nep-cis New Economics Papers
on Confederation of Independent States
Issue of 2016‒04‒04
twelve papers chosen by

  1. Struggling for new lives: Family and fertility policies in the Soviet Union and modern Russia By Selezneva, Ekaterina
  2. Growth Stabilises: Investment a Major Driver, Except in Countries Plagued by Recession By Amat Adarov; Vasily Astrov; Serkan Çiçek; Rumen Dobrinsky; Vladimir Gligorov; Doris Hanzl-Weiss; Peter Havlik; Mario Holzner; Gabor Hunya; Simona Jokubauskaite; Sebastian Leitner; Isilda Mara; Olga Pindyuk; Leon Podkaminer; Sandor Richter; Hermine Vidovic
  4. A comparison of the roles of privately and state-owned oil companies in developing the Arctic shelf By Kaznacheev, Peter; Bazaleva, Regina
  5. BMI Growth Rates and the Nutrition Transition: The Role of Income, Inequality and Income Growth in Russia By Butzlaff, Iris
  6. Monthly Report No. 9/2015 By Amat Adarov; Fatos Hoxha; Werner Laventure; Isilda Mara
  7. Mainstreaming of ecosystem services into sectoral and macroeconomic policies and programmes of Republic of Kazakhstan By Roe, Terry L.; Smith, Rodney B.W.
  8. Covered interest parity: evidence from Russian money market By Kuga Iakov; Elena Kuzmina
  9. The Impact of War on Happiness: the Case of Ukraine By Tom Coupe; Maksym Obrizan
  10. Comparing the financial development of transition countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union By Jakhongir Kakhkharov
  11. Emerging Multinational Corporations: A Prominent Player in the Global Economy By Mustafa Sakr; Andre Jordaan
  12. Negative Consequences of Smooth Devaluation By BLINOV, Sergey

  1. By: Selezneva, Ekaterina
    Abstract: During the 20th century, Russian women were assigned the triple role of social and political activists, workers, caregivers and mothers. This paper makes an overview of the main steps undertaken first by the Soviet and later by the modern Russian governments to influence family formation models and fertility levels, in order to improve the demographic situation over the period from 1917 until 2015. The overview pays close attention to such measures of demographic policy as marriage and divorce regulation, support of families through family benefits and the tax system, reconciliation of family and work spheres (maternity/paternity leaves, workplace flexibility measures), fertility promotion, childbearing and childcare support, as well as rare reproductive health protection initiatives.
    Keywords: fertility, Russia, family policy
    JEL: J12 J13 J18 P30
    Date: 2015–12
  2. By: Amat Adarov (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Vasily Astrov (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Serkan Çiçek (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Rumen Dobrinsky (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Vladimir Gligorov (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Doris Hanzl-Weiss (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Peter Havlik (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Mario Holzner (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Gabor Hunya (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Simona Jokubauskaite (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Sebastian Leitner (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Isilda Mara (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Olga Pindyuk (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Leon Podkaminer (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Sandor Richter (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Hermine Vidovic (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: GDP growth in the EU Member States of Central and Eastern Europe (EU-CEE), the Western Balkans (WB) and Turkey will remain stable or even increase. The trend growth path will be around 3%. EU-CEE countries will thus continue to catch up to the EU average, however at low speed. Russia and Ukraine, on the other hand, will show a considerably worse performance growth will return in 2017 at the earliest. These are the main results of the newly released medium-term macroeconomic forecast by the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw). In 2015, the EU-CEE group registered the highest rate of economic growth since the outbreak of the financial crisis, 3.4% (see Table 1). In 2016-2017 the group will experience some modest growth deceleration on account of the recent consumption boom subsiding and a temporary decline in EU transfers. As for 2018, the EU-CEE countries will pick up some speed driven by an inflow of new investments and transfers. Uncertainties concerning the global economy do not allow us to predict average growth of more than 3% over the medium term. Countries in the Western Balkans also improved their performance in 2015 and will maintain positive growth rates in 2016 and beyond. However unimpressive it may be, compared to their need for catching-up, the average growth rate in the WB countries (excluding Serbia) will not lag behind that in the EU-CEE countries. Turkey will maintain a fragile stability despite relatively high inflation and a high current account deficit, while coping with increasing challenges emerging, for instance, from the war in Syria, the refugee crisis and the loss of export and tourism revenue owing to the Russian trade sanctions. Russia and Belarus will face yet another year of recession in 2016. Russia will continue to suffer from low oil prices, high inflation, currency depreciation, sanctions and fiscal austerity. As usual, structural change and institutional reforms will be slow and half-hearted, incapable of offsetting the losses. Ukraine’s economic growth, after the dramatic fall over the past years, will stabilise as the economy will by and large have completed the adjustment process that was triggered by the country decoupling from Russia and the occupied territories. The Russian annexation of the Crimea and the conflict in East-Ukraine