David Grigorian

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David A. Grigorian

Executive Board member of Armenian International Policy Research Group

Dgrigorian @ imf.org

EDUCATION:

  • Ph.D., Economics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
  • M.A., Economics, Central European University, Prague, Czech Republic
  • M.S., Industrial Engineering, American University of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia
  • B.S. and M.S., in Systems Engineering, Polytechnic Institute of Yerevan, Armenia

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:

International Monetary Fund - Economist 01/01 - present
Middle Eastern Department
International Capital Markets Department
European II Department

The World Bank Group – Consultant 12/97 - 12/00
Private and Financial Sector Development Unit,
Europe and Central Asia Region

The University of Maryland - Lecturer for Principles of Macroeconomics 06/97 - 08/97
Department of Economics

Center for Institutional Reforms and Informal Sector – Assistant to the Director of Research
University of Maryland, College park 02/96 - 07/96

Central Bank of the Republic of Armenia – Analyst 03/94 – 04/94
Foreign Exchange and International Relations Department
Yerevan, Armenia

RESEARCH PAPERS AND PUBLICATIONS:

  • “On the First-Time Sovereign Bond Issues”, International Capital Markets Department, International

Monetary Fund, June 2003.

  • “Banking Sector in Armenia: What Would it Take to Turn a Basket Case into a Beauty Case?”, Armenian

International Policy Research Group working Paper No. 03/07, January 2003.

  • ”Determinants of Commercial Bank Performance in Transition: An Application of Data Envelopment

Analysis,” jointly with Vlad Manole. International Monetary Fund working paper No. WP/02/146, August 2002., and World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 2850, June 2002.

  • ”(Is There) Restructuring of Large Industrial Enterprises in Armenia: A Comparative Analysis.” in Growth

Challenges and Government Policies in Armenia, Lev Freinkman (ed.), the World Bank, 2001.

  • ”Industrial Growth and Quality of Institutions: What Do (Transition) Economies Have to Gain from the Rule of

Law?”, jointly with Albert Martinez. Journal for Institutional Innovation, Development and Transition, Vo. 5, 2001, and World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 2475, November 2000.

  • ”Ownership and Performance of Lithuanian Enterprises.” World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No.

2343, May 2000.

  • “Economic Reforms in Egypt: Emerging Patterns and Their Possible Implications”, jointly with Rania Al-

Mashat. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 1977, September 1998.

POLICY PAPERS:

  • “The Role of and Potential for Public-Private Cooperation in Armenia”, jointly with Richard Beilock, paper

presented at international conference “Armenia 2020” in Athens, Greece, May 2003.

  • “An Alternative Approach for Small and Medium Size Business Development Assistance to Transition and

Developing Countries”, jointly with Richard Beilock, April 2003.

  • “Armenia and Its Diaspora: Is there a Scope for a Stronger Economic Link?”, jointly with Alec Gevorkyan,

Armenian International Policy Research Group working Paper No. 03/10, January 2003.


New York Armenian Students' Association
333 Atlantic Avenue
Warwick, RI 02888
(401) 461-6114
newyork_asa@yahoo.com

PRESS RELEASE

May 18, 2005

Contact: New York ASA: newyork_asa@yahoo.com

NY ASA Co-Hosts Lecture Featuring Dr. David A. Grigorian at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs

by Anahid Ugurlayan and Alec Gevorkyan

On May 4, 2005, the New York Armenian Students' Association, along with the Columbia University Armenian Club, Armenian Network and Armenian National Committee of New York, presented a lecture entitled "Armenia's Economic Paradigm: Challenges and Prospects for the Future" by Dr. David A. Grigorian, an economist at the International Monetary Fund and co-chair of the Armenian International Policy Research Group (AIPRG), a Washington-based network specializing in Armenia-related public policy issues. Dr. Grigorian was introduced by Alec Gevorkyan, chair of the ASA Central Executive Committee. Mr. Gevorkyan also provided background information on, and explained the work of, the AIPRG.

Dr. Grigorian commenced with an overview of Armenia's economic performance in the early 1990s, following the independence, namely the collapse of its production and tax base, loss of export and import links, as well as hyperinflation, compounded by Armenia's war with Azerbaijan and the ongoing Azerbaijani and Turkish blockade. He contrasted this picture with Armenia's markedly improved macroeconomic situation in the late 1990s, when it experienced solid economic growth, single-digit inflation, and declining budgetary and current account deficits. Dr. Grigorian noted that, in relative terms, Armenia's economy is more diversified than other CIS countries, particularly Azerbaijan whose economy is heavily based on oil exports.

Following the discussion on Armenia's recent macroeconomic performance, Dr. Grigorian went on to discuss the key policy challenges facing Armenia, in particular those pertaining to (1) sources of growth, (2) sustainability of growth, and (3) distribution of income. Talking about the first item, the speaker identified two main sources of current economic growth in Armenia in recent years, namely foreign-financed public construction projects and exports of jewelry (in particular, the diamonds) industry. The weak performance of exports, including those of diamonds, however, that the overall growth is not export-driven, which calls for effort to enhance productivity to strengthen competitiveness. Addressing the issue of sustainability of growth, Dr. Grigorian pointed out the following concerns: (a) highly concentrated structure of the economy, leading to large deadweight losses and monopoly profits; (b) existence of high barriers of entry for potential businesses; (c) weak government revenue record, and, as a result, low level of spending on public investment and social projects, and (d) inability of the financial sector to actively mobilize the savings of the population. Related to the third policy challenge - income distribution - the speaker mentioned the issues of persistent steady rural poverty in Armenia (no improvements since 1996), despite some reduction in poverty in Yerevan and other urban locations; weak trickle-down effect (i.e., low elasticity of Armenia's poverty to macroeconomic growth); and, again in this context, the inability/unwillingness of the government to raise sufficient amount of revenues to finance social programs. It was mentioned that Armenia, whose tax to GDP ratio was approximately 14 percent in 2004, lagged behind its CIS neighbors, which, on average, collect over 25 percent of their respective GDPs, compared to over 30 percent of GDP in tax revenues in Baltic countries.

Looking forward, Dr. Grigorian recommended that Armenia should explore a number of channels which could help mitigate the potential impact of the above problems on the future growth and reduce the social disparities. These were identified as follows: (a) human and financial capital of the (old and new) Diaspora; (b) improvements in the business environment by strengthening the political will to implement reforms; (c) closer regional integration (especially with Georgia); and (d) more in-depth and fruitful public policy discussions.

An engaging question and answer session followed Dr. Grigorian's presentation, touching on many of the issues raised earlier, particularly the costs of delayed reforms, new areas of economic growth and the potential for a more active Diaspora involvement. A wine and cheese reception followed.


The Armenian Students' Association is a nationwide membership organization that promotes Armenian culture and education by providing Armenian communities with social, academic, and educational events. All funds raised by the regional branches contribute to the ASA's scholarship fund for Armenian students studying in the United States.

The Armenian Students' Association would like to thank St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral of New York, the Armenian General Benevolent Union, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Armen Garo Gomideh, the Columbia University Armenian Club, Armenian Network and Armenian National Committee of New York and the New York University Armenian Hokee Club for their unconditional support in planning this event.

For more information about the NY ASA, please visit http://www.asainc.org For more information about the Armenian International Policy Research Group, please visit www.armpolicyresearch.org