nep-cis New Economics Papers
on Confederation of Independent States
Issue of 2020‒01‒13
twelve papers chosen by

  1. Monthly Report No. 6/2019 By Vasily Astrov; Rumen Dobrinsky; Richard Grieveson; Doris Hanzl-Weiss; Gabor Hunya; Sebastian Leitner; Isilda Mara; Olga Pindyuk; Leon Podkaminer; Sandor Richter; Hermine Vidovic; Goran Vuksic
  2. ADDRESSING PEOPLE BY NAME IN RUSSIAN: A CORPUS STUDY By Alexander Piperski; Maria Grabovskaya; Ekaterina Gridneva; Alexandra Korshunova; Alisa Kuzmina; Anastasia Orlenko; Alina Tillabaeva
  3. Corporate governance and firm performance: Evidence from the agri-food industry of Russia By Alisher Tleubayev
  5. Anatomy of labour reserves in the Baltic countries: a snapshot 15 years after the EU accession By Olegs Krasnopjorovs
  6. Digital Self-Tracking Among Russian Students: Practices And Discourses By Ilya Musabirov; Evgeniya G. Nim
  8. Disentanglement of natural interest rate shocks and monetary policy shocks nexus By Kurovskiy, Gleb
  9. Determinants of child mortality risk in Kazakhstan By Pena-Boquete, Yolanda; Samambayeva, Aizhan; Zhumakanova, Aigerim; Makhmejanov, Galym
  11. Deception Detection in Online Media By Zaynutdinova, Alsu; Pisarevskaya, Dina; Zubov, Maxim; Makarov, Ilya
  12. Exchange Rate Risk and International Equity Portfolio Diversification: A South African Investor’s Perspective By Muteba Mwamba, John Weirstrass; Tchuinkam Djemo, Charles Raoul

  1. By: Vasily Astrov (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Rumen Dobrinsky (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Richard Grieveson (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Doris Hanzl-Weiss (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Gabor Hunya (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); Goran Vuksic
    Abstract: Central, East and Southeast Europe Recent Economic Developments and Forecast Table Overview 2017-2018 and outlook 2019-2021 (p. 1) Figures GDP growth in 2018-2021 and contribution of individual demand components in percentage points (p. 2) Albania Institutional clash threatens stability (by Isilda Mara; p. 3) Belarus Economy past the trough (by Rumen Dobrinsky; p. 4) Bosnia and Herzegovina Some positive economic signals despite political stalemate (by Goran Vukšić; p. 5) Bulgaria Exports support an unexpected upturn (by Rumen Dobrinsky; p. 6) Croatia Surprisingly strong start to the year (by Hermine Vidovic; p. 7) Czech Republic Moderate growth continues (by Leon Podkaminer; p. 8) Estonia External demand above expectations (by Sebastian Leitner; p. 9) Hungary Signs of overheating (by Sándor Richter; p. 10) Kazakhstan Trying to preserve the status quo (by Olga Pindyuk; p. 11) Kosovo Stumbling Serbia–Kosovo dialogue (by Isilda Mara; p. 12) Latvia Pace of growth changes to a lower gear (by Sebastian Leitner; p. 13) Lithuania Domestic and external demand remain strong (by Sebastian Leitner; p. 14) Moldova Stable growth supported by lax fiscal policy (by Gábor Hunya; p. 15) Montenegro Impressive surge in employment (by Goran Vukšić; p. 16) North Macedonia On the way back up (by Richard Grieveson; p. 17) Poland Social spending supports high growth (by Leon Podkaminer; p. 18) Romania Still overheating (by Gábor Hunya; p. 19) Russia On the verge of recession (by Vasily Astrov; p. 20) Serbia Adjusting back to reality (by Richard Grieveson; p. 21) Slovakia Growth boosted by Jaguar Land Rover (by Doris Hanzl-Weiss; p. 22) Slovenia Returning to a moderate growth path (by Hermine Vidovic; p. 23) Turkey Still close to the eye of the storm (by Richard Grieveson; p. 24) Ukraine Growth holds steady despite political storm (by Olga Pindyuk; p. 25)
    Keywords: economic forecasts, GDP, GDP growth, consumer prices, unemployment, current account, investment, household consumption, net exports,
    Date: 2019–06
  2. By: Alexander Piperski (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Maria Grabovskaya (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Ekaterina Gridneva (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Alexandra Korshunova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Alisa Kuzmina (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Anastasia Orlenko (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Alina Tillabaeva (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: In Russian, there are many ways to address a person by name. For instance, a man called Aleksandr may be addressed as Aleksandr, Aleksandr Ivanovic, Sasa, Sasen?ka, Saska, Sanja, etc. This study aims at analyzing the use of various strategies of naming the listener throughout the last two centuries. It uses the data from the Russian National Corpus to establish the direction of change in address patterns and combines a statistical approach with a manual inspection of selected examples
    Keywords: Russian languages, personal names, corpus linguistics, forms of address.
