nep-cis New Economics Papers
on Confederation of Independent States
Issue of 2015‒03‒27
eleven papers chosen by

  1. Body Weight and Labour Market Outcomes in Post-Soviet Russia By Sonya Huffman
  2. Political Risk Investing in Emerging Markets versus Economic Reality By Larisa Belinskaja; Ugne Kisielyte
  3. Discourse Function of Non-Initial Referential Choice in Selected 17th Century Russian Texts By Ekaterina Schnittke
  4. Relationship Between Exchange Rates and Stock Prices in Transition Economies Evidence from Linear and Nonlinear Causality Tests By Gunay Akel
  5. Development Efforts by Modern Turkey: The Report of Moscow Ambassador (1937) By Çağatay Benhür
  6. Economic stratification of the Russian population and its subjective assessment By Margarita Perova; Evgeniy Perov
  7. The Role of Infrastructure in International Relations: the Case of South Caucasus By Erik Davtyan
  8. Measuring Active Aging for Cross-Country Comparisons and Policy Planning By Liudmila Zasimova; Maria Sheluntcova; Alexey Kalinin
  9. Social network site users and political participation in Kyrgyzstan By Elira Turdubaeva
  10. Contemporary Economic and Social Trends and Their Impact on Marketing By Neviana Krasteva
  11. Disentangling Size and Efficiency Effects of Finance: New Evidence from Transition Countries By ayse demir

  1. By: Sonya Huffman (Iowa State University)
    Abstract: This research focuses on the impacts of weight, measured by body mass index (BMI), on employment, wages, and missed work due to illness for Russian adults by gender using recent panel data (1994-2005) from the nationally representative Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS). We employ econometric techniques to control for unobserved heterogeneity and potential biases due to endogeneity in BMI. The results show an inverted U-shaped effect of BMI on probability of employment for men and women. We did not find evidence of wage penalty for higher BMI. In fact, the wages for overweigh men are higher. However, having a BMI above 28.3 increases the number of days missing work due to health problems for men. Overall, we find negative effects of obesity on employment only for women but not on wages. During the transition in Russia, the increasingly competitive pressure in the labour market combined with economic insecurity faced by the population has lead to a muted impact of an individual’s weight on labour market outcomes.
    Keywords: Body Weight, Labour Market, Post-Soviet Russia, BMI
    Date: 2014–06
  2. By: Larisa Belinskaja (Vilnius University, Faculty of Economics); Ugne Kisielyte (Vilnius University, Faculty of Economics)
    Abstract: Investment risk†is always accompanied with “returnâ€, it is one of the most important aspects to evaluate when doing business by private firms or making new decision on overseas investments by governments. According to the report “World Investment and political Risk†provided by the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, investors keep ranking political risk as a prime obstacle for investments into developing markets (Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, 2014). The term “emerging markets†originally brought into fashion in the 1980’s by the World Bank economist Antoine van Agtmael. Emerging markets are the world’s fastest growing economies, contributing to a great deal of the world’s explosive growth of trade. By 2020, the five biggest emerging markets’ share of world output will double to 16.1 percent from 7.8 percent in 1992 (Marr & Reynard, 2010). Since the year 2000 share of emerging economies in global GDP (in Purchasing Power Parity) has increased from 37 percent to 50 percent in 2013 (Boumphrey & Bevis, 2013). They are critical participants in the world’s major political, economic, and social affairs and are seeking a larger voice in international politics and a bigger slice of the global economic pie. Recently some events such as Arab Spring, a conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and protests in Brazil against corn upt spending when organizing the World Football championship have increased political risk in those markets. As a result, the issues of political risk analyzed in this article are currently relevant. The aim of the article is to research political risk and its influence on business investments in emerging markets as well as the methods to evaluate such risk precisely as much as possible. This article begins with the introduction to theories relevant for the analysis of the topic. It also presents the political risk and its influences on operations in a emerging market. Then the case study is presented with food industry is chosen for analysis and with application to Russian-Lithuanian situation after Russia has put the sanctions on import of food products (vegetables, meat, fish, milk and dairy products) from the EU member states, Australia, the US, Canada and Norway for a year.
