nep-tra New Economics Papers
on Transition Economics
Issue of 2006‒04‒08
seven papers chosen by
Tono Sanchez
Universitat de Valencia

  1. Getting Rich and Eating Out: Consumption of Food Away from Home in Urban China By Ma, Hengyun; Huang, Jikun; Fuller, Frank H.; Rozelle, Scott
  2. Why China is Likely to Achieve its Growth Objectives By Robert W. Fogel
  3. China's Long-Term International Trade Statistics: By Commodity, 1952-1964 and 1981-2000 By Kyoji Fukao; Kozo Kiyota; Ximing Yue
  4. Reassessing the Standard of Living in the Soviet Union: An Analysis Using Archival and Anthropometric Data By Brainerd, Elizabeth
  5. Meta-Analysis of the Business Cycle Correlation between the Euro Area and the CEECs By Jarko Fidrmuc; Iikka Korhonen
  6. Objective sleep duration and health in elderly Russians By Maria Shkolnikova; Blake Aber; Maxine Weinstein; Luobov´ Kravtsova; Svetlana Shalnova; Vladimir M. Shkolnikov; James W. Vaupel
  7. Competition and performance in the Hungarian second pillar By Rocha, Roberto; Impavido, Gregorio

  1. By: Ma, Hengyun; Huang, Jikun; Fuller, Frank H.; Rozelle, Scott
    Abstract: The overall goal of this study is to better understand food-away-from-home (FAFH) consumption in urban China. We use national statistical sources and our own data to examine the trends in FAFH during the late reform period and to analyze the determinants of FAFH demand, examining how different groups of consumers have participated in this new area of consumption. Besides the normal Tobit model for total food expenditure away from home, a system of multivariate Tobit equations was estimated simultaneously for three categories of foods consumed outside of the home. The results show that the rapid increase of FAFH demand, a rise that is fueled by higher incomes, is changing consumption patterns in China’s post-reform urban economy. We also use our findings to illustrate how omission of accounting for FAFH trends by China’s official statisticians has affected the reported trends in national meat supply and demand statistics.
    JEL: D1 Q1 R2
    Date: 2006–02–06
  2. By: Robert W. Fogel
    Abstract: In 2002, the Chinese Communist Party announced a goal of quadrupling per capita income by the year 2020. Starting at income levels of the year 2000, this would require a growth rate of 7.2 percent per annum in per capita income or close to 8.0 percent in GDP. Such unresolved and emerging problems as growing income disparities, increasing pollution, pressures on infrastructure, the inefficiency of state owned enterprises, and political instability are often cited as reasons to doubt the attainability of the CCP’s goal. However, China’s progress in addressing fundamental constraints that might limit rapid economic growth augurs well for the success of its economic goals. Although there are disagreements about economic policy among top leaders, the continued transformation into a market economy and the promotion of increasing local autonomy in economic matters are not in doubt. In education, China has substantially increased the percentage of its workforce receiving a college education, and continuing growth in this investment in human capital could account for a large portion of the desired growth rate. In addition, the value of improvements in the quality of economic output unmeasured by GDP, such as advances in the quality of health care and education, could raise reported growth rates by as much as 60 percent. Finally, the government’s increasing sensitivity to public opinion and issues of inequality and corruption, combined with improving living conditions, have resulted in a level of popular confidence in the government that makes political instability unlikely.
    JEL: O0
    Date: 2006–03
  3. By: Kyoji Fukao; Kozo Kiyota; Ximing Yue
    Abstract: International trade has been a key engine driving Chinese economic growth in recent decades. Yet, long-term analyses of China's trade are still difficult because the country's trade statistics for the post-war period up to the mid-1980s have many shortcomings For example, official customs statistics published by the Chinese government during this period, if they were published at all, do not provide any breakdown by commodity classification. Against this background, we recently compiled new statistics of China's trade during 1952-1964 and 1981-2000 at the 3-digit level of the Standard International Trade Classification, Revision 1 (SITC-R1). The statistics for 1952-1964 and 1981-1987 are based on data we purchased from China's National Statistical Bureau. The data for 1988-2000 are compiled from the Commodity Trade Statistics of the United Nations (UN Comtrade) as a part of our joint work with scholars at the Institute of Development Economies, Japan External Trade Organization (IDE-JETRO). In this paper, we provide an overview of existing statistics of China's international trade and present our newly compiled statistics.
