nep-tra New Economics Papers
on Transition Economics
Issue of 2009‒03‒14
ten papers chosen by
J. David Brown
Heriot-Watt University

  1. Women’s Perceptions of Consequences of Career Interruption due to Childcare in Central and Eastern Europe By Zhelyazkova, Nevena; Valentova, Marie
  2. China’s Energy Economy: A Survey of the Literature By Hengyun Ma; Les Oxley
  3. Agglomeration economies and the location of Taiwanese investment in China By Chen, George Shih-Ku
  4. Access to Higher Education and Inequality: The Chinese Experiment By Wang, Xiaojun; Fleisher, Belton M.; Li, Haizheng; Li, Shi
  5. Migration in an enlarged EU: A challenging solution? By Kahanec, Martin; Zimmermann, Klaus F
  6. From credit crunch to credit boom: transitional challenges in Bulgarian banking, 1999-2006 By Erdinç, Didar
  7. Cost Competitiveness of Chinese and Finnish Paper and Paper Product Manufacturing By Harri Ahveninen; Paavo Suni; Yanyun Zhao; Yilin Wu
  8. Competitive conditions in the Central and Eastern European banking systems By Delis, Manthos D
  9. Changes in Industrial Concentration in the Croatian Economy (1995-2006) By Darko Tipurić; Mirjana Pejić Bach
  10. Analysis of the Financial Equilibrium on the Building Sector - Case of Romania By Barbuta Misu , Nicoleta

