nep-tra New Economics Papers
on Transition Economics
Issue of 2008‒07‒30
23 papers chosen by
J. David Brown
Heriot-Watt University

  1. Banking Transformation (1989 - 2006) in Central and Eastern Europe - With Special Reference to Balkans By Stephan Barisitz
  2. Labor Supply after Transition: Evidence from the Czech Republic By Alena Bicakova; Jiri Slacalek; Michal Slavik
  4. Inequality in Belarus from 1995 to 2005 By Maksim Yemelyanau
  5. Market Power and Electricity Market Reform in Northeast China By Xiaochun Zhang; John E. Parsons
  6. The Foreign Exchange Exposure of Chinese Banks By Eric Wong; Jim Wong; Phyllis Leung
  7. The Changing Intra-Household Resource Allocation in Russia By Guy Lacroix; Natalia Radtchenko
  8. The Reaction of Asset Prices to Macroeconomic Announcements in New EU Markets: Evidence from Intraday Data By Jan Hanousek; Evzen Kocenda; Ali M. Kutan
  9. Social Protection and Migration in China: What Can Protect Migrants from Economic Uncertainty? By Song, Lina; Appleton, Simon
  10. Foreign Direct Investment in Vietnam: Is There Any Evidence Of Technological Spillover Effects By Anh Ngoc Nguyen; Nguyen Thang; Le Dang Trung; Ngoc Quang Pham; Chuc Dinh Nguyen; Nhat Duc Nguyen
  11. How populist democracy promotes market liberalization By Pauline Grosjean; Claudia Senik
  12. China`s Exchange Rate Policy in the Light of the German Experience with an Undervalued Deutschmark By Wolf Schäfer
  13. Scale, Diversity, and Determinants of Labour Migration in Europe By Zaiceva, Anzelika; Zimmermann, Klaus F.
  14. The Location of Foreign Direct Investment in the Central and Eastern European Countries: A Mixed Logit and Multilevel Data Approach By Simona Rasciute; Eric J. Pentecost
  15. Assessing Inflation Persistence: Micro Evidence on an Inflation Targeting Economy By Jan Babecky; Fabrizio Coricelli; Roman Horvath
  16. FDI Horizontal and Vertical Effects on Local Firm Technical Efficiency By Chuc Dinh Nguyen; Gary Simpson; David Saal; Anh Ngoc Nguyen; Ngoc Quang Pham
  17. Transition from Communism: Political Alternation as a Restraint on Investing in Influence By Milanovic, Branko; Hoff, Karla; Horowitz, Shale
  18. Unequal Access to Higher Education in the Czech Republic: The Role of Spatial Distribution of Universities By Michal Franta; Martin Guzi
  19. Do the Biggest Aisles Serve a Brighter Future? Global Retail Chains and Their Implications for Romania By Javorcik, Beata Smarzynska; Li, Yue
  20. Upsetting Events and Career Investments in the Russian Context By Konstantin Korotov; Svetlana Khapova
  21. Fostering Civil Society to Build Institutions: Why and When By Peter Grajzl; Peter Murrell
  22. Exploring the Nexus between Banking Sector Reform and Performance: Evidence from Newly Acceded EU Countries By Sophocles N. Brissimis; Manthos D. Delis; Nikolaos I. Papanikolaou
  23. Two-name Land Use Certificates and Gender Inequality: An Empirical Investigation for Vietnam By Le Dang Trung

  1. By: Stephan Barisitz (Oesterreichische Nationalbank)
    Abstract: This paper provides an overview of the history of banking transition (1989-2006) in 13 CEE countries – with particular emphasis on four relatively large Balkan countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro). Two “banking reform waves” are distinguished, salient features of which all countries (need to) run through in order to mature. The first reform wave focuses on liberalization measures; the second wave mostly consists of restructuring/institutional adjustment. Western European FDI has come to dominate banking in most countries, including those of the Balkans. Recently, credit booms have unfolded, which, while constituting structural catchingup phenomena, are not without risks. Insufficient rule of law remains widespread.