    Date: 2006–03
  4. By: Brainerd, Elizabeth
    Abstract: Both Western and Soviet estimates of GNP growth in the USSR indicate that GNP per capita grew in every decade - sometimes rapidly - from 1928 to 1985. While this measure suggests that the standard of living improved in the USSR throughout this period, it is unclear whether this economic growth translated into improved well-being for the population as a whole. This paper uses previously unpublished archival data on infant mortality and anthropometric studies of children conducted across the Soviet Union to reassess the standard of living in the USSR using these alternative measures of well-being. In the prewar period these data indicate a population extremely small in stature and sensitive to the political and economic upheavals visited upon the country by Soviet leaders and outside forces. Remarkably large and rapid improvements in infant mortality, birth weight, child height and adult stature were recorded from approximately 1940 to the late 1960s. While this period of physical growth was followed by stagnation in heights and an increase in adult male mortality, it appears that the Soviet Union avoided the sustained declines in stature that occurred in the United States and United Kingdom during industrialization in those countries.
    Keywords: health; Russia; Soviet Union; standard of living
    JEL: N34 P23 P36
    Date: 2006–03
  5. By: Jarko Fidrmuc; Iikka Korhonen
    Abstract: We review the literature on business cycle correlation between the euro area and the Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs), a topic that has gained attention as the newest EU members approach monetary union. Our meta-analysis of 35 identified publications suggests some CEECs already have comparably high correlation with the euro area business cycle. We find that estimation methodologies can have a significant effect on correlation coefficients. While CEEC central bankers tend to be more conservative in their estimates than academics or eurosystem researchers, we find no evidence of a geographical bias in the studies.
    Keywords: monetary union, optimum currency area, business cycles, meta analysis
    JEL: C42 E32 F15 F31
    Date: 2006
  6. By: Maria Shkolnikova (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Blake Aber; Maxine Weinstein (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Luobov´ Kravtsova (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Svetlana Shalnova (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Vladimir M. Shkolnikov (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); James W. Vaupel (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: Objectives - We examine the relationship between sleep duration and health in the high mortality context of Russia. Methods - Night and daytime sleep durations are based on self-reports and 24-hour heart rate trends (Holter monitoring). The sample of 201 individuals (Holter data for 185) is drawn from the Moscow Lipid Research Clinics cohort, followed up since 1975-77. Field-work occurred in 2002-03. Results - Although objective and reported mean sleep are similar, there are significant intra-individual differences. Significant associations are found between objective sleep and health: longer sleep corresponds to lower grip strength, poorer self-rated health and immediate recall, and higher mortality risk score. No significant relationships are found for subjective sleep. Conclusions - We provide the first evidence of an association between long sleep and worse health outcomes among elderly Russians. Predictive power increases if objective sleep measures are used, a consideration which is especially important in small studies.
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2006–03
  7. By: Rocha, Roberto; Impavido, Gregorio
    Abstract: The performance of the Hungarian second pillar since inception has been mixed. This is partly due to a less than satisfactory support for the 1997 pension reform, conservative fund portfolio distributions, the hybrid nature of the mandatory pension fund system, the segmented nature of the market in terms of costs, and a less than aggressive commitment on the part of the Hungarian Financial Supervisory Authority to a low-cost, transparent, and competitive equilibrium. In the accumulation phase, the authorities would need to further promote transparency and comparability of information on costs and investment performance, facilitate migration to lower cost funds, and more generally promote competition. The reg ulatory framework of the payout phase needs to be overhauled before the first cohort of workers retires.
    Keywords: Investment and Investment Climate,Economic Theory & Research,Economic Stabilization,Financial Intermediation,Settlement of Investment Disputes
    Date: 2006–04–01

This nep-tra issue is ©2006 by Tono 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.