nep-cis New Economics Papers
on Confederation of Independent States
Issue of 2021‒08‒16
six papers chosen by

  1. Separating the political from the economic: the Russia–traffic in transit panel report By Crivelli, Pramila; Pinchis-paulsen, Mona
  2. Measuring heterogeneity in banks’ interest rate setting in Russia By Anna Burova; Alexey Ponomarenko; Svetlana Popova; Andrey Sinyakov; Yulia Ushakova
  3. The Political-Economic Causes of the Soviet Great Famine, 1932–33 By Andrei Markevich; Natalya Naumenko; Nancy Qian
  4. Republic of Estonia: Technical Assistance Report-Fiscal Transparency Evaluation By International Monetary Fund
  5. Republic of Moldova: Technical Assistance Report-Country Governance Assessment By International Monetary Fund
  6. Cyber security management of critical energy infrastructure in national cybersecurity strategies: cases of USA, UK, France, Estonia and Lithuania By Manuela Tvaronavičienė; Tomas Plėta; Silvia Casa; Juozas Latvys

  1. By: Crivelli, Pramila; Pinchis-paulsen, Mona
    Abstract: This paper reviews the World Trade Organization (WTO) Panel Report Russia – Measures Concerning Traffic in Transit of April 2019. It constitutes the first attempt to disentangle the legal and political aspects related to the invoked essential security interests from the economic considerations underlying the measures imposed on the transit through Russia of goods exported from Ukraine to the Republic of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. One the one hand, the panel’s interpretation of Article XXI of the GATT denies Members unilateral determination over security exceptions. It further enables a pathway for future WTO panels to review possible abuses of security exceptions – a growing concern due to the rising complexity of transnational economic relations. On the other hand, our economic analysis suggests a stricter assessment of Russia’s transit restrictions was necessary. In particular, it argues that the panel adopted a circular assessment when considering the plausibility of whether Russia implemented its measures for the protection of its essential security interests at a time of emergency in international relations. Ultimately, although the panel’s focus on finding a diplomatic and legal path forward failed economic scrutiny a legal assessment argues that the panel’s findings fit the legal design of Article XXI:b of the GATT.
    Keywords: WTO; dispute settlement; national security; transit; trade barriers; Russia; CUP deal
    JEL: L81
    Date: 2021–07–14
  2. By: Anna Burova (Bank of Russia, Russian Federation); Alexey Ponomarenko (Bank of Russia, Russian Federation); Svetlana Popova (Bank of Russia, Russian Federation); Andrey Sinyakov (Bank of Russia, Russian Federation); Yulia Ushakova (Bank of Russia, Russian Federation)
    Abstract: We use credit registry data on all corporate loans issued by all Russian banks since 2017 to decompose the bank interest spreads into a common factor, as well as borrower and lender-related components while controlling for loan characteristics. We find that variation in loan rates associated with lender-specific factors (heterogeneity of banks) and borrower-specific factors (heterogeneity of borrowers) is substantial. We use the identified bank-specific components to measure fragmentation of the corporate credit market in Russia. We illustrate the developments in the Russian credit market during the pandemic using the obtained estimates. The results indicate that heterogeneity in banks’ interest rate setting is high and increased in the early stage of the pandemic. The range of borrower-related premiums charged by banks also widened (mostly due to increase in rates of loans to companies in sectors presumably affected by the pandemic). Finally, our results suggest that banks tightened non-interest loan conditions during the pandemic.
    Keywords: bank interest margin, bank interest spread, corporate credit, credit registry, financial stability, credit market fragmentation, Russian banking sector in the pandemic.
    JEL: E44 E51 E52 E58 G21 G28
    Date: 2021–07
  3. By: Andrei Markevich; Natalya Naumenko; Nancy Qian
    Abstract: This study constructs a large new dataset to investigate whether state policy led to ethnic Ukrainians experiencing higher mortality during the 1932–33 Soviet Great Famine. All else equal, famine (excess) mortality rates were positively associated with ethnic Ukrainian population share across provinces, as well as across districts within provinces. Ukrainian ethnicity, rather than the administrative boundaries of the Ukrainian republic, mattered for famine mortality. These and many additional results provide strong evidence that higher Ukrainian famine mortality was an outcome of policy, and suggestive evidence on the political-economic drivers of repression. A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that bias against Ukrainians explains up to 77% of famine deaths in the three republics of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus and up to 92% in Ukraine.
    JEL: N14 O1 O13 P16
    Date: 2021–07
  4. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: The government of Estonia places a high importance on openness and transparency, both for their citizens and for regional and international partners. This is evidenced from various earlier reports on transparency and the implementation of many subsequent improvements in fiscal transparency practices. The objective of the assessment was to identify areas of fiscal risk vulnerabilities and reform priorities to ensure further improvements in transparent practices.
    Date: 2021–08–06
  5. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: Despite having legal and institutional frameworks largely in place, Moldova continues to suffer from significant corruption and governance vulnerabilities. These are fairly pronounced in the areas of rule of law, anti-corruption, anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT), and SOE governance, while other areas assessed for purposes of this report (PFM, tax administration, central bank governance and financial sector oversight) presented some good progress in mitigating such vulnerabilities.
    Date: 2021–07–26
  6. By: Manuela Tvaronavičienė (Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Daugavpils University); Tomas Plėta (Vilnius Gediminas Technical University); Silvia Casa (NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence); Juozas Latvys (NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence)
    Abstract: The progresses made in terms of cybersecurity in these past years have been huge, and the implementation of newer strategies has brought interesting results all over the globe. However, the full implementation of cybersecurity presents a challenge to a lot of countries, especially if considered the Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP), which is still one of the areas with the most gaps in terms of cybersecurity. In this article, the first five countries by cybersecurity level according to the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) 2018, in order UK, USA, France, Estonia and Lithuania, will be evaluated for their solutions in terms of Critical Infrastructure Protection. The results will show the effective accuracy of the index and will shed light on the various approaches to Critical Infrastructure Protection.
    Keywords: cybersecurity,critical infrastructure protection,management,energy security,cyber attack
    Date: 2020–09–30

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