Municipal research is one of the most important lines of Lab's investigations.
Current themes of activity are:
- municipal economics,
- municipal finance,
- municipal government.
Some of successfully consummated projects are given below:
- Elaboration of the analytical project "Analysis of long-term tendencies of socio-economic development of the city of Omsk" (1998).
- Translation into Russian of the book by S. Groves, M. Valente "Evaluating Financial Condition: A Handbook for Local Government". See also the material "The experience of evaluating financial condition of local governments in Russia" by Y. Kirina.
- Participation in the TASIS project "Perfection of interaction between local, regional and federal government" (1999-2000).
- Technical assistance to the local government of Novodvinsk (Arkhangelsk region, 1999-2000).
- Research grant of the Moscow Public Science Foundation "The public utilities tariffs reform and the efficiency of public utility companies of Obninsk, Balabanovo and Zhukov (Kaluga region)" (2000-2001).
- Elaboration of the scheme of external control for "Obninskgorgaz" (natural gas supply company in Obninsk, 2001).
- Participation in the project "Technical assistance to the autonomous okrug of Taimyr in reforming of interbudget connections". The project was conducted as a part of UK Department for International Development program of technical assistance to Russian Federation in regional finance reform (2004). See the material “Budget revenues of municipalities of Taimyr autonomous okrug and methods of their equalization”.
Since summer 2003 Laboratory (P. Orekhovsky), Institute for socio-economic analysis of private enterprise development (V. Shironin), Altai state university (V. Mishenko) together with Altai regional government conduct a research project "Development of small and medium-scale business as a forward-looking basis of municipal and regional budgets".
There are three notable blocks of problems in the project:
- Interbudget connections and forecasting of consequences of the new local self government law enforcement in Altai regions.
- Diagnostic of business condition and investment climate analysis in Altai municipalities.
- Determination of possible orientations of territorial policy on basis of script point of view.
After pilot researches (information gathering and interviews in eight municipalities) some non-trivial results have been achieved:
- There is no dependence between sizes of budget expenses and provision of the people with objects of social and engineer infrastructure in Altai region.
- In spite of numerous official strategic plans of regional and municipal development, in fact there is no industrial, agricultural, social, financial long-term policy in the region.
- There is no communication between authoritative, industrial, financial elites. Because of that many economically feasible decisions are disregarded. Sectoral elites appeal to external resources while local resources remain unclaimed. On the whole credibility gap causes an increase of transactional costs.
- External resources are usually drawn by the use of budget subsidies. Territorial marketing of municipalities is not accomplished, there is no real picture of their good and weak points. All that make it difficult to draw investments. With the exception of mountainous Altai, in Russia and abroad the Altai region has an image of depressive and unpromising territory.
from the report on the first part of the project.
In June 2004 in Academy of national economy arranged the seminar "Development of small and medium-scale business: methods of description, measuring, diagnostics". On the seminar methods of estimation and classification of current state of business in municipalities and regions were discussed. Another subject of discussion was problems of business as an object of state policy from the point of view of economic reforms in Russia.
Main reports of the seminar:
1. Krasnova O. The experience of statistic observation and indicative management of economy of Tatarstan republic.
2. P. Orekhovsky. Enterprise development according to local economy.
3. V. Shironin. Small and medium enterprise as an object of public dialogue and state policy.