nep-cis New Economics Papers
on Confederation of Independent States
Issue of 2005‒10‒22
eleven papers chosen by
Anna Y. Borodina
Perm State University

  1. Regional Trade Integration and WTO Accession: Which is the Right Sequencing? An Application to the CIS By Patrizia Tumbarello
  2. Russia and the WTO: The "Gravity" of Outsider Status By Yaroslav Lissovolik; Bogdan Lissovolik
  3. Is Russia Still Driving Regional Economic Growth? By Etibar Jafarov; Marco Pani; Clinton R. Shiells
  4. Russia's Regions: Income Volatility, Labor Mobility and Fiscal Policy By Antonio Spilimbergo; Goohoon Kwon
  5. The Russian Flat Tax Reform By Anna Ivanova; Alexander Klemm; Michael Keen
  6. Money Demand and Inflation in Dollarized Economies: The Case of Russia By Nienke Oomes; Franziska Ohnsorge
  7. A Common Currency for Belarus and Russia? By Etibar Jafarov; Anne Marie Gulde; Vassili Prokopenko
  8. Disability Risk and Miraculous Recoveries in Russia By Becker, Charles M.; Merkuryeva, Irina S.
  9. The Productivity Effects of Privatization: Longitudinal Estimates from Hungary, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine By J. David Brown; John S. Earle; Almos Telegdy
  10. Too Much of a Good Thing? Credit Booms in Transition Economies: The Cases of Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine By Nikolay Gueorguiev; Christoph Duenwald; Andrea Schaechter
  11. The Incidence and Cost of Job Loss in the Ukrainian Labor Market By Hartmut Lehmann; Norberto Pignatti; Jonathan Wadsworth

