nep-tra New Economics Papers
on Transition Economics
Issue of 2006‒10‒14
ten papers chosen by
Tono Sanchez
Universitat de Valencia

  1. Comparing Apples: Normalcy, Russia, and the Remaining Post-Socialist World. By Peter T. Leeson; William N. Trumbull
  2. The impact of bank and non-bank financial institutions on local economic growth in China By Cheng,Xiaoqiang; Degryse,Hans
  3. The Determinants & Excessiveness of Current Account Deficits in Eastern Europe & the Former Soviet Union By Aristovnik, Aleksander
  4. Are Currency Appreciations Contractionary in China� By Jianhuai Shi
  5. Removing border protection on wheat and rice: effects on rural income and food securities in China By Yinhua Mai
  6. Firm ownership and FDI spillovers in China By Galina Hale; Cheryl Long
  7. The Russian-Ukrainian Earnings Divide By Amelie Constant; Martin Kahanec; Klaus F. Zimmermann
  8. Growth, Reform Indicators and Policy Complementaries By Jorge Braga de Macedo; Joaquim Oliveira Martins
  9. Privatization with Government Control: Evidence from the Russian Oil Sector By Daniel Berkowitz; Yadviga Semikolenova
  10. Migration and union dissolution in a changing socio-economic context: the case of Russia By Magdalena Muszynska; Hill Kulu