look set to last. Export markets lost will not be regained even in the medium term, nor should one expect the volume of exports to the EU to make up for the shortfall quickly. The divergence of economic performance between the EU-CEE and the WB plus Turkey on the one hand and the CIS-3 (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan) and Ukraine on the other hand will continue in 2016 and beyond. The difference between the two large country groups, however, will not take on more pronounced dimensions as the recent collapse of the major commodity prices may turn into stagnation. The leading role attributed to household demand in driving economic growth in the EU-CEE and WB countries will be matched by investments. A medium-term investment revival is expected in most of the CESEE countries in both the public and private sectors. FDI has already shown some signs of emerging from stagnation in the EU-CEE and WB countries. Credit conditions for private borrowers have improved. Moreover, gross fixed capital formation is responding to the transfer of EU funds that are bound to decline in 2016, but will recover later, once access to EU transfers provided under the 2014-2020 financing framework picks up. As fiscal consolidation and more rapid economic growth have been achieved, fiscal space has widened in several countries, thus granting governments more room in which to implement and support investments. Even highly indebted countries have managed to adopt a less restrictive fiscal stance. The CIS-3 and Ukraine are outliers in this respect as well; they have started cutting back on expenditures so as to reduce their fiscal deficits. Exports may increase if external demand recovers, but imports may grow even more rapidly as consumption and investment expand in the EU-CEE and WB economies. Thus, net exports will not be a strong driver of economic growth. Foreign investors’ income may rise overall, while remittances and labour income from abroad will remain important sources of current account revenues. Special sections of the Forecast shed light on other topical issues low oil prices are mainly supply-driven; the Juncker Initiative will not take the place of EU transfers; outmigration and demography are leading to labour shortages in EU-CEE countries; the recent inflow of refugees may, in the medium term, put pressure on existing migrant workers in Austria.
    Keywords: CESEE, economic forecast, Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, Western Balkans, new EU Member States, CIS, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Turkey, growth divergence, external risks, macroeconomic imbalances, consumption-led growth, unemployment, inflation, competitiveness, public debt, private debt, current account
    JEL: C33 C50 E20 E29 F34 G01 G18 O52 O57 P24 P27 P33 P52
    Date: 2016–03
  3. By: Mazilkina, Elena (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration); Kasaeva, Tatyana (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration)
    Abstract: The paper deals with modern trends and problems of international economic integration, studies integration processes in the post-Soviet space, examines external and internal risks of integration processes and organization of information support in the framework of the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space.
    Keywords: international economic integration, national information security, supranational regulation, Customs Union, Eurasian Economic Commission
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Kaznacheev, Peter (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, School of public policy, Centre For Resource Economics); Bazaleva, Regina (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration)
    Abstract: The Arctic shelf is the richest region of the world by overall volumes of oil and gas resources. However, countries of the Arctic basin have progressed unequally in developing them. In this article, the authors suggest that the diverging result of these countries in many ways depends on the structure of their oil and gas sectors. This article provides a comparative analysis of privately and state-owned companies’ participation in Arctic projects for those countries that are at the stage of commercial production on the Arctic shelf, namely the US, Norway and Russia. An analysis of oil companies’ performance indicators allows us to conclude that private companies are more efficient at developing the region than state-owned ones.
    Keywords: Arctic, shelf, oil production, gas production, state company, private company, economic efficiency
    Date: 2016–01
  5. By: Butzlaff, Iris
    Abstract: This study analyzes the extent to which nutritional status in terms of weight change has been affected by the income distribution as the economy has grown. Is BMI growth different at different tails of the income distribution? Health and nutritional outcomes are not normally expected to be uniform across the income distribution and over time. Using recent individual level data from the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS) from 1994 to 2012, we scrutinize the influence of transitional processes, particularly economic transitions on nutritional and health outcomes. We test the hypothesis that the income gradient of individual body weight growth (i.e. the relationship between income and BMI growth) follows an inverted U-shape and thus changes its sign from positive to negative in the process of economic development. For the case of Russia, we could not find clear evidence that the income-BMI-growth gradient has already shifted. Turning points have not yet been reached. Expenditure increases have significant positive effects on BMI levels and on BMI growth rates. Better educated women have lower BMI levels than women with less than secondary education whereas men who completed tertiary education have higher BMI levels than men with less than secondary education.
