Research projects at the LSES
For the last decade, the Laboratory for Studies in Economic Sociology (LSES) at the Higher School of Economics (HSE) has designed and promoted the best national and international practices of academic economic and sociological knowledge. The Laboratory conducts theoretical and empirical studies, facilitates their scholarly discussion, and publishes analytical materials and specialized journals and books.
A number of unique sociological studies on the Russian economy have been initiated and conducted in LSES. For over a decade the Laboratory has been carrying out a project focused on elucidating the evolution of Russian retail trade, encompassing the transformations resulting from the entry of major multinational trading companies into the Russian market, the latest changes in tax legislation, relations between retailers and suppliers, as well as development of the Customs Union, online trading and non-cash transactions.
For over five years the Laboratory has conducted yearly monitoring of confidence in financial institutions and financial behavior of the population, using a nation-wide representative sample. The study involves the analysis of various aspects of credit, retirement, and savings behavior as well as the level of financial literacy of the population.
Since 2009, LSES has been conducting the Freelancers Census – a monitoring online survey of the self-employed population, which is unparalleled in Russia. The study takes place on the largest Russian-language web site for freelancers – “Remote Jobs Marketplace” FL.ru (Free-lance.ru). Over 10,000 people have participated in each of the three surveys (2009, 2011, and 2014).
The experts of the Laboratory are conducting a series of projects on studying the informal economy, including the problems of counterfeiting and parallel imports, quasi-market police activity in the transforming countries, problems related to reforming the shadow processes in the agricultural sector, the work of the judicial system, and organization of political elections in Russia. Particular attention in this project is given to household economics, more precisely to economic and sociological analysis of economic behavior of Russian households and the sociology of consumption.
The sociology of modern consumer markets has always been one of the main research fields of LSES. Every year this field is enriched by the results of empirical research done by the experts of the Laboratory. Using various case studies, the research addresses social behaviors and processes in Russia. The markets of education (both mandatory and supplementary), dissertation services, medicine, as well as the stock market, and many other markets are in the scope of Laboratory research.
Experts of the Laboratory believe that knowledge derived from related disciplines, such as institutional economics, economic anthropology, and economic psychology, should be used for the development of the conceptual framework of economic sociology. Adhering to this principle, LSES has launched a series of ethnographic studies into the economy of debt in small Russian towns.
The studies of LSES are based on the methodological language of European and American economic sociology, and are in compliance with international standards of academic research. As a result, LSES not only has become one of the key Russian centers for social analysis of the economy, but also represents Russia in the international scholarly community. This is facilitated by the regular participation of Laboratory experts in international academic conferences (SASE, ASA, ESA, EGOS) and their systematic cooperation with foreign colleagues.
In 2012, with the support of International, American, and European Sociological Associations, LSES organized and successfully conducted an international conference, "Embeddedness and Beyond. Do Sociological Theories Meet Economic Realities", which became a productive forum for academic communication with two hundred key economic sociologists from Australia, UK, Brazil, Germany, Canada, New Zealand, Russia, USA, France, and many other countries. The conference laid the foundations for expanding many research projects of LSES to an international level.
Have you spotted a typo?
Highlight it, click Ctrl+Enter and send us a message. Thank you for your help!
To be used only for spelling or punctuation mistakes.