Analysis and Consulting on Economic Problems and Public Finance
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Economic Expert Group (EEG) is an independent analytical center with focus on macroeconomic and fiscal policy issues. Economic Expert Group was established in 1997 and incorporated the experts that had been rendering analytical support to the Department of Macroeconomic Policy of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation within the framework of international projects since 1994. Since its birth and up to present time EEG has been working in close everyday contact with the Government (primarily with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economic Development). Evsey Gurvich, the Head of EEG, is a member of the Public Council at the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation. EEG has also close relations with Presidential Administration, Central Bank, legislative bodies: EEG is represented in the Duma Expert Boards, Advisory Board of the Central Bank, and participates in Parliamentary hearings regularly conducted by Duma and the Council of Federation. According to the weekly “Itogi” the former Head of EEG (A.Dvorkovich) and the present Head of EEG (E.Gurvich) are among key “economic policy- makers”. The magazine «Profile» placed EEG in the top five most influential expert institutes in Russia.
The main fields of research and consultancy carried out by EEG include:
EEG provides the Government with short-, medium- and long-term economic projections, analyses scenarios of fiscal policy, evaluates the process of tax reform, simulates inflation trends. Since 1994 up to now EEG prepares monthly reviews of Russian economy, which the Ministry of Finance presents to the Government, Central Bank and Duma. In 2011 EEG experts participated in the work of expert groups, formed by the Government to develop “Strategy 2020”. Evsey Gurvich, Head of EEG, chaired one of these groups - “Fiscal and Monetary Policy”.
EEG has developed a broad range of models for economy as a whole, or for particular indicators (inflation, exchange rate, fiscal revenues, etc). In the period of financial crisis the Group constructed a number of leading indicators of financial risks.
An important part of EEG activities concerns public debt management. The Group developed a series of macroeconomic forecasts for the negotiations of the Government with the Paris and London Clubs of Creditors. EEG experts participated in these negotiations, which resulted in writing-off foreign debt of the former USSR in the amount of over USD $ 10 billion and restructuring the rest part of this debt. EEG has prepared description of the Russian economy performance for all Offering Circulars of the sovereign Eurobonds of the Russian Federation. EEG regularly contributes to the development of recurrent Public Debt Management Strategies by the Government.
An important responsibility of EEG concerned also the support of sovereign credit rating after its assignment in 1996. EEG prepared credit rating presentations and provided international rating agencies with information and analysis on a regular basis.
EEG is deeply involved into preparation of economic reforms. EEG experts were among key participants in the development of the long-term governmental economic program in 2000 (“Gref’s program”). The EEG contributed to the development of the pension reform, the reform of inter-government relations, tax reform, to the elaboration of mechanism of the Stabilization Fund, etc.
Practically from the very beginning EEG was involved in realization of the reform of the RF budgetary system aimed at implementation of performance budgeting and medium-term budget planning. EEG experts took part in preparation of the performance reports of a number of Federal agencies including the Ministry of Finance. At present EEG is realizing the projects on elaboration of certain elements of legal and methodological base of performance budgeting and continues to provide consulting services in this sphere to Federal executive bodies.
EEG continuously collaborates with regional Administrations. In particular, EEG has worked for Administrations of Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, Bashkortostan Republic, Karelia, Mariy-El Republic, Khabarovsk krai, Samara, Ivanovskaya and Tverskaya oblasts. The Group has elaborated the programs of regional public finance development, consulted on optimization of sub-federal fiscal policy, constructed models of debt management, developed borrowing strategies, prepared analytical materials for obtaining international credit ratings for some regions, etc. Together with the international rating agency Fitch Ratings EEG has developed a new scheme of regional and municipal debt management in the framework of reforming sub-federal public finance system. A standard legislative and methodological base was elaborated to manage debt, contingent liabilities and related risks at sub-federal level. The significant part of the results has been implemented in the regions participating in the project: in Chuvash Republic, Vologda and Cheliabinsk oblasts.
Besides EEG developed an evaluation scheme for regional budgets which was used by the Ministry of Finance for selection of regions eligible for the World Bank support program. On request of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade the Group elaborated the methodology to evaluate tax and financial potential of the RF subject, including the assessment of the quality of regional budget management.
