nep-cis New Economics Papers
on Confederation of Independent States
Issue of 2013‒04‒13
six papers chosen by
Alexander Harin
Modern University for the Humanities

  1. Persistent effects of empires: Evidence from the partitions of Poland By Grosfeld, Irena; Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina
  2. Russian Fiscal Federalism: Impact of Political and Fiscal (De)centralization By Alexeev, Michael; Weber, Shlomo
  3. Complementarity and Potentials of High Technology Trade, Technology and Skills Transfers between India-Russia By Pohit, Sanjib
  4. The Changing Structure of Domestic Support and Its Implications for Trade By Orden, David
  5. Unemployment and output dynamics in CIS countries: Okun's law revisited By Ibragimov Marat; Jovlon Karimov; Elena Permyakova
  6. La place du vin dans les échanges internationaux de la France pendant la première mondialisation By Stéphane BECUWE; Bertrand BLANCHETON

  1. By: Grosfeld, Irena; Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina
    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: culture; empires; infrastructure; Partitions of Poland; persistence; Poland
    JEL: O10 P43 P48 P50 Z12
    Date: 2013–03
  2. By: Alexeev, Michael; Weber, Shlomo
    Abstract: The extent of political and fiscal centralization in Russia has experienced dramatic changes since the end of the Soviet era. The heavily centralized, both politically and economically, federal structures became dysfunctional and unstable until the introduction of the Budget and Tax Codes over the last decade induced a relative clarity to revenue assignments and expenditure and management responsibilities of different levels of government. While the creation of federal districts and the elimination of elections of regional governors in 2005 have brought a substantial rise of political centralization, the reforms had an ambiguous effect on fiscal centralization and fiscal independence of the regions, the estimation of which is addressed in this paper. We use an updated and extensive dataset and apply a novel estimation technique by evaluating the response of regional government’s expenditures to changes in the size of the GRP (gross regional product) and to changes in the region’s tax collections. While the results related to regional shares of tax revenues and expenditures are somewhat ambiguous, the examination of marginal fiscal incentives suggests an increase in fiscal centralization in Russia over the last decade. Our investigation also indicates that, contrary to Treisman’s (2000) conjecture, no decline in the variability of tax revenues had taken place in the last decade. We also show that the recent variability of GRP has been smaller than for tax revenues but greater than for budget expenditures, which stresses the effectiveness of budget equalization policies of the central government. Finally, we briefly addressed the issue of intra-regional fiscal relations, which is of crucial importance for political and economic progress of the country.
    Keywords: expenditures; intergovernmental fiscal relations; political centralization; Russian regions; tax revenues; transfers
    JEL: H71 H73 H77
    Date: 2013–02
  3. By: Pohit, Sanjib
    Abstract: This paper examines complementarities and potentialities in merchandise trade in general and high technology trade in particular between India and Russia. In this context, we have also looked at the complementarities for bilateral transfer of investment, technology and skills. The analysis shows that bilateral trade flow is small even though trade complementarities in the segment of high technology as well as in merchandise trade in general exist. Inefficient trade logistics networks, absence of mutual recognition of standard, lack of bilateral technology and skill transfer and low level of connectivity between private sectors of either country are some of the factors responsible for not realising the potentials of trade. This is further confirmed by our illustrative CGE modelling exercise which suggest about half a percentage points increase in real GNP in either country if bilateral tariff barriers are abolished. In this context, governments of Russia and India need to play pro-active role to raise the level of economic engagement
    Keywords: India, Russia, High Technology, CGE model, Trade
    JEL: F15
    Date: 2012
  4. By: Orden, David
    Abstract: Movement toward the objective of undistorted world agricultural markets has been set back by the lapse since 2008 of the WTO Doha Round negotiations. In the absence of a new agreement, constraints on distortionary agricultural domestic support remain lax. One might have expected policies of subsidizing farmers to have faded in the high-price environment since 2008. But that is not the case. In both the US and EU, agricultural support policy is under review and new options are being devised. Likewise, support for agriculture has increased in key emerging economies. In the US, in particular, the next farm bill likely will contain support measures that would have been harder to enact if a Doha Round agreement were coming into effect. This paper reviews these developments and their implications for trade and future trade negotiations. The WTO commitments of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and their levels of agricultural support are examined, including the domestic support commitments of Russia under its accession to the WTO in 2012.
    Keywords: domestic, support, trade, wto, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, International Development, International Relations/Trade,
    Date: 2013–02
  5. By: Ibragimov Marat; Jovlon Karimov; Elena Permyakova
    Abstract: Okun’s law is a well-known relationship between the change in the unemployment rate and output growth. The main objective of the study is to provide a rigorous econometric analysis of Okun’s law for several CIS countries using different models and econometric methods. The paper further focuses on the analysis of the behavior of unemployment and Gross Domestic Product in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Ukraine and Uzbekistan in different periods of their economic development during 2000-2010. The traditional approach to Okun’s law estimation using OLS regressions does not account for possible endogeneity of regressors and the implied inconsistency of the estimates obtained. These problems point out to incorrectness of applications of the standard OLS estimation techniques. Our study addresses these issues by using econometrically justified instrumental variable regression methods. The report provides the results and discussions on the practical use of Okun’s relationships for evaluation of average effects of economic growth on the unemployment rate, and vice versa; importance of accounting for confidence intervals in applications of Okun’s models to economic development analysis and cross-country comparisons; as well as those on the value of the models for economic forecasting and policy decisions. We also discuss in detail the results of formal econometric tests and economic motivation for validity of instrumental variables used in the study. The formal econometric tests, together with economic arguments, allow us to determine the most appropriate Okun-type models for each of the CIS countries under consideration.
    JEL: C26 C51 C53 E23 J64
    Date: 2013–02–04
  6. By: Stéphane BECUWE; Bertrand BLANCHETON
    Abstract: L’article étudie le commerce extérieur de vins de la France à partir des données annuelles disponibles dans le Tableau du Commerce Général de la France entre 1850 et 1913. Les exportations vers 30 pays ont été prises en compte de même que les importations en provenance de 9 pays. L’analyse statistique des flux agrégés confirme que la crise du phylloxera structure largement les flux entrants et sortants des années 1870 aux années 1890. De manière plus originale l’article montre que les flux d’exportations connaissent un redéploiement des zones lointaines comme les Etats-Unis, la Russie et le Brésil vers des pays proches comme la Belgique, l’Allemagne et la Grande-Bretagne, même si les débouchés apparaissent volatils, les marchés les plus importants changent au cours de la période. La France est contrainte d’importer du vin à la suite de la crise du phylloxera, il provient d’Italie et surtout d’Espagne, une politique tarifaire agressive et discriminatoire bloque les importations italiennes à partir de 1886 et les importations espagnoles à partir de 1892 au profit des vins du vignoble algérien.
    Keywords: vin, globalisation, politique commerciale
    JEL: N7
    Date: 2013

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