Peter F. ORAZEM, PhD

University Professor of Economics at Iowa State University, USA 

Short biography:

Peter Orazem is currently University Professor of Economics at Iowa State University where he has been since 1982. He just completed 8 years as a member of the Ames City Council and the Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau and a past board member of the Ames Economic Development Commission.  He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Yale University in 1983 and a B.A. with distinction in economics from the University of Kansas in 1977.

His research deals with labor markets in the United States and in developing countries.  He is coauthor of chapters in the Handbook of Development Economics and the Handbook of Agricultural Economics. He served as a member of the core team for the World Bank’s 2007 World Development Report and wrote papers for the 2008, 2012 and post2015 editions of the Copenhagen Consensus. He is coeditor of a book, Child Labor and Education in Latin America published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2009. 

Personal web page:

Keynote Speech: Winners and Losers After 25 Years of Transition

Orazem and Vodopivec (1995) published one of the first analyses of wages and employment during the early transition to market.  Using Slovenian administrative data, they found that while employment and real wages fell dramatically immediately after the transition, the losses were borne disproportionately by the least skilled. Across all sectors of the economy, relative wages and employment rose for the most-educated and most skilled workers. Women gained in comparison with men, primarily because men were employed in mining and heavy industry, sectors that lost markets in transition.  Wage inequality rose.  The findings for Slovenia were replicated across most of the economies that abandoned central planning in that era.

Now that a generation has passed since the transition, this talk will revisit the winners and losers from the Slovenian transition from the perspective of 25 years.  Have returns to experience and education continued to favor the most skilled, have women continued to benefit more than men, and has inequality continued to grow or has it moderated?  How did wage growth over a career under the market-oriented system compare to wage growth of workers who had their early work-experiences under the old system?  Finally, how broadly or narrowly have the gains or losses from the market reforms been distributed through the workforce?

Winners and Losers - pdf presentation
Winners and Losers - ppt
Orazem - Summary

Dr. Marjan Svetličič

Professor Emeritus at University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences

Short biography:

Marjan Svetličič is professor emeritus at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana (was also its Dean) has been teaching; International Economics, International Business, Negotiations, including Cross Cultural and International management.

He has authored more than 400 articles and books. He has done consultancy work for international organizations like UNCTAD, World bank-IFC, UNIDO, UNESCO, OECD Development Centre, IFC, UNDP, UN University Institute WIDER, OSCE and EU Commission.


Keynote Speech: Managing Global Diversities - Challenges Ahead

The main challenge in the increasingly inter-dependent world is to recognize that the world has fundamentally changed, that tectonic changes are under way while we don’t really know where we are going. Almost the only certainty is that we are living in a VUCA world, world of increasing vulnerability, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Dealing with an unknown is becoming a new normal. In more and more digitalized economy we are facing tremendous security threats. This is the first set global diversity issues.

The main challenge in the increasingly inter-dependent world is to recognize that the processes of globalization are not universally and automatically beneficial to all the participants. Globalization only emphasize VUCA trends spreading them instantly all around the globe. One uncertainty is whether globalization will evolve further or backlash to it because of unequal distribution of its benefits and costs, will bring about deglobalization. Economic nationalism and protectionism, leading to trade wars and destroying decades of efforts in building global rule based system is under threat. The rise of nationalism and populism in many different parts of the world requires new answers how to adequately compensate the excluded part of population in developed and developing countries. The retreat to protectionism, populism and nationalism cannot offer solutions to the real problems of unbalanced, unequal and unsustainable global developments.

How to face such tectonic changes, such global diversities is the main challenge for politicians, managers and academics. Existing development strategies based on consumerism model, causing shocking environmental problems, have not produced good results in the past. After crises return to “more of the same” is not the solution. Rising inequalities became a barrier to growth. Productivity is falling. More flexible and long term strategies are needed, less jumping from one “fire to another” more policy space for locally adjusted strategies, more policy space for national governments.

Emerging new world (Pax Sinica or more multilaterally based system) as a result of such tectonic changes make the world more cross culturally diverse. The major new customers are in the future going to come from Asia middle class. Increasing importance of cultural diversity demands enhancing cross cultural competencies, together with other soft skills (communications, negotiations…) so much lacking now. It demands new kind of managers and skills, and not least, more political economy approach.


MIC 2018