    Keywords: political risk, emerging markets, investment decisions, food industry
    JEL: E22 F14 F59
    Date: 2014–12
  3. By: Ekaterina Schnittke (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The referential system of Middle Russian is notable for having in addition to the "standard" anaphoric devices—such as zero, pronominal, and nominal forms—devices that combine pronominal and nominal components, e.g. on knjaz' Mixajlo ‘he prince Mixajlo’, tot d'jakon Iov ‘that deacon Iov’. Traditionally, referring expressions of the type Pron+NP were regarded as typical of administrative language and functionally interpreted as satisfying the need for clarity and unambiguous identification of the referents. I show that in a selection of 17th century texts these constructions are used independently of the disambiguation need. I argue that both compound constructions, Pron+NP and Dem+NP, function as markers of the referent's status at different levels of discourse. Specifically, participants who are major at the discourse level and thematic at the episode level tend to be encoded by means of Pron+NP, whereas participants who are thematic at the episode level but minor at the discourse level are usually encoded by means of Dem+NP. These facts are examined against the background of the history of pronouns and demonstratives in the Russian language
    Keywords: historical pragmatics, discourse deixis, discourse status, referential choice, referring devices, appositives, 17th century, history of Russian language, Solovki monastery
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Gunay Akel (Necmettin Erbakan University)
    Abstract: The existence of causation linkage between stock prices and exchange rates is one of the popular debate especially since the beginning of 1990s. The aim of this paper is to investigate the nature of the causal transmission mechanism between foreign exchange and stock markets in 9 transition countries (i.e., Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Russia) for the periods of 1995-2011. The results of the paper show that uni-directional linear Granger causality running from exchange rates to stock prices for 4 countries (i.e., Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Romania) and a feedback exists between two markets for only Russia when both linear and nonlinear Granger causality are used.
    Keywords: Exchange Rates, Stock Prices, Transition Economies, Linear and Nonlinear Causality Tests
    JEL: C22 F31
    Date: 2014–07
  5. By: Çağatay Benhür (Selçuk University)
    Abstract: In historical process, the best period in Turkish- Russian relations was between the years 1917 and 1939. The good affair between the two countries was began with the mutual assistances on the eve of independence wars after newly established regimes in both countries. It would take another turn due to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s dead in 1938, and due to World War Two started in 1939 which Soviet Union was entered into the conflicts in 1941. In the period between the years 1935 and 1939, which the relations of Turkey and Soviet Union was at the highest level, Zeki Apaydın, who was the Turkish Ambassador in Moscow, sent a report to Ankara in 1937. He attached a wide appendix about the animal husbandry and the product storage techniques which composed of the information, the photographs and the drawings about new tech farm equipment in Soviet Union to his report. Turkish ambassador thought that these documents would be helpful in his country. In this article, Turkish-Soviet affairs will be handle in the frame of the report which was sent by Ambassador Zeki Apaydın to his government.
    Keywords: Zeki Apaydın / Turkish Soviet Relations / Ambassador
    Date: 2014–06
  6. By: Margarita Perova (Vologda State University, Scientific centre for studying social and economic conflicts); Evgeniy Perov (Scientific centre for studying social and economic conflicts)
    Abstract: Social and economic inequality is inherent in any society. During the Soviet period it was manifested in social status and prestige that defined social privileges rather than in income differentiation. The formation of the market relations in Russian society was accompanied by a considerable decrease in living standards and by economic stratification of the population. The relevance of the research is caused by the intensification of the income stratification of the Russian population under the conditions of transformation and development of the economic system. According to the statistical data, the income differentiation of the population was insignificant at the end of the Soviet period: R/P 10% ratio made up 2.99 in 1989. By 2012 it reached the level of 16.4. In 1995–2012, 20% of less provided population accounted for 5-6% of the income. The Gini coefficient increased from 0.387 in 1995 to 0.422 in 2007, when it reached the highest value. The aggregate indicator of the income stratification of the population is suggested for the collective estimate of the income differentiation of the population. The subjective image of the income stratification of the population is formed on the basis of opinion polls data. The subjective poverty index shows that the family’s financial situation was perceived by the population as the most unfavourable in 1998, with the assessment becoming more positive in subsequent years. The share of the population that according to its own estimations can hardly make ends meet gradually decreased from 51% in 1995 to 6% in 2012. The population stratification into the rich and the poor based on the amount of wealth, property was considered by more than a quarter of the population as an acute social problem during all years of the analyzed period. It was noted by more than 40% of the respondents in 1997-1998. The subjective image of the economic stratification of the population is reflected by the aggregate indicator of the subjective assessment of the income stratification of the population.The comparison of the dynamics of the aggregate indicators of the population income stratification and of its subjective assessment revealed their multidirectional dynamics. It can indicate that either people gradually get used to the income differentiation of the population, and it does not bother them as much anymore, or that the real income of the population exceeds the statistical data, by means of shadow income, for example.
