nep-cis New Economics Papers
on Confederation of Independent States
Issue of 2017‒07‒30
six papers chosen by

  1. Factors attracting banking investment into fintech start-ups: Russian context By Ekaterina Semerikova
  2. Brazil – Morocco : a Roadmap Ahead By Marcus Vinícius De Freitas
  3. Benefits of the retail payments card market: Evidence from Russian merchants By Egor Krivosheya; Andrew Korolev
  4. France: A Late-Comer to Government– Nonprofit Partnership By Edith Archambault
  5. Teachers? Attitude and Beliefs to the Nature of Teaching and Learning and Relations Between the Principles of Students? Assessments By Ia Aptarashvili; Tamta Darsavelidze; Natia Gaprindashvili; Mzia Tsereteli
  6. The Reality Behind the Jihad in Syria: Powers, Proxies and Mercenaries By Sam Robert Benson

  1. By: Ekaterina Semerikova (Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO)
    Abstract: One of the main problems for any start-up is to find funds for the idea development, product/service creation and promoting it in the market (Binks & Ennew, 1996). In Russia banks form the main demand for fintech products and services. However, there is a belief that Russian fintech ecosystem is not well developed. This research aims at exploring which barriers for fintech start-up ecosystem development are present in Russia as well as necessary and sufficient conditions for a fintech start-up to attract bank as an investor in the context of Russian experience. Qualitative interviews with experts of Russian financial industry, including representatives from banks, a regulatory institute, IT corporations (n=32) as well as quantitative survey of fintech start-ups (n=37) provide data for this research. This study uses crisp set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (csQCA) to examine the presence of complex causality relationships between factors describing fintech start-up and receiving investment from banks. Major findings of this research corroborate the belief that Russian fintech start-up ecosystem is weakly developed. The one reason for that is the gap between what fintech start-ups offer and what market actually needs. Necessary condition for receiving bank?s investments according to crisp set QCA is having a business plan. Other conditions this research explores are sufficient and include: having a core competence in market and consumer understanding, income source as a commission per transaction, payments-related start-up?s products or services, not aiming at owning the business while doing start-up project and also readiness of the product or service. The sufficient conditions might be absent or present in certain configurations. Finally, in Russia banks finding start-up offerings unsatisfactory choose not to invest in them or to create incubators but rather develop fintech internally. This research contributes to the literature on QCA (Ragin et al., 2006; Skaaning, 2007), as well as financial technologies (Shim & Shin, 2016) and develops knowledge on fintech start-ups in particular.
    Keywords: fintech, start-ups, financial services
    JEL: G29
    Date: 2017–07
  2. By: Marcus Vinícius De Freitas
    Abstract: Thinking creatively the bilateral relationship of Brazil and Morocco is quintessential for enhancing its reach and possibilities. The world is currently facing enormous changes whose outcomes are unpredictable. From a revival in the cold war realist dispute of power between the United States and Russia, the collapse of International Law in relation to Ukraine, Crimea and the South China Sea, BREXIT and the imponderable results that may impact the European Union and to the possible disengagement of the United States during President Donald Trump’s term, the global chessboard faces issues and challenges that are unprecedented. Such challenges should lead to a realignment of hearts, minds, strategies and partnerships. Such challenges require innovation and creativity.
    Date: 2017–07
  3. By: Egor Krivosheya (Moscow school of management SKOLKOVO); Andrew Korolev (Moscow school of management SKOLKOVO)
    Abstract: This article evaluates merchants' benefits resulting from the participation in the retail payments market. Using surveys to obtain a representative sample of 800 traditional (offline) Russian merchants, the article finds significant, robust evidence in favor of positive merchant' benefits. This study further separates the benefits into direct and opportunity finding that the non-welfare improving regulatory initiatives might result from the failure to account opportunity benefits of merchants. This article also examines the factors affecting the level of merchants' benefits. Results show that factors affecting the value of benefits and the probability to accept payment cards differ. Findings imply that unbalanced intervention may be detrimental to the agents' welfare and propose a mechanism for ex-ante evaluation of the effect of shocks and interventions.
    Keywords: Retail payments; payment cards; merchant?s acceptance; benefits; financial services.
    JEL: G21 E42 D53
    Date: 2017–07
