nep-cis New Economics Papers
on Confederation of Independent States
Issue of 2012‒12‒22
three papers chosen by
Alexander Harin
Modern University for the Humanities

  1. Are Skills a Constraint on Firms? New Evidence from Russia By Commander, Simon; Denisova, Irina
  2. Rethinking the form and function of cities in post-Soviet countries By Coulibaly, Souleymane
  3. Climate Change and Tourism in the Arctic Circle By Richard S. J. Tol; Sharon Walsh

  1. By: Commander, Simon (EBRD, London); Denisova, Irina (CEFIR, New Economic School, Moscow)
    Abstract: The paper uses a unique survey of recruitment firms to look at how Russian firms perceive the supply of skills in the labour market and how well those skills match to their demand for labour. Firms invest significant amounts of time in search to fill vacancies and search time is unambiguously increasing in skills. These skill gaps are associated with significant wage premia and are perceived to have negative consequences for the output mix and productivity. A small job postings experiment also finds that search time increased yet further for activities considered relatively innovative. Further, using Russian Ministry of Labour data for all legal migrant applications in 2010 and matching the migrant to the sponsoring firm, we find that there is some – albeit limited - evidence of firms using migrants to address high skill shortages. However, the overwhelming majority of migrants are skilled or unskilled workers; a reflection of the low underlying rates of innovation and associated demand for high skill jobs.
    Keywords: job search, vacancies, skills
    JEL: J31 J61
    Date: 2012–11
  2. By: Coulibaly, Souleymane
    Abstract: Eurasian cities, unique in the global spatial landscape, were part of the world's largest experiment in urban development. The challenges they now face because of their history offer valuable lessons to urban planners and policymakers across the world from places that are still urbanizing to those already urbanized. Today, Eurasian cities must respond to three big changes: the breakup of the Soviet Union, the return of the market as the driving force of society, and the emergence of regional powers such as the European Union, China, and India that are competing with the Russian Federation for markets and influence in its former satellites. Several methods of analysis indicate an imbalance across Eurasia, implying a need to readjust Eurasia's urban structure. National policies in Eurasia are still preoccupied with spatial equity. But the concentration of economic activity in large cities is fundamental to national competitive advantage: they foster innovation through their diversity of industries -- and reduce production costs through their economies of scale. This paper suggests some ideas on how policymakers can harness the economic power of cities to drive national economic development, by focusing on four themes: planning, connecting, greening, and financing cities.
    Keywords: Transport Economics Policy&Planning,Environmental Economics&Policies,City Development Strategies,Banks&Banking Reform,Housing&Human Habitats
    Date: 2012–12–01
  3. By: Richard S. J. Tol (Department of Economics, University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom; Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Department of Spatial Economics, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands); Sharon Walsh (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin, Ireland)
    Abstract: We estimate grid level tourist numbers to Arctic Circle countries under a number of climate change scenarios. At present, the highest tourism volumes are found in Canada and most of the Scandinavian countries. In general, it appears that tourists are attracted to regions with better infrastructure and nicer cities. Under each climate change scenario, Russia sees a significant increase in tourist numbers because Russia is big, its climate is expected to show some improvement and it is relatively close to the growing markets of South and East Asia. A growth in tourist numbers is also projected for Canada and Alaska. While our simulations do not show a re-distribution of tourists within the Arctic under climate change, the volume is likely to increase.
    Keywords: Climate climate change; tourism; destination choice; arctic
    JEL: Q54 L83
    Date: 2012–12

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