    Keywords: Banking crisis; Banking transformation; Credit boom; FDI; Institutional reforms; Liberalization; Privatization; Structural reforms
    JEL: G21 G28 P34
    Date: 2008–06
  2. By: Alena Bicakova; Jiri Slacalek; Michal Slavik
    Abstract: We extend the scarce evidence on labor supply in post-transition countries by estimating the wage elasticity of labor force participation in the Czech Republic. Using the household income survey data of 2002, we find that a one-percent rise in the gross wage increases the probability of working by 0.16 and 0.02 percentage points for women and men, respectively. Taking into account the tax and benefit system, these semi-elasticities fall to 0.06 for women and 0.01 for men. We interpret the dierence between the estimates from the two specifications as a summary measure of the welfare system disincentives. The estimated wage elasticities lie at the lower end of the range of values reported for mature market economies. This finding is consistent with the stylized fact that the labor supply in countries with high labor force participation rates, such as in the Czech Republic, tends to be less sensitive to wages.
    Keywords: Labor supply, transition, welfare system
    JEL: J22 J31 P30
    Date: 2008–03
  3. By: Rod Tyers
    Abstract: China’s industrial reforms have left many key industries dominated by single or small numbers of firms, most of which remain state owned. Until recently, these firms have not been required to pay dividends to the state and the recent surge in China’s growth has made them very profitable, with their economic profits adding 20% of GDP to corporate saving. This bolsters the overall saving-investment gap and hence China’s controversial current account surplus. In other countries, oligopolistic industries tend to be taxed more heavily and they are commonly subjected to price regulation. This study offers an economy-wide analysis of approaches to oligopoly rents in China. The results suggest that, while policy changes targeting national saving, including increased corporate taxation, expansionary fiscal policy and SOE privatisation all help to control the external imbalance, they tend also to turn demand inward, inducing higher oligopoly rents and slower growth. Competition policy, embodying both price cap regulation and free entry, proves more effective both in controlling the external imbalance and in fostering continued growth.
    JEL: D43 D58 F32 L13 L43 L51
    Date: 2008–07
  4. By: Maksim Yemelyanau
    Abstract: Income and consumption inequality increased in all transition economies, albeit to very different levels. Existing findings suggest that countries that were slow to undertake promarket reforms experienced the largest increase in inequality, with the notable exception of Belarus, one of the least reformed ex-Soviet republics, that nevertheless has inequality comparable to the most advanced and least unequal transition countries of Central Europe. This article studies the evolution of inequality in Belarus in 1995-2005, decomposes inequality by region and source of income, and provides cross-country comparisons. Specifically, a comparison of Belarus and Ukraine, based on DiNardo-Fortin-Lemieux Counterfactual Kernel Densities, suggests that the large difference in inequality levels is due to different income policies of the two countries: Belarus is unusual not only in its lack of privatization, but also in that it kept many of the old-style Soviet social security features.
    Keywords: Belarus, Ukraine, transition, income inequality, expenditure inequality, social security.
    JEL: D31 D63 H55 O15
    Date: 2008–06
  5. By: Xiaochun Zhang; John E. Parsons
    Abstract: The Northeast region of China has been used as a testing ground for creation of a functioning wholesale electric power market. We describe the ownership structure of the generation assets for those plants participating in the trial operation of the Northeast China Regional Electricity Market and also for the region as a whole and for each of the provinces making up the region. We calculate the 4-firm Concentration Ratio (CR4) and the Hirschman-Herfindahl Index (HHI). In general, we find that the current ownership structure is relatively concentrated. Arguably, this is a troublesome obstacle to instituting some form of competitive bidding in the wholesale power market, and this may be one factor in the poor outcome of the trial operation.
    Date: 2008–01
  6. By: Eric Wong (Research Department, Hong Kong Monetary Authority); Jim Wong (Research Department, Hong Kong Monetary Authority); Phyllis Leung (Research Department, Hong Kong Monetary Authority)
    Abstract: Using the Capital Market Approach and equity-price data of 14 listed Chinese banks, this empirical study finds that there is a positive relationship between bank size and foreign-exchange exposure, which may reflect larger foreign-exchange operations and trading positions of larger Chinese banks, and their significant indirect foreign-exchange exposure arising from impacts of the renminbi exchange-rate movements on their customers. Empirical evidence also suggests that the average foreign-exchange exposures of state-owned and joint-stock commercial banks in China are higher than those of banks in Hong Kong, notwithstanding that their participation in international banking businesses is still limited compared with their Hong Kong counterparts. It is also found that negative foreign-exchange exposure is prevalent for larger Chinese banks, suggesting that an appreciation of the renminbi tends to reduce their equity values, and is therefore likely to hamper the banking sector¡¦s performance. Together with the fact that decreases in equity values generally imply higher default risk, how Chinese banks would be affected under different scenarios of renminbi appreciation should be closely monitored.