  4. By: Edith Archambault (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This article puts the current cooperative pattern of state-nonprofit relations in France into historical context against the country’s statist past and suggests the implications this experience may have for other countries that share the statist background that France, perhaps in somewhat different form, also embodies. To do so, the discussion first reviews the current shape of the French nonprofit sector and the substantial scope and structure of government support of nonprofit human service delivery that exists. It then examines the unfavorable historical background out of which the current arrangements emerged and the set of changes that ultimately led to the existing pattern of extensive government–nonprofit cooperation. Against this background, a third section then looks more closely at the tools of action French governments are bringing to bear in their relations with nonprofits, the advantages and drawbacks of each, and the nonprofit role in the formulation of public policies. Finally, the article examines the key challenges in government–nonprofit cooperation in the provision of human services and the lessons the French experience might hold for Russia and other similar countries.
    Keywords: France, decentrlization, statism, human services nonprofit organization,government-nonprofit cooperation
    Date: 2015–10
  5. By: Ia Aptarashvili (Tbilisi State University); Tamta Darsavelidze (European Teaching University); Natia Gaprindashvili (Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia); Mzia Tsereteli (Tbilisi State university)
    Abstract: Educational paradigm has changed significantly in post-soviet states and in Georgia among others. Attitude to teaching has also changed. Specifically, directive teacher-centered teaching model is replaced with student-centered model. Most of the teachers were trained in this regard. Change of paradigm caused changes in student assessment system respectively. Thereof, teachers? attitude towards teaching and learning has become the valuable research topic - what teachers? consider as the main strategies for gaining knowledge, how the knowledge is constructed, how to make student?s experience more effective, etc. It is also interesting what methods do they use for effective teaching during the instructional process and how they assess students? achievements. The data during research was collected in two directions. On the one hand, teacher?s survey was developed and on the other hand, final works conducted by teachers were analyzed according to their structures and contents. 210 teachers were involved in the research throughout the regions of Georgia. On the basis of the survey the separate aspects of the following process were evaluated:1.Teacher?s attitude to teaching and learning;2.What approaches and teaching methods are applied during the instructional process;3.How student?s knowledge is assessed, what strategies does he/she deem effective.While evaluating final works the following key criteria had been focused on: what kind of tasks do teachers use generally - complex assignments, where students need to integrate different skills or isolated set of separate tasks, which basically grounds on recognizing and memorizing the facts. Research revealed the following tendencies:The part of teachers considers that gaining knowledge generally takes place during the instructional process (47.4% of respondents), the other part thinks that independent work is crucial (52.6%). Part of teachers (30%) deems that teacher?s function is to simply provide information and facts to students; Teachers discuss student?s individual answers, retelling the lesson (very important 57.4%) and oral presentations (68.1%) as the key assessment methods of students at the lesson; On the other hand, greater part of teachers uses isolated set of tasks to assess declarative knowledge for the final works. We also applied cross tabulation analysis according to teachers? attitudes and types of final work tasks used by them. Discussing and sharing the results of the survey is interesting for professionals working in the field and for authors of the studies, to outline the advantages and disadvantages, get feedback and outline the prospects for further research.
    Keywords: Attitudes, Assessment, Education, Learning, Teaching, Teachers' beliefs
    Date: 2017–05
  6. By: Sam Robert Benson (Interregional Academy of Personnel Management)
    Abstract: Targeting Syria the so-called ?Soviet satellite? as a government or ?regimes? by the U.S. and the British administrations, the neighboring states with their interests in Syria: Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar?is not new. Battling Syria goes back precisely to the 1950s the decolonization or the postcolonial period. Then main Arab countries were in line with the colonials?the time when the CIA and MI6 started conducting covert activities in Syria ranging from plans to overthrow consequent governments to assassination plots. Macmillan and Eisenhower backed assassination plot of 3 Syrian top government officials in 1957. This started the coupe de d'état-era in Syria. The strategy was to destabilize the country and conclusively install (PPAG) Puppet-Pro-American Governments. Creating such instability had been and still is being paid for by the target countries such as the Syrians who presently became uprooted and displaced. Destabilizing Syria created chaos: not only in the Middle East and Syria, but also in the entire West itself. Europe found itself forced into paying an expensive price that was not taken into account, and will still even pay more. The Western taxpayer found himself a victim of the super power?s desperate efforts of obtaining more power and securing the flow of more oil. This paper will shed light on the facts and the actors behind the Syrian scene.
    Keywords: Syria, Jihad, Terrorism, Islam, Conflict, Isis, Daesh, IS, Islamic State, U.S., Britain, destabilization, instability.
    JEL: F50 F51 F54
    Date: 2017–05

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