Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - PUBPOLTRANS (Public policy, market organisation and transition economies)

Many of the key economic problems that Europe confronts today are of a market regulation nature, including antitrust reform, various regulatory issues, e.g. telecommunications, gas and state aid legislation, and the strengthening of the single market, amongst others. Europe also presents several new challenges due to economic integration and harmonisation of public policy, for which developing new expertise is critical. The aim of this training project was to prepare students for careers in teaching, research or government services and to prepare researchers to participate actively in the analysis of the fundamental economic questions facing market regulation and transition economies.

The programme was designed to ensure that students acquired rigorous and state of the art knowledge of core areas of economic theory and research methodology and to offer research opportunities under close supervision. The project provided state of the art training in the fields of public policy, industrial organisation and transition economics. These fields of modern economics were complementary and closely related in several aspects, in particular in enjoying a dual status of leading economic subfields from an academic point of view and providing important sources of guidance for key public policy issues into one of the most interesting and important areas of economic transition in the world. The fields under consideration offered the intellectual background and expertise for effective decision making in such critical areas of public policy as industrial policy, antitrust, regulation, taxation, economic decentralisation and institutional design of transition economies.

Combining the complementary strengths of the three hosts in methodological and applied economics and building on already exceptionally strong records in research and doctoral education, the project delivered training of the highest possible quality to many fellows interested in academic careers and research-intensive public sector positions.

In terms of training, a substantial amount of lectures and training courses was organised by the contractors on the research carried out in the project. About 1 419 hours of lectures were delivered to the beneficiaries of the project by the time of its completion. The training courses delivered 2 190 hours in total, namely 73 times 30 hours. The active participation to conferences was also high with the total number of participation being equal to 39. More specific to the research carried out in the project was the active participation of the beneficiaries of the project to workshops. The project registered 77 different workshops, attended by the beneficiaries of the project and including doctoral workshops organised by the contractors. The first partner also organised a summer school from 9 to 12 June 2009 with the co-financing of the European Science Foundation and with the participation of the Nobel Laureate in Economics Erik Maskin, closely related to this project on market evolutions and public decisions. The summer school was devoted to the various impacts of the evolution of markets and its connection to public decision making. In particular, it carefully investigated the driving forces behind the emergence of new market organisations and the interaction between different market organisations for the same good. It also studied the need for and the possibility of public intervention into the process of market evolution. Finally, it investigated the impact of different political systems on market evolution.

Another summer school was organised by the first partner from 4 to 7 June 2007 on the analysis of heterogeneity in social organisations. It was closely related to this project. The interaction between benefits and drawbacks is of critical importance to the concept of diversity and heterogeneity. On the one hand, evidence of strong linkage existed between diversity of human capital and talents and the creativity and innovativeness in knowledge-based industries. On the other hand, the positive impact of diversity of cultural and skill assets could be mitigated by the fact that diversity and polarisation might pose a threat to the cohesiveness and preservation of existing political and economic structures.

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