nep-cis New Economics Papers
on Confederation of Independent States
Issue of 2010‒05‒29
four papers chosen by
Koen Schoors
Ghent University

  1. Russian banking: a comeback of the state. By Vernikov, A.
  2. House Price Determinants in Selected Countries of the Former Soviet Union By Vahram Stepanyan; Tigran Poghosyan; Aidyn Bibolov
  3. Mass privatisation and the post-communist mortality crisis: is there really a relationship. By Earle, J.S.; Gehlbach, S.
  4. Did Mass Privatisation really increase Post-Communist male mortality?. By Gerry, C.J.; Mickiewicz, T.M.; Nikoloski, Z.

  1. By: Vernikov, A.
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to assess the size of public sector within the Russian banking industry. We identify and classify at least 78 state-influenced banks. We distinguish between banks that are majority-owned by federal executive authorities or Central Bank of Russia, by sub-federal (regional and municipal) authorities, by state-owned enterprises and banks, and by "state corporations". We estimate their combined market share to have reached 56% of total assets by July 1, 2009. Banks indirectly owned by public capital are the fastest-growing group. Concentration is increasing within the public sector of the industry, with the top five state-controlled banking groups in possession of over 49% of assets. We observe a crowding out and erosion of domestic private capital, whose market share is shrinking from year to year. Several of the largest state-owned banks now constitute a de facto intermediate tier at the core of the banking system. We argue that the direction of ownership change in Russian banking is different from that in CEE countries.
    Date: 2010–02
  2. By: Vahram Stepanyan; Tigran Poghosyan; Aidyn Bibolov
    Abstract: This paper analyses the recent boom-bust cycle in the housing markets of selected Former Soviet Union (FSU) countries. The analysis is based on a newly constructed database on house prices in the FSU countries. Our estimations suggest that house price developments can largely be explained by the dynamics of fundamentals, such as GDP, remittances, and external financing. Overall, we find that deviations of house prices from their fundamentals have not been pronounced, suggesting that house price bubbles have not been formed in the FSU countries.
    Keywords: Business cycles , Capital inflows , Cross country analysis , Economic growth , External shocks , Former Soviet Union , Housing prices , Price elasticity , Workers remittances ,
    Date: 2010–04–01
  3. By: Earle, J.S.; Gehlbach, S.
    Abstract: We reexamine the recent, well-publicized claim that "rapid mass privatisation [of state-owned enterprises]... was a crucial determinant of differences in adult mortality trends in post-communist countries" (Stuckler, King and McKee, 2009). Our analysis shows that the estimated correlation of privatization and mortality in country-level data is not robust to recomputing the mass-privatization measure, to assuming a short lag for economic policies to affect mortality, and to controlling for country-specific mortality trends. Further, in an analysis of the determinants of mortality in Russian regions, we find no evidence that privatization increased mortality during the early 1990s. Finally, we reanalyze the relationship between privatization and unemployment in postcommunist countries, showing that there is little support for the proposed mechanism by which privatization might have increased mortality.
    Date: 2010–02
  4. By: Gerry, C.J.; Mickiewicz, T.M.; Nikoloski, Z.
    Abstract: A recent article in the Lancet, by David Stuckler, Larry King and Martin McKee, investigated anew the fluctuations in adult male mortality rates that have come to characterise the so-called post-communist mortality crisis. Adopting a cross-country, time-series perspective the authors examined how the economic policy strategies of the 1990s impacted upon observed fluctuations in mortality. They conclude that the adoption of a strategy of rapid (mass) privatisation contributed to the adverse mortality trends. We subject that finding to closer scrutiny using the same data from which the Stuckler et al claim stems. We find that their claim that mass privatisation adversely affected male mortality trends in the post-Communist world does not stand up to closer examination. It is not supported empirically and is at odds with what we know about both transition in the post-communist world and about health trends over time in this region.
    Date: 2010–02

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