Aymen Aulaiwi


Economic and Social History (2022 cohort)

My research seeks to address the absence of systematic research on informal institutions and their impact on macroeconomic development, using Post-Soviet Russia as a foundational case-study. Informal institutions are socially shared rules, often unwritten and sustained by unofficial mechanisms. Much of the current literature on informality focuses on its impact on political governance and microeconomic indicators on the firm level. Whereas I want to explore how informal institutions could impact a given country at the macroeconomic level. I will achieve my research goal by using a combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis, using ethnographic data to identify and measure informal institutions. The use of post-Soviet Russia as a foundational case-study is due to the country’s unprecedented transition from a command to a market economy during the 1990s, with the country’s reduced state capacity allowing for a confluence of informal institutions

I formally studied History, Politics and Economics at the UCL School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies. I achieved a First-Class honour and made it onto the Dean’s List. My undergraduate dissertation was the first step in my research, synthesising current institutional analysis with the concept of social capital to construct a multi-level causal framework, whereby we can assess the economic significance of informal institutions. In my personal time I enjoy taking part in drama productions and comedy writing, having created my own sketch comedy radio show.