    Keywords: Keywords: income differentiation of the population, subjective image of income
    JEL: I30 C10
    Date: 2014–12
  7. By: Erik Davtyan (Yerevan State University)
    Abstract: The role of infrastructures has always been appreciated by the leading powers of the world while pursuing their own goals in the global policy-making process. Though the level of infrastructural development was not so high (in comparison with that of nowadays), in almost all periods of human history states have shared a prominent interest in preserving a total control over infrastructures and undermining the influences of their enemies on them. For example, the Silk road has always been a trouble point in international relations of the Middle East, as it played a key role in regional wars between the Roman Empire and Persia, Byzantium and Arab Caliphate, Ottoman Empire and Safavid Persia.Taking into consideration the fact that the evolution of the world society, the progress in high technologies, the diversification and intensification of economic, political and financial relations have increased the importance of infrastructures, the research is concentrated on the impact of hard types of infrastructure on international relations in one of the most complicated regions of the world, South Caucasus. The point is that transport, energy and water management infrastructures have always played a key role in the formulation of foreign strategies of Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan. The dislocation of various types of infrastructure has highly influenced the level of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Sometimes the economic and political relations of South Caucasian republics with the neighboring states (i.e. Russia, Turkey and Iran) have been conditioned by the “quantity†and the “quality†of infrastructural development that Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan possessed.Therefore the research aims at investigating impact of regional infrastructures on regional affairs in the post-Soviet era, simultaneously drawing parallels with the pre-Soviet period, i.e. during the existence of independent regimes in Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan (1918-1921). The immense progress in high technologies has had a prominent impact on the factor of communications in the national security concepts of the region. Thus, the struggle for “more infrastructures†becomes more and more important in the context of geopolitical terms, therefore the struggle “through infrastructures†is considered to be one of the efficient ways of policy-making process in “South Caucasian concertâ€.
    Keywords: Infrastructure, South Caucasus, International Relations, Geopolitics
    JEL: F50 F51 F54
    Date: 2014–10
  8. By: Liudmila Zasimova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Maria Sheluntcova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Alexey Kalinin (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: An aging population and the low involvement of elderlies in social activities makes the measurement of active aging an important research question, since it gives an insight into the potential of the elderly. Policy agendas in many countries stress the need for active aging in terms of improved health and a greater degree of autonomy. This paper aims to investigate the potential and limits of international comparison for setting policy goals concerning older adults. We use World Health Organization (WHO) micro data from the Study of Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE) to measure active aging in five countries demonstrating similar macroeconomic outcomes, namely Russia, India, China, South Africa and Mexico. Following the WHO concept of active aging, we select indicators for three components of active aging (health, participation in social activities, and security) and aggregate them into three sub-indices, which become the outcome index of active aging. Our findings show significant variation in the proportion of actively aging individuals in selected countries (from 89% in China to 44% in South Africa) and in the sub-indices of health, participation and security. We compare our results with macro-level data and conclude that the active aging index could be a useful tool for measuring the proportion of actively aging individuals and understanding the challenges for policy makers in each country. However, one should understand the limits of micro-level data analysis and interpret the results carefully. We also argue that for international comparisons, active aging indexes should be studied with respect to the activity of non-elderlies in each country
    Keywords: active aging, public policy, the elderly, health, participation, security
    JEL: J14 J18
    Date: 2015
  9. By: Elira Turdubaeva (Kyrgyzstan-Turkey Manas University)
    Abstract: There are a few key studies around the social impact of information technologies and Internet access within Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan, with a high level of political participation and an avant-garde position regarding internet access in Central Asia, broadband and social media penetration in the population, is a critical case for studying social media in relation to political participation. New media combined with a high level of internet freedom in Kyrgyzstan is a powerful tool that has the possibility to channel citizen opinion, offer an alternative to traditional print, TV and radio outlets, and craft new methods by which the citizen or collective interacts with the political and social environment (Robbins, 2012).According to some authors, the Tulip Revolution in 2005 in Kyrgyzstan was the ï¬rst revolution amongst post-Soviet nations where the Internet was considered a factor in disseminating information and mobilization political protest. Still in its infancy, the Internet in Kyrgyzstan played its first role – albeit a highly weak one – in supporting anti-government protests which overthrew President Akayev and his government during the “Tulip Revolution†in 2005.In 2010, five years after new media saw its first use as a political tool in the “Tulip Revolutionâ€, the significance of new media was revealed once more when Kyrgyzstan was mired in political conflict between the months of March and June. In March various online communities began reporting on allegations of widespread corruption in then President Bakiyev’s government. In spite of its further attempts to stifle political and social unrest by censoring traditional Kyrgyz media and blocking access to certain Russian TV stations, Bakiyev’s regime was unable to stop the elusive flow of information running through new media outlets. On April 7 an estimated 10,000 protesters gathered around Bishkek and successfully stormed the White House, forcing President Bakiyev to flee the country. This study analyzes the practices and attitudes of social media users and whether using social network sites alone drives previously inactive respondents to political participation. Three types of users – members of political parties, members of interest organizations, and non-members – are interviewed in focus groups about their attitudes to political content in the social network site Facebook.
