The academic conference “Corruption, Tax Evasion and Institutions”

The conference took place on May 11 – 13, 2017 at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (SSE Riga). Its aim was to promote and diffuse high quality economic research on the mechanisms driving corruption and tax evasion, their relationships with institutions and their consequences on economic outcomes. In addition to parallel sessions and keynote speeches, the conference hosted a panel where economic scholars exchanged their understanding of corruption and tax evasion with policy makers and leading journalists who were at the core of the Panama Papers investigations. The conference was organized by the Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies (BICEPS), the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (SSE Riga), the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics (SITE) and Centre for Media Studies at SSE Riga.


KONSTANTIN SONIN (Professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy)

Konstantin Sonin is John Dewey Distinguished Service Professor at the Harris School of Public Policy Studies. His research interests include political economics, development, and economic theory. His papers have been published in leading academic journals in economics such as the American Economic Review, Econometrica, the Journal of Political Economy, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Review of Economic Studies and the Journal of the European Economic Association.

In addition to his academic work, Sonin writes a blog on Russian political and economic issues and a fortnightly column for the Russian-language newspaper Vedomosti, and contributed to all major Russian media. In 2012, he was an economic advisor to the presidential campaign of Mikhail Prokhorov.

Sonin earned an MSc and PhD in mathematics from Moscow State University and an MA in economics at Moscow’s New Economic School, was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, served on the faculty of the New Economic School (NES) and Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Moscow, and was also a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

ERIK BERGLÖF (Director of the LSE Institute of Global Affairs (IGA))

Professor Erik Berglof became the inaugural Director of the Institute of Global Affairs (IGA) on 1 February 2015. He joined the School as a Professor in Practice in the Department of Economics.

Previously he was the Chief Economist and Special Adviser to the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Prior to joining the EBRD in 2006, Erik Berglof held the position of Director of the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics (SITE) and Professor at the Stockholm School of Economics and a Research Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

He has also been Assistant Professor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and held visiting positions at Harvard, Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Currently, Berglof is Treasurer of the International Economic Association, Member of the Governing Board of the Institute for New Economic Thinking in New York, Board Member and Research Fellow of the European Corporate Governance Institute in Brussels, and Executive Board Member of the New Economic School in Moscow.

He is a Research Fellow and former Programme Director at the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London. He was the founder and President of the Centre for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR), now part of the New Economic School in Moscow.

In 2013 he was awarded the Leontief Medal for his contributions to economic reforms.

PAUL RADU (Executive director of OCCRP)

Paul Radu is the executive director of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting  Project and a co-creator of the Investigative Dashboard concept and of RISE Project, a new platform for investigative reporters and hackers in Romania.

He has held a number of fellowships, including the Alfred Friendly Press Fellowship in 2001, the Milena Jesenska Press Fellowship in 2002, the Rosalyn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism in 2007, the 2008 Knight International Journalism fellowship with the International Center for Journalists as well as a 2009-2010 Stanford Knight Journalism Fellowship.

He is the recipient of numerous awards including in 2004, the Knight International Journalism Award and the Investigative Reporters and Editors Award, in 2007, the Global Shining Light Award, the Tom Renner Investigative Reporters and Editors Award and in 2011 the Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting.

PETRA BLUM (Freelance journalist with German public broadcaster Westdeutscher Rundfunk)

Petra Blum is an investigative journalist and book author. She has worked for a number of quality papers in Germany such as Handelsblatt, Manager Magazin and Süddeutsche Zeitung. Since 2009, she has been a freelancer with WDR, a German public broadcaster based in Cologne. On behalf of WDR, she takes part in global investigative research projects. In 2014/15, she studied secret bank accounts in the #Swissleaks-files (HSBC Geneva) and focused her research on German tax evaders. Shortly afterwards, she became part of an international team of dedicated and passionate journalists who unearthed the hidden workings of money laundering and fraud in the # Panamapapers, particularly with regard to President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

Petra’s books focus on business topics. Her 2014 award-winning book about corporate culture provided an in-depth and below-the-surface look into the culture and conduct of multinational companies.

CHARLES CHINEDU OKEAHALAM (Managing Director at AGH Capital)

Dr Charles Okeahalam has served as a member of council of the United Nations Institute for Development Economics and Policy. He has played various roles as a policy maker on financial sector reforms, capital markets development and infrastructure finance and has served as a non-executive director of a number of major companies. He was the liberty Life professor of financial economics and banking at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, before co-founding in 2002 AGH Capital Group – a private equity and investment holding company based in Johannesburg. He holds a PhD in econometrics from the University of London and a higher doctorate DSc of the University of Exeter. He is currently a trustee of the Africa Union Foundation.

GRACE PEREZ-NAVARRO (Deputy Director of the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration)

Grace Perez-Navarro is the Deputy Director of the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration. As such, she plays a key role in the work on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), improving international tax cooperation, promoting better tax policies and engaging developing countries in OECD tax work. Since joining the OECD in 1997, she has held several key positions, including having led the OECD’s work on bank secrecy, tax and e-commerce, harmful tax practices, money laundering and tax crimes, the tax aspects of countering bribery of foreign officials, and strengthening all forms of administrative cooperation between tax authorities.

Prior to joining the OECD, Ms. Perez-Navarro was a Special Counsel at the IRS Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (International) where she was responsible for coordinating guidance provided to field offices on international tax issues, overseeing litigation of international tax issues, negotiating TIEAs, overseeing the drafting of regulations, rulings and other policy advice and participating in treaty negotiations. In 1993, she was seconded by the IRS to the OECD to launch the revision of the OECD’s Transfer Pricing Guidelines.


Torbjörn Becker (SITE, Sweden)
Konstantīns Beņkovskis (SSE Riga/Bank of Latvia, Latvia)
Vincenzo Galasso (Bocconi University, Italy)
Nicolas Gavoille (SSE Riga, Latvia)
Mihails Hazans (University of Latvia, Latvia)
Igor Livshits (University of Western Ontario, Canada)
Anders Paalzow (SSE Riga/BICEPS, Latvia)
Alari Paulus (University of Essex, UK)
Jesper Roine (SITE, Sweden)
Marc Sangnier (Aix-Marseille University, France)
Arnis Sauka (SSE Riga, Latvia)
Anna Zasova (BICEPS, Latvia)


You can contact Nicolas Gavoille (nicolas.gavoille[at] and Anna Zasova (anna[at] for any questions about the conference.

Event Materials

You can download the call for papers here.

Program of the conference is now available.

Videos of the conference are available here.