nep-cis New Economics Papers
on Confederation of Independent States
Issue of 2018‒11‒12
eight papers chosen by
Alexander Harin
Modern University for the Humanities

  1. Russian Norm Entrepreneurship in Crimea: Serious Contestation or Cheap Talk? By Jose, Betcy; Stefes, Christoph H.
  2. Regional heterogeneity of household lending based on the findings of the household finance survey: regional features and potential risks By Mamedli Mariam; Andrey Sinyakov
  3. Long- and short-term determinants of water user cooperation: experimental evidence from Central Asia By Amirova, I.; Petrick, M.; Djanibekov, N.
  4. История развития кооперативов в Узбекистане и их преобразование на современном этапе By Муртазаев, Олим
  5. The impact of land degradation on agricultural profits and poverty in Central Asia By Mirzabaev, A.; Strokov, A.; Krasilnikov, P.
  6. Ownership Concentration and Firm Performance in European Emerging Economies: A Meta-Analysis By Iwasaki, Ichiro; Mizobata, Satoshi
  7. How Authoritarian Rulers Seek to Legitimise Repression: Framing Mass Killings in Egypt and Uzbekistan By Edel, Mirjam; Josua, Maria
  8. Is the model loans-plus-savings better for microfinance in ECA? A PSM comparison By Knar Khachatryan; Vardan Baghdasaryan; Valentina Hartarska

  1. By: Jose, Betcy; Stefes, Christoph H.
    Abstract: Western actors have long dominated the political processes and discourses that shape global norms impacting interstate behaviour. Yet, more recently, powerful autocratic regimes such as China and Russia have seemingly challenged democracies, emerging as potential contesters of international norms. What might be the outcome of this contestation? This paper broadly explores this query by investigating Russia's humanitarian justifications for its Ukrainian incursion. It examines whether Russia's claim of humanitarian intervention is more than a petty attempt to disguise pure power politics. Is Russia contesting Western understandings of humanitarian interventions in order to reshape our ideas of permissible violations of sovereignty norms to protect vulnerable populations? Using Atlas.ti, we also explore global responses to Russia's humanitarian claims. Our initial findings indicate that the Ukrainian intervention enabled Russia to contest Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and to champion an alternative version of humanitarian intervention with some limited success.
    Keywords: Russia,Crimea,authoritarianism,international norms,humanitarian intervention
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Mamedli Mariam (Bank of Russia, Russian Federation); Andrey Sinyakov (Bank of Russia, Russian Federation)
    Abstract: According to the household finance surveys conducted in 2013 and 2015, the credit penetration rate varies across federal districts. Differences in credit penetration levels can be partly attributed to the loan demand factors. For example, low credit penetration in the Central Federal District stems from the relatively high level of accumulated net assets (especially as regards liquid assets), which reduces the demand for loans. In Eastern Russia, in districts with comparable income levels and less net assets, high credit penetration rates are primarily attributable to income growth expectations. In these regions, accumulated net assets are generally viewed as a supplement to loans. Analysis of the loan demand model in Southern Russia points out a relatively high level of risk, with loan demand growing despite deterioration of the financial situation (including financial expectations). Low credit penetration in the underperforming districts has largely to do with credit supply constraints as banks factor in higher risks associated with strong gross regional product volatility and job market uncertainties. This means that aggressive loan expansion driven by the growing number of new borrowers in the federal districts with small and volatile incomes and a lower credit penetration rate may threaten the social and financial stability in such regions.
    Date: 2018–11
  3. By: Amirova, I.; Petrick, M.; Djanibekov, N.
    Abstract: This study contributes to the understanding of long- and short- term determinants of cooperation among water users. We experimentally investigate the potential of water users self-governance in enhancing their contributions to a common pool as opposed to external regulation. Our focus is on the irrigated areas of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Due to their Soviet past, these countries have a reputation for low bottom-up cooperation potential. Based on the different pre-Soviet irrigation traditions of the two study sites, we assess the effectiveness of short-term incentives compared to long term cultural factors of cooperation. History might matter, but we find it does not predetermine the success of current water decentralization in ancient as compared to relatively recently established irrigation sites. We find that external regulation, in fact, decreases farmers cooperation, whereas face-to-face communication increases it. This finding calls into question the top-down approach prevalent in current water policies of the region. Moreover, it suggests the viability of endogenous cooperation and hence encourages the implementation of truly self-governed water management policies in Central Asia. However, the substantial heterogeneity in individual contributions apparent at the village level also signals a warning that one-size-fits-all approaches to local cooperation are unlikely to succeed. Acknowledgement : This study was conducted in the framework of a research project Institutional change in land and labour relations of Central Asia s irrigated agriculture . The research project is funded by the VolkswagenStiftung within the funding initiative "Between Europe and the Orient A Focus on Research and Higher Education in/on Central Asia and the Caucasus".
