nep-cis New Economics Papers
on Confederation of Independent States
Issue of 2017‒02‒26
ten papers chosen by

  1. Family Benefits and Poverty: The Case of Russia By Marina Kolosnitsyna; Anna Philippova
  2. Income Stratification: Key Approaches and Their Application to Russia By Vasiliy A. Anikin; Yulia P. Lezhnina; Svetlana V. Mareeva; Ekaterina D. Slobodenyuk; Nataliya N. Tikhonovà
  3. Labor Misallocation and Mass Mobilization: Russian Agriculture during the Great War By Paul Castaneda Dower; Andrei Markevich
  4. Адаптация к обязательствам члена ВТО в сфере продовольственной помощи населению: создание в России специфической региональной инфраструктуры By Стукач, Виктор; Старовойтова, Наталья
  5. The Stolypin Reform and Agricultural Productivity in Late Imperial Russia By Paul Castaneda Dower; Andrei Markevich
  6. Looks matter: Attractiveness and employment in the former soviet union By Astghik Mavisakalyan
  7. Spatial pattern of Russia’s market integration By Gluschenko, Konstantin
  8. Toothless Reforms? The Remarkable Stability of Female Labor Force Participation in a Top-Reforming Country By Pignatti, Norberto; Torosyan, Karine; Chitanava, Maka
  9. China-Kyrgyzstan railway meets IDE-GSM By Kumagai, Satoru; Isono, Ikumo; Keola, Souknilanh; Hayakawa, Kazunobu; Gokan, Toshitaka; Tsubota, Kenmei
  10. Soviet Technological Projects and Technological Aid in Africa and Cuba, 1960s-1980s By Elena Kochetkova; David Damtar; Lilia Boliachevets; Polina Slyusarchuk; Julia Lajus

