nep-cis New Economics Papers
on Confederation of Independent States
Issue of 2007‒01‒28
two papers chosen by
Anna Y. Borodina
Perm State University

  1. Survey of land and real estate transactions in the Russian Federation : statistical analysis of selected hypotheses By Kisunko, Gregory; Coolidge, Jacqueline
  2. Causality in Crude Oil Prices By Hagstromer, Bjorn; Wlazlowski, Szymon

  1. By: Kisunko, Gregory; Coolidge, Jacqueline
    Abstract: This paper analyzes land transactions between municipalities and private businesses based on official data and business surveys in 15 regions of the Russian Federation. Since the Russian Federation passed the new Land Code in 2001, land privatization has been officially encouraged by the federal government and in particular, land under previously privatized buildings was supposed to be privatized to the owner at a nominal price. The paper shows that many subnational authorities (which own or control the vast majority of land of interest to businesses) appear to use a combination of high statutory land buy-out prices and administrative barriers to deter land privatization and to offer " long-term leases " (which are not fully marketable) instead. On the other hand, regions that have established low buy-out prices and taken steps to remove unnecessary administrative barriers to land privatization appear to have higher rates of land ownership by businesses, and to face lower levels of corruption in the privatization process. The paper concludes that further reductions in the statutory prices for privatization of land under buildings and elimination of unnecessary administrative barriers should help to encourage further land privatization and the development of a competitive, secondary market in commercial land.
    Keywords: Municipal Financial Management,Urban Housing,Common Property Resource Development,Municipal Housing and Land,Real Estate Development
    Date: 2007–01–01
  2. By: Hagstromer, Bjorn; Wlazlowski, Szymon
    Abstract: The world market of crude oil has three well established benchmarks used for pricing of other crudes: West Texas Intermediate, Europe Brent and Dubai Fateh. The relevance of these are however declining, as the output of the benchmarks is decreasing, and as an increasing share of world crude produced is of worse quality than the benchmarks (pointed out by e.g. Montepeque, 2005). Particularly the segment of medium density, sour crudes is lacking a reliable benchmark. We apply Granger causality tests to study the price dependencies of 32 crude oils empirically. The aim is to establish what crudes are setting the prices and what crudes are just follow the general market trend. The investigation is performed globally as well as for different quality segments, geographical segments and the segments of OPEC and non-OPEC crudes. The results indicate that crude oil price analysts should follow at least four different crudes that are if not benchmarks, at least good price indicators. While the well-established benchmarks WTI and Brent still lead the market, they are not the only crude prices worth paying attention to. In particular, Russian Urals drives global prices in a significant way, and Iran Seri Kerir is a significant price setter within OPEC. Dubai Fateh does not display any significant influence as a price setter. The lack of a reliable benchmark for medium density, sour crudes is thereby confirmed.
    Keywords: Granger causality; crude oil; benchmark; West Texas Intermediate; Europe Brent; Dubai Fateh; Russian Urals; Iran Seri Kerir; price dynamics
    JEL: G19
    Date: 2007–01–18

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