Sunday, December 17, 2023

Human Capital Losses, All Exacerbated by Ukrainian War, Threaten Russia's Future, Lipsits Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 13 – The Kremlin likes to talk about people as “the new oil,” the source of economic growth in the future; but according to HSE economist Igor Lipsits, there are currently eight threats to that potential source of growth that are likely to undercut hopes for growth and instead lead to the country’s further degradation.

            All eight of them have been exacerbated by Putin’s war in Ukraine, yet another way in which that conflict is imposing ever higher costs on Russia and Russians even if the authoritarian regime can ignore that trend at least for a time, a pattern that increases the chance of an explosion later (

            The eight threats include:

·       A continuing decline in the size of younger age cohorts.

·       A decline among this age group because of war losses.

·       A decline among the young because of flight abroad to avoid military service.

·       Growing repression against scientists and other scholars.

·       Ever more restricted access to foreign research equipment and materials.

·       A “reverse industrialization” involving a return to simpler technologies.

·       Cuts in spending on scientific research and education spending to pay for the costs of the war.

·       Government refusal to defer advanced students from the draft.

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