    Keywords: Foreign exchange exposure, banking, China
    JEL: E58 F31 G21 G28
    Date: 2008–06
  7. By: Guy Lacroix; Natalia Radtchenko
    Abstract: During the transition toward a market economy, Russian workers have had to face important structural changes in the labour market as well as dramatic changes in their real earnings. In the process, the wage gap between men and women has varied wildly over that period. In recent years, young women have embraced professional careers, are more mobile on the labour market, and tend to delay the birth of their first child. All these trends are likely to influence intra-household relations and consequently the family decision process. To investigate this matter, we estimate a household collective labour supply model. We generalize the specification so as to allow the sharing rule to change in a discrete manner between the pre and post 1998 financial crisis periods. The parameters of the sharing-rule indicate that the households have shifted to a new equilibrium in the post-1998 period. Indeed, husbands have become more egotistic and wives more altruistic: an increase in their relative wage translates into a smaller/larger transfer to their spouse.
    Keywords: Collective model, sharing rule, Russian economic crisis
    JEL: D1 J22 C5
    Date: 2008
  8. By: Jan Hanousek; Evzen Kocenda; Ali M. Kutan
    Abstract: We estimate the impact of macroeconomic news on composite stock returns in three emerging European Union financial markets (the Budapest BUX, Prague PX-50, and Warsaw WIG-20), using intraday data and macroeconomic announcements. Our contribution is twofold. We employ a larger set of macroeconomic data releases than used in previous studies and also use intraday data, an excess impact approach, and foreign news to provide more reliable inferences. Composite stock returns are computed based on five-minute intervals (ticks) and macroeconomic news are measured based on the deviations of the actual announcement values from their expectations. Overall, we find that all three new EU stock markets are subject to significant spillovers directly via the composite index returns from the EU, the U.S. and neighboring markets; Budapest exhibits the strongest spillover effect, followed by Warsaw and Prague. The Czech and Hungarian markets are also subject to spillovers indirectly through the transmission of macroeconomic news. The impact of EU-wide announcements is evidenced more in the case of Hungary, while the Czech market is more impacted by U.S. news. The Polish market is marginally affected by EU news. In addition, after decomposing pooled announcements, we show that the impact of multiple announcements is stronger than that of single news. Our results suggest that the impact of foreign macroeconomic announcements goes beyond the impact of the foreign stock markets on Central and Eastern European indices. We also discuss the implications of the findings for financial stability in the three emerging European markets.
    Keywords: Stock markets, intraday data, macroeconomic announcements, European Union, volatility, excess impact of news.
    JEL: C52 F36 G15 P59
    Date: 2008–03
  9. By: Song, Lina (University of Nottingham); Appleton, Simon (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: Job-related welfare entitlements are common in China. Migrants who do not hold urban registration are, in principle, not entitled to job-related welfare even if they are employees in the State sector. The official explanation is that rural-urban migrants are allocated access to farm land in their rural origins, and hence their welfare rights and security are covered by this entitlement to the use of land. In this paper, we look at whether migrants still benefited from these opportunities. Second, we investigate whether it is the poor, the unentitled and the vulnerable that are excluded from public protection programs. Chinese official social protection programs are, like in most western countries, officially designated as being for poverty alleviation. However would such programs still be targeted in ways that limit their coverage, curtail the range of basic needs provided for and allocate benefits very unequally? Thirdly, we explore whether households with favourable productive characteristics are more likely to get into social protection programs. Here, the ongoing debate concerning equality of opportunity and equality of outcomes has some relevance. Finally, we examine the roles social networks or Guanxi (the Chinese term for social connections) may play in dealing with economic shocks.