EEG activities are not only connected with problems of Russian economy: for instance, in 2003 - 2004 on request of the Government of the Republic of Kasakhstan EEG experts elaborated macroeconomic model of Kasakhstan economy. In 2008 EEG experts carried out a research of competitiveness problems of Kasakhstan economy.
A row of projects has been carried out by EEG for business (in particular, macroeconomic forecasts have been elaborated for Gasprombank, SUEK, projections of fiscal indicators have been made for UAK).
EEG has a significant experience in participation in the projects of international organizations such as the World Bank, TACIS, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), British Department for International Development (DFID). In 1997-2004 EEG experts participated in the World Bank projects realized by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The detailed description of this work is given in the book “The Experience of Analytical Centre in the field of Economic Policy” (M.: TEIS, 2005).
Among EEG partners in projects realization there were KPMG, Fitch Ratings, Sofreco (France), Global Insight (USA), ECORYS (Netherlands) as well as Russian organizations. A full list of projects, carried out by the Economic Expert Group, can be found in "Projects" section.
EEG experts are graduated from the top Russian universities and economic schools (New Economic School, Higher School of Economics, Moscow State University), some have been trained at American or European universities. Many experts hold Ph.D. degree. EEG experts regularly participate in the World Bank and IMF courses. All of them are fluent in English, some speak also other foreign languages.
Professional merits of EEG team have high public appreciation: at present a number of the former EEG experts works in the state administration bodies (Arkady Dvorkovich is President’s Assistant on Economic problem; Alexander Ustinov is an Assistant of Expert Department of President’s Administration; Alexandra Smirnova is a Minister of Economy of Kaliningrad Region).
EEG maintains permanent working partnership with the representatives of IMF, the World Bank, OECD, European Commission, the United States Agency for International Development, the US Treasury, Embassies of the leading countries as well as with Russian business unions such as The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) and “Business Russia”. EEG experts closely collaborate with the analysts of the largest world investment banks: City Group, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, UBS, HSBC, J.P.Morgan, ING Barrings, Barclays Capital, etc.
EEG experts are highly involved in public discussions of economic problems. EEG is regularly addressed by leading Mass Media, including “Vedomosti”, “Kommersant”, “Izvestiya”, “Rossiiskaya gazeta”, Interfax, Posbizneskonsulting.
EEG experts are quoted and referred to by international news agencies and publishers: Reuters, Associated Press, Bloomberg, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal. EEG experts regularly give interviews at national TV channels, business TV channel RBK-TV, radio; they participate in press-conferences and round tables, publish their articles and interviews in professional journals.
EEG works in the close cooperation with a number of international and Russian research centers: Higher School of Economics, New Economic School, the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy (Gaidar Institute), World Institute for Development Economic Study UNU (WIDER UNU), Center for macroeconomic analysis and short-term forecasting, Institute of Modern Development, Center of Fiscal Policy, Netherlands Economic Institute (ECORYS), World Economic Forum, Institute of International Finance and others.
Economic Expert Group combines analytic work and research. In particular, EEG experts implemented several research projects supported by the Economics Education and Research Consortium (“Monetary Policy Rules and their practical application”, “Model of the Russian Crisis Development”, “Interest Rates and Domestic Borrowing Costs in the Medium-Term Perspective”, “Real Appreciation and Output: Russia 1993—1997”). In 2010 the Jury of the newly founded National Award on Applied Economic Studies for the outstanding research on Russian economy has distinguished series of works by Evsey Gurvich, the Head of Economic Expert Group, “Problems of Russia's Fiscal and Monetary Policy”.
The results of EEG experts’ researches have being published in the Russian and foreign journals and books.
A complete list of all the EEG experts’ publications is given in section "Ïóáëèêàöèè-Íàó÷íûå"
EEG experts regularly present results of their studies in Russian and international scientific conferences.
The full list of presentations can be found in the section "Âûñòóïëåíèÿ-Êîíôåðåíöèè"
Recent developments concerning Economic Expert Group can be found in the section "Íîâîñòè"
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