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Alisher Tleubayev (Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO))
    Abstract: Current study provides pioneering empirical evidence on the corporate governance and firm performance relationship in the case of the large scale agri-food companies in Russia. While Russia plays an important role in global food security, its domestic agri-food production is heavily dependent on large scale producers.In spite of the emergence and continuing growth of large scale agricultural enterprises in many parts of the world, the literature on large scale corporate farming is scarce. Corporate governance literature is especially limited in the case of transition economies like Russia, which has relatively short history of market economics. A sudden move towards the decentralized market after the collapse of the communist regime in the beginning of 1990s led to the emergence of new private companies. Most of these newly privatized companies were large in size, with very poor governance levels. However, increased attention from government, relatively stabilized national economy, improvements in legislation and access to international financial markets led to significant improvements in governance structure after 1999. All these factors taken together, makes it especially interesting to study the corporate governance in the case of Russia. A panel data of 203 agri-food enterprises of Russia for the period between 2012 and 2017 is employed in the analysis.
    Keywords: corporate governance, agri-food industry, firm performance, Russia, panel data
    JEL: M14 Q12 Q13
    Date: 2019–10
  4. By: Tommaso Agasisti (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Ekaterina Abalmasova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Ekaterina Shibanova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Aleksei Egorov (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: In most countries which experience structural transformation of their higher education system, a crucial goal of policy makers is to tie the amount of university public funding to their performance. This research analyzes the Russian performance-based funding (PBF) reform to provide a quasi-experimental assessment of its effects on Russian universities’ performance. Data comes from the Monitoring for HEIs performance and covers the period between 2014/2015 and 2017/2018. To evaluate the causal effect of the PBF policy on university performance, in a first step we define the treatment and the control groups by distinguishing universities on the basis of the trend in their performance-based allocations. In a second step, we estimated the causal effect of the redistribution of public funds across universities as a result of PBF policy. Results indicate that the performance of universities is actually affected by getting extra funding after the reform, although heterogeneity is at play. The short-run effect is related with the impact on average national exam scores, indicating that the policy forced universities to be more selective.
    Keywords: performance-based funding, higher education funding, policy evaluation, difference-in-differences
    JEL: I22 I23 I28
    Date: 2019
  5. By: Olegs Krasnopjorovs (Bank of Latvia)
    Abstract: This paper investigates internal and external labour reserves in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. We find considerable internal labour reserves in the form of still high natural rate of unemployment and in hidden unemployment as many economically inactive people are available for work but are not actively engaged in job seeking. The employment rate is particularly low for upper-middle-aged men, especially those without a tertiary education degree, which is likely to reflect a low incidence of lifelong learning, low digital skills and rapidly deteriorating health condition. We document low employment of youth, mirroring low prevalence of apprenticeships. In Lithuania and Latvia, there is also a postponed entry of young women into the labour market. Moreover, the employment rate of Estonian women of fertile age who hold a tertiary education degree is consistently lower than that of their EU counterparts. These internal labour reserves total more than 25 thousand people in Estonia, 55 thousand in Latvia and 85 thousand in Lithuania, corresponding to 4%–7% of the total employment in these countries. Particular targeting on ethnic minorities and people living in disadvantaged regions is essential for activating these labour reserves. Moreover, we point to considerable external labour reserves in the form of more than a half million Baltic nationals currently residing in wealthier EU countries.