    Keywords: migration, social protection, entitlement, China
    JEL: H41 H42 D63
    Date: 2008–07
  10. By: Anh Ngoc Nguyen (Development and Policies Research Center (DEPOCEN), 216 Tran Quang Khai Street, Hanoi, Vietnam); Nguyen Thang (Center for Analysis and Forecasting (CAF), No1 Lieu Giai Street, Hanoi, Vietnam); Le Dang Trung (Center for Analysis and Forecasting (CAF), No1 Lieu Giai Street, Hanoi, Vietnam); Ngoc Quang Pham (Development and Policies Research Center (DEPOCEN), 216 Tran Quang Khai Street, Hanoi, Vietnam); Chuc Dinh Nguyen (Aston Business School, Aston University, UK); Nhat Duc Nguyen (Development and Policies Research Center (DEPOCEN), 216 Tran Quang Khai Street, Hanoi, Vietnam)
    Abstract: In the context of integrating more deeply into the world economy the Vietnamese policy makers have undertaken several measures to attract foreign direct investment to the country, with the culmination of FDI inflows in 2007 reaching over USD 20 billion, an increase of 69% over 2006. The policy has been taken on the ground that the FDI inflows will create employment and bring along the much needed technological advances, which will spill over to domestic firms. In this paper, we use a firm-level panel data constructed from the Census 2000-2005 to investigate not only the horizontal spillovers but also the backward and forward linkages. Adding to the current literature which focused mainly on the spillovers in the manufacturing sector, our paper provide the first estimates of the spillover effects in the service sector (at least in the context of developing countries). We also distinguish between the horizontal output spillovers (which capture demonstration effects and competition effects) and the horizontal employment spillover (which captures the labour mobility effect). The results obtained from our regression models are mixed. Different channels of spillovers are at work for the manufacturing and the service sectors. We find evidence of the positive backward technological spillovers for the manufacturing and positive horizontal spillovers for the service sector.
    Keywords: Foreign Direct Investment, Vietnam, technological spillovers
    Date: 2008–01
  11. By: Pauline Grosjean; Claudia Senik
    Abstract: Using a new set of micro evidence from an original survey of 28 transition countries, we show that democracy increases citizens' support for the market by guaranteeing income redistribution to inequality-averse agents. Our identification strategy relies on the restriction of the sample to inhabitants of open borders between formerly integrated countries, where people face the same level of market development and economic inequality, as well as the same historically inherited politico-economic culture. Democratic rights increase popular support for the market. This is true, in particular, of inequality-averse agents, provided that they trust political institutions. Our findings suggest that one solution to the recent electoral backlash of reformist parties in the former socialist block lies in a deepening of democracy.
    Date: 2008
  12. By: Wolf Schäfer
    Abstract: This paper deals with the present undervaluation policy in China in the light of the German experiences with the undervaluation of the Deutschmark under Bretton Woods conditions. In Germany, there was a 20 years lasting academic and public debate on the needs for appreciation because of the high costs of having an undervalued currency. These costs referred, i. a., to inflation import, overheating the economy, and distortion of the internal production structure of the country – this seeming to be a similar situation in present China. From the German experience it is argued that flexible nominal exchange rates for large economies like China could better reduce the costs of the adjustment needs of real exchange rates than adjustments via internal inflation. Furthermore, if China as a new Global Player fulfills some necessary conditions for sound economic performance the RMB could possibly change the international monetary order towards a 3-polar monetary system.
    Date: 2008–07
  13. By: Zaiceva, Anzelika (IZA); Zimmermann, Klaus F. (IZA, DIW Berlin and Bonn University)
    Abstract: While global migration is increasing, internal EU migration flows have remained low. This paper contributes to a better understanding of the determinants and scale of European migration. It surveys previous historical experiences and empirical findings including the recent Eastern enlargements. The determinants of migration before and after the 2004 enlargement and in the EU15 and EU10 countries are analysed using individual data on migration intentions. In addition, perceptions about the size of migration after the enlargement are studied. The potential emigrant from both old and new EU member states tends to be young, better educated and to live in larger cities. People from the EU10 with children are less likely to move after enlargement in comparison to those without family. There exists a correlation between individual perceptions about the scale of migration and actual flows. Better educated and left-oriented individuals in the EU15 are less likely to perceive these flows as important.
