nep-cis New Economics Papers
on Confederation of Independent States
Issue of 2013‒03‒16
six papers chosen by
Alexander Harin
Modern University for the Humanities

  1. Analysis on Russian Demographic Trends By Kumo, Kazuhiro
  2. Persistent effects of empires: Evidence from the partitions of Poland By Irena Grosfeld; Ekaterina Zhuravskaya
  3. BMI Changes in Russian Adults: The Role of Health Related Behaviors and Spousal Relationships By Huffman, Sonya K.
  4. Financing Development Cooperation in Northeast Asia By Masahiro Kawai
  5. Can Climate Policy Enhance Sustainability? By Lorenza Campagnolo; Carlo Carraro; Marinella Davide; Fabio Eboli; Elisa Lanzi; Ramiro Parrado
  6. On the Necessity of International Disciplines on Food Export Restriction (Japanese) By YAMASHITA Kazuhito

  1. By: Kumo, Kazuhiro
    Date: 2013–01
  2. By: Irena Grosfeld (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole des Ponts ParisTech - Ecole normale supérieure de Paris - ENS Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris); Ekaterina Zhuravskaya (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole des Ponts ParisTech - Ecole normale supérieure de Paris - ENS Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: We use spatial regression discontinuity analysis to test whether the historical partition of Poland among three empires--Russia, Austria‐Hungary, and Prussia--has a persistent effect on political outcomes in contemporary Poland and to examine the channels of this influence. We find that the main difference in voting across Polish territories attributed by many observers to the legacy of empires is driven by omitted variables. However, empires do have a significant causal effect. The lands that belonged to Prussia (compared with those that belonged to Russia) vote more for anticommunist (post‐Solidarity) parties. This difference is largely explained by the persistent effect of infrastructure built by Prussians at the time of industrialization. The former Austrian lands (compared with former Russian lands) votes more for religious conservatives and for liberals. The difference in the vote for religious conservatives is explained by persistent differences in church attendance driven by vastly different policies of the two empires toward the Catholic Church. Higher support for liberals on the Austrian side is partly explained by a persistent belief in democracy, which is a legacy of decentralized democratic governance of the Austrian empire.
    Keywords: Persistence ; Empires ; Culture ; Poland ; Partitions
    Date: 2013–02–28
  3. By: Huffman, Sonya K.
    Abstract: The paper investigates the effects of changes in marital status and health related behaviors (smoking and drinking) on the body mass index (BMI) in Russian adults over a ten-year period. Smoking and drinking behavior changes have played an important part in health status changes over 1994 to 2004. The results indicate that the individual weight/BMI changes asymmetrically in health determinants; the sign and the magnitude of the response are different depending on the starting point and whether there is an increase or a decrease in the explanatory variable. Males’ BMI decreases with smoking and increases with quitting smoking, but females’ BMI increases with drinking alcohol and decreases with stopping drinking. Losing a partner decreases only the females’ BMI, but gaining a spouse/partner is associated with increases in BMI for both genders. For married females and males, the change in spousal BMI is significantly positively related. Understanding interactions between individual health-related behaviors and the set of determinants that contribute to such behaviors is a fundamental step in the design of effective interventions.
    Keywords: BMI; Russia; health related behaviors; asymmetric response
    JEL: D12 I12 O52
    Date: 2013–03–06
  4. By: Masahiro Kawai (Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI))
    Abstract: This paper examines financing mechanisms to support infrastructure development and connectivity in Northeast Asia—comprising the Northeastern People’s Republic of China, Japan, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Republic of Korea, Mongolia, and the Russian Far East. Although this subregion has developed the Greater Tumen Initiative, the extent of intergovernmental cooperation for cross-border infrastructure investment is not as strong as in other subregional cooperation programs in Asia, such as the Greater Mekong Subregion Program and the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program. Using various previously published estimates, this paper finds that the total infrastructure investment needs for the subregion excluding Japan and the Republic of Korea (in transport, energy, information and communication technology, and the environment) could be in the order of $63 billion per year over the next 10 years, and of this total governments in the subregion will have to mobilize external funding of $13 billion a year, focusing on national infrastructure projects in the DPRK and Mongolia and high-priority cross-border projects in Northeast Asia. The paper considers three options as a cooperative financing mechanism for the subregion : special and/or trust funds set up in the existing multilateral development banks (MDBs), a structured infrastructure investment fund supported by MDB(s), and a new subregional multilateral development bank. Then it suggests that the Northeast Asian governments may begin with setting up special and/or trust funds at the existing MDBs and move to creating an infrastructure investment fund, following the good example of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Infrastructure Fund, once sufficient confidence and trust is built and the DPRK returns to the international community. The paper recommends against the establishment of a new development bank in the subregion.
