nep-cis New Economics Papers
on Confederation of Independent States
Issue of 2024‒04‒01
fourteen papers chosen by

  1. The Changing Drivers of Food Inflation – Macroeconomics, Inflation, and War By Algieri, Bernardina; Kornher, Lukas; von Braun, Joachim
  2. Globalization and Growth in a Bipolar World By Barry Eichengreen
  3. L’économie russe : impact des sanctions et perspectives de long terme By Agathe Demarais
  4. Compensation against fuel inflation: Temporary tax rebates or transfers? By Odran Bonnet; Etienne Fize; Tristan Loisel; Lionel Wilner
  5. Consumer participation in the credit market during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond By Evangelos Charalambakis; Federica Teppa; Athanasios Tsiortas
  6. Geostrategy from the far right: How Eurosceptic and far-right parties are positioning themselves in foreign and security policy By Becker, Max; von Ondarza, Nicolai
  7. Trade Risk and Food Security By Tasso Adamopoulos; Fernando Leibovici
  8. Out-Group Penalties in Refugee Assistance: A Survey Experiment By Cristina Cattaneo; Daniela Gireco; Nicola Lacetera; Mario Macis
  9. Echoes of the Past: The Enduring Impact of Communism on Contemporary Freedom of Speech Values By Milena Nikolova; Olga Popova
  10. Informational Boundaries of the State By Thiemo Fetzer; Callum Shaw; Jacob Edenhofer
  11. Traditional conflicts and dynamic coalitions at the World Climate Conference: COP28: new room for manœuvre in international climate politics By Könneke, Jule; Adolphsen, Ole
  12. Regional inflation analysis using social network data By Vasilii Chsherbakov Ilia Karpov
  13. Spionage und Sabotage vor Europas Küsten - Kritische Infrastruktur im Fadenkreuz: Völkerrechtliche Spielräume für Abwehrmaßnahmen By Schaller, Christian
  14. Aktuelle Entwicklungen der regionalen Integration in Westafrika: Herausforderungen für die künftige Gestaltung der Außen-und Entwicklungspolitik By Grütjen, Klaus

  1. By: Algieri, Bernardina; Kornher, Lukas; von Braun, Joachim
    Abstract: The inflation surge in recent years is having profound social, economic, and political consequences. With food price changes being an integral part of inflation, low income segments of the population are strongly impacted. What makes this period so unusual is the breadth of price pressures that are affecting both low and high-income countries. In essence, this phenomenon shows that inflation is increasingly synchronised across borders. This study examines price developments across countries and over time and investigates the driving factors behind food price hikes. Our analysis reveals that a complex mix of causes has led to the soaring food prices seen in 2021-2022. The spread of COVID-19 produced disruptions in the world’s supply chains, pushing the cost of producing and transporting food upward. The increase in fertilizer and energy prices has further exacerbated production costs for agricultural products. Adverse climatic phenomena (e.g., La Niña), generated droughts in parts of Africa, Asia, and the Americas, damaged harvests, and fuelled inflation. The war in Ukraine and the associated trade blockade of grain exports made things worse. Additional pressures included speculative activities in financial markets, which were already at play before the Russia-Ukraine war. In spite of all these increases in costs, inflation could perhaps have been kept under control by immediate, sufficiently restrictive monetary policies by Central Banks. Most likely, the main cause of the strong inflationary surge in several countries seems to have been the failure of some Central Banks to rapidly intervene to counteract the effects of overall price increases including key staples. Soaring inflation is continuing to make vulnerable countries hungrier and poorer and, therefore, prompt actions are necessary to help them.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Security and Poverty
    Date: 2024–03–05
  2. By: Barry Eichengreen (NCAER and University of California, Berkeley)
    Abstract: Globalization is not over, but it is being reconfigured by events. Internationally, there are economic and political tensions between the United States and China. Both countries have responded with import tariffs, export controls, and foreign investment restrictions that have led to a decline in the relative importance of bilateral trade and the collapse of bilateral foreign direct investment. The paper concludes that globalization remains deeply entrenched despite the Global Financial Crisis, COVID, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and U.S.-China tensions. At the same time, the landscape of globalization has been changing in response to these events and specifically in response to U.S.-China rivalry.