    Keywords: Resource/Energy Economics and Policy
    Date: 2018–07
  4. By: Муртазаев, Олим
    Abstract: С переходом к рыночной экономике произошли коренные изменения в сельском хозяйстве Республики Узбекистан. С начала предприятия сельского хозяйства превратились в обще- ственные, потом в кооперативные, т.е. ширкатные хозяйства, и наконец, после ликвидации этих хозяйств, особое внимание уделялось развитию фермерских и дехканских хозяйств, основанных на частной собственности. Вместе с тем сформированные в течение десятка лет межхозяйственные экономические связи отрицательно повлияли на развитие сельского хозяйства. Экономические отношения с перерабатывающими отраслями и предприятиями стали препятствующими факторами, сдерживающими развитие сельского хозяйства. Пере- рабатывающие отрасли, как и монопольные хозяйства не своевременно рассчитывались с доставленным сырьём, продлевали срок приёма продукции, устанавливали высокие цены за оказанные услуги, покупали сырьё за низкие цены. В итоге это привело к потере про- дукции, повышению расходов, снижению качества сырья, и конечно, к снижению дохода фермерских хозяйств. В результате был принят ряд Постановлений и Указов для устранения вышеуказанных проблем. В этих документах неоднократно отмечалась объективная необ- ходимость в кооперации, а также обсуждалась её роль и значение в развитии общества. Для реализации выше обозначенных задач, поставленных перед АПК Республики Узбекистан, необходимо объединить мелкие хозяйства в крупные сельскохозяйственные кооперативы по производству, переработке, хранению, транспортировке и сбыту сельскохозяйственной продукции. Создание специализированных кооперативов даст возможность решить ряд общественно-экономических проблем, т.е. прежде всего, обеспечить интеграционный про- цесс от производителя к потребителю, уменьшить транзакционные расходы, связанные с движением товаров, и сократить каналы реализации, с помощью которых могут возникнуть шансы, чтобы снизить цены на товары. Деятельность, связанная с сельским хозяйством, в результате объединения субъектов хозяйствования повысит эффективность использова- ния ресурсного потенциала.
    Keywords: Agribusiness
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Mirzabaev, A.; Strokov, A.; Krasilnikov, P.
    Abstract: Land degradation is a critical challenge to sustainable development in Central Asia. The study found that land degradation over the previous three decades may have been responsible for about 27% losses in agricultural profits in the region during the 2009-2010 cropping season compared with the case without land degradation. Middle- and richer tercile of agricultural households lost a higher share of their farm profits due to land degradation, 30% and 34%, respectively. There was not a significant impact of land degradation on the farm profits of the poorest tercile. The poor agricultural households have a stronger dependence on land for their livelihoods, hence; have a stronger incentive to take a better care of land. The results corroborated this: the poor households applied, on average, 25% more sustainable land management practices than the richest group, and almost twice more than the middle group. The poor have higher incentives to manage their land sustainably if institutional and economic settings allow them to do so. Among such institutional factors, the study found that increasing crop diversification, securing land tenure and providing a better access to markets significantly contributed to higher farm profits among poor agricultural households in Central Asia. Acknowledgement : We thank the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, and Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, for the support in the development of the methodological framework in this paper. The analysis and literature review in the paper were supported by Russian Science Foundation, project ? 14-38-00023. We are highly grateful to the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) for the survey data and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for funding the survey.