  1. By: Marina Kolosnitsyna (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Anna Philippova (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: 25 years have passed since the beginning of market reforms in Russia. Like other post-soviet countries, in the early 1990s Russia faced a period of sharp decline in real household incomes. Then a gradual growth of population well-being began. However, income inequality was deep throughout this time. The poverty headcount is still over 10% on average and differs a lot among territories and socio-demographic groups. Russian poverty has certain specifics: there is a high risk of poverty for young working families with children. This paper analyses the effectiveness of family benefits from various perspectives. We consider their impact on the poverty of families with children, using the concepts of absolute, relative and subjective poverty. The study is based on pooled and panel household data from the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey – Higher School of Economics (RLMS HSE), 2003-2015. We model the influence of child benefits on the probability of being poor and estimate various econometric models. Other controlled factors influencing recipient household risk of poverty include the type of settlement, family structure, education and employment. The results are robust and show the negative influence of family benefits on household risk for absolute and relative poverty. However, the subjective perception of poverty is positively correlated with benefits. The study also shows leakage and significant gaps in coverage in the system of family benefits. Overall, the study reveals the low effectiveness of family benefits in Russia and indicates a need for improved targeting.
    Keywords: child benefits; means-tested benefits; categorical benefits; poverty; absolute poverty; relative poverty; subjective poverty; Russia.
    JEL: I38
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Vasiliy A. Anikin (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Yulia P. Lezhnina (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Svetlana V. Mareeva (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Ekaterina D. Slobodenyuk (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Nataliya N. Tikhonovà (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The various approaches to income stratification can be divided into two broad categories – relative and absolute. Our study suggests that the most widely used thresholds of the absolute approach cannot be efficiently applied to contemporary Russian society, which has undergone fundamental changes over the last 15 years regarding income, as they fail to define the subgroups within the population. Absolute models of stratification which define income groups based on a pre-determined income thresholds rank Russia in line with industrially advanced rather than developing countries, rendering the absolute income bounds, set for the latter group of countries, irrelevant. The relative approach, based on the median income as the social standard of living, appears more effective for income stratification in Russia. Furthermore, it also implies possibilities for structural adjustments such as regional- and settlement-specific disparities in income distribution, which are relevant for Russia given its regional heterogeneity. The application of the relative approach in authors’ version shows that the income stratification model in Russia is quite stable even during the economic crisis. The results of the comparison between the Russian income stratification model and those of other countries confirm that Russia's income stratification model is currently more similar to those of developed rather than developing countries.
    Keywords: income stratification, absolute approach, relative approach, poverty, middle class, Russia
    JEL: I31
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Paul Castaneda Dower (Florida International University); Andrei Markevich (New Economic School)
    Abstract: We exploit a quasi-natural experiment of military draftees in Russia during World War I to examine the effects of a massive, negative labor shock on agricultural production. Employing a novel district-level panel dataset, we find that mass mobilization produces a dramatic decrease in cultivated area. Surprisingly, farms with communal land tenure exhibit greater resilience to the labor shock than private farms. The resilience stems from peasants reallocating labor in favor of the commune because of the increased attractiveness of its nonmarket access to land and social insurance. Our results support an institutional explanation of factor misallocation in agriculture.
    Keywords: factor misallocation; agricultural production; mass mobilization; World War I; Russia
    JEL: D24 N44 N54 O12 O17 O20
    Date: 2017–02
  4. By: Стукач, Виктор; Старовойтова, Наталья
    Abstract: The goal is to build the infrastructure of domestic food aid to the population of the state of adaptation activities in accordance with WTO rules, taking into account the limitations of state support of the agrarian economy. Objectives: social function; resourcing of food production, including land; fertility restoration of degraded lands withdrawn from circulation for the production of organic food; state support for businesses in the sphere of production and processing in the framework of 'green box' of the WTO rules; structural changes in science and technology; introduction to production and logistics center of the food chain; shops and trade fairs for commercial network of local food production, payment systems for targeted assistance to the population; the use of resources of transnational commercial networks in the development of logistics potential of the region. Create a mechanism for interaction between the participants, members of industrial, social, credit, financial and trade sector through public-private partnership
    Keywords: domestic food aid infrastructure, production and logistics center, "the WTO Green Box", organic agriculture
    JEL: Q1 Q15 Q18 Q56
    Date: 2016–11
  5. By: Paul Castaneda Dower (Florida International University); Andrei Markevich (New Economic School)
    Abstract: We study the effect of improvements in peasants’ land tenure, launched by the 1906 Stolypin reform, on agricultural productivity in late Imperial Russia. The reform allowed peasants to obtain land titles and consolidate separated land strips into single allotments. We find that consolidations increased land productivity. If the reform had been fully implemented, it would have doubled grain production in the empire. We argue that an important factor determining the positive impact on productivity is a decrease in coordination costs, enabling peasants to make independent production decisions from the village commune. In contrast, the titling component of the reform decreased land productivity and we present evidence that transaction costs explain this short-run decline.
    Keywords: land tenure, peasant commune, Stolypin reform, Russia
    JEL: N43 N53 O43 Q15
    Date: 2017–02
  6. By: Astghik Mavisakalyan (Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, Curtin University)
    Abstract: The rigid soviet policy of full employment ensured employment for all able-bodied population. By removing this policy, the collapse of the system has made discrimination less costly. Has it also become prevalent? This paper studies the labour market discrimination on the basis of looks using data from three post-soviet countries of the caucasus: Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. I estimate a large positive effect of attractive looks on males' probability of employment. Using partial identification approach, I show that this relationship is likely to be causal. The results are potentially consistent with taste-based discrimination in favour of attractive males.
    Keywords: Attractiveness, Employment, Former Soviet Union
    JEL: J21 J70 P23
    Date: 2016–11
  7. By: Gluschenko, Konstantin
    Abstract: This paper studies integration of regional goods markets in Russia over 2001–2015 with the use of time series analysis, based on the law of one price as the criterion of market integration. The cost of a staples basket is used as a price representative. The analysis involves all pairs of country’s regions, thus providing a comprehensive pattern of market integration. The region pairs are classified as belonging to one of four groups: integrated, conditionally integrated, not integrated but tending towards integration, and neither integrated nor tending towards integration. The results suggest that only less than a quarter of region pairs fall into the fourth category.
    Keywords: regional goods markets, Russian regions, law of one price, price convergence
    JEL: L81 R15 R19
    Date: 2017–02–21
  8. By: Pignatti, Norberto (ISET, Tbilisi State University); Torosyan, Karine (ISET, Tbilisi State University); Chitanava, Maka (ISET, Tbilisi State University)
    Abstract: Low Female Labor Force Participation (FLFP) constitutes a foregone opportunity at both the macro and at the micro levels, potentially increasing the vulnerability of households and lowering the long-run development perspectives of a country. Most international organizations and national policy makers see low FLFP as a serious issue that needs to be addressed by adopting appropriate policies. We investigate the possible reasons of the remarkable stability of FLFP in a top-reforming upper-middle income country. Our goal is to in disentangle the different forces at work and to draw useful lessons for the design of participation-enhancing policies. Using data from a nationally representative Household Survey covering the period 2003-2015, we employ Blinder-Oaxaca (Blinder, 1973 and Oaxaca, 1973) type decomposition to decompose changes over time in FLFP levels into parts that are due to changes in observable factors versus changes in the strength of impact of these factors. This allows us to identify possible shifters of the FLFP rate and propose areas of special interest for policy making. We show that the stability of FLFP in Georgia during the period 2003-2013 is due to offsetting socio-economic changes taking place in the country, and that the increase in the last period covered by our dataset – 2013-2015 – can be attributed to the emergence of new labor opportunities for women. We conclude that, while useful, supply-side economic reforms are not sufficient to increase FLFP and need to be complemented by demand-side policies aiming at creating more and better work opportunities for women.
    Keywords: employment, female labor force participation, labor market, public policy, reforms
    JEL: J16 J18 J21 J24 P11 P21 P23
    Date: 2016–12
  9. By: Kumagai, Satoru; Isono, Ikumo; Keola, Souknilanh; Hayakawa, Kazunobu; Gokan, Toshitaka; Tsubota, Kenmei
    Abstract: The impact of connecting Kashgar, Trougart, Uzgen, and Karasuu and facilitating customs at the national border between China and Kyrgyzstan are examined by using IDE-GSM (Institute of Developing Economies, JETRO Geographical Simulation Model). We found that the railway connection has a positive impact in southern Kyrgyzstan and a negative impact in regions of northern Kyrgyzstan, neither of which are the capital city of Kyrgyzstan.
    Keywords: Economic geography, Railway, China(AECC), Kyrgyzstan(AZKG)
    JEL: R12 R13 R42
    Date: 2017–02
  10. By: Elena Kochetkova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); David Damtar (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Lilia Boliachevets (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Polina Slyusarchuk (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Julia Lajus (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper examines Soviet development projects in African countries and Cuba during the Cold War. We analyze types of projects led by Soviet specialists and engage into the question of how Soviets, both leadership and engineers, viewed their roles and impacts as well as challenges on African territory and Cuba. In so doing, this paper analyzes differences and similarities in Soviet penetration to lands with newly established governments in Africa and Cuba
    Keywords: technology, technological aid, Soviet Union, Africa, Cuba, decolonization.
    JEL: N60 N67 N97
    Date: 2017

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