    Keywords: migration, EU Eastern enlargement, migration intentions, determinants of labour migration
    JEL: F22 J15 J61
    Date: 2008–07
  14. By: Simona Rasciute (Dept of Economics, Loughborough University); Eric J. Pentecost (Dept of Economics, Loughborough University)
    Abstract: This paper uses the Mixed logit (ML) model and a novel three-level dataset to examine the factors explaining 1,108 foreign direct investment (FDI) location decisions into 13 Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs) over an eleven-year period between 1997 and 2007. The ML model approach is superior to other discrete choice methods in that it allows for random taste variation, unrestricted substitution patterns and correlation in unobserved factors over time. The highly significant empirical results, based on a general underlying economic model of imperfect competition, show that the responsiveness of the probabilities of choices to invest in a particular country in CEE to country-level variables differs both across sectors and across firms of different sizes and profitability. The results generalise previous studies that used only country-level data or only industry- and firm-level data to give a more accurate explanation of the firm-specific investment location decisions.
    Keywords: Mixed logit model, random parameters, foreign direct investment, multi-level data, Halton draws
    JEL: F23 P33
    Date: 2008–07
  15. By: Jan Babecky; Fabrizio Coricelli; Roman Horvath
    Abstract: The paper provides an empirical analysis of inflation persistence in an inflation targeting country, the Czech Republic, using 412 detailed product-level consumer price indexes underlying the consumer basket over the period from 1994:M1 to 2005:M12. Subject to various sensitivity tests, our results suggest that raw goods and non-durables, followed by services, display smaller inflation persistence than durables and processed goods. Inflation seems to be somewhat less persistent after the adoption of inflation targeting in 1998. There is also evidence for aggregation bias, that is, aggregate inflation is found to be more persistent than the underlying detailed components. Price dispersion, as a proxy for the degree of competition, is found to be negatively related to inflation persistence, suggesting that competition is not conducive to reducing persistence.
    Keywords: Inflation dynamics, persistence, inflation targeting.
    JEL: D40 E31
    Date: 2008–06
  16. By: Chuc Dinh Nguyen (Aston Business School, Aston University, UK); Gary Simpson (Aston Business School, Aston University, UK); David Saal (Aston Business School, Aston University, UK); Anh Ngoc Nguyen (Development and Policies Research Center (DEPOCEN), 216 Tran Quang Khai Street, Hanoi, Vietnam); Ngoc Quang Pham (Development and Policies Research Center (DEPOCEN), 216 Tran Quang Khai Street, Hanoi, Vietnam)
    Abstract: Differencing from previous studies on foreign direct investment (FDI) spillovers to domestic enterprises which mainly focus on productivity, in this paper we take a different perspective by analysing the impacts of FDI to technical efficiency of domestic firms. The paper goes beyond the current literature to shed some light on the spillover effects of FDI to technical efficiency of small and medium enterprises in a developing country. By exploiting a firm-level panel dataset and using SFA models following Battese and Coelli (1995), the paper is able to analyse horizontal spillovers through imitation and competition and labour mobility as well as vertical spillovers through backward and forward linkages on technical efficiency. The paper contributes to the understanding of potential effects on foreign invested enterprises on domestic economy in general and local enterprises performance in particular. Thus it importantly assists policy making by the government of developing countries, where FDI is believed to create technical spillovers on domestic enterprises.
    Keywords: Technical Efficiency, Foreign Direct Investment, Spillovers
    Date: 2008
  17. By: Milanovic, Branko; Hoff, Karla; Horowitz, Shale
    Abstract: We develop and implement a method for measuring the frequency of changes in power among distinct leaders and ideologically distinct parties that is comparable across political systems. We find that more frequent alternation in power is associated with the emergence of better governance in postcommunist countries. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that firms seek durable protection from the state, which implies that expected political alternation is relevant to the decision whether to invest in influence with the governing party or, alternatively, to demand institutions that apply predictable rules, with equality of treatment, regardless of the party in power.
