nep-cis New Economics Papers
on Confederation of Independent States
Issue of 2010‒11‒13
four papers chosen by
Koen Schoors
Ghent University

  1. Land grabbing in Eastern Europe: global food security and land governance in post - Soviet Eurasia By Visser, Oane; Spoor, Max
  2. Bank capital, liquidity creation and deposit insurance By Fungácová, Zuzana; Weill, Laurent; Zhou, Mingming
  3. "The Impact of Geography and Natural Resource Abundance on Growth in Central Asia" By Jesus Felipe; Utsav Kumar
  4. Bureaucracy Norms and Market Size By Koziashvili, Arkadi; Nitzan, Shmuel; Tobol, Yossef

  1. By: Visser, Oane; Spoor, Max
    Abstract: While âland grabbingâ in Africa by China, and other populous, high-income Asian countries such as South Korea got quite some attention, land grabbing in post-Soviet Eurasia has gone largely unnoticed. However, as this paper shows, recently also in the latter region foreign state and private companies are accumulating vast expanses of farm land. The paper discusses the factors which make post-Soviet Eurasia such an attractive area for international investment, with arguably much more potential than most areas in Africa or Asia. Second, the process of land accumulation and acquisition of farms is described. Both domestic as well as international accumulation of land is dealt with, placing this in the domestic context of agricultural development and institutions. Furthermore, the main actors (investors) involved in land grabbing are distinguished (according to their country of origin and legal or institutional form). Third, the paper outlines the main obstacles (and points of contention) concerning the emergence (and effectiveness/performance) of domestic and especially international, agro-holdings in the region, and will present some preliminary findings around the question whether this development is a necessary step towards agricultural modernization, or that there are substantial disadvantages to land grabbing.
    Keywords: land grabbing, post-Soviet countries, agroholdings, economic inequality, Community/Rural/Urban Development,
    Date: 2010–08
  2. By: Fungácová, Zuzana (BOFIT); Weill, Laurent (BOFIT); Zhou, Mingming (BOFIT)
    Abstract: This paper examines how the introduction of deposit insurance influences the relationship between bank capital and liquidity creation. As discussed by Berger and Bouwman (2009), there are two competing hypotheses on this relationship which can be influenced by the presence of deposit insurance. The introduction of a deposit insurance scheme in an emerging market, Russia, provides a natural experiment to investigate this issue. We study three alternative measures of bank liquidity creation and perform estimations on a large set of Russian banks. Our findings suggest that the introduction of the deposit insurance scheme exerts a limited impact on the relationship between bank capital and liquidity creation and does not change the negative sign of the relationship. The implication is that better capitalized banks tend to create less liquidity, which supports the “financial fragility/crowding-out” hypothesis. This conclusion has important policy implications for emerging countries as it suggests that bank capital requirements implemented to support financial stability may harm liquidity creation.
    Keywords: bank capital; liquidity creation; deposit insurance; Russia
    JEL: G21 G28 G38 P30 P50
    Date: 2010–11–05
  3. By: Jesus Felipe; Utsav Kumar
    Abstract: This paper examines the growth experience of the Central Asian economies after the breakup of the Soviet Union. In particular, it evaluates the impact of being landlocked and resource rich. The main conclusions are: (1) Over the period 1994–2006, the landlocked resource-scarce developing countries of Central Asia grew at a slower pace than other landlocked resource-scarce developing countries; on the other hand, resource-rich developing countries in Central Asia grew at the same pace as other resource-rich developing economies. (2) Having “good” neighbors pays off in the form of growth spillovers; this calls for greater regional cooperation and enhanced regional integration through regional transport infrastructure, improved trade facilitation, and enhanced and coordinated economic policies. And (3) countries with a higher share of manufacturing exports in GDP grow faster, and the more sophisticated a country’s export basket, the higher its future growth; Central Asian countries should, therefore, take a more aggressive stance in supporting export diversification and upgrading.
    Keywords: Central Asia; EXPY; Landlocked; Manufacturing Exports; Primary Exports; Resource-rich
    JEL: O13 O14 O52 O57 Q33 Q34
    Date: 2010–10
  4. By: Koziashvili, Arkadi; Nitzan, Shmuel (Department of Economics, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel); Tobol, Yossef
    Abstract: This paper proposes a new model of market structure determination. It demonstrates that market structure need not be the result of ideology, political power, collusion among producers or the nature of the technology. In our setting, it is determined by bureaucrats who maximize their share of the industry profits. The approach is illustrated by studying the relationship between industry size and the existing institutional norm and by identifying the bureaucrats' most preferred norm. In the latter context, we establish the fundamental inverse relationship between the costs of interaction with government officials and industry size.
    Keywords: Institutional norms, bureaucracy costs, norm viability, industry size
    JEL: D72 D73
    Date: 2010–11

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