nep-cis New Economics Papers
on Confederation of Independent States
Issue of 2015‒08‒13
seven papers chosen by

  1. The rouble crisis and the Russian grain export controls By Glauben, Thomas; Götz, Linde; Koester, Ulrich
  2. Global Financial Crisis, Ownership Change, and Corporate Governance Evolution: Firm-Level Evidence from Russia By Iwasaki, Ichiro
  3. Political Risk, Information and Corruption Cycles: Evidence from Russian Regions By Oleg Sidorkin; Dmitriy Vorobyev
  4. Between a rock and a hard place: International market dynamics, domestic politics and Gazprom's strategy By Andrei V. Belyi; Andreas Goldthau
  5. Subjective well-being across the lifespan in Europe and Central Asia By Bauer,Jan Michael; Levin,Victoria; Munoz Boudet,Ana Maria; Nie,Peng; Sousa-Poza,Alfonso
  6. Research on Poverty in Transition Economies: A Meta-analysis on Changes in the Determinants of Poverty By Kumo, Kazuhiro
  7. Black Sea countries: Grain production & exports By Sizov, Andrey

  1. By: Glauben, Thomas; Götz, Linde; Koester, Ulrich
    Abstract: Since 1 February 2015, an additional tax has been levied on Russian wheat exports to reduce the recently strongly rising wheat exports. The aim is to dampen further increases in the already high domestic wheat prices and to stabilise bread prices. However, recent experiences in various countries as Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Serbia, and Russia show that grain export restrictions do little if anything to moderate bread prices. Poor people will also fail to profit from this governmental market intervention. Instead, grain export barriers will disconnect the Russian grain producers from the international markets while necessary investments in the grain sector decline which decreases food security. This form of protectionism by the government is ample cause for serious concern. Considering the current downswing in the Russian economy, the destabilisation of the strategically important grain sector will most certainly not improve the investment climate in Russia.
    Abstract: Seit dem 1. Februar 2015 werden russische Weizenexporte zusätzlich besteuert, um die jüngst stark angestiegenen Weizenexporte zu reduzieren. Ziel ist es, dem weiteren Ansteigen der bereits hohen inländischen Weizenpreise entgegenzuwirken und die Brotpreise zu stabilisieren. Erfahrungen der jüngeren Vergangenheit in verschiedenen Ländern, darunter in der Ukraine, in Kasachstan, Serbien und Russland selbst, zeigen jedoch, dass Getreideexportbeschränkungen nur geringfügig oder gar nicht zur Dämpfung von Brotpreisen beitragen. Auch ärmere Bevölkerungsschichten werden von diesen staatlichen Eingriffen nicht profitieren. Vielmehr führt dies zur Abkopplung der russischen Getreidewirtschaft von den internationalen Märkten, notwendige Investitionen in den Getreidesektor werden abnehmen und damit dem Ziel der Ernährungssicherung entgegenwirken. Man muss mit Sorge auf diese Form des staatlichen Protektionismus blicken. Gerade während der jetzigen Talfahrt der russischen Wirtschaft trägt eine Destabilisierung des strategisch wichtigen Getreidesektors sicherlich nicht zur Verbesserung des Investitionsklimas in Russland bei.
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Iwasaki, Ichiro
    Abstract: In this paper, using panel data of industrial firms obtained from unique questionnaire surveys conducted all over the Russian Federation in 2005 and 2009, we trace structural change in corporate governance systems before and after the global financial crisis and empirically examine their determinants. We found that, during this period, Russian firms improved the quality of corporate governance across the entire industrial sector. Furthermore, our empirical evidence strongly supports a hypothesis regarding the relationship between outside ownership and board composition as well as that concerning the impact of outside directorship on the audit system. Meanwhile, our estimation results also indicate the possibility that the global financial crisis has brought about asymmetric changes, in the sense that it enhanced the independence of corporate boards, while it deteriorated the independence of the audit system, thus, partially rejecting our prediction with respect to the disciplinary effect of the crisis on the corporate governance system.
    Keywords: global financial crisis, ownership change, evolution of corporate governance, board composition, audit system, Russia
    JEL: D22 G01 G34 M42 P34
    Date: 2015–07
  3. By: Oleg Sidorkin; Dmitriy Vorobyev
    Abstract: Political budget cycles are a well-established phenomenon in which opportunistic politicians systematically adjust public policies prior to elections in order to attract a higher number of votes. We show that corrupt behavior of politicians also follows certain patterns, which are driven by electoral cycles. Based on Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Survey data, exploiting variation in the dates of surveys and in length and starting date of Russian regional governors' terms, we find that corruption levels, as perceived by firms operating in different regions of Russia, increases closer to the expected expiration date of a regional governor's term. We argue that the Russian political system allows governors to accumulate private information about their likelihood of remaining in office for another term. Therefore, they will know well in advance of elections if they continue in the office for the next term. We suggest that the accumulation of such information may serve as an explanation for the observed pattern of perceived corruption: if a governor gradually learns that he is leaving office once the current term has expired he has increasing incentives to engage in corrupt activities in order to accumulate wealth before he is out of the game. We formalize this idea with a simple theoretical model and test it. We find that in regions where incumbent governors are less likely to remain in office for the next term, corruption increases over their terms, while in regions where governors are more likely to remain in office, perceived corruption follows a decreasing trend.
    Keywords: corruption; political budget cycle; Russia;
    JEL: D73 O17 P26
    Date: 2015–05
  4. By: Andrei V. Belyi; Andreas Goldthau
    Abstract: Gazprom, Russian's prime state owned gas producer, is facing severe pressure stemming from international gas market dynamics, EU regulation and the Ukraine crisis. Slowing gas demand coupled with shifting pricing models and a persisting transit issue pose significant challenges for Gazprom's business going forward. Domestic pressure emerges from competition arising from private companies, mainly Notatek, but also state owned rival Rosneft, and is reinforced by governmental moves toward more market oriented Russian gas sector organization. Gazprom's options include pivoting to alternative markets, notably China; reverting to international legal bodies and market principles to counter EU regulatory pressures; and to depoliticize gas trade in order to generate long term expectations on its prime market - Europe. We pose that neither of these options is likely to fully solve Gazprom's dilemma, whose competitive position will arguably further weaken both domestically and internationally. We believe that Gazprom's best option would be to aim for depoliticizing gas trade, by way of giving up its de facto monopoly on gas exports to Europe.
    Keywords: Energy security, gas markets, Gazprom, European Union, regulation
    Date: 2015–04
  5. By: Bauer,Jan Michael; Levin,Victoria; Munoz Boudet,Ana Maria; Nie,Peng; Sousa-Poza,Alfonso
    Abstract: This paper uses data from the Integrated Values Survey, the Life in Transition Survey, and the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey to analyze the relation between age and subjective well-being in the Europe and Central Asia region. Although the results generally confirm the findings of previous studies of a U-shaped relation between subjective well-being and age for most of the lifecycle, the paper also finds that well-being declines again after people reach their 60s and 70s, giving rise to an S-shaped relation across the entire lifespan. This pattern generally remains robust for most of the cross-sectional and panel analyses. Hence, despite significant heterogeneity in the pattern of well-being across the lifespan in the Europe and Central Asia region, the paper does not observe high levels of cross-country or cross-cohort variation.
    Keywords: Science Education,Educational Sciences,Youth and Government,Scientific Research&Science Parks,Population&Development
    Date: 2015–07–28
  6. By: Kumo, Kazuhiro
    Abstract: Research on the increase in poverty in the transitional economies affected by the collapse of socialism began soon after the economic transition began. However, the nature of poverty in the former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe differs, and two phases have been observed: a phase of increasing and stabilising poverty in the 1990s and a phase of declining poverty in the 2000s. Taking into account the possibility that the impact of household size, education level, and urban domicile, which are factors employed in traditional poverty research, may differ depending on the year or the region, this paper attempted a meta-analysis. The results enerally supported the hypothesis. In the 1990s, there was no difference between urban and rural populations in the probability of falling into poverty. After 2000, however, urban domicile became a significant factor in reducing the probability of falling into poverty. In addition, differences were observed between the former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe in the factors affecting the poverty situation. This phenomenon is considered to indicate one of the directions for research in comparative transitional economics in the future. Furthermore, the trend in poverty dynamics seen here can probably also be regarded as indicating steady progress in “transition”.
    JEL: I32 I39 P36 P46
    Date: 2015–07
  7. By: Sizov, Andrey
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, International Relations/Trade,
    Date: 2015

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