    Keywords: Governance; transition; political alternation
    JEL: P37 P3
    Date: 2008–07–20
  18. By: Michal Franta; Martin Guzi
    Abstract: The Czech Republic exhibits high geographical variation of both human capital and universities. We examine a potential source of human capital spatial disparities: the unequal access to tertiary education caused by the absence/presence of a local university. We model both a secondary school graduate’s decision whether to apply to a university and a university’s decision about admission. Two possible sources of unequal access to university study are distinguished: cost savings and informational advantages for those residing close to a university. Estimation results suggest that the local neighborhood having a highly educated population, rather than the presence of a university per se, has a positive effect on a secondary school graduate’s decision to apply. Moreover, we find that heterogenous information plays a significant role in admission to university.
    Keywords: Human capital, spatial distribution, access to tertiary education.
    JEL: I20 I21 J24
    Date: 2008–03
  19. By: Javorcik, Beata Smarzynska; Li, Yue
    Abstract: During the past two decades many economies have opened their retail sector to foreign direct investment, yet little is known about possible implications of such liberalization on the economies of developing host countries. Using firm-level data from Romania, this study examines how the presence of global retail chains affects firms in the supplying industries. Applying a difference-in-differences method, the econometric analyses yield the following conclusions. The expansion of global retail chains leads to a significant increase in the total factor productivity in the supplying industries. Their presence in a region increases the total factor productivity of firms in the supplying industries by 15.2 percent and doubling the number of chains leads to a 10.8 percent increase in total factor productivity. However, the expansion benefits larger firms the most and has a much smaller impact on small enterprises. This conclusion is robust to several extensions and specifications, including the instrumental variable approach. These results suggest that the opening of the retail sector to foreign direct investment may stimulate productivity growth in upstream manufacturing and extend our understanding of foreign direct investment in service sectors.
    Keywords: backward linkages; global retail chains; productivity; Romania
    JEL: F21 F23
    Date: 2008–07
  20. By: Konstantin Korotov (ESMT European School of Management and Technology); Svetlana Khapova (VU University, Amsterdam)
    Abstract: In this paper we examine the role of disruptive or upsetting events in people’s professional lives and explore how they influence individuals’ investments in their careers. Based on previous research we have assumed that due to considerable societal and economic changes in Russia and the reported negative consequences felt by many individuals, the context of that country is a fruitful arena for an investigation of the role of upsetting events on individuals’ careers. At the same time, despite the negative events and a disruption of many traditional career-supporting structures, a significant number of Russians managed to reinvent their careers and achieve tremendous objective and subjective success in their careers in a relatively short time period. This paper examines stories about career investments of 140 successful entrepreneurs from Russia. A significant portion of these people explicitly reported influence of upsetting events on their own career investments. Based on the exploration of career stories, the paper introduced a typology of the upsetting events in the Russian context. The events were generally classified into those that represented “macro” and “micro” upsetting events. Macro events refer to changes in socio-economic, and political systems. Micro events refer to the events that only concern the individual him- or herself, or may include events at work or at home. Our analysis of the career investments of the Russian entrepreneurs using the intelligent career concept shows that when faced with the upsetting events individuals tend to (a) reconsider their existing events, (b) divest from their old ways of knowing, and (c) invest in relatively new ways of knowing. Our study calls a particular attention to the role of career divestments, or discontinuing certain ways of investing in order free resources for a different investment expected to be more fruitful in terms or returns. Attention to divestment may be warranted due to the increased unpredictability of working lives of today’s career actors. This study contributes to responding to a call for a better understanding of the role of upsetting events on people’s careers and the society at large. We also bring further our understanding of human adjustment to the sometimes upsetting changes in their surroundings through working life, thus enhancing our understanding of the role of careers in socio-economic systems. Last but not least, the study also contributes to a better understanding of careers in modern Russia. With the increasing role of Russia on the international political and economic arena, understanding people through looking at their working lives is a good start for multiple potential research endeavors in the fields of career research and beyond.