    Keywords: labour market, employment, unemployment, participation, migration
    JEL: J21 J82 E24
    Date: 2019–09–30
  6. By: Ilya Musabirov; Evgeniya G. Nim (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The article analyzes how Russian students interpret and practice digital technologies of self-tracking (fitness trackers, apps and wearables), that allow to collect biometric and activity data. It is based on the results of reflective thematic analysis of students’ essays on this topic. How do students describe their experience in using self-tracking technologies? What discourses of self-tracking are represented in their essays? How do they imagine the digital future and further development of the systems of self-surveillance? The research demonstrated that many students have certain experience with quantified self-tracking, whereas some tend to limit it or refused from it for some reasons. Based on the students’ stories (former and active users), the author offers to distinguish three styles of self-tracking: ‘gamer’, ‘manager’ and ‘transformer’. A ‘gamer’ is looking for the feelings of thrill, pleasure and novelty; a ‘manager’ aims at putting one’s head and life in order; a ‘transformer’ wants to change one’s life and mind radically. In reality any self-tracker combines all three roles, though one of them might dominate. According to the students, the existing technologies of self-measuring cannot give strong enough motivation for self-optimization, but in the future their effectiveness may increase. This study also resulted in defining four types of discourse on self-tracking: ‘progressivist’, ‘pragmatic’, ‘critical’ and ‘anti-utopian’. They represent the differences in conceptualization of self-tracking as a cultural phenomenon. Some students are prone to optimistic or balanced evaluation of the potential of self-tracking technologies; others focus on risks and hazards of ‘datafication’ of people and social life. The outcomes of the study develop the previous research on styles of quantified self-tracking, providing additional analysis of the reflections of (non-)users, concerning self-tracking as a cultural phenomenon.
    Keywords: self-tracking, digital technologies, «Quantified self» (QS), Russian students
    JEL: L82 O33
    Date: 2019
  7. By: Kasamara Valeria (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Maximenkova Marina (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Sorokina Anna (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The paper examines collective memory of British and Russian youth. The authors use the results of surveys conducted among Russian and British students. They focus primarily on the structure of pride in the collective memory of young people. They propose to analyze the category of pride among young people across several dimensions. First, they look at the qualitative content of national pride: pride in the realization of tasks relating to “soft power” (for example, culture, education, sports), and pride in manifestations of “hard power” (for example, pride in military victories or power politics). Second, they analyze the temporal localization of national pride: were are the main events, personalities, and phenomena study participants take pride in, both in the past and in the present. Third, an important element of understanding pride in a country is the relationship of pride to shame. In this paper, two types of national cultures are identified: a culture where pride prevails over shape (we call this “culture of pride”), and cultures where shame prevails (“culture of shame”).
    Keywords: collective memory; national pride; national identity; Russian students; British students
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2019
  8. By: Kurovskiy, Gleb
    Abstract: This paper proposes a novel two-step identification procedure of natural interest rate shocks. Altogether, monetary policy and natural interest shocks explain about 90% of total inflation dynamics. The paper exploits (J.E. Arias et al., 2019) procedure, which allows getting canonical impulse response functions to monetary policy shocks. I find no evidence of price and output puzzles. The estimated natural interest rate declines from 2015 to 2019 years. Furthermore, Bank of Russia follows the mandate and reacts to inflation in monetary policy feedback rule, while does not respond to output fluctuations.
    Keywords: SVAR, monetary policy, natural interest rate, Russia
    JEL: C32 E52 E58
    Date: 2019–12–12
  9. By: Pena-Boquete, Yolanda; Samambayeva, Aizhan; Zhumakanova, Aigerim; Makhmejanov, Galym
    Abstract: Child mortality rate is one of the key indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals from the United Nations. In the last two decades, this indicator became 6 times smaller during 1990 to 2017 (from 54.1 deaths/1,000 live births to 8.9) in Kazakhstan. This decrease in child mortality rate have been much faster in Kazakhstan than in other countries of Central Asia, so it would be useful to understand the reasons why. Thus, the aim of the paper is to analyze the socio-economic determinants of child mortality in Kazakhstan in order to shed light on the factors behind its huge reduction. In order to estimate the determinants of child mortality we run a logit model based on Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) database provided by UNICEF for Kazakhstan in 2006, 2010-2011, 2015. Results show that household composition may be a relevant variable for explaining child mortality: head of household is a relevant variable; however maternal education doesn’t come out significant. Additionally, the access to health resources also reduce infant mortality. On the one hand, the probability that women had experienced the death of a children increases for the 2th and 3th quintile of wealth, i.e. for those who have a worse access to the health resources. On the other hand, the probability that the child dies are higher for families living the rural areas compared with urban areas (explained for the difficulties of reaching the health facilities in rural areas). Results of this paper can be used to keep the positive path in the infant mortality decrease for Kazakhstan and taken as an example for other countries in Central Asia where infant mortality is still high.
