nep-cis New Economics Papers
on Confederation of Independent States
Issue of 2012‒09‒09
eight papers chosen by
Alexander Harin
Modern University for the Humanities

  1. A dataset on human capital in the former Soviet Union area; Sources, methods, and first results* By Dmitry Didenko; Peter Foldvari; Bas van Leeuwen
  2. Determinants of Donor Generosity: A Survey of the Aid Budget Literature By Andreas Fuchs; Axel Dreher; Peter Nunnenkamp
  3. Приватизация и рациональная структура собственности (Privatizatsiya i ratsional’naya struktura sobstvennosti) By Polterovich, Victor
  4. Deconstructing Growth - A Business Cycle Accounting Approach with application to BRICs By Suparna Chakraborty; Keisuke Otsu
  5. Pipeline Power By Franz Hubert; Onur Cobanli
  6. Проектирование реформ: как искать промежуточные институты (Proektirovanie reform: kak iskat' promezhutochnye instituty) By Polterovich, Victor
  7. Internationale Getreidemärkte: Die neue Macht Russland? By Glauben, Thomas; Pàll, Zsombor; Perekhozhuk, Oleksandr; Prehn, Sören; Teuber, Ramona
  8. The Assesment of Equilibrium Real Echange Rate of Latvia By Viktors Ajevskis; Ramune Rimgailaite; Uldis Rutkaste; Olegs Tkacevs

