nep-cis New Economics Papers
on Confederation of Independent States
Issue of 2014‒02‒08
eight papers chosen by
Alexander Harin
Modern University for the Humanities

  1. Ceremonial Science: The State of Russian Economics Seen Through the Lens of the Work of ‘Doctor of Science’ Candidates By Alexander Libman; Joachim Zweynert
  2. Multi-payer health insurance systems in Central and Eastern Europe: lessons from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Russia By Galina Besstremyannaya; Jaak Simm
  3. From age-friendly research to age-friendly city and age-friendly regional network: case of tuymazy and republic of Bashkortostan, Russian Federation By Gulnara A. Minnigaleeva
  4. Distributional impacts of cash allowances for children: a microsimulation analysis for Russia and Europe By Popova, Daria
  5. Urban inequity in the performance of social health insurance system: evidence from Russian regions By Galina Besstremyannaya
  6. Asymmetric exchange-rate exposure in BRIC countries By Dranev Yury; Maxim Babushkin
  7. Nuclear Deterrence in Asia and the Pacific By Gareth Evans
  8. Connecting strategy, environmental and social indicators: a study of oil and gas producers By Evgeny Varfolomeev; Oleg Marin; Dmitry Bykov; Oleg Karasev; Natalia Velikanova; Elena Vetchinkina; Anastasia Edelkina; Thomas Thurner

