nep-tra New Economics Papers
on Transition Economics
Issue of 2005‒02‒01
five papers chosen by
Toño Sanchez
Universidad de Valencia

  1. The Chinese Economies in Global Context: The Integration Process and Its Determinants By Yin-Wong Cheung; Menzie Chinn; Eiji Fujii
  2. Is China an Optimum Currency Area? By Byström, Hans; Olofsdotter , Karin; Söderström, Lars
  3. Autopsy on an Empire: Understanding Mortality in Russia and the Former Soviet Union By Brainerd, Elizabeth; Cutler, David M.
  4. The Role of the State in Economic Transformation: Comparing the Transition Experiences of Russia and China By David M. Kotz
  5. The emergence of large shareholders in mass privatized firms: Evidence from Poland and the Czech Republic. By Irena Grosfeld; Iraj Hashi

  1. By: Yin-Wong Cheung (University of California, Santa Cruz); Menzie Chinn (University of Wisconsin, Madison); Eiji Fujii (University of Tsukuba, Japan)
    Abstract: The linkages between the People's Republic of China and the other Chinese economies of Hong Kong and Taiwan are assessed, and compared against those with Japan and the US. We first characterize the time series behavior of three criteria of integration, namely real interest parity, uncovered interest parity, and relative purchasing power parity. There is evidence that these parity conditions tend to hold over longer periods between the People's Republic of China and all other economies, although they do not hold instantaneously. Overall, the magnitude of deviations from the parity conditions is shrinking over time. Amongst all, however, Hong Kong exhibits indications of a more advanced level of integration with the mainland. We also find that evidence is surprisingly positive for integration with the US. We then turn to examining the determinants of the degree of integration. Regression results suggest that the degrees of financial and integration depend upon the extent of capital controls, foreign direct investment linkages as well as exchange rate volatility.
    Keywords: uncovered interest parity, real interest parity, purchasing power parity, exchange rates, capital mobility, market integration,
    Date: 2003–06–16
  2. By: Byström, Hans (Department of Economics, Lund University); Olofsdotter , Karin (Department of Economics, Lund University); Söderström, Lars (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes regional differences across Chinese regions, employing an optimum currency area framework. Empirically, we consider the cross-sectional correlation measure of Solnik & Roulet (2000) when examining data on GDP, trade, inflation and regional budget between 1991 and 2001. Our preliminary results suggest that China probably is more of an optimum currency area than first expected. It is debatable, though, whether Hong Kong and Macao are appropriate as candidates. The results also indicate that there might be other constellations of regions that could be closer to an optimum currency area than the current Yuan area.
    Keywords: China; optimum currency area; regional developments; cross-sectional correlation
    JEL: C32 F33 O53
    Date: 2005–01–25
  3. By: Brainerd, Elizabeth (Williams College, CEPR, WDI and IZA Bonn); Cutler, David M. (Harvard University and NBER)
    Abstract: Male life expectancy at birth fell by over six years in Russia between 1989 and 1994. Many other countries of the former Soviet Union saw similar declines, and female life expectancy fell as well. Using cross-country and Russian household survey data, we assess six possible explanations for this upsurge in mortality. Most find little support in the data: the deterioration of the health care system, changes in diet and obesity, and material deprivation fail to explain the increase in mortality rates. The two factors that do appear to be important are alcohol consumption, especially as it relates to external causes of death (homicide, suicide, and accidents) and stress associated with a poor outlook for the future. However, a large residual remains to be explained.
    Keywords: health, mortality, Russia, Eastern Europe
    JEL: I12 J10 P36
    Date: 2005–01
  4. By: David M. Kotz (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
    Abstract: This paper compares two radically different approaches to transforming an economic system based on central planning and state property into a capitalist system, the neoliberal transition strategy and the state directed transition strategy. Russia’s transition since 1992 is examined as an example of the neoliberal approach, while China’s transition since 1978 is analyzed as an example of the state directed approach. The primary explanation for China’s economically superior transition performance is located in the advantages of the state directed transition strategy. However, contradictions in a state directed transition strategy are identified which tend to promote an eventual shift toward a neoliberal strategy. JEL Categories: P27, P21, P52
    Keywords: transition, neoliberalism, state, Russia, China
    Date: 2005–04
  5. By: Irena Grosfeld; Iraj Hashi
    Abstract: Focusing on two different mass privatization schemes in two transition economies, Poland and the Czech Republic, we show that the ownership structure in the two countries has rapidly evolved since the initial distribution of property rights Ownership concentration has significantly increased and we can observe an important reallocation of ownership claims between different groups of shareholders. This evidence goes against the main argument of the critics of mass privatization concerned with the dispersed ownership structure these programs were supposed to generate. The fact that the degree of ownership concentration is similar in Poland and in the Czech Republic suggests that private benefits of control are large in both countries. However, when we consider the determinants of ownership concentration we find an interesting difference: in the Czech Republic the increase in ownership concentration is less likely in poorly performing firms while in Poland the quality of past performance does not affect investors' willingness to increase their holdings. This contrasting effect may be interpreted in the light of the theory stressing the importance of the quality of the legal system for investors' behaviour: Poland is usually praised for high standards of its regulation while the Czech Republic, especially in the early and mid-1990s, has been blamed for its weaknesses. So, although direct comparison of ownership concentration in the two countries does not provide confirmation of the main prediction of "law matters" theory, we find indirect evidence in its favour.
    Date: 2005

This nep-tra issue is ©2005 by Toño Sanchez. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.