    Keywords: Overweight, obesity, health, transition economy, Russia, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Health Economics and Policy, H51, I15, O15, P36,
    Date: 2016–03
  6. By: Amat Adarov (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Fatos Hoxha; Werner Laventure; Isilda Mara (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: Graph of the month New asylum applications in the EU countries (p. 1) Opinion corner Migration crisis in the EU what can and should be done? (by Isilda Mara; pp. 2-4) Serbia’s gas sector and the pipeline question (by Werner Laventure; pp. 5-11) The return of the caravanserais economic relations between Turkey and the Western Balkans (by Fatos Hoxha; pp. 12-16) Eurasian integration implications for Armenia and Kyrgyzstan (by Amat Adarov; pp. 17‑22) Recommended reading (p. 23 ) Statistical Annex Monthly and quarterly statistics for Central, East and Southeast Europe (pp. 24-45)
    Keywords: refugees, asylum seekers, migration, energy transport, gas sector, gas pipelines, foreign trade, FDI, Eurasian integration, economic integration, former Soviet republics
    Date: 2015–09
  7. By: Roe, Terry L.; Smith, Rodney B.W.
    Abstract: Final Report, Ecosystem Services Economics(ESE): The United Nations Environment Program
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Environmental Economics and Policy, Land Economics/Use,
    Date: 2015
  8. By: Kuga Iakov; Elena Kuzmina
    Abstract: This paper tests covered interest parity at Russian money market over period of 2010-2014 and studies scale and sources of deviations from it. We use both offered and actual interbank interest rates for four different terms. Average deviations from the parity vary between 8 and 105 basis points depending on rates and terms. We test credit risk, turbulence and monetary policy as explanation of these deviations and assessed them quantitatively. For example, one standard deviation change in credit risk is responsible for 50 per cent of the average deviation from parity compared to 72 per cent due to monetary policy spread and (minus) 22 per cent due to turbulence for one week offered rate spread. Risk and turbulence effects grow with maturity and higher for actual rate spreads.
    JEL: E43 F31 G15
    Date: 2016–03–15
  9. By: Tom Coupe (Kyiv School of Economics); Maksym Obrizan (Kyiv School of Economics)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study how war affects happiness using data from the on-going conflict in Ukraine. Using a difference-in-difference design, we find that the average level of happiness declined substantially in zones that experience war directly, with the effect of directly experiencing war on the happiness of an individual being roughly comparable to the loss of happiness a relatively well-off person would experience if he/she were to become a poor person. At the same time, despite the fact that the war in the East dominates the local media in Ukraine, respondents in other regions of Ukraine are basically as happy as they were before the war. We discuss the implications of this finding for the duration of the war and for the expectations regarding the management of veterans.
    Keywords: happiness, war, Ukraine
    JEL: I3 N44
    Date: 2016–03
  10. By: Jakhongir Kakhkharov
    Keywords: Financial Institution, Financial Development, Transition Economies
    JEL: G21 O16 G28
    Date: 2016–01
  11. By: Mustafa Sakr (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Andre Jordaan (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)
    Abstract: As emerging market multinational corporations (EMNCs) tend to remarkably expand their global presence, it is of the utmost importance to explore the salient attributes of such unfolding phenomenon. One of the key findings is that top EMNCs are displaying a leapfrogging internationalisation process. Moreover, natural resources related sectors, in particular energy, have been proven to dominate the non-financial industry structure of EMNCs. In addition, various interesting findings have been concluded by this article. Regarding the preferred destination for their outward foreign direct investment (OFDI), EMNCs currently tend to invest more in developing markets. However, the relevance of developed markets is growing over time. Available statistics furthermore exhibit that greenfield is often preferred above mergers and acquisitions (M&As) as an entry mode into developing markets. The opposite is true in developed markets. EMNCs are domiciled predominantly in BRICS countries which account collectively for most of the OFDI getting from EMs. Emerging African MNCs are dramatically losing ground in the EMNC landscape. Regarding internationalisation, ownership, industry and geographical structure and preferred entry modes, remarkable differences are easily seen in the salient features of EMNCs compared to those based in developed markets.
    Keywords: Emerging MNCs, BRICS MNCs, African MNCs, emerging markets’ OFDI, differences between EMNCs and DMNCs
    JEL: P45 F21
    Date: 2016–03
  12. By: BLINOV, Sergey
    Abstract: In 2015, many countries had to deal with the weakening of their currencies. Issues regarding exchange rate management by the Central Banks have again become the focal point of heated debate. This article compares two approaches to devaluation of local currency under the pressure of external circumstances: smooth devaluation and swift or instantaneous devaluation (drastic, stepped-up). Negative consequences of the «smooth» weakening of the exchange rate are shown, including the example of George Soros' famous attack on the British pound in 1992. Using «only» £5 bn. then, Soros managed to break the resistance of the Bank of England, which ended up investing £15 bn. to fight him. The ideas of Robert Shiller, the Nobel Laureate, have been reviewed which allow this phenomenon to be explained. Recommendations are given regarding a more rational way of managing exchange rate using the example of actions taken by the Bank of Kazakhstan in February 2014.
    Keywords: Monetary Policy, Central Banking, Business Cycles, International Finance, Foreign Exchange
    JEL: E30 E52 E58 E65 F30 F31
    Date: 2016–03–23

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