    Keywords: child mortality risk, inequality, socio-economic status
    JEL: I15 I18
    Date: 2019
  10. By: Anna G. Klezovich (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The Prosodic model of phonology (Brentari 1998) implies that all signs in any sign language have prosodic and inherent features. This dichotomy (movement feature vs. all other features) occurs to some extent in all phonological theories. The idea derives from Liddell & Johnson’s (1994) Movement-Hold model, where they proposed that movements can be in most cases derived from the knowledge of holds and their relative order, and that it is sufficient to describe in-detail only holds. Therefore, when it comes to describing phonemic inventories of a particular sign language, researchers focus on the building of separate phonemic inventories for each of the inherent features (or for features of holds) (Channon & Hulst 2011), namely handshape, location, and orientation (e.g. van der Kooij (2002) for Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT) – only handshapes inventory, Nyst (2007) for Adamorobe Sign Language (AdaSL) – handshapes and locations inventories, etc.). This research focuses on handshapes inventory for Russian Sign Language (RSL). First, I automatically extract positions without movement (i.e. holds) using an algorithm developed on the basis of Borstell’s (2018) script. Then I manually annotate holds for the handshapes with respect to Hamburg Notation System (HamNoSys; Hanke 2004) and describe resulting phonetic handshapes inventory for RSL, comparing this data with other sign languages. The last but not the least, the enventory of phonemic hanshapes for RSL is derived from the phonetic one under van der Kooij’s (2002) model of phonology.
    Keywords: phonetic inventory of handshapes, phonemic inventory of handshapes, Russian Sign Language, sign language phonology, holds extraction
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2019
  11. By: Zaynutdinova, Alsu; Pisarevskaya, Dina; Zubov, Maxim; Makarov, Ilya
    Abstract: Russian Federation and European Union are fighting againstfake news together with other countries in various topics. The disinform-ation affected British referendum of existing EU, the US election andCatalonia’s referendum are broadly studied. A need for automated fact-checking increases, European Commission’s Action Plan 8 is an evidence.In this work, we develop a model for detecting disinformation in Russianlanguage in online media. We use reliable and unreliable sources to com-pare named entities and verbs extracted using DeepPavlov library. Ourmethod shows four time greater recall compared to chosen baseline.
    Keywords: Fake news; Information extraction; Fact checking; Deep-Pavlov; Named Entities
    JEL: C6 K42 M38 Z18
    Date: 2019–09–23
  12. By: Muteba Mwamba, John Weirstrass; Tchuinkam Djemo, Charles Raoul
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of foreign exchange rate risk on the expected return of a South African investor’s portfolio. A GJR-GARCH based Value at Risk (VaR) model was used to compute the upside and downside risk measures. Data sample of ten emerging stock markets were utilized: from 1 January 2000 to 6 March 2019. The tails of negative and positive asset returns were modelled with the help of the generalized Pareto distribution (GPD) method in order to separate left tail risk from right tail risk. Our findings reveal that international diversification substantially enhances the South African investor’s portfolio return, with a noticeable yield increase in China, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Russia. Furthermore, the Singaporean dollar and Chinese Yuan are found to have a negative impact on the portfolio return, while the rest of the currencies have a positive impact on the portfolio return. Also, we found that exchange rate risk is underestimated when using the variance-covariance method as it fails to capture the swing movement of currency in the minimum- value at risk optimization.
    Keywords: International Diversification, Exchange Rate Risk, Portfolio Selection, Value at Risk
    JEL: F3 F31 F37 G1 G14 G17
    Date: 2019–12–03

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