    Keywords: Infrastructure Development, regional cooperation, Northeast Asia, infrastructure connectivity, infrastructure investment, infrastructure fund
    JEL: F15 F36 F55 O19 Q01
    Date: 2013–02
  5. By: Lorenza Campagnolo (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change and Advanced School of Economics); Carlo Carraro (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change and Ca’ Foscari University of Venice); Marinella Davide (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change); Fabio Eboli (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change); Elisa Lanzi (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei and Advanced School of Economics); Ramiro Parrado (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change)
    Abstract: Implementing an effective climate policy is one of the main challenges for our future. Even though ambitious mitigation targets are necessarily costly, curbing GHG emissions can prevent future irreversible impacts of climate change on human kind and the environment. Climate policy is therefore crucial for present and future generations. Nonetheless, one may wonder whether the economic and social dimensions of future global development could be harmed by climate policy. This paper addresses this question by examining some recent developments in international climate policy and considering different levels of cooperation that may arise in light of the outcomes of the Conference of the Parties recently held in Doha. Then it explores whether the implementation of various climate policy scenarios would help enhancing sustainability or rather whether there is a trade-off between climate policy and economic development and/or social cohesion. This is done by using a new comprehensive indicator, the FEEM Sustainability Index (FEEM SI), which aggregates several economic, social, and environmental indicators. The FEEM SI index is built into a recursive-dynamic Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model of the world economy, thus offering the possibility of projecting all indicators into the future, and therefore delivering a perspective assessment of sustainability under different future climate policy scenarios. We find that the environmental component of sustainability improves at the regional and world level thanks to the GHG emission reductions achieved through climate policy. However, the economic and social components are affected negatively yet marginally. Hence, overall sustainability increases in all scenarios. If the USA, Canada, Japan and Russia would not contribute to mitigating future GHG emissions, as envisioned in one of our scenarios, sustainability in these countries would decrease and the overall effectiveness of climate policy in enhancing global sustainability would be offset.
    Keywords: Climate policy, Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) Models, Sustainability, Indicators
    JEL: Q54 Q56 C68
    Date: 2013–01
  6. By: YAMASHITA Kazuhito
    Abstract: The world food trade is distorted by agricultural trade policies. Import tariffs and non-tariff barriers are regulated by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) and are disciplined as a result. On the other hand, export quantity restrictions and export taxes have been lightly regulated.<br />This lack of regulation has led many exporting countries to resort to these export measures as world food prices increase. In 2008, as world grain prices soared, China and India took such measures which resulted in a food crisis in food-importing, developing countries such as the Philippines.<br />In 2012, the severe drought in the United States pushed the international prices of corn and soybean to a record-high level. The international society is becoming concerned with the disciplines on food export restrictions, and this issue was discussed by the leaders in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) regions in Vladivostok, Russia.<br />Regarding corn, wheat, and soybean, however, major exporting countries export the majority of their production. Furthermore, they are developed countries whose consumers can afford to buy food at high prices, and will continue to export even if they yield a terrible harvest. <br />Rice is an exception. Major exporters are developing countries. We cannot force these countries to continue to export while they are experiencing a food crisis and have many starving people who are unable to afford food at high prices. Furthermore, Japan is a self-sufficient country which does not depend on rice imports, but has isolated its domestic market with a high tariff on rice.<br />In brief, there is little-to-no chance that major exporting countries will resort to export restriction measures for major grains with the exception of rice. Although the stakes for rice are high, Japan does not need any international disciplines on food export restrictions since it does not depend on foreign countries. Japan's proposals on international disciplines on food export restrictions in international fora such as the WTO have not been based on the real interests.
    Date: 2013–02

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