    Keywords: Land Economics/Use
    Date: 2018–07
  6. By: Iwasaki, Ichiro; Mizobata, Satoshi
    Abstract: This paper aims to perform a large-scale meta-analysis to examine the relationship between ownership concentration and firm performance in emerging economies of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. A meta-synthesis of 1517 estimates collected from 69 previous studies indicated the presence of a statistically significant and positive effect of ownership concentration on firm performance. The synthesized effect size, however, is only modest at best. A meta-regression analysis conducted to identify the factors underlying the small effect size revealed that differences in target industries, estimation periods, design of ownership variables, data sources, estimators, and choices of control variables could have had systematic and profound effects on the empirical results presented in previous studies. We have also noted that publication selection bias is strongly suspected in this research field, and that, due to the magnitude of this bias, existing studies cannot be expected to provide genuine evidence regarding the effect of ownership concentration on firm performance in European emerging economies. Further empirical studies are required to identify the true effect in this region.
    Keywords: ownership concentration, enterprise restructuring, firm performance, European emerging economies, meta-analysis, publication selection bias
    JEL: D22 G32 G34 L25 P21 P31
    Date: 2018–10
  7. By: Edel, Mirjam; Josua, Maria
    Abstract: How do authoritarian rulers legitimate repressive actions against their own citizens? Even in autocracies with limited accountability, discursive justifications are often put forward to decrease the costs of domestic repression. Although the research depicts state repression as the opposite of legitimation, justified coercion against some groups may generate legitimacy in the eyes of other parts of the population. This paper conceptualises the suggested links between legitimation and repression. It studies the justifications of mass killings by integrating framing theory with recent research on the domestic and international dimensions of authoritarian rule. Given the common threats at the global level and the diffusion of repressive tactics, we assume that discursive justifications of repression in authoritarian regimes change over time, probably due to learning processes. We compare Egypt and Uzbekistan to analyse the government rhetoric in the Rabi'a and Ferghana Valley protest crackdowns, respectively, taking into account the audiences of the framing and the sources of the frames that justify repression.
    Keywords: authoritarianism,protests,repression,state-society relations,framing
    Date: 2017
  8. By: Knar Khachatryan; Vardan Baghdasaryan; Valentina Hartarska
    Abstract: Microfinance institutions are gradually evolving into multi-service organisations offering not only loans but also savings, and other financial and non-financial services. Both in practice and in academic writing, savings is gaining interest in microfinance programs, and is becoming a significant part of MFIs service portfolio. The current evolution of microfinance leads the MFIs to diversify their portfolios to better meet their clients needs as well as to benefit from economies of scope. We contribute to the literature aimed at identifying how combining credit with savings affects outreach and sustainability in microfinance institutions (MFIs). We apply the propensity score matching (PSM) method as well as its augmented dose response version to compare the performance of loans-plus-savings MFIs to that of lending-only in a sample of 710 observations from Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECA).We use new panel data from MFIs operating in the ECA region during the 2005 -2009 period. Owing to our unique capital structure data, we control for the use of subsidised capital, which related work ignores while recent evidence points to tradeoffs between subsidies and savings (Cozarenco et al., 2016). We find that financial performance and breadth of outreach are positively associated with savings mobilisation, while the evidence on depth of outreach points to a possible mission drift. In the light of the ongoing debate on the mission drift (Armendariz and Szafarz, 2011) which creates new forms of exclusion, this question is important for policymakers, practitioners and scholars. We also note that in most countries in the region, only regulated financial institutions are allowed to mobilize savings, suggesting difficulties in overcoming entry barriers to becoming deposit-collecting MFI.We contribute to the literature by using PSM approach to establish if in the ECA region savings collection by MFIs improves financial sustainability and credit outreach and thus strengthens the case for continuing the trend toward commercialisation that is taking place across the industry. Another major contribution is our ability to control for the role of subsidy, which has not been previously considered. The empirical results clearly show advantages (better financial results and breadth of outreaches) and disadvantages (mission drift since depth of outreach suffers) for a sample of MFIs in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region. Further research could use a larger sample of institutions from different regions of the world or a worldwide sample of MFIs for which the capital structure variables including subsidies (donations, non-conventional loans, in-kind payments, subsidised interest loans etc). Further research could also recognise the diversity of the savings products. Moreover, since other work has found that around 25 percent of MFIs experience diseconomies of scope, largely stemming from environmental factors, more research is needed to understand the role of microfinance regulations.
    Keywords: Microfinance, Savings
    Date: 2018

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