    Keywords: Careers, intelligent career investments, career divestment, upsetting events, Russia
    Date: 2008–06–03
  21. By: Peter Grajzl (Department of Economics, Central European University); Peter Murrell (Department of Economics, University of Maryland)
    Abstract: AWe revisit the ubiquitous claim that aiding civil society improves institutional outcomes. In our model, a vibrant civil society initiates public debate in a reform process that would otherwise be dominated by partisan interest groups and politicians. By altering the incentives of interest groups submitting institutional reforms, civil society involvement sometimes solves adverse selection problems that arise because interest groups are better informed than politicians. Because aid increases the cost to the politician of excluding civil society, it affects institution-building. We show that the welfare implications of fostering civil society critically depend on the specifics of local politics, thereby casting new light on the experience of civil society aid in post-communist and developing countries. Our analysis uncovers a particularly disturbing instance of the tragedy that aid can be counter-productive where institutions are poor. An empirical application shows how the impact of civil society aid varies with the level of democracy.
    Keywords: civil society, institutional reform, civil society aid, interest groups, post-communist countries, developing countries
    JEL: D02 D78 F35 O19 P50
    Date: 2008–07
  22. By: Sophocles N. Brissimis (Bank of Greece and University of Piraeus); Manthos D. Delis (Athens University of Economics and Business); Nikolaos I. Papanikolaou (Athens University of Economics and Business)
    Abstract: The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between banking sector reform and bank performance – measured in terms of efficiency, total factor productivity growth and net interest margin – accounting for the effects through competition and bank risk-taking. To this end, we develop an empirical model of bank performance and draw on recent econometric advances to consistently estimate it. The model is applied to bank panel data from ten newly acceded EU countries. The results indicate that both banking sector reform and competition exert a positive impact on bank efficiency, while the effect of reform on total factor productivity growth is significant only toward the end of the reform process. Finally, the effect of capital and credit risk on bank performance is in most cases negative, while it seems that higher liquid assets reduce the efficiency and productivity of banks.
    Keywords: Bank performance; Banking sector reform; Competition; Risk-taking
    JEL: G21 L1 C14
    Date: 2008–06
  23. By: Le Dang Trung (Centre for Analysis and Forecasting, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences)
    Abstract: <p>The new 2003 Land Law marks an extraordinary change in the land titling policy in Vietnam. It strongly requires that the names of both the husband and the wife must be stated on the land use right certificate of the land plot that they both own. This regulation not only officially recognizes the property rights of women as land is a crucial asset for every household but it also improves the position of the wife relatively compared to the husband.</p><p>We examine how the intra-couple issues change in association with having two-name land use certificates which are considered as a legally recognized proof of property rights for women. We expect some correlation between the outcome of the two-name land titling policy and the allocation of human resources between the husband and the wife; the income gap between the husband and the wife, the investment in their sons and daughters' education; and 'bad' consumption on smoking and alcohol drinking of the husband which consumes resources without generating utility (in terms of good health).</p><p>We use the data from two waves of Vietnam Household Living Standard Surveys (VHLSS), before and after the two-name land use certificates came into effect to identify the correlation. The investigation is conducted for a wide range of outcomes, namely, the difference of the working time that the husband and the wife allocated to the first and the second time consuming jobs; the difference of the wife and the husband's time doing house work; the difference in individual income of the wife and the husband; the difference in expenses on their sons and their daughters' education; the change in expenses on smoking and alcohol drinking. Though divorce is one of the most interesting outcomes that should be investigated, the household survey data observed only a few cases of new divorce in the two year period and does not ensure enough variations to conduct the analysis. Therefore, we leave the relationship between having two-name land use certificates and divorce unknown. We find that, in association with having two-name land use certificates, the non-Kinh (or nonHoa) wife works for individual income less while the Kinh or Hoa wife seems to work more relatively compared to her husband. The correlation is opposite for the number of hours spent on house work. The difference in house work time of the Kinh wife and her spouse is significant reduced while it turns to increase in the case of non-Kinh couples. This gap also decreases for non-poor couples. Two-name land use certificates seem to be uncorrelated with the income gap between the wife's and the husband's personal income. Interestingly, the two-name land use certificates encourage rural couples to invest in their daughters while observing the opposite for urban couples. Finally, we find no correlation between the ownership of two-name land use certificates and the husband's bad habits(smoking and drinking).</p>
    Keywords: Vietnam, Household, Rights for women, Vietnam Household Living Standard Surveys
    Date: 2008

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