    Keywords: Globalisation;Economic Growth
    Date: 2024–02–01
  3. By: Agathe Demarais (ECFR - European Council on Foreign Relations)
    Abstract: La situation de l'économie russe n'a jamais autant défrayé la chronique. Depuis l'invasion de l'Ukraine en février 2022, l'impact réel ou supposé des sanctions occidentales sur le PIB russe constitue en effet un sujet d'intérêt majeur. Il est cependant devenu difficile d'analyser avec fiabilité la situation réelle de l'économie russe. En effet, le Kremlin a fait des statistiques une arme de propagande. Les données officielles russes (qui, faute d'alternative, forment la base des prévisions établies par les institutions internationales) sont aujourd'hui d'une fiabilité douteuse. En outre, certaines statistiques, par exemple celles liées au commerce extérieur, ont été classifiées.
    Keywords: Russie, économie, sanctions occidentales, guerre en Ukraine
    Date: 2024–02
  4. By: Odran Bonnet (Insee); Etienne Fize (Institut des Politiques Publiques, Paris School of Economics); Tristan Loisel (Insee, Crest); Lionel Wilner (Insee, Crest)
    Abstract: This article exploits both the crude oil price surge consecutive to the invasion of Ukraine and 2022 fuel excise tax rebates in France as quasi-natural experiments to infer the price sensitivity of fuel demand. Based on granular individual bank account data at the transaction level, we properly disentangle anticipation effects from price effects, and estimate an average price elasticity of -0.31. It varies little with respect to income and location but substantially decreases, in absolute, with respect to fuel spending and is higher for retirees. We evaluate financial and distributional effects of the actual tax policy as well as its impact on CO2 emissions based on counterfactual simulations. We empirically demonstrate that resorting to transfers, be they targeted or not, achieves only imperfect compensation against fuel inflation. However, we show that a policy maker subject to a tight budget constraint and seeking to alleviate excessive losses, relative to income, prefers means-tested transfers to rebates.
    Keywords: Commodity taxation; Excise tax; Tax-and-transfer schemes; Fuel price elasticity; Anticipatory behavior; Transaction-level data.
    JEL: C18 C51 D12 H23 H31 L71 Q31 Q35 Q41
    Date: 2024–03–08
  5. By: Evangelos Charalambakis; Federica Teppa; Athanasios Tsiortas
    Abstract: Abstract This paper analyses the consumer’s decision to apply for credit and the probability of the credit being accepted in the euro area during a period characterized by the unprecedented concomitance of events and changing borrowing conditions linked to the global COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We use data between 2020Q1 and 2023Q2 from the ECB’s Consumer Expectations Survey. We find that the credit demand is highest when the first lockdown ends and drops when supportive monetary compensation schemes are implemented. There is evidence that constrained households are significantly less likely to apply for credit. Credit is more likely to be accepted under favourable borrowing conditions and after the approval of national recovery plans. We also find that demographic, economic factors, perceptions and expectations are associated with the demand for credit and the credit grant.
    Keywords: Consumer finance; Liquidity constraints; Credit applications; Consumer Expectations Survey
    JEL: C23 D12 D14 G51
    Date: 2024–03
  6. By: Becker, Max; von Ondarza, Nicolai
    Abstract: Far-right parties are gaining support across Europe. Their level of participation in national governments is increasing, and they are expected to make further gains in the European Parliament elections in June 2024. As their influence over European Union (EU) policy rises, it is imperative to assess how they are positioning themselves on crucial dimensions of EU foreign and security policy. A closer look shows that geostrategic issues remain a cleavage point that is contributing to the fragmentation of the far-right spectrum. Their positions fluctuate between a transatlantic orientation and clear support for Ukraine among the national-conservative European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), to fundamental opposition with an anti-Western stance among parts of the right-wing populist to extremist parties in the Identity and Democracy (ID) Group. Due to the intergovernmental nature of EU foreign and security policy, the biggest challenges will come with national elections and coalition-making.
