Guns & Roses Presentation
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MSE Program Chair Presents on the Economics of the Georgian Revolution and the Russian War

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YEREVAN, Armenia — On April 7, 2022, the Economics Department of the Prague School of Economics hosted the AUA Manoogian Simone College of Business and Economics (CBE) Master of Science in Economics (MSE) Program Chair Dr. Gurgen Aslanyan to deliver an online presentation titled “Guns & Roses” on the economics of the Georgian Revolution and the Russian War. This was part of a research seminar series organized by Dr. Klára Kalíšková.

Gurgen Aslanyan

Dr. Aslanyan presented the highlights of his ongoing research with Dr. Uroš Prokić, assistant professor at the AUA College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS). Much of the professional literature attributes the steep economic growth during the second half of the aughts and early tens to the Rose Revolution and tremendous reforms in public administration that propelled Georgia up to the top ten in the ease-of-doing-business ranking. Furthermore, the 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia was widely viewed as unfavorable, as are most events that involve guns. However, by way of building a relevant counterfactual (using the synthetic control method), the research shows that most of the economic gains that were attributed to the Rose Revolution came from the war. The interpretation is multifold: a form of a New Marshall Plan that comprises tremendous postbellum financial support and opening of new export markets by the West, and the CNN moment for a business-reform champion during the Great Recession, above all else.

Speaking of the presentation, Dr. Aslanyan remarked, “The audience was rather interested and engaged, given the high relevance and similarities to the ongoing war, as well as the parallels that can be drawn between the 2022 war in Ukraine and the 2008 war in Georgia.”   

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.