  1. By: Dmitry Didenko; Peter Foldvari; Bas van Leeuwen (Universiteit Utrecht and Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: To date, the rise and fall of the (former) USSR has triggered a lot of research. Many have focused on the accumulation of physical capital, growth, and consumption. Recently, also the accumulation of human capital has increasingly been incorporated in this picture. However, few datasets exist that cover this crucial variable for this vast area. Therefore, our main objective is to introduce a new dataset that contains human capital related time series for the USSR (and the Newly Independent States (NIS) after its dissolution), constructed mostly on an annual basis. These data were drawn from various primary sources, available datasets and secondary literature where our focus was on constructing a dataset as clear, transparent and consistent as possible. It is our hope that, by supplying these data in electronic format, it will significantly advance quantitative economic history research on Russia and all over the former Soviet Union area (FSU) and will inspire further research in various new fields relating to intellectual production. The data presented in this paper follow after the discussion of the information value of the primary sources utilised, and the various problems that arose when linking and splicing the data from various sources. After constructing series of human capital indicators we perform a time-series and spatial analysis in order to identify the long-term trends of education penetration and of the human capital development in the FSU area with a strong emphasis on inequality issues between the NIS. Applying these results in a simple growth accounting framework provides us with some preliminary insights on the role of human capital in economic development in the FSU area.
    Keywords: human capital, education, book production, economic development, socialism, USSR
    Date: 2012–08
  2. By: Andreas Fuchs; Axel Dreher; Peter Nunnenkamp
    Abstract: What determines the foreign aid effort of donor countries? We review the existing literature on donors’ aid budgets and examine which of the suggested variables robustly determine aid effort, measured as Official Development Assistance (ODA) as a share of gross national income. More specifically, we empirically test 16 hypotheses using panel econometric methods for member countries of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) in the 1976-2008 period. To test for the robustness of our results, we extend our dataset to 48 possible determinants of aid budgets and apply an Extreme Bounds Analysis (EBA). In our fixed effects regressions, we find that aid inertia, the donor country’s GDP per capita, the existence of an independent aid agency, and colonial history have a robust and quantitatively relevant impact on countries’ aid efforts. Among the potential substitutes for aid, remittances exert a robust effect. Excluding year fixed effects, political globalization, Russian military capacity, peer effects, aid effectiveness, and government debt also play a significant role
    Keywords: Foreign aid, Official Development Assistance, Aid budget, Extreme Bounds Analysis
    JEL: F35 H81 H87
    Date: 2012–08
  3. By: Polterovich, Victor
    Abstract: The costs and benefits of privatization are considered, focusing on the current Russian conditions. The experience of many countries, as well as econometric and theoretical studies, a review of which is given in the paper, show that relative efficiency of privatized enterprises in comparison with the state depends on the stage of economic development and quality of institutions. State-owned enterprises may have a number of special functions which are particularly important for developing or resource abundant economies. In particular, they can play the role of agents of modernization to initiate large-scale projects as public-private partnerships. It is shown that the decision on privatization should be considered in the context of a more general problem of finding a rational ownership structure in an economy. Factors affecting the comparative efficiency of public and private enterprises are analyzed. A number of hypotheses are proposed about the shape of dependence of the rational ownership structure on the level of development, the quality of government, and the quality of markets. Recommendations on improvement of the public sector management are formulated.
    Keywords: Sappington–Stiglitz theorem; transformation cost; NP- cycles; stationary ownership structure; ownership diversification; industrial policy
    JEL: E02 O1 P5 H11 D02 H82
    Date: 2012
  4. By: Suparna Chakraborty; Keisuke Otsu
    Abstract: What are the economic mechanisms that account for sudden growth spurts? Are these mechanisms similar across episodes? Focusing on the economic resurgence of the BRICs over the last decade, we employ the Business Cycle Accounting methodology developed by Chari, Kehoe and McGrattan (2007) to address these questions. Our results highlight that while efficiency wedges do contribute in a large part to growth, especially in Brazil and Russia, there is an increasing importance of investment wedge especially in the late 2000s, noted in China and India. The results are typically related to the stages of development with Brazil and Russia coming off a crisis to grow in the 2000s, while India and China were already on a stable growth path. Our conclusions are robust to alternative methodological extensions where we allow shocks to the trend component of efficiency as opposed to traditional shocks to the cyclical component, as well as to standard modifications where we allow for investment adjustment costs. Relating improvements in wedges to institutional and financial reforms, we find that financial development and improvements in effective governance in BRICs are consistent with improvements in investment and efficiency wedges that led to growth.
    Keywords: BRIC; business cycle accounting; efficiency; market frictions; trend shocks; investment adjustment costs
    JEL: E32
    Date: 2012–08
  5. By: Franz Hubert (Humboldt–Universitat zu Berlin); Onur Cobanli (Humboldt–Universitat zu Berlin)
    Abstract: We use cooperative game theory to analyze the impact of three controversial pipeline projects on the power structure in the Eurasian trade of natural gas. Two of them, Nord Stream and South Stream, allow Russian gas to bypass transit countries, Ukraine and Belarus. Nord Stream’s strategic value turns out to be huge, justifying the high investment cost for Germany and Russia. The additional leverage obtained through South Stream, in contrast, appears small. The third project, Nabucco, aims at diversifying Europe’s gas imports by accessing producers in Middle East and Central Asia. It curtails Russia’s power, but the benefits accrue mainly to Turkey, while the gains for the EU are negligible.
    Keywords: Bargaining Power, Network, Trade links, Natural Gas
    JEL: L5 L9 O22
    Date: 2012–09
  6. By: Polterovich, Victor
    Abstract: It is a typical case in the practice of reforms, when a reformer, who seeks to introduce an institution with desired properties, discovers that its immediate implementation is impossible because of resource, technological, cultural, political or institutional constraints. In this case, one has to construct a sequence of alternating interim institutions that, for each moment of time, satisfy the existing constraints, and, in the end, provide the implementation of the desired institution. The paper describes some methods and constructions that can be used to create sequences of interim institutions. Two approaches to their design are considered: the method of "mixing" and the method of institutional competition. I explore the possibilities of finding interim institutions through institutional experimentation and by means of using a theory of the evolving institutions in more developed countries. The suggested methodologies are used to analyze a number of reforms, such as privatization in China and Slovenia, the mass introduction of funded pension systems in the 1990s, changes of the voting rules in the Council of Ministers of the EU, the introduction of the unified state examination for admission to Russian universities, etc.
    Keywords: institutional reform design; interim institution; pension system; mortgage institution; building and loan association; dual price system; privatization
    JEL: E02 O1 P5 H75 D02 L85
    Date: 2012
  7. By: Glauben, Thomas; Pàll, Zsombor; Perekhozhuk, Oleksandr; Prehn, Sören; Teuber, Ramona
    Abstract: Russland, einstiger Nettoimporteur von Weizen, hat sich innerhalb des letzten Jahrzehnts zu einem der führenden Akteure auf dem Weltweizenmarkt entwickelt. Laut Prognose könnte Russlands Weltmarktanteil sogar noch weiter wachsen und bis 2020 könnte Russland der weltgrößte Weizenexporteur werden. Eine wichtige Frage, die sich hieraus ergibt, ist, ob Russland seine neugewonnene Marktposition dazu nutzen könnte, um Marktmacht bzw. Preisdiskriminierung auszuüben. Insbesondere für die Länder Zentralasiens und des Kaukasus könnte diese Frage von besonderer Bedeutung sein, da sich Russland in diesen Ländern auf Grund ihrer geographischen Lage nur wenigen Konkurrenten gegenüber sieht. Dieser Policy Brief geht der Frage nach, ob und in welchen Ländern russische Weizenexporteure Marktmacht ausüben. --
    Date: 2012
  8. By: Viktors Ajevskis; Ramune Rimgailaite; Uldis Rutkaste; Olegs Tkacevs
    Abstract: The aim of this study is to estimate the equilibrium REER of Latvia, which was done by using different methodologies, including IMF CGER approach, and the NATREX and SVAR models. The IMF methodology implies the application of three different methods: the macroeconomic balance method, the external sustainability method and the reduced-form equilibrium real exchange rate method. The results of all approaches used in this study indicate that the real exchange rate of Latvia, after appreciation during the boom years and subsequent adjustment afterwards, remained close to its equilibrium level at the end of the sample period, i.e. at end-2010.
    Keywords: equilibrium real exchange rate, BEER, macroeconomic balance, external sustainability, NATREX, SVAR, Latvia
    JEL: F31 F32 O24
    Date: 2012–09–03

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