  1. By: Patrizia Tumbarello
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the appropriate sequencing between accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the implementation of the Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC) customs union and whether the latter facilitates or delays WTO accession for some member countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). If EAEC members pursue a coordinated approach toward WTO accession, this may cause delays that benefit some countries at the expense of others. The paper simulates the welfare effects resulting from the two sequencing alternatives (customs union and WTO or the reverse). The results show that, from a consumer surplus standpoint, it would be preferable to join the WTO ahead of the EAEC customs union. This paper does not attempt to assess the welfare implications of joining the EAEC as a political and economic entity, but only the welfare implications resulting from the implementation of the EAEC customs union.
    Keywords: Trade Relations , Armenia , Azerbaijan , Georgia , Kyrgyz Republic , Moldova , Tajikistan , Uzbekistan , World Trade Organization , Trade liberalization ,
    Date: 2005–05–23
  2. By: Yaroslav Lissovolik; Bogdan Lissovolik
    Abstract: With China's accession to the WTO in 2001, Russia is by far that organization's most prominent nonmember. This paper applies the gravity model to gauge whether this "outsider" status has been affecting Russia's export structure. On the basis of cross-section and panel regressions for 1995-2002, we find that Russian exports to WTO members have fallen short of the model's predictions. The paper discusses possible explanations of this result, including Russia's exclusion from various WTO procedures, although own-export restrictions could have a similar effect. The model points to Russia's further trade reorientation toward WTO members after a putative accession. Our results also prompt some ideas that may resolve the recent empirical controversy over the WTO's overall role in promoting trade.
    Keywords: World Trade Organization , Russian Federation , Trade , Economic models ,
    Date: 2004–09–07
  3. By: Etibar Jafarov; Marco Pani; Clinton R. Shiells
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether the linkages between economic growth in Russia and growth in other countries in the region have weakened over time, particularly following the 1998 Russian crisis. It specifies an econometric model that includes standard growth determinants as well as Russian economic growth, and which allows for the effects of Russian growth to vary over time. The paper finds that Russian growth was indeed a significant determinant of regional economic growth prior to the Russian crisis, but that this link weakened significantly thereafter.
    Date: 2005–10–12
  4. By: Antonio Spilimbergo; Goohoon Kwon
    Abstract: Russia's regions are heavily exposed to regional income shocks because of an uneven distribution of natural resources and a Soviet legacy of heavily skewed regional specialization. Also, Russia has a limited mobility of labor and lacks fiscal instruments to deal with regional shocks. We assess how these features influence the magnitude and persistence of regional income shocks, through a panel vector autoregression, drawing on extensive and unique regional data covering last decade. We find that labor mobility associated with regional shocks is far lower than in the United States yet higher than in the EU-15, and that regional expenditures tend to expand in booms and contract in recessions. We discuss institutional factors behind these outcomes and policy implications.
    Keywords: Fiscal policy , Russian Federation , Labor mobility ,
    Date: 2005–09–30
  5. By: Anna Ivanova; Alexander Klemm; Michael Keen
    Abstract: Russia dramatically reduced its higher rates of personal income tax (PIT) in 2001 establishing a single marginal rate at the low level of 13 percent. In the following year, real revenue from the PIT actually increased by about 26 percent. This 'flat tax' experience has attracted much attention (and emulation) among policymakers, making it perhaps the most important tax reform of recent years. But it has been little studied. This paper asks whether the strong revenue performance of the PIT was itself a consequence of this reform, using both macro evidence and, in particular, micro-level data on the experiences of individuals and households affected by the reform to varying degrees. It concludes that there is no evidence of a strong supply side effect of the reform. Compliance, however, did improve quite substantially-by about one third according to our estimates-though it remains unclear whether this was due to the parametric reforms or to accompanying changes in enforcement.
    Keywords: Tax reforms , Russian Federation , Income taxes , Tax evasion ,
    Date: 2005–02–03
  6. By: Nienke Oomes; Franziska Ohnsorge
    Abstract: Money demand in dollarized economies often appears to be highly unstable, making it difficult to forecast and control inflation. In this paper, we show that a stable money demand function for Russia can be found for "effective broad money," which includes an estimate of foreign cash holdings. Moreover, we find that an excess supply of effective broad money is inflationary, while other excess money measures are not, and that effective broad money growth has the strongest and most persistent effect on short-run inflation.
    Keywords: Demand for money , Russian Federation , Inflation , Dollarization , Currency substitution ,
    Date: 2005–08–02
  7. By: Etibar Jafarov; Anne Marie Gulde; Vassili Prokopenko
    Abstract: This paper discusses costs, benefits, and implementation challenges of a possible currency union between Belarus and Russia. It shows that Belarus and Russia are economically closely linked but nevertheless do not fulfill all "optimal currency area" criteria, especially the macroeconomic symmetry condition. Furthermore, we argue that the different speeds of economic liberalization over the past decade have resulted in different economic structures, with Belarus still dependent on monetary financing of budgets and industries. However, a final cost-benefit analysis also needs to consider that currency unification may bring substantial benefits from reduced transaction costs, an improved macroeconomic environment in Belarus, and by acting as a catalyst to advance structural reforms in Belarus.
    Keywords: Monetary unions , Belarus , Russian Federation , Currencies ,
    Date: 2004–12–22
  8. By: Becker, Charles M.; Merkuryeva, Irina S.
    Abstract: This paper examines determinants of being disabled in Russia, along with the probability of moving from one disability status to another, using data from 1994 through 2002 from the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey. Disability risk rises with age, declines with income and self-reported good health, and is lower for women. On the other hand, neither smoking nor drinking alcohol increase either the risk of being or becoming disabled.
    JEL: J10 J15 P36
    Date: 2005
  9. By: J. David Brown (Heriot-Watt University and CEU Labor Project); John S. Earle (W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research and Central European University); Almos Telegdy (Central European University and Institute of Economics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the effect of privatization on multifactor productivity (MFP) using long panel data for nearly the universe of initially state-owned manufacturing firms in four economies. We exploit the key longitudinal feature of our data to measure and control for pre-privatization selection bias and to estimate long-run impacts. We find that the magnitudes of our estimates are robust to alternative functional forms, but sensitive to how we control for selection. Our preferred random growth models imply that majority privatization raises MFP about 15% in Romania, 8% in Hungary, and 2% in Ukraine, while in Russia it lowers it 3%. Privatization to foreign rather than domestic investors has a larger impact, 18-35%, in all countries. Positive domestic effects appear within a year in Hungary, Romania, and Ukraine and continue growing thereafter, but take 5 years after privatization to emerge in Russia.
    Keywords: privatization, productivity, foreign ownership, random growth model, transition, Hungary, Romania, Russia, Ukraine
    JEL: D24 G34 L33 P31
    Date: 2005–10
  10. By: Nikolay Gueorguiev; Christoph Duenwald; Andrea Schaechter
    Abstract: Rapid credit growth in Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine has been driven by successful macroeconomic stabilization, robust growth, and capital inflows. While financial deepening is both expected and welcome, the recent expansions appear to have been excessive, as evidenced by widening current account deficits in Bulgaria and Romania, and prudential concerns in Ukraine. Policy responses have included attempts to both moderate credit growth and offset its impact on domestic demand, with mixed success thus far.
    Keywords: Transition economies , Bulgaria , Romania , Ukraine , Credit ,
    Date: 2005–07–08
  11. By: Hartmut Lehmann (University of Bologna, CERT, Heriot-Watt University, EROC, Kiev School of Economics and IZA Bonn); Norberto Pignatti (University of Bologna and IZA Bonn); Jonathan Wadsworth (Royal Holloway College, University of London, CEP, London School of Economics and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: We examine the effects of economic transition on the pattern and costs of worker displacement in Ukraine, using the Ukrainian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (ULMS) for the years 1992 to 2002. Displacement rates in the Ukrainian labor market average between 3.4 and 4.8 percent of employment, roughly in line with levels typically observed in several Western economies, but considerably larger than in Russia. The characteristics of displaced workers are similar to those displaced in the West, in so far as displacement is concentrated on the less skilled. Around one third of displaced workers find re-employment immediately while the majority continues into long-term non-employment. The wage costs of displacement for the sub-sample of displaced workers do not seem to be large. The main cost for displaced workers in Ukraine consists in the extremely long non-employment spell that the average worker experiences after layoff.
    Keywords: displaced workers, labor markets in transition, Ukraine
    JEL: J64 J65 P50
    Date: 2005–09

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