    Keywords: European Union, EU, European Parliament, European Parliament elections 2024, European elections 2024, far-right parties, EU foreign and security policy, European Conservatives and Reformists, ECR, Identity and Democracy, ID, Fidesz, EU relations with Russia, EU relations with China, EU relations with the United States, EU relations with NATO, enlargement of the EU, CFSP, CSDP, voting behaviour, geostrategic positioning, fragmentation of the far-right spectrum
    Date: 2024
  7. By: Tasso Adamopoulos; Fernando Leibovici
    Abstract: We study the role of international trade risk for food security, the patterns of production and trade across sectors, and its implications for policy. We document that food import dependence across countries is associated with higher food insecurity, particularly in low-income countries. We provide causal evidence on the role of trade risk for food security by exploiting the exogeneity of the Ukraine-Russia war as a major trade disruption limiting access to imports of critical food products. Using micro-level data from Ethiopia, we empirically show that districts relatively more exposed to food imports from the conflict countries experienced a significant increase in food insecurity by consuming fewer varieties of foods. Motivated by this evidence, we develop a multi-country multi-sector model of trade and structural change with stochastic trade costs to study the impact and policy implications of trade risk. In the model, importers operate subject to limited liability and trade off the production cost advantage against the risk of higher trade costs when sourcing goods internationally. We find that trade risk can threaten food security, with substantial quantitative effects on trade flows and the sectoral composition of economic activity. We study the desirability of trade policy and production subsidies in partially mitigating exposure to trade risk and diversifying domestic economic activity.
    Keywords: food security; trade; risk; structural change; productivity
    JEL: E10 F10 F60 I30 O11 O41
    Date: 2024–02
  8. By: Cristina Cattaneo; Daniela Gireco; Nicola Lacetera; Mario Macis
    Abstract: We study out-group biases in attitudes toward refugees, and the effect of European Union (EU) immigration policies on these views, using an online survey experiment including 4, 087 Italian participants. We assess attitudes using donations to a randomly assigned group: Italian victims of violence or refugees fleeing wars in Ukraine or African countries. We also employ a novel measure, the share donated in cash. While donations indicated less support for African and Ukrainian refugees compared to Italian victims, the cash measure revealed a stronger prejudice against distant out-groups, with participants giving African refugees a smaller proportion of cash donations. This result was mainly driven by individuals with right-leaning political views. Providing information about immigration policy reforms that give the EU a more substantial role in receiving and allocating refugees had no impact. Textual analysis supports these findings.
    Keywords: ingroup-outgroup relations, prejudice, refugees, EU immigration policies, survey experiments
    JEL: C99 D02 D64 J15
    Date: 2024
  9. By: Milena Nikolova; Olga Popova
    Abstract: This paper studies the long-term consequences of communism on present-day freedom of expression values in two settings – East Germany and the states linked to the sphere of influence of the former USSR. Exploiting the natural experiment of German separation and later reunification, we show that living under communism has had lasting effects on free speech opinions. While free speech salience has increased for East and West Germans vis-à-vis other government goals, the convergence process has been slow. East Germans are still less likely to consider freedom of speech a key government priority compared to West Germans. Additionally, our analyses of secret police surveillance data from East Germany point to the fact that geography-based measures of community experiences of past political repression do not explain our findings. The same conclusion holds when we look at the setting of the former Soviet Union and we correlate proximity to Stalin’s former labor camps in the Soviet Union with present-day freedom of speech values. At the same time, family experiences with political repression in Eastern Europe/the former Soviet Union exert a discernible influence on current values towards freedom of speech, likely due to a lasting impact stemming from such personal encounters. As such, our paper adds a nuanced contribution to the economics of free speech, suggesting that freedom of speech may be a part of informal institutions and slow-changing cultural values.
    Keywords: political repression, communism, free speech, German Democratic Republic, Eastern Europe, former Soviet Union, economic history
    JEL: D02 N00 P27 P52
    Date: 2023
  10. By: Thiemo Fetzer (University of Warwick & Bonn and affiliated with CEPR, CAGE, NIESR, ECONtribute, Grantham Institute); Callum Shaw (London School of Economics); Jacob Edenhofer (University of Oxford)
    Abstract: Formal conceptions of state capacity have mostly focused on indirect measures of state capacity – by, for instance, using the state’s fiscal or extractive capacity as a proxy for its overall capacity. Yet, this input or extractive view of state capacity falls short, especially since cross-country empirical evidence suggests that similar levels of fiscal capacity, measured by tax revenues as a percent-age of GDP, can produce starkly different outputs – both in classic economic terms and in broader terms that citizens would recognize as desirable outcomes, including quality of life, health, security, equality of opportunity, and inter-generational mobility. This paper argues that a central step towards addressing these shortcomings of the conventional view is to account for a crucial and largely ignored boundary of the state or dimension of state capacity: its capac-ity to gather, process, and deploy information in its conduct of fiscal policy. Specifically, we study how the presence or lack of such informational capacity constrains governments in responding to crises, such as the recent energy price shock. Our framework provides the analytical toolkit to examine how the infor-mational boundary of the state shapes the incentives for policymakers to resort to untargeted and/or distortionary policy instruments, as opposed to targeted and non-distortionary ones, in responding to crises. The policy response to the energy crisis following the invasion of Ukraine provides the empirical context upon which we bring this theoretical framework to bear on data, though the latter can be straightforwardly extended to other recent crises.