  1. By: Peter T. Leeson (Department of Economics, West Virginia University); William N. Trumbull (Department of Economics, West Virginia University)
    Abstract: Shleifer and Treisman (2005) argue that Russia is a “normal country.” Their benchmark for normalcy, however, refers primarily to middle-income countries like Mexico and Argentina. We propose that a more meaningful benchmark is the experience of other post-socialist transition countries, which share common political and economic histories with Russia, and have faced similar transition obstacles since communism’s collapse. We compare Russia’s economic performance, media freedom, democracy, and corruption since Russia began transition, to these benchmarks in all other post-socialist countries since they began their transitions. We find that Russia consistently and significantly performs below normal compared to its cohort.
    Date: 2006
  2. By: Cheng,Xiaoqiang; Degryse,Hans (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence on the relationship between finance and growth in a fast growing country, such as China. Employing data of 27 Chinese provinces over the period 1995-2003, we study whether the financial development of two different types of institutions - banks and non-bank financial institutions - have a (significantly different) impact on local economic growth. Our findings indicate that only banking development shows a statistically significant and economically relevant impact on local economic growth.
    Keywords: growth;financial development;Chinese provinces;banks
    JEL: E44 G21
    Date: 2006
  3. By: Aristovnik, Aleksander
    Abstract: The article investigates the main factors of current account deficits in order to assess the potential excessiveness of current account deficits in selected countries of Eastern Europe and former Soviet Union. According to the simulated benchmark calculated on the basis of selected determinants (in period 1992-2003), the results confirm that the actual current account balances are generally close to their estimated levels in the 2000-2003 period in the transition region. This notion is in line with the intertemporal approach to the current account balance, suggesting that higher external deficits are a natural outcome when permanent domestic output exceeds the current one and when current investments and government consumption exceed their permanent levels. Hence, the results suggest that most countries in Eastern Europe and former Soviet Union are justified in running relatively high current account deficits.
    Keywords: transition countries; current account deficits; excessiveness; determinants; dynamic panel data
    JEL: F32 C33
    Date: 2006–06–05
  4. By: Jianhuai Shi
    Abstract: The Chinese economy has been in a state of external and internal imbalances for some years, which has something to do with the undervaluation of renminbi (RMB). But the Chinese Government hesitates to allow RMB to appreciate because of the worry that RMB appreciations are contractionary thus have negative impact on China's economic growth and employment. The purpose of this paper is to empirically assess the effects of RMB real exchange rate on China's output. The econometric results of the paper show that (1) even after source of spurious correlation is controlled for, RMB appreciation has led to a decline in China’s output, suggesting that RMB appreciations are contractionary, and that (2) once the international finance linkage of Chinese economy is accounted for, the effect of RMB real exchange rate shocks on China’s output and the power of the shocks in explaining the change of China’s output are diminished. The paper gives some possible explanations to those findings, and points out that the findings do not necessarily imply that China should continue maintaining the undervaluation of RMB.
    JEL: F31 F41 O53
    Date: 2006–10
  5. By: Yinhua Mai
    Abstract: In this paper, I use the Monash Multi-Country (MMC) model - a dynamic CGE model of China, Australia and the Rest of the World - to analyse the effects of removing border protection on wheat and rice in China. The analysis points to the possibility that removing border protection on wheat and rice may lead to an increase in rural income in China. This is due mainly to the following two factors. First, while removing border protection on wheat and rice leads to a contraction in agricultural activities, it also leads to an expansion in manufacturing and services activities. Second, on average, rural households in China obtain over half of their income from manufacturing and services activities.
    Keywords: China, Wheat and rice, CGE modelling, rural income
    JEL: C68 F14 Q17
    Date: 2006–05
  6. By: Galina Hale; Cheryl Long
    Abstract: Using firm-level data, we find that the presence of foreign firms in China is positively associated with the performance of private firms, but is negatively associated with the performance of state owned enterprises (SOEs). In particular: (1) the presence of foreign direct investment (FDI) is aggravating the differences in the wages and the quality of skilled workers between SOEs and private firms; (2) the total factor productivity (TFP) and market share tend to be lower in the presence of FDI for SOEs, but not for the private firms; (3) FDI presence is positively associated with private firms' sales, especially their sales to foreign firms and foreign consumers, but not with the sales of SOEs. We argue that these differences are due to the fact that private firms have more flexible wage and personnel policies, which allows them to attract talents that facilitate positive FDI spillovers. In addition, we find that regulatory environment has improved for private firms in the cities and industries with high FDI presence.
    Keywords: Investments, Foreign ; China
    Date: 2006
  7. By: Amelie Constant; Martin Kahanec; Klaus F. Zimmermann
    Abstract: Ethnic differences are often considered to be powerful sources of diverse economic behavior. In this paper, we investigate whether and how ethnicity affects Ukrainian labor market outcomes. Using micro data from the Ukrainian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (ULMS) and Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition of earnings, we find a persistent and rising labor market divide between ethnic Russians and Ukrainians throughout Ukraine's transition era. We establish that language rather than nationality is the key factor behind this ethnic premium favoring Russians. Our findings further document that this premium is larger among males than among females.
    Keywords: Ethnicity, earnings differences, discrimination, transitional labor markets, ethnic premium
    JEL: J15 J70 J82
    Date: 2006
  8. By: Jorge Braga de Macedo; Joaquim Oliveira Martins
    Abstract: This paper discusses the design of structural policies by relating second-best results and the complementarity of reforms. It computes a complementarity index based on structural reform indicators compiled by the EBRD for transition countries, assuming that the run-up to EU integration corresponds to a nearly complete policy cycle. Using econometric panel estimates, the level of reforms and changes in their complementarity are found to be positively related to output growth, corrected for endogeneity, and given initial conditions and the extent of macroeconomic stabilisation.
    JEL: P2 O40 C33
    Date: 2006–09
  9. By: Daniel Berkowitz; Yadviga Semikolenova
    Date: 2006–01
  10. By: Magdalena Muszynska (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Hill Kulu (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: A growing body of literature looks at the consequences of family migration from a gender perspective. The studies show that women’s economic well-being and employment suffer from family migration, which is usually stimulated by the career of the male earner in the family. This study extends current research on the subject by examining the effect of family migration on union dissolution. We use the event-history data of two retrospective surveys from Russia and apply hazard regression. The analysis shows that couples who move frequently over long distances have a significantly higher risk of union dissolution than couples who do not move or move only once. Our further analysis reveals that the risk of disruption for frequent movers is high when the migrant woman has a job. Frequent migrants had a high risk of union dissolution in the Soviet period but not so during the post-Soviet socio-economic transition. We argue that frequent moving increases union instability through a variety of mechanisms, the effect of which may vary across socio-economic contexts, however.
    Keywords: Russia, divorce, event history analysis, internal migration
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2006–09

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