  1. By: Zhelyazkova, Nevena (PhD fellow at Maastricht Graduate School of Governance, The Netherlands); Valentova, Marie (researcher at CEPS/INSTEAD, Luxembourg)
    Abstract: The paper aims to examine the effect of the transition from a socialist regime to democracy and liberal economy on women’s perceptions of the consequences of breaks in labour market participation due to childcare on their further careers in seven post-socialist countries. More precisely, it investigates whether women in Central and Eastern Europe who gave birth to at least one child after 1987 were more likely to experience negative consequences for their further professional life as a result of career interruptions due to childcare than women who had their children during the socialist era. The analysis is conducted in two steps. In the first step, the effect of the political transition is examined in the Central European region as a whole, thus on the pooled data including all the seven countries. In the second step, the paper tests whether the effect of the transition varies significantly from country to country, and if yes, in which countries it had the biggest impact. In both steps, the effect of the transition is examined while controlling for selected individual characteristics that are mentioned in the literature as possible predictors of subjective evaluation of consequences of career breaks on women’s further professional development. In the paper we use data from the 2004 European Social Survey.
    Keywords: female emloyement; labour market inactivity ; child care ; subjective indicators
    Date: 2009–01
  2. By: Hengyun Ma; Les Oxley (University of Canterbury)
    Abstract: This paper reviews literature on China’s energy economics, focusing especially on: i) the relationship between energy consumption and economic growth, ii) China’s changing energy intensity, iii) energy demand and energy -capital and -labor substitution, iv) the emergence of energy markets in China, vi) and policy reforms in the energy industry. After reviewing the literature, the study presents the main findings and suggests some topics for further study.
    Keywords: China; Energy; Literature
    JEL: D24 O33 Q41
    Date: 2009–02–16
  3. By: Chen, George Shih-Ku
    Abstract: We investigate the effect of agglomeration economies on Taiwanese greenfield investors' location choice in China from 1996 to 2005. Using a nested logit model, we find that Taiwanese investors first select a region in China where he or she wants to invest, before selecting the best province within that region. Furthermore, we find evidence that, since 2000, market access, industrial linkages and monitoring costs have become important agglomeration forces driving Taiwanese investors' location choice in China. Finally, we discover that the nature of agglomeration economies varies extensively for Taiwanese investors across different industries. Taken together, these findings suggest that the Chinese government must formulate region-wide development strategies and industry-specific policies if it wants to attract more Taiwanese investment in the near future.
    Keywords: Agglomeration economies; China; Nested logit model; Taiwanese investment
    JEL: F23
    Date: 2009–01–05
  4. By: Wang, Xiaojun (University of Hawaii at Manoa); Fleisher, Belton M. (Ohio State University); Li, Haizheng (Georgia Tech); Li, Shi (Beijing Normal University)
    Abstract: We apply a semi-parametric latent variable model to estimate selection and sorting effects on the evolution of private returns to schooling for college graduates during China's reform between 1988 and 2002. We find that there were substantial sorting gains under the traditional system, but they have decreased drastically and are negligible in the most recent data. We take this as evidence of growing influence of private financial constraints on decisions to attend college as tuition costs have risen and the relative importance of government subsidies has declined. The main policy implication of our results is that labor and education reform without concomitant capital market reform and government support for the financially disadvantaged exacerbates increases in inequality inherent in elimination of the traditional "wage-grid."
    Keywords: return to schooling, selection bias, sorting gains, heterogeneity, financial constraints, comparative advantage, China
    JEL: J31 J24 O15
    Date: 2009–02
  5. By: Kahanec, Martin; Zimmermann, Klaus F
    Abstract: The 2004 and 2007 enlargements of the European Union were unprecedented in a number of economic and policy aspects. This essay provides a broad and in-depth account of the effects of the post-enlargement migration flows on the receiving as well as sending countries in three broader areas: labour markets, welfare systems, and growth and competitiveness. Our analysis of the available literature and empirical evidence shows that (i) EU enlargement had a significant impact on migration flows from new to old member states, (ii) restrictions applied in some of the countries did not stop migrants from coming but changed the composition of the immigrants, (iii) any negative effects in the labour market on wages or employment are hard to detect, (iv) post-enlargement migration contributes to growth prospects of the EU, (v) these immigrants are strongly attached to the labour market, and (vi) they are quite unlikely to be among welfare recipients. These findings point out the difficulties that restrictions on the free movement of workers bring about.
    Keywords: EU Eastern enlargement; free movement of workers; migration; migration effects
    JEL: F22 J16 J61
    Date: 2009–03
  6. By: Erdinç, Didar
    Abstract: New econometric evidence is provided to identify the determinants of the rapid credit growth in Bulgaria and evaluate whether the credit boom has increased bank fragility, based on a panel data analysis of 30 Bulgarian banks over the 1999-2006 period. Employing Fixed effects and GMM estimation techniques to explore the link between credit and capital base in a partial adjustment framework, the study provides evidence for the growing risks of credit expansion and assesses the potential for banking distress in Bulgaria. The paper argues that after a period of severe credit crunch during 1997-1999, foreign-owned Bulgarian banks have financed a credit boom, especially since 2003 but this indicated growing risk in lending and increasing vulnerability to a systemic banking crisis as banks reduced their capital base and registered an increase in non-performing loans. Aggressive lending by less-capitalized banks without appropriate loan loss provisioning has also been verified empirically in a number of panel specifications. While well-capitalized banks have tended to expand credit in proportion to their capital base, banks with weak capital base engaged in excessive risk taking, and expanded credit despite growing ratio of non-performing loans. Hence, the credit boom has come at the expense of increased banking fragility in Bulgaria, raising the probability of bank failure in the event of a downturn in global financial flows which became a disturbing reality in 2008.
    Keywords: Bulgarian banking; GMM estimation; credit boom; credit crunch
    JEL: G15 G32 G21
    Date: 2009–04
  7. By: Harri Ahveninen; Paavo Suni; Yanyun Zhao; Yilin Wu
    Abstract: ABSTRACT : This study focuses on the labour cost competitiveness of the paper and pulp industry in China and Finland in particular, using the corresponding German, the US and Estonian industries as a point of comparison in the early 2000s. This study deepens the analysis of the earlier study of the cost competitiveness of the manufacturing industries in the same group of countries. Separate studies focusing on the labour cost competitiveness are carried out in a parallel manner on the chemical industries and metal industries. The results of these three sector studies deepen the knowledge about the change of competitiveness and its level. Large unit labour cost differences in a common currency were obviously a key factor behind exceptionally rapidly changing international production and trade structures in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The Chinese paper and pulp industry grew by about a quarter per year in 2000-2007 as the average annual growth of the value added of world manufacturing volume was only 3 per cent in 2000-2006. Nominal wages as such do not imply good international competitiveness. Chinese wages are, however, low even if their low labour productivity is taken into account and costs per unit of production are compared in a common currency. The relative levels of the Chinese unit labour costs vis-à-vis Germany, using the unit value ratios (UVR) to make the production volumes comparable, were estimated to be about 9 per cent in the paper and pulp industry. The ratio has even declined in the early 2000s and has stayed relatively stable after that until 2007. Improving labour productivity in China had compensated for the effects of rapidly rising wages and an appreciating Renminbi. The outlook of the paper and pulp industry, like the economy in general, is clouded by the difficult global financial crisis, which strongly restricts export possibilities and dampens also the domestic markets of industry. On the other hand, the stimulus packages of the government support the demand for paper and pulp products.
    Date: 2008–12–31
  8. By: Delis, Manthos D
    Abstract: The aim of this study is to conduct a large-scale empirical analysis of the competitive conditions in the banking systems of Central and Eastern European countries. The well-known model of Panzar and Rosse (1987) is implemented on bank-level data over the period 1999-2006. The estimates based on the separate country panels suggest a wide variation in the competitive conditions of the banking systems examined, with some being characterized as (monopolistically) competitive and other as non-competitive. Finally, the results from the full sample indicate that bank revenue is substantially influenced by structural and macroeconomic conditions.
    Keywords: Market power; Central and Eastern European banks; Panzar-Rosse model
    JEL: D20 C33 G21
    Date: 2008–12–31
  9. By: Darko Tipurić (Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb); Mirjana Pejić Bach (Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to obtain a better understanding of differences and dynamics of concentration across various industries in the Croatian economy in the period 1995-2006 in order to be able to foresee future trends. Shifts in concentration vary across industries in the Croatian economy. Concentration declines in approximately two fifths of the Croatian economy whereas one fifth of the Croatian economy shows a growing trend in concentration. In the remaining industries no changes in concentration occurred. The causes of concentration are as follows: (1) decline in concentration due to inadequate adjustments of leading firms to transition, (2) decline in concentration due to deregulation, (3) increase in concentration in industries targeted by multinational companies, and (4) increase in concentration in industries in which no significant new firms emerged following the unsuccessful privatization of leading firms.
    Keywords: concentration, industry, transition
    JEL: L12 L13 L16
    Date: 2009–02–22
  10. By: Barbuta Misu , Nicoleta
    Abstract: This paper is in fact an analysis of the financial equilibrium on the building sector in the period 2001 – 2006 of a sample of 11 enterprises from Galati County – Romania. The aim of this analysis is reflecting to the microeconomic level of the financial equilibrium of enterprises belongs to the building sector as well as the influence on the financial equilibrium of the sector exerted by some enterprises which hold a significant weight.
    Keywords: financial equilibrium; building sector; financial balance sheet; financial working capital; net treasury
    JEL: G32 G30
    Date: 2009–01–10

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