nep-tra New Economics Papers
on Transition Economics
Issue of 2005‒01‒09
nine papers chosen by
Toño Sanchez
Universidad de Valencia

  1. Sorting, Selection, and Transformation of the Return to College Education in China By Fleisher, Belton M.; Li, Haizheng; Li, Shi; Wang, Xiaojun
  2. Impact of Income Growth and Economic Reform on Nutrition Intake in Urban China: 1986-2000 By Meng, Xin; Gong, Xiaodong; Wang, Youjuan
  3. Poverty, Inequality, and Growth in Urban China, 1986-2000 By Meng, Xin; Gregory, Robert; Wang, Youjuan
  4. Credit Constraints and Determinants of the Cost of Capital in Vietnamese Manufacturing By John Rand
  5. From Plan to Market in the Health Sector? China's Experience. By Karen Eggleston; Jian Wang; Keqin Rao
  6. Poverty Effects of Russia’s WTO Accession: Modeling “Real” Households and Endogenous Productivity Effects By Thomas F. Rutherford; David G. Tarr; Oleksandr Shepotylo
  7. Privatization Policy in Bulgaria: An Initial Assessment By Spartak Keremidchiev
  9. Currencies, Identities, Free Banking, and Growth in Early Twentieth Century Manchuria By Thomas Gottschang

