nep-tra New Economics Papers
on Transition Economics
Issue of 2010‒06‒11
thirty-one papers chosen by
J. David Brown
Heriot-Watt University

  1. Twenty Years Later and the Socialist Heritage is still Kicking: the Case of Russia By Ofer, Gur
  2. Central Asia after Two Decades of Independence By Pomfret, Richard
  3. Effects of Ownership on Agglomeration Economies: Evidence from Ukrainian Firm Level Data By Volodymyr Vakhitov; Chris Bollinger
  4. Innovation and Productivity: a Firm Level Study of Ukrainian Manufacturing Sector By Ganna Vakhitova; Tetyana Pavlenko
  5. The Impact of FDI on Firm’s Performance Across Sectors: Evidence from Ukraine By Maryