nep-cis New Economics Papers
on Confederation of Independent States
Issue of 2019‒04‒15
three papers chosen by

  1. Economics and Politics of the Public-Private Wage Gap (The Case of Russia) By Gimpelson, Vladimir; Lukiyanova, Anna; Sharunina, Anna
  2. Motivation - Opportunity - Ability Nexus: Application to Regional Central Asian Student Mobility By Syed Zwick, Hélène
  3. Securing Personal Freedom through Institutions – the Role of Electoral Democracy and Judicial Independence By Berggren, Niclas; Gutmann, Jerg

  1. By: Gimpelson, Vladimir (CLMS, Higher School of Economics, Moscow); Lukiyanova, Anna (NRU HSE, Moscow); Sharunina, Anna (NRU HSE, Moscow)
    Abstract: The paper explores the public-private wage gap in the Russian economy over time and along the whole wage distribution. Using the RLMS-HSE panel data set, we examine how gaps at various points of wage distribution changed from 2005 to 2015 and present decompositions of the gaps into components explained by differences in characteristics and differences in returns. The results suggest that the gap persists over time and varies along the wage distribution. During the 2000’s, low-skilled public sector workers had smaller pay gaps than higher-skilled workers had. Multiple governmental policy interventions and the economic crisis of 2008-2009 contributed to the narrowing of the gap and its partial equalization along the distribution. A new set of policy changes associated with the May 2012 Presidential Decrees strengthened these tendencies but failed to eliminate the gaps.
    Keywords: public sector, public-private wage gap, quantile regression, RLMS-HSE, Russia
    JEL: J31 J45
    Date: 2019–03
  2. By: Syed Zwick, Hélène
    Abstract: This study analytically distinguishes between motivational, opportunistic and ability (MOA) factors to extract important questions on international student mobility’s decision-making process in its modern configurations. We use primary data from an online questionnaire associated with semi-structured interviews submitted to Central Asian Alumni from five different countries (Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan), to test the hypothesis of a significant variation in the MOA to study abroad across five nationalities. Our findings show minimal cross-country differences. The main differences remain modest in scale and are threefold: firstly, Tajik respondents prioritize physical opportunity and capital mobility within the ability factor; Turkmen respondents emphasize the role of constrained educational supply and imaginary experience, while Uzbek respondents are the most intrinsically motivated while deciding to study abroad.
    Keywords: student mobility, motivation-opportunity-ability nexus, Central Asia
    JEL: C83 F29 J61
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Berggren, Niclas (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Gutmann, Jerg (Institute of Law & Economics)
    Abstract: Personal freedom is highly valued by many and a central element of liberal political philosophy. Although personal freedom is frequently associated with electoral democracy, developments in countries such as Hungary, Poland, Turkey and Russia, where elected populist leaders with authoritarian tendencies rule, suggest that electoral democracy may not be the envisaged unequivocal guarantor of freedom. Instead, an independent judicial system, insulated from everyday politics, might provide a firmer foundation. We investigate empirically how electoral democracy and judicial independence relate to personal freedom, as quantified by the new Human Freedom Index. Our findings reveal that while judicial independence is positively and robustly related to personal freedom in all its forms, electoral democracy displays a robust relationship with two out of seven types of personal freedom only (freedom of association, assembly and civil society as well as freedom of expression and information). These are types of freedom associated with democracy itself, but democracy seems unable to protect freedom in other dimensions. When we study interaction effects and make use of more refined indicators of the political system in place, we find that countries without elections or with only one political party benefit more from judicial independence than both democracies and multi-party systems without free elections. A number of robustness checks confirm these findings. Hence, it seems as if personal freedom has institutional correlates in the form of both democracy and judicial independence, with the latter safeguarding freedom more consistently and more strongly.
    Keywords: Freedom; Democracy; Judicial independence; Political economy; Institutions
    JEL: D63 D72 D78 K36 P48
    Date: 2019–04–03

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