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sent out irregularly, mainly on the basis of what's new

Edited etc. by Jan Owsiński


Issue no. 11, Winter 2007/8



Look for the news about MODEST 2008 – September 18-20, 2008 in Warsaw


Merry Christmas time and a prosperous and happy New Year 2008 to all of you





1.      About this issue: the highlights

2.      MODEST 2008 meeting in Warsaw

3.      Book published by Palgrave

4.      Collaboration with MACROMODELS

5.      Other activities and suggestions

1. About this issue: the highlights


Dear Friends, this issue of the MODEST Newsletter follows after an unduly long silence, caused, among other matters, by the true avalanche of current events, which made longer planning virtually impossible. Thus, you shall find in this issue of the Newsletter some kind of reports from two important events that have taken place during the last year – publication of a book with Palgrave, to which the recent Nobel Prize Laureate, Leonid Hurwicz, also contributed (Section 3 of the Newslatter), and collaboration in the international conference from the MACROMODELS series (Section 4). Some other events, in which MODEST members took active part, are also reported.


On the other hand, we are happy to announce a new MODEST Workshop, to be held, traditionally, in conjunction with the bi-annual conference of the Polish Operational and Systems Research Society. The conference will take place on September 18-20, 2008. This time it will be run in collaboration not only with the Systems Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences, but also with the National Defence Academy, within the campus of the latter, in Rembertów by Warsaw. For details on the MODEST Workshop – see the next section of the Newsletter.



2. MODEST 2008 meeting in Warsaw


The next meeting in our series, MODEST 2008 Workshop, will take place on September 19th-20th, 2008, in Rembertów by Warsaw, within the campus of the National Defence Academy. It will be affiliated, traditionally, with the bi-annual conference of the Polish Operational and Systems Research Society (BOS 2008), which will take place on 18th-20th September. It should be noted that the very preliminary program of the BOS 2008 conference includes several planned sessions that may be of interest to our members, like a session devoted to the 60th anniversary of the RAND Corporation, or the traditionally held sessions devoted to multicriteria decision analysis and support.


The meeting will take place in a very nice environment of the campus of the National Defence Academy, with most of the buildings of this central campus dating from the 1920s and 1930s, surrounded by lush greenery. A trip to downtown Warsaw with a taxi will take some 30 minutes and the equivalent of around 20 €, while the same with a municipal bus – some 50-60 minutes and two tickets, i.e. roughly 1.5 €.


The fee envisaged is quite low (190 € or 220 €, depending upon when you pay), and there is a possibility of a truly cheap accommodation in the campus hostel on place (which can be invoiced along with participation fee, if you so wish).


As always, we plan to publish the papers from the MODEST Workshop. The concrete form of this publication depends upon the number and quality of papers presented and prepared for the publication. Thus, a minimum is a part of the volume from the BOS 2008 conference (the proceedings from BOS conferences are usually published in two-three volumes, one of them in English), while the maximum is a separate volume, with its own title and affiliation to MODEST.


Along with this Newsletter issue you will obtain the Registration Form for this meeting. Both the Newsletter and the Registration Form can be seen and loaded from the MODEST website,




3. Book published by Palgrave


Early in 2007 a book was published by Palgrave Macmillan, which is very closely associated with the activity of MODEST, as you can easily see for yourself from the list of editors and contributors. An important aspect of this book is the contribution of the 2007 Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics, Leonid Hurwicz. You shall find below the complete information on the book and its contents:


Zbigniew Nahorski, Jan W. Owsiński and Tomasz Szapiro, eds., The Socio-Economic Transformation. Getting Closer to What? Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills – New York, 2007, ISBN 13: 978-0-230-00794-9; ISBN 10: 0-230-00794-5 (hardback).




List of Tables and Figures / Preface / Notes on the Contributors


Some Remarks on the Study of Transformation Processes, Zbigniew Nahorski, Jan W. Owsiński and Tomasz Szapiro


An Essay in Modelling of Institutional Change, Leonid Hurwicz

When Do Stakes in Restructuring Put Restructuring at Stake, Philipp J.H. Schröder

Privatization, Efficiency, and Economic Growth, Thorvaldur Gylfason

How the System Worked, or: The Herring Barrel Metaphor, Jan W. Owsiński

Transition and Stability of Redistribution Policies, Jean-Luc Schneider

Fiscal Policy and Transition: The Case of Poland, Scott L. Baier and Gerhard Glomm

Knowledge Management and the Strategies of Global Business Education: From Knowledge to Wisdom, Milan Zeleny

Modelling of the Labour Market in a Transition Economy, Mikhail Mikhalevich




4. Collaboration with MACROMODELS


In Spring 2007 it was suggested that MODEST collaborate in the consecutive conference of the well-known MACROMODELS series. It is in connection with this invitation, which was indeed accepted, that most of you have received in June 2007 an invitation to write a paper for and participate in the consecutive MACROMODELS conference, in fact – a multiconference, as this has become a “custom” recently. The conference took place in early December 2007 in Falenty by Warsaw, a picturesque area just a couple of kilometers from the Warsaw airport of Okęcie.


During the conference several papers, originating from this invitation, were presented, although there was no formal MODEST-run session. We hope this is just the beginning of a more stable longer-term collaboration with the MACROMODELS.



5. Other activities and suggestions


While involved in the activities mentioned before, the secretariat of the Working Group dealt also with a number of other issues, of potential interest to its members. These activities may, in particular, lead to some ideas concerning joint work within the Working Group, be it of a European or bilateral dimension. Thus, these activities, and the related ideas, concentrate around the following three themes (which, of course, do by no means limit the potential scope of concepts for future collaborative work):

  • modeling for the evaluation of the consequences of and design of changes in the Common Agricultural Policy; there are already a number of models that supposedly do the job, but what virtually all of them lack is the micro- or landscape, or community dimension; on the other hand there is also a gap on the real macro scale meaning aggregate effects for the EU and the world;

  • modeling the role of ICT in development (place and role in the feedback loop), especially in terms of development dynamics from various starting points, and the possibility of short-cuts; here, as well, the local and regional dimension is of importance;

  • modeling the consequences of policies related to the “green paths”, and the possibility of making (or leaving open and effectively available) the truly “optimum” choices, without bearing too much of economic and social costs that would impair short- and medium-term competitiveness; this involves an intricate interplay of time horizons, investment and risk, mainly associated with energy.


Should you be interested in collaboration on these themes, or in coining other ones of potential interest to members of MODEST, please, contact us about it.



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