    Keywords: Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia, political participation, new media, interaction, social media, Tulip Revolution.
    Date: 2014–05
  10. By: Neviana Krasteva (Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridskiâ€)
    Abstract: The focus of this study is the impact that the recent economic and social tendencies have upon the marketing of firms. The ways in which the marketing policies and practices are influenced by the dynamic changes in the physical space, demographics, behavioral models and economic growth will be examined.The scarcity of resources leads not only to a search of new sources and surrogate technologies, but also to a struggle on the firm level to lower the operational costs without diminishing the value of their products to the consumers. The heightened ecological concerns and stricter regulations necessitate the presence of a “green idea†in most products not as an extra, but as an expected characteristic for which no additional money is charged. The changes in the demographic structure and the increase in percentage of older people, especially in the developed world, calls for marketing to be targeting the solvent parts of the population; these are no longer just the traditional group aged 18-34, but the generation of the baby-boomers which preceded them. The increased frequency of divorces also modifies the needs of the consumers and the general client profile. The increased presence of the digital and on-line worlds in the daily life of people also alters the consumer behavior; the presence and active marketing use of social networks and Internet resources is no longer a choice, but a must for companies. The global shifts of the centers of economic power towards the modernistic markets of China, India, Brazil and Russia present new problems about market presence and consumer satisfaction of well-known Euro-American brands and companies in those countries. The reverse trend is also present – more and more firms from emerging economies are highly successful in promoting their products in the markets of the developed world.Last but not least, the technological changes, the adjustment in the character of small retailers, the rise of powerful distributors with great sway in negotiations and the momentum that the digitalization of commerce has all have deep impact on the way marketing programs and channels are structured. The recognition and adequate addressing of all of these trends is a key challenge before businesses across the world in the 21st century.
    Keywords: Contemporary marketing, Physical environment, Resource scarcity, Behavioral models, Demographic profile, Social networks, Change in retail
    JEL: M31
    Date: 2014–07
  11. By: ayse demir (university of leicester)
    Abstract: This paper aims to shed light on the role of financial development on the growth dynamics of transition countries. Particularly, the impacts of several financial development indicators (in terms of size and efficiency) on the income level in 25 transition economies and two subgroups with varying intensities of socio-economic development are empirically examined. The countries of interest tend to have weaker financial system in comparison with the advanced markets. Subgroups are formed for 16 Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) transition economies and 9 former Soviet Union (CIS) members in order to conduct panel data estimations with a time period of 1990 - 2012. Findings, clearly suggest that, improvements in the financial system (size measurements) are highly associated with rising income levels for all country groups. Increase in liberalization of interest rates, private credit and banking lending affect the income level in the CEE lower than in the CIS. According to results, high interest rate spreads (efficiency indicator) negatively affect economic growth and remains statistically significant even if size measurements are included in the regression for both group of countries, indicating that an unsubstantial increase in the size of financial intermediation does not affect growth unless it is also followed by banking efficiency developments and rising competition in the banking sector.
    Keywords: economic growth, transition economies, panel data, financial development
    JEL: F39
    Date: 2014–10

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