nep-tra New Economics Papers
on Transition Economics
Issue of 2007‒06‒18
six papers chosen by
J. David Brown
Heriot-Watt University

  1. Poverty, inequality, and social disparities during China ' s economic reform By Dollar, David
  2. The Rise of Obesity in Transition Economies: Theory and Evidence from the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey By Sonya K. Huffman; Marian Rizov
  3. Pension Reform in China: Progress and Prospects By Felix Salditt; Peter Whiteford; Willem Adema
  4. Foreign direct investment in Vietnam: An overview and analysis the determinants of spatial distribution across provinces By Nguyen, Ngoc Anh; Nguyen, Thang
  5. Glass Ceiling or Sticky Floor? Examining the Gender Pay Gap across the Wage Distribution in Urban China, 1987-2004 By Chi, Wei; Li, Bo
  6. Terms and conditions for the implementation of Inflation targeting in Croatia By Tomislav Čorić

  1. By: Dollar, David
    Abstract: China has been the most rapidly growing economy in the world over the past 25 years. This growth has fueled a remarkable increase in per capita income and a decline in the poverty rate from 64 percent at the beginning of reform to 10 percent in 2004. At the same time, however, different kinds of disparities have increased. Income inequality has risen, propelled by the rural-urban income gap and by the growing disparity between highly educated urban professionals and the urban working class. There have also been increases in inequality of health and education outcomes. Some rise in inequality was inevitable as China introduced a market system, but inequality may have been exacerbated rather than mitigated by a number of policy features. Restrictions on rural-urban migration have limited opportunities for the relatively poor rural population. The inability to sell or mortgage rural land has further reduced opportunities. China has a uniquely decentralized fiscal system that has relied on local government to fund basic health and education. The result has been that poor villages could not afford to provide good services, and poor households could not afford the high private costs of basic public services. Ironically, the large trade surplus that China has built up in recent years is a further problem, in that it stimulates an urban industrial sector that no longer creates many jobs while restricting the government ' s ability to increase spending to improve services and address disparities. The government ' s recent policy shift to encourage migration, fund education and health for poor areas and poor households, and r ebalance the economy away from investment and exports toward domestic consumption and public services should help reduce social disparities.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Rural Poverty Reduction,Pro-Poor Growth and Inequality,Inequality,Health Monitoring & Evaluation
    Date: 2007–06–01
  2. By: Sonya K. Huffman; Marian Rizov
    Abstract: This study integrates theoretical and empirical models to facilitate understanding of human obesity and the factors contributing to rising obesity in Russia during the transition from a planned to a market economy. Recent individual level data from the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey for 1994 and 2004 show that diet/caloric intake, smoking, gender and education are important determinants of obesity in Russia. Empirical results strongly support our model for production of health and demand for inputs in the health production function. The analysis provides information on dietary patterns and other determinants of obesity which is essential for formulation and implementation of effective policies designed to improve overall nutritional wellbeing and reduce obesity and mortality of the population. Interventions, which enhance education toward healthy lifestyles and healthy diet, could play a vital role in preventing obesity in Russia.
    Keywords: health, obesity, transition economies, Russia
    Date: 2007
  3. By: Felix Salditt; Peter Whiteford; Willem Adema
    Abstract: China is currently in the process of developing the largest pension system in the world, and it is doing this at a time of unparalleled economic and demographic transition. The central government has followed a step-by-step approach to develop a system that can accommodate a rapidly aging society within a rapidly growing, but still largely underdeveloped economy. This paper analyses how far the process of creating a national old age insurance system had proceeded by the end of 2006. It provides a detailed description of this system and an assessment of to what degree it has so far achieved ?its primary goal of social security for more people? (Chinese Government, September 2006)... <BR>La Chine est en train de mettre en place le plus grand système de retraite au monde, ceci à une époque de transition économique et démographique sans précédent. Le gouvernement central a suivi une approche graduelle pour créer un système qui puisse faire face à une société vieillissante dans une économie galopante et encore pour une bonne part sous-développée. Ce document montre jusqu'où le processus de création d'un système d'assurance national pour les personnes âgées a pu aller jusqu'à la fin de 2006. Il présente une description détaillée de ce système et évalue dans quelle mesure il a atteint au jour d'aujourd'hui « son objectif premier qui est la sécurité sociale pour plus de personnes » (Gouvernement chinois, septembre 2006)...
