December 26, 2007

Basics of Statistical and Econometric Analysis using SPSS

Ten participants attended seven day methodological training on Basics of Statistical and Econometric Analysis using SPSS conducted by Ruben Gevorgyan, Ph.D.

The training, which had e-learning and face-to-face components, aimed at providing social scientists with quantitative analysis skills. Participants applied online for the course through Moodle online platform. Short listed applicants later passed some basic tests online. The goal of this phase was to test participants’ statistical and econometric analysis skills, and learn their expectations on the course, which helped in finalizing the content of the 2nd, face-to-face part of the training course.

The face-to-face training took place from December 10-21, 2007. The training content included data collection, modeling and data analysis methods and focused on statistical and econometric analyzes using SPSS and Excel software packages skipping complicated mathematical approaches. It will included practical part during which the participants analyzed data collected in Armenia.

During the final phase, starting from December 24, 2007 the course moderator provides online assistance by answering to the participants’ questions that they may have during their practice of statistical and econometric analyses.

Dr. Gevorgyan’s scientific publications mostly refer to econometric modeling of financial markets in transition countries. He teaches courses on econometrics, special courses on financial mathematics, econometric analysis methods of financial markets, and behavioral finance at YSU Department of Economics.

December 19, 2007

Policy Conference on Labor Market Trends and Challenges in Armenia Brings Together About 150 Stakeholders

On December 18, 2007 the RA Minister of Labor and Social Issues Aghvan Vardanyan and USAID/Armenia Social Reform Office Director Ann Hirschey, as well as CRRC-Armenia Director Heghine Manasyan, opened the policy conference on “Labor Market Trends and Challenges,” that aimed to promote a better understanding of the labor market trends and to elaborate common vision of policy measures towards improvement of labor market regulation in Armenia.

Held at the Congress hotel, the conference summoned about 150 participants – high level representatives and experts from the Armenian government, NGOs and businesses to address issues such as challenges and emerging trends in the labor market including the widening skills gaps between labor supply and demands sides, the increased internal and external movements of workforce, European integration processes and employment strategy guidelines and indicators.

As noted by Mr. Vardanyan, “The trends in the labor market have an impact on the growth and development of Armenia. I hope this conference will contribute to increased awareness and agreement among key stakeholders on key issues faced in this field.” Besides the RA MLSI, among other organizers of the conference are the USAID Armenia Social Protection Systems Strengthening (SPPS) Project, the Caucasus Research Resource Centers-Armenia (CRRC-Armenia, EPF), and the State Employment Service Agency (SESA).

“Labor market data is the basis for strategies and plans that lead to adaptive and responsive policies. USAID applauds this serious effort to bring labor market data from the academic shelf to the practical planning desk,” said Ms. Hirschey. Conference participants, among which the RA Ministry of Trade and Economic Development, Ministry of Education and Science, AEPLAC and the World Bank, discussed identified trends and their implications for labor market policies in Armenia. Of particular attention were that youth have more difficulties finding work than adults, the gap between worker skills and employer needs is growing in Armenia, while low birth rate and migration create challenges for employers.

“The most strategic priority of Armenia’s further development is knowledge-based economy that will create highly paid jobs and will contribute to competitiveness of local businesses in the global economy,” stated the RA Minister of Trade and Economic Development Nerses Yeritsyan. “It is obvious that wage growth and well-being should be based on labor productivity growth; and for sustainable development we need better education especially for prospective sectors, such as IT and tourism,” he added.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Samvel Avetisyan, expressed satisfaction with the attention paid to rural employment throughout the conference. However, according to him, employment in agriculture is exaggerated. He suggested revisiting labor legislation so as not to consider land owners and their family adult members employed.

December 10, 2007

Four CRRC-Armenia 2006 Fellowships are Ready for Close-Out

Four 2006 Fellows have submitted their research products and financial reports, according to the agreement, enabling CRRC-Armenia to close out the grants. Find the names of the Fellows and their reseach topics below.

Armine Mkhitaryan, "Gender Indicators of Armenian Local Government Institutions"

Armen Asatryan, "Migration in the South Caucasus Republics"

Gyulnara Hovhannisyan, "Gender Issues of the Pension System of the Republic of Armenia"
Anahit Gulyan, "The Opportunities and Prospects for the Development of State Mandatory Medical Insurance"

You are welcome to download the final papers from CRRC-Armenia website.