April 26, 2010

Monetary Symbols of the Armenian Dram, U.S. Dollar and Euro

On April 22, 2010 CRRC-Armenia together with Chair of Finances and Accounting, Faculty of Economics at YSU organized a lecture on Monetary Symbols of the Armenian Dram, U.S. Dollar and Euro conducted by Karen Komendaryan. One of the creators of Armenian sign Mr. Komendaryan presented the history and similarities of three monetary signs to thirty-five participants most of them students from YSU, representatives of “ICIRLD” and SEUA.

Mr. Komendaryan discussed the U.S. dollar sign and provided several interesting versions of how the dollar sign first appeared passing on the Spanish-Mexican peso, a Spanish coat of arms engraved on colonial silver, a Roman coin - the Sestertius, two pillars in the Temple of Solomon, and a sign used on the German Thaler. He also talked about the euro’s symbol focusing on its creation, the meaning of two lines of euro sign, comparing it with balance and equation.

At the end of presentation Mr. Komendaryan spoke about Armenian dram, particularly about “Dram” word and its broad wide usage outside of Armenia. He noted that the Armenian dram has its own symbol, adopted in 2001, which is a direct projection of the Armenian alphabet. He also spoke about his new project, the implementation of the national currency park.

April 19, 2010

Pitfalls on the Way of Enforcement of Seat Belt Rules in Armenia

Starting from August 2009 the obligation to wear the seat belts is strictly enforced by the traffic police. Lo and behold: a pattern of behavior that seemed to be deeply rooted in stereotypes (seatbelts are for rookies, cowards and women) has been changed almost overnight since then. But is this change sustainable, should the control by the traffic police be relaxed?

A change in a formal institution is always an exciting opportunity for a scholar to explore the influence of this change. The enforcement of the seat belt rule was cleverly explored by CRRC Fellow Tigran Matosyan to study it effect both on motives and behavior of Armenian drivers with a help of a range of research tools, such as surveys, focus groups and observations.

On April 16, 2010, Tigran presented the main findings of his research. He hypothesized two reasons why so few people wore seatbelts prior to the reform: 1) lack of knowledge of usefulness of the belts and a set of stereotypes preventing their use. His research provides some evidence to support the hypothesis and suggests that the enforced change of rules does not address any of these impediments, making the long-term sustainability of the new behavior questionable.

The research paper in English is available for download here (214 KB, PDF).

April 14, 2010

Round Table: Global Development Strategies

On April 9, 2010, CRRC-Armenia together with Yerevan State University hosted a round table on Global Development Strategies, moderated by Doctor of Economics, Member of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Yuri Makogon.

The round tables gathered together the representatives of think-tanks, NGOs, research community, including deans of Yerevan State University, Russian Armenian University, and Armenian State University of Economics. Global development strategies of separate countries, political and economic dynamics of the world economy and Ukraine in particular, have been discussed.

Ms. Karine Danielyan, the president of the association of “In the Name of Sustainable Human Development”, a participant of the UN General Assembly conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Development, shared her thoughts and knowledge on the issue of financial institutions and financial crisis, while Ms. Helena Overina, the Head of International Office at Rezekne Higher Education Institution contributed to the discussion by sharing the Latvian reality. A CD of Dr. Makogon's e-course on global development strategies was distributed to the round table participants.