    Keywords: state capacity, economic development, carbon taxation, political economy, pork-barrel politics
    JEL: H11 O43 D63 D73 Q48 P16 C21 C55
    Date: 2024–03
  11. By: Könneke, Jule; Adolphsen, Ole
    Abstract: The outcome of the 28th UN Climate Change Conference shows that international cooperation remains possible despite today's challenging geopolitical situation. Instead of the feared blockade, an agreement was reached for the first time - some three decades after the start of the COP process - to move away from fossil fuels in energy systems. Overall, the steps agreed in Dubai are a compromise that sends a political signal short of what is necessary from a scientific perspective. On the one hand, international climate cooperation continues to be characterized by traditional conflicts between developing countries and industrialized nations (issues of global justice, financial commitments), with new trade tensions and what at times amounted to an obstructionist attitude among a handful of countries compounding the difficulties. On the other hand, dynamic North-South coalitions have formed in the negotiation tracks on 'loss and damage' and the global energy transition. These must be further strengthened as the starting point for lasting alliances against fossil fuel interests. German climate foreign policy can make an important contribution by undertaking consistent diplomatic efforts to implement structural reforms of the international financial system and by offering attractive partnerships.
    Keywords: World Climate Conference, COP28, Global North, Global South, Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, energy security, Global Stocktake (GST), nationally determined contributions (NDCs), carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
    Date: 2024
  12. By: Vasilii Chsherbakov Ilia Karpov
    Abstract: Inflation is one of the most important macroeconomic indicators that have a great impact on the population of any country and region. Inflation is influenced by range of factors, one of which is inflation expectations. Many central banks take this factor into consideration while implementing monetary policy within the inflation targeting regime. Nowadays, a lot of people are active users of the Internet, especially social networks. There is a hypothesis that people search, read, and discuss mainly only those issues that are of particular interest to them. It is logical to assume that the dynamics of prices may also be in the focus of user discussions. So, such discussions could be regarded as an alternative source of more rapid information about inflation expectations. This study is based on unstructured data from Vkontakte social network to analyze upward and downward inflationary trends (on the example of the Omsk region). The sample of more than 8.5 million posts was collected between January 2010 and May 2022. The authors used BERT neural networks to solve the problem. These models demonstrated better results than the benchmarks (e.g., logistic regression, decision tree classifier, etc.). It makes possible to define pro-inflationary and disinflationary types of keywords in different contexts and get their visualization with SHAP method. This analysis provides additional operational information about inflationary processes at the regional level The proposed approach can be scaled for other regions. At the same time the limitation of the work is the time and power costs for the initial training of similar models for all regions of Russia.
    Date: 2024–02
  13. By: Schaller, Christian
    Abstract: Russische Schiffe sind seit einigen Jahren damit beschäftigt, kritische Infrastruktur in den Gewässern rund um Europa auszukundschaften. Dieses "Mapping" dient offenbar der Vorbereitung möglicher Sabotageakte und stellt somit eine erhebliche Sicherheitsbedrohung dar. Nach internationalem Seerecht können Küstenstaaten solche Mapping-Aktivitäten jenseits staatlicher Territorialgewässer nicht ohne weiteres unterbinden. Welche Eingriffsbefugnisse Küstenstaaten in ihrer ausschließlichen Wirtschaftszone haben, ist umstritten. Eine einheitliche Staatenpraxis ist nicht erkennbar. Dies eröffnet Argumentationsspielräume, wenn es darum geht, Maßnahmen gegen Schiffe zu rechtfertigen, die an solchen Aktivitäten beteiligt sind. Kommt es zu Sabotageakten, die die Schwelle zum bewaffneten Angriff überschreiten, besteht ein Recht auf Selbstverteidigung nach Artikel 51 der Charta der Vereinten Nationen.
    Keywords: Spionage, Sabotage, Nordsee, Ostsee, Windparks, Pipelines, Datenkabel, Stromkabel, Rohrleitungen, Nord Stream, Unterwasser-Infrastruktur, Küstenmeer, Meerengen, ausschließliche Wirtschaftszone, AWZ, Festlandsockel, Freiheit der Schifffahrt, Seerechtsübereinkommen, SRÜ, Sammeln von Informationen, Russland, China, USA, Europa, Deutschland, VN-Charta, UN-Charta, Vereinte Nationen, Küstenstaaten
    Date: 2024
  14. By: Grütjen, Klaus
    Abstract: In einem gesellschaftspolitischen Kontext, in dem Rolle und Funktionen des Staates sowie Umfang und Form der Ausübung der staatlichen Gewalten zunehmend infrage gestellt werden, entwickeln sich neue Formen politischer und gesellschaftlicher Organisation. Diese werden auch von den aktuellen geopolitischen Entwicklungen der sich wandelnden Weltordnung beeinflusst. Gleichzeitig werden Staaten und Gesell-schaften sowie die laufenden regionalen Integrationsprozesse vor wichtige neue Herausforderungen gestellt. Innerhalb der ECOWAS-Staatengemeinschaft prallen hergebrachte Vorstellungen von Staat und Gesellschaft, Werte und Strukturen auf wachsende Tendenzen eines neuen Verständnisses von Staatlichkeit und Souveränität. In der Region Westafrika/Sahel kommen neue Prozesse von Nation Building und State Building in Gang. Sie werden von Bestrebungen getragen, den sozialen Zusammenhalt zu erneuern und die in diesen Staaten immer häufiger zitierten 'lebendigen Kräfte der Nation' möglichst umfassend einzubinden. Diese Entwicklungen erfordern eine Adjustierung der deutschen und europäischen Außen- und Entwicklungspolitik. Derzeit befinden sich die politischen und gesellschaftlichen Bedingungen und Erwartungen der Partner des Raumes Westafrika/Sahel in einem tiefgreifenden Wandel. Sie sind mit den Inhalten und Interessen der von Deutschland vertretenen werteorientierten Außenpolitik in Einklang zu bringen. Und zwar nach Maßgabe des Grundsatzes einer Partnerschaft 'auf gleicher Augenhöhe'. Bei der Einschätzung der künftigen Entwicklungen und Einbindung der sie bedingenden Dynamiken sind die verschiedenen, in dieser Region besonders diversifizierten und parallel verlaufenden Integrationsprozesse zu berücksichtigen. Aus einer vergleichenden Perspektive vermittelt dieser Beitrag einen Überblick über die verschiedenen regionalen Organisationen des Raumes Westafrika/Sahel. Ihr jeweiliges Potenzial wird im Hinblick auf Entwicklungsperspektiven und Nachhaltigkeit analysiert. Neben dem kritischen Verhältnis zwischen ECOWAS und AES werden die Westafrikanische Wirtschafts- und Währungsunion (UEMOA), die Autorität für Integrierte Entwicklung der Liptako-Gourma-Staaten (ALG) sowie die in der Auflösung begriffene G5-Sahel-Staatengemeinschaft betrachtet. Um die Partnerschaft zwischen Deutschland bzw. Europa und den westafrikanischen bzw. Sahel-Staaten fortzusetzen, ist es zwingend notwendig, mit einem pragmatischen Ansatz den politischen Dialog mit allen Partnern weiterzuführen. Für die weitere Entwicklung Europas sind die Staaten dieser Region sehr wichtig. Und nur mit einer von gegenseitigem Respekt getragenen Kommunikation und einer darauf basierenden Zusammenarbeit in den Bereichen Wirtschaft und Entwicklung kann die zunehmende Einflussnahme politischer Mächte wie Russland oder Iran wirksam beschränkt werden. Mächte, deren Vorstellungen, Interessen und Werte von dem demokratisch-rechtsstaatlichen Modell westlich-atlantischer Prägung abweichen.
    Keywords: Sahel, ECOWAS, Regionale Integration, Autokratie, Frieden- und Sicherheit, Westafrika
    Date: 2024

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