  1. By: Fleisher, Belton M. (Ohio State University); Li, Haizheng (Georgia Tech); Li, Shi (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and IZA Bonn); Wang, Xiaojun (University of Hawaii at Manoa)
    Abstract: We estimate selection and sorting effects on the evolution of the private return to schooling for college graduates during China’s between 1988 and 2002. We pay special attention to the changing role of sorting by ability versus budget-constraint effects as China’s education policy has changed from one in which the bulk of direct costs are paid by government for students who pass a rigid set of test to one in which freedom of choice is increasingly the rule for those who can afford to pay for tuition and living expenses while acquiring higher education. We find evidence of substantial sorting gains under the traditional system but that gains have diminished and even become negative as schooling choices widened and participation has become subject to increasing direct private costs. We take this as evidence consistent with the influence of financial constraints on decisions to attend college.
    Keywords: return to schooling, sorting gains, heterogeneity, financial constraints, comparative advantage
    JEL: J31 J24 O15
    Date: 2004–12
  2. By: Meng, Xin (Australian National University); Gong, Xiaodong (Australian National University and IZA Bonn); Wang, Youjuan (Chinese State Statistical Bureau)
    Abstract: Although urban China has experienced a rapid income growth over the last twenty years, nutrition intake for the low income group declined in the 1990s. Does this imply a zero or negative income elasticity for the low income group? This paper examines this issue using large representative sample of repeated cross-sectional data for the period 1986-2000. It is found that income elasticities of calorie consumption for urban households are far from zero, and the lower the income level the higher the income elasticity. The main reason for the reduction in calorie consumption for the low income group in the early 1990s was a sharp increase in food price. In addition, in the mid to late 1990s large scale social welfare reform increased households’ need to pay for education, medical, housing expenses and the need to save for future consumption and income uncertainty. These factors seem to have played an important role in suppressing nutrition consumption of the low income group during this period.
    Keywords: poverty, income growth, inequality, China
    JEL: I31 D31 O40 O15
    Date: 2004–12
  3. By: Meng, Xin (Australian National University); Gregory, Robert (Australian National University and IZA Bonn); Wang, Youjuan (Chinese State Statistical Bureau)
    Abstract: Although urban China has experienced spectacular income growth over the last two decades, increases in inequality, reduction in social welfare provision, deregulation of grain prices, and increases in income uncertainty in the 1990s have increased urban poverty. Using a large repeated cross-section household survey data from 1986 to 2000, this study maps out the change in income, inequality, and poverty over the 15 year period and investigates the determinants of poverty. It is found that the increase in the poverty rate in the 1990s is associated with the increase in the relative food price, and the need to spend on education, housing and medical care which were previously paid by the state. In addition, the increase in the saving rate of the poor due to an increase in income uncertainty contributes significantly to the increase in poverty measured in terms of expenditure. Even though income growth reduces poverty, the radical reform measures implemented in the 1990s have sufficiently offset this gain that urban poverty is higher in 2000 than in 1986.
    Keywords: poverty, income growth, inequality, China
    JEL: I31 D31 O40 O15
    Date: 2005–01
  4. By: John Rand (Institute of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: This paper examines the extent to which borrowing constraints restrict firm access to credit and identifies individual, firm, and loan characteristics, which determine the cost of capital in Vietnamese manufacturing. Using direct information from a Vietnamese enterprise survey I show that 14 percent of the enterprises are credit constrained, and these enterprises would increase their debt holdings by 34 percent if borrowing constraints were relaxed. Moreover, it emerges that informal credit markets play an important role for fast growing firms. Enterprises do not appear to have the necessary time to go through the many administrative difficulties in the formal credit system if they want to "seize the day". Finally, collateralized loans face larger interest rates, explained by the significant influence of "policy lending" in Vietnamese credit markets.
    Keywords: financial markets; credit constraints; Vietnam
    JEL: O16 O53
    Date: 2004–12
  5. By: Karen Eggleston; Jian Wang; Keqin Rao
  6. By: Thomas F. Rutherford; David G. Tarr (World Bank); Oleksandr Shepotylo
    Abstract: Rutherford, Tarr, and Shepotylo use a computable general equilibrium comparative static model of the Russian economy to assess the impact of accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on income distribution and the poor. Their model is innovative in that they incorporate all 55,000 households from the Russian Household Budget Survey as “real” households in the model. This is accomplished because they develop a new algorithm for solving general equilibrium models with a large number of agents. In addition, they include foreign direct investment and Dixit-Stiglitz endogenous productivity effects in their trade and poverty analysis. In the medium term, the authors find that virtually all households gain from Russian WTO accession, with 99.9 percent of the estimated gains falling within a range between 2 and 25 percent increases in household income. They show that their estimates are decisively affected by liberalization of barriers against foreign direct investment in business services sectors and endogenous productivity effects in business services and goods. The authors use their integrated model to assess the error associated with a “top down” approach to micro-simulation. They find that approximation errors introduced by failing to account for income effects in the conventional sequential approach are very small. However, data reconciliation between the national accounts and the household budget survey is important to the results. Despite the estimated gains for virtually all households in the medium term, many households may lose in the short term because of the costs of transition. So, safety nets are crucial for the poorest members of society during the transition. This paper—a product of the Trade Team, Development Research Group—is part of a larger effort in the group to assess the impact of trade on poverty.
    Keywords: International Economics; Poverty
    Date: 2005–01–05
  7. By: Spartak Keremidchiev
    Abstract: The privatization process in the transition economies may appear to be the most serious economic event in the last 10-12 years. All transition countries experimented with different privatization models. Although the privatization processes have not ended yet, the development of a methodology for assessment of the privatization policy is necessary to not only specify the privatization outputs and to compare the effectiveness of the implemented policies, but also to support the policy design process. The paper aims to present an application of an elaborated methodology for assessing the privatization policy and opportunities for its implementation following the Bulgarian case.
    Keywords: privatization policy, quantitative assessment, transition economies, Bulgaria
    JEL: P21 P26
    Date: 2005–01–03
  8. By: Spartak Keremidchiev
    Abstract: The paper aims at outlining the existing gaps in Bulgarian corporate governance compared to the standards and the state of corporate governance in developed market economies. The current state of corporate governance, the degree of ownership concentration as well as the strengths and weaknesses of corporate governance are examined for the fulfillment of this goal. On the other hand the current trends in development of corporate governance model in leading market economies are discussed. A conceptual model for modernization of corporate governance in Bulgaria is created.
    Keywords: corporate governance, ownership concentration, modernization of corporate governance
    JEL: G G32 G34 G38
    Date: 2005–01–03
  9. By: Thomas Gottschang (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)
    Keywords: currencies, free banking, Manchuria
    Date: 2004–12

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