them. The main requirement for the candidate will be the ability to work with large amounts of literature for the reviews, storytelling, and hypothesis formation.
  • Statistical analysis: The person will test the reliability of the data, and make the models. The main prerequisite is the willingness to work with data; knowledge and skills in statistics and statistical packages, econometrics, and preparedness for improving the skills.
  • Technical parts for getting additional information from Big Data analysis. The candidate should have skills in parsing and structuring the data and preparing the databases for the statistical analysis.

Language Requirements:

C1 Russian for the theoretical part; B2 Russian for the technical parts and statistical analysis.

Internship applications to this laboratory are accepted in English only.