nep-cis New Economics Papers
on Confederation of Independent States
Issue of 2012‒10‒20
four papers chosen by
Alexander Harin
Modern University for the Humanities

  1. Koltsovo: acteurs régional de la promotion des biotechnologies en Russie KOLTSOVO: A REGIONAL ACTOR OF THE PROMOTION OF BIOTECHNOLOGIES IN RUSSIA By Guillem ACHERMANN
  2. Do Political Blogs Matter? Corruption in State-Controlled Companies, Blog Postings, and DDoS Attacks By Enikolopov, Ruben; Petrova, Maria; Sonin, Konstantin
  3. Trade Integration in the CIS: Alternate Options, Economic Effects and Policy Implications for Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine By Vasily Astrov; Peter Havlik; Olga Pindyuk
  4. Lasso-type and Heuristic Strategies in Model Selection and Forecasting By Ivan Savin; Peter Winker

  1. By: Guillem ACHERMANN (Laboratoire de Recherche sur l'Industrie et l'Innovation. ULCO)
    Abstract: Le secteur des biotechnologies en Russie hérite de structures scientifiques matérielles et organisationnelles du régime soviétique disséminées sur tout le territoire. Celles-ci ont été confrontées dans les années 1990 à une situation inattendue dans leur développement : la réduction drastique de financements étatiques et l'absence d'une politique industrielle cohérente. Ce n'est qu'après l'arrivée de Vladimir Poutine au pouvoir en 2000 que des priorités en matière de développement industriel sont initiées. Entre stratégies de conservation et de restructuration, de nombreux acteurs régionaux ont mis en avant leurs spécificités dans la formation d'une politique fédérale d'innovation. Ainsi, un emboîtement de statuts juridiques et programmes de développement a permis à certains territoires de redéfinir leur poids économique dans la réorganisation de l'appareil productif national. La formation municipale de Koltsovo, à quelques kilomètres de la ville de Novossibirsk (Sibérie) en est un exemple concret. Ce document retrace la place grandissante de l'innovation dans les politiques économiques du jeune Etat russe et l'évolution du territoire de Koltsovo. The sector of biotechnologies in Russia has inherited the scientific material and organizational structures of the Soviet regime on the whole territory of the country. These structures have been confronted in the 90s to a situation which was unexpected in their development: the drastic reduction of the financing and an absence of coherent industrial policy. Some priorities in industrial development were determined only with the ascension of Vladimir Putin as the head of the country in 2000. In the formation of a federal innovation policy a lot of regional actors chose between the strategy of conservation and the restructuring one depending on their peculiarities. Thus, the nesting of juridical status and program of development has allowed for some territories to redefine their economic impact in the reorganization of the domestic production capacity. The municipality of Koltsovo, located a short distance away from the town of Novosibirsk (Siberia), is a concrete example. This document traces the growing place of innovation in the economic policies of the young Russian State and the evolution of the Koltsovo territory.
    Keywords: biotechnologies, fnancement de la recherche, Koltsovo
    JEL: O31
    Date: 2012–09
  2. By: Enikolopov, Ruben; Petrova, Maria; Sonin, Konstantin
    Abstract: Though new media has become a popular source of information, it is less clear whether or not they have a real impact on economic activity. In authoritarian regimes, where the traditional media are not free, this impact might be especially pronounced. We study consequences of blog postings of a popular Russian anti-corruption blogger and shareholder activist Alexei Navalny on the stock prices of state-controlled companies. In an event-study analysis, we find a negative effect of company-related blog postings on both daily abnormal returns and within-day 5-minute returns. To cope with identification problem, we use the incidence of distributed denial-of-services (DDoS) attacks as a variable that negatively affects blog postings, but is orthogonal to other determinants of asset prices. There is a substantial positive effect of the DDoS attacks on abnormal returns of the companies Navalny wrote about, and this effect is increasing in amount of his attention to these companies. the effect is decreasing in attention to posts of other top bloggers, increasing in visitors’ attention to Navalny’s posts, and is consistent with more pronounced individual, in contrast to institutional, trading. Finally, there are long-term effects of certain types of posts on stock returns, trading volume, and volatility. Overall, our evidence implies that blog postings about corruption in state-controlled companies have a negative causal impact on stock performance of these companies.
    Keywords: Alexei Navalny; blogs; corruption; political economy; Russia
    JEL: L82 L86 P16
    Date: 2012–10
  3. By: Vasily Astrov (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Peter Havlik (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Olga Pindyuk (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: A functioning Belarus-Russia-Kazakhstan Customs Union (BRK-CU) would comprise the bulk of the FSU economy and represent a significant step towards an attempted re-integration of the FSU – even more so if Ukraine were also to join. There are still important structural differences in intra-regional compared to extra-regional trade of these countries, regarding exports in particular. The existing specialization patterns and comparative advantages may – apart from purely political considerations – provide some economic rationale for closer trade integration. Our difference-in-difference gravity-based estimates indicate that during the period 1999-2009 liberalization took place primarily in the trade of Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine with third countries, whereas in their mutual trade barriers in many manufacturing and services sectors actually increased. The BRK-CU largely eliminated the remaining non-tariff barriers in mutual trade and, upon the adoption of a Common External Tariff (CET) in 2010, unified the participating countries’ trade policies vis-à-vis third countries. As a result of CET adoption, the average (un-weighted) level of protection declined by about 2 p.p. in Russia and 1.3 p.p. in Belarus, but increased by around 2.5 p.p. in Kazakhstan. Available estimates of the economic effects of the BRK-CU differ by a wide margin. Our computable general equilibrium (CGE) estimation results suggest that joining the BRK-CU might potentially bring net GDP losses to Ukraine. BRK-CU membership appears to bring net GDP and welfare losses also to Kazakhstan whereas Belarus and Russia benefit in terms of GDP and labour income growth. There seems to be little (economic) justification for Russia prompting Ukraine to join the BRK-CU. Ukraine, on the other hand, is likely to have a significant increase in GDP and real labour income after implementing the DCFTA with the EU.
    Keywords: foreign trade, integration, Customs Union, gravity and CGE modelling, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine
    JEL: C5 F1 F5 P3
    Date: 2012–09
  4. By: Ivan Savin (DFG Research Training Program "The Economics of Innovative Change", Friedrich Schiller University Jena and Max Planck Institute of Economics); Peter Winker (Justus Liebig University Giessen, and Centre for European Economic Research, Mannheim)
    Abstract: Several approaches for subset recovery and improved forecasting accuracy have been proposed and studied. One way is to apply a regularization strategy and solve the model selection task as a continuous optimization problem. One of the most popular approaches in this research field is given by Lasso-type methods. An alternative approach is based on information criteria. In contrast to the Lasso, these methods also work well in the case of highly correlated predictors. However, this performance can be impaired by the only asymptotic consistency of the information criteria. The resulting discrete optimization problems exhibit a high computational complexity. Therefore, a heuristic optimization approach (Genetic Algorithm) is applied. The two strategies are compared by means of a Monte-Carlo simulation study together with an empirical application to leading business cycle indicators in Russia and Germany.
    Keywords: Adaptive Lasso, Elastic net, Forecasting, Genetic algorithms, Heuristic methods, Lasso, Model selection
    JEL: C51 C52 C53 C61 C63
    Date: 2012–10–11

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