    JEL: H55 J11 P36
    Date: 2007–06–07
  4. By: Nguyen, Ngoc Anh; Nguyen, Thang
    Abstract: Vietnam has been quite sucessful in attracting FDI inflows since the inception of economic reform in 1986. The inflow of FDI has contributed significantly to the economic development of Vietnam. Still, the determinants of FDI inflow and its impacts on the economy of Vietnam are under-researched. In this paper we provide an overview of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Vietnam and attempt to review of the current status of economic research on the determinants of FDI and its impacts on the economy of Vietnam. Our regression analysis of the determinants of FDI spatial distribution across provinces points to the importance of market, labour and infrastructure in attracting FDI. Government policy as measured by the Provincial Competiveness Index (PCI), however, does not seem to be a significant factor at the provincial level. Foreign investors from differenct source countries seem to behave differently in chosing the location of investment.
    Keywords: Foreign Direct Investment; Vietnam; multinationals; spatial distribution;
    JEL: F23 F2
    Date: 2007–06–10
  5. By: Chi, Wei; Li, Bo
    Abstract: Using 1987, 1996, and 2004 data, we show that the gender pay gap in the Chinese urban labor market has increased across the wage distribution, and the increase was greater at the lower quantiles. We interpret this as evidence of the “sticky floor” effect.We use the reweighting and recentered influence function projection method proposed by Firpo, Fortin, Lemieux (2005) to decompose gender pay differentials across the wage distribution. We find that the gender differences in the return to labor market characteristics, also known as the “discrimination effect” or “unexplained gender pay gap”, contribute most to the increase in the overall gender pay gap. The Firpo, Fortin, and Lemieux method allows us to further decompose the gender pay gap into the contribution of each individual variable. We find that the “sticky floor” effect may be associated with a particularly low paid group of female production workers with relatively less education working in non-state owned enterprises.
    Keywords: glass ceiling; sticky floor; gender pay gap; wage distribution; Influence Function
    JEL: J3
    Date: 2007–05
  6. By: Tomislav Čorić (Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb)
    Abstract: Since the introduction of the Stabilization program in 1993, the Croatian National Bank has been following the monetary strategy of exchange rate anchor. During the first several years (from 1993 to 1997) this monetary strategy achieved acceptable results, accompanied with a low inflation rate and high GDP growth rates. However, the macroeconomic situation has changed in the last decade. The indicators of Croatian economy, such as trade balance, the level of external debt and GDP growth rates, are not satisfying. The criticizers of exchange rate anchor monetary strategy argue that appreciated kuna lowers the competitiveness of the domestic economy. Due to that, the current monetary strategy is in the focus of various economists' discussions. One of the alternatives to the exchange rate anchor is inflation targeting. There are different theoretical and practical issues connected to the implementation of this, very popular, monetary strategy. Before the implementation of inflation targeting, the following conditions need to be fulfilled: (1) the independence of monetary authorities in choosing the monetary instruments should be achieved, (2) at least one monetary policy instrument should be efficient, and (3) the transparency of monetary policy should be accomplished. The process itself consists of several decisions, such as choosing the proper measure of inflation, the level of targeted inflation, targeted range or point etc., which is still a matter of theoretical debates. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the above mentioned debate. After the theoretical discussion, the inflation targeting will be analyzed from the two perspectives. Firstly, in order to evaluate the capability of Croatia to implement the inflation targeting, the analysis of the Croatian monetary system will be given. Secondly, in order to asses the suitability of the inflation targeting as Croatian monetary strategy, both positive and negative characteristics of this strategy will be considered.
    Keywords: inflation targeting, monetary strategy, Croatia
    JEL: E42 E52 E58
    Date: 2007–06–13

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