nep-cis New Economics Papers
on Confederation of Independent States
Issue of 2013‒04‒06
three papers chosen by
Alexander Harin
Modern University for the Humanities

  1. Household Formation Rules, Fertility and Female Labour Supply: Evidence from post-communist countries By Louise Grogan
  2. Inspiration and Perspiration Factors in Economic Growth: The Former Soviet Union Area versus China (ca. 1920-2010) By Dmitry Didenko; Péter Földvári; Bas van Leeuwen
  3. Do wealth distributions follow power laws? Evidence from "rich lists" By Michal Brzezinski

  1. By: Louise Grogan (Department of Economics,University of Guelph)
    Abstract: This paper explains how household formation rules affect the fertility and labour supply of women in the Former Soviet Union and neighbouring countries. Women who bear a male first child in countries dominated by traditional, patrilocal households are shown to have sub- stantially lower subsequent fertility from those whose first child is female. Where households are generally nuclear, male first borns do not reduce subsequent fertility. Middle-aged women in more patrilocal contexts often work less if their first child is male, despite reduced fertility and being more likely to reside with a daughter-in-law. In more nuclear contexts, they tend to work more. These findings suggest that household formation rules are strongly related both to women’s demand for sons and to the direction of intergenerational transfers.
    Keywords: household formation rules, fertility, daughter-in-law, deferred compensation, Central Asia, Russia, Soviet Union, patrilocality, intergenerational transfers
    JEL: J10 O12 O5
  2. By: Dmitry Didenko; Péter Földvári; Bas van Leeuwen
    Abstract: In this paper we extend our previous studies (Didenko et al., 2012; Földvári et al., 2012; Van Leeuwen et al., 2011) on the role of conventional factors of production (fixed, or physical, and human forms of capital) and their productivity depending on their interrelations and economic development policies. Methodologically based on Solow (1956, 1957) and Mankiw, Romer, and Weil (1992) we apply our theoretical models on the factors of economic growth to compare China with the republics of the former Soviet Union and, to this end, create a new database for both regions. Following Krugman (1994), we decompose economic growth in perspiration (i.e. production factors) and inspiration (i.e. TFP, which consists in turn of technical efficiency of the production factors and a general production frontier) factors and find that in the socialist central-planning period economic growth was largely driven by physical and, to lesser extent, human capital accumulation. Moreover, at these times conventional TFP change was strongly negative (1930s for the FSU, 1950s for China). This means that focusing mainly on physical capital increases the factors of production (hence increasing growth via perspiration) but reduces the technical efficiency of the factors of production strongly (hence lowers the growth via TFP, i.e. inspiration). After the economic transitions were launched (end 1970s in China and end 1980s in the FSU) the inspiration/perspiration pattern changed. China managed to keep technical inefficiency relatively moderate, largely by massively increasing its human capital (which made it easier to make use of physical capital). At the same time, they managed to increase their productivity frontier. In the FSU, however, the change in the human to physical capital ratio was primarily caused not by an increase of human-, but rather by a decrease of physical capital. This means that, even though technical efficiency relatively increased, the general productivity frontier remained stable or declined. This changed in the late 1990s and the start of the 21th century when the FSU started to recover somewhat, only to reach the 1990 level.
    Keywords: factors of production, human capital, productivity, technology, economic development, socialism, USSR, China
    Date: 2013–03
  3. By: Michal Brzezinski
    Abstract: We use data on wealth of the richest persons taken from the "rich lists" provided by business magazines like Forbes to verify if upper tails of wealth distributions follow, as often claimed, a power-law behaviour. The data sets used cover the world's richest persons over 1996-2012, the richest Americans over 1988-2012, the richest Chinese over 2006-2012 and the richest Russians over 2004-2011. Using a recently introduced comprehensive empirical methodology for detecting power laws, which allows for testing goodness of fit as well as for comparing the power-law model with rival distributions, we find that a power-law model is consistent with data only in 35% of the analysed data sets. Moreover, even if wealth data are consistent with the power-law model, usually they are also consistent with some rivals like the log-normal or stretched exponential distributions.
    Date: 2013–03

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