  1. By: Alexander Libman (Frankfurt School of Finance and Management); Joachim Zweynert
    Abstract: The paper investigates the current status of economic research in Russia using a previously unexplored dataset of Russian ‘Doctor of Science’ (Dr. Sc.) theses. The Dr. Sc. degree is a postdoctoral qualification necessary for career advancement at most Russian universities. Thus, by looking at the Dr. Sc. theses we are able to provide a systematic overview of ‘average’ scientific standards in Russia, particularly at the mass universities at which most administrators and bureaucrats are trained. We show that the level of integration of Russian economics into the international scientific community remains very low. Moreover, we obtain a picture of a mostly ‘ceremonial’ science. Researchers combine references to ‘classical’ research, formal methods and practical application merely as an instrument for presenting the mostly verbal argument in a more scientific’ way.
    Keywords: Russian economics, international integration, scientific methodology
    JEL: A11 B41 I23 P39
    Date: 2014–01
  2. By: Galina Besstremyannaya (CEFIR); Jaak Simm (Tallinn University of Technology)
    Abstract: Transition countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union introduced social health insurance (SHI) to foster universal coverage, stable financing revenues, and consumer euity through a principle of solidarity. In particular, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Russia emphasized managed between health insurance companies. Howevr, insufficient financing of the health care systems and excessive regulation led to deficienciesof the multi-payer SHI model in the three countries. The paper examines common trends in the development of the SHI systems in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Russia, and conducts empirical estimations with data for Russian regions.
    Keywords: Social health insurance, infant mortality, maternal mortality, managed competition, transition economies
    JEL: I13 I18
    Date: 2014–01
  3. By: Gulnara A. Minnigaleeva (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper discusses the strategy and success factors of development of age-friendly programs in the City of Tuymazy and Republic of Bashkortostan, Russian Federation, as a part of the Global Age-Friendly Project of World Health Organization. A research followed by a small grass root initiative led to development of a large regional program with 21 municipalities involved. The key success factors included: creating an agency to trigger, promote and implement age-friendly practices; establishing partnerships with government and other organizations in the area; building and maintaining media and public relations; building on culture; expanding and encouraging civic engagement; starting small; providing recognition and credit. Building awareness and partnerships is vital for advancing age-friendly programs. With multiple stakeholders involved it is important to maintain regular communications conduct information sessions and stick to the planning and reporting schedule. For continuity and sustainability of a large scale project it is essential to hire paid staff
    Keywords: Age-friendly Cities, Ageing Policies, Nongovernmental Organizations, Community Development, Social Policies, Nonprofit-Government Partnerships, Municipalities, Quality of Life, Welfare, Russia
    JEL: H75 I31
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Popova, Daria
    Abstract: This paper analyses programmes of cash allowances for children and compares their effectiveness in combating child poverty in Russia and four EU countries Sweden, Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom. These countries are selected as representatives of alternative family policy models. Using microsimulation models (RUSMOD and EUROMOD), this paper estimates the potential gains if the Russian system were re-designed along the policy parameters of these countries and vice versa. Such an exercise rests on the idea of policy learning and provides policy relevant evidence on how a policy would perform, given different national socio-economic and demographic settings. The results confirm that the poverty impact of the program design is smaller than that of the level of spending. Other conditions being equal, the best outcomes for children are achieved by applying the mix of universal and means-tested child benefits, such as those employed by the UK and Belgium. At the same time, the Russian design of child allowances does not appear to be less effective in terms of its impact on child poverty when transferred to European countries in place of their current arrangements.
    Date: 2014–01–27
  5. By: Galina Besstremyannaya (CEFIR)
    Abstract: The paper assesses the impact of urbanization on the quality related outcomes of social health insurance systems in 85 Russian regions in 2000-2006. The results of parametric and kernel regressions reveal that controlling for regional income is a significant determinant of infant and under-five mortality. Arguably, the influence of urbanization on health outcomes is due to latent processes (e.g. the development of infrastructure). The methods of provider reimbursement are related to infant and under-five mortality, which offers suggestive evidence for selective contracting. Yet, insurer competition might increase urban inequity.
    Keywords: Social determinants of health, urbanization, social health insurance, infant mortality, provider payment, kernel regression, health care systems
    JEL: I10 I18 C14 C26
    Date: 2014–01
  6. By: Dranev Yury (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Maxim Babushkin (Ernst&Young)
    Abstract: This work contributes to the literature on exchange-rate exposure in emerging markets. We studied datasets of exchange-listed companies from four BRIC countries and discovered that exchange rate movements in the US dollar and euro affected more than 10% of these firms between 2003 and 2013. The most interesting finding of this research is that stock returns behaved differently with increasing and decreasing currency rates. For capturing the asymmetric relationship of stock and exchange rate movements, we applied a nonlinear dynamic model, which significantly improved our results compared to the empirical findings of simple versions of the Adler Dumas (1984) and Jorion (1990) models. We studied determinants of exposure to positive and negative currency movements separately. Although significant determinants in both cases were mostly similar, their weights were different. For example, the ratio of export sales was asymmetrically correlated to exchange rate exposures for all countries except Russia. For a better understanding of the sources of asymmetry in exchange rate exposure, we separately studied the positive and negative coefficients of currency exposure from the non-asymmetric model. This was never done before and natural in a way that determinants should affect positive and negative currency exposures differently. We found evidence of the contrasting impact of export sales and foreign debt in both cases.
    Keywords: exchange rate exposure, currency markets, stock returns, asymmetric model, emerging markets.
    JEL: G15 G17
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Gareth Evans
    Abstract: The Asia Pacific region includes six of the world’s nine nuclear-armed states, and in all of them relevant policymakers, still caught in a Cold War mindset, continue to believe in nuclear deterrence as a force for peace and stability, perceiving nuclear disarmament to be not only unachievable, but undesirable. But — whether the context is major powers seeking to neutralise threats from each other (United States, Russia, China and India), non-nuclear allies seeking nuclear protection from various threat contingencies (Japan, South Korea and Australia) or vulnerable states seeking a ‘strategic equaliser’ (Pakistan and North Korea) — the traditional strategic arguments for nuclear deterrence are much weaker than they may first seem. Whatever may have been the case for the Cold War years, in today’s world the risks associated with the acquisition or retention of nuclear weapons far outweigh any conceivable utility they may have. The financial arguments against them — that they are indefensibly costly — are strong. And the humanitarian arguments are overwhelming: nuclear weapons remain the most indiscriminately inhumane ever devised, and they should be outlawed as chemical and biological weapons have been. Making disarmament happen will never be easy, but — with the right political leadership — is not impossible. Focusing, realistically, in the first instance on minimization rather than elimination, practical steps can be taken to dramatically reduce nuclear weapon numbers, deployment and alert status, and doctrinal reliance on them. Doing so would dramatically reduce, both regionally and globally, the now ever-present risk of nuclear catastrophe.
    Keywords: Asia, Pacific, nuclear, deterrence, disarmament
    Date: 2013–12–22
  8. By: Evgeny Varfolomeev (Science Research Institute of Economics and Management in Gas Industry); Oleg Marin (Science Research Institute of Economics and Management in Gas Industry); Dmitry Bykov (Science Research Institute of Economics and Management in Gas Industry); Oleg Karasev (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Natalia Velikanova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Elena Vetchinkina (Lomonosov Moscow State University); Anastasia Edelkina (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Thomas Thurner (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper studies the integration of social and environmental objectives into strategy through performance indicators based on a sample of multinational world-leading oil- and gas producers. Also, we inquire if the companies under study, which identify certain areas as strategic objectives, do better than their peers. We show that top management of the companies did indeed identify different areas of interest, had different strategic foci, and used different performance indicators. This is often explicable through a company’s own history and past experiences. When comparing a sample of greenhouse gas emissions, safety measures, and energy efficiency indicators between the different companies, we could not identify a consistent development over time trends. In fact, some did worse over time and collective improvements were largely absent. We suggest further research into the link between strategic objectives and a company’s relative position in industry.
    Keywords: indicator, environmental protection, oil- and gas producers, energy efficiency, resource availability
    JEL: M14 M40 N50
    Date: 2014

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