nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2015‒12‒20
two papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Left Behind but Doing Good? Civic Engagement in Two Post-Socialist Countries By Nikolova, Milena; Roman, Monica; Zimmermann, Klaus F
  2. European Identity and Redistributive Preferences By Joan Costa-i-Font; Frank Cowell

  1. By: Nikolova, Milena; Roman, Monica; Zimmermann, Klaus F
    Abstract: The fall of socialism in Central and Eastern Europe restored ordinary citizens’ rights and freedoms and ended their political and social isolation. While the freedom of movement was quickly embraced, civil society revival lagged due to the eroded civic norms, declining social capital, and worsening economic conditions. In this paper, we examine the link between the out-migration of relatives and friends and the pro-social behavior of the left behinds in two post-socialist countries—Bulgaria and Romania—the EU’s poorest, unhappiest, and among the most corrupt members. We show that having close contacts abroad is consistently positively associated with civic engagement and that the cultural transmission of norms from abroad could be driving the results. Specifically, the strength of the civic engagement culture of the family or friend’s destination matters for the pro-social behavior of respondents in the home countries. Our results imply that the emigration of family and friends may have positive but previously undocumented consequences for the individuals and communities left behind in Bulgaria and Romania. Given civil society’s role for development in post-socialist Europe and the socio-economic and institutional challenges that Bulgaria and Romania face compared with the rest of the EU, understanding the channels fostering civil society and well-being are important for national and EU policymakers.
    Keywords: civic engagement; international migration; left behind; post-socialism; social remittances
    JEL: I30 I31 P30 Z10
    Date: 2015–12
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10990&r=ltv
  2. By: Joan Costa-i-Font; Frank Cowell
    Abstract: How important is spatial identity in shifting preferences for redistribution? This paper takes advantage of within-country variability in the adoption of a single currency as an instrument to examine the impact of the rescaling of spatial identity in Europe. We draw upon data from the last three decades of waves of the European Values Survey and we examine the impact of joining the single currency on preferences for redistribution. Our instrumentation strategy relies on using the exogenous effect of joining a common currency, alongside a battery of robustness checks and alternative instruments. Our findings suggest that joining the euro has a boosting effect on European identity; an opposite and comparable effect is found for national pride. We find that European identity increases preferences for redistribution, and that national pride exerts an equivalent reduction in preferences for redistribution.
    Keywords: spatial identity, Europe, welfare state support
    JEL: D69 O52 H53
    Date: 2015–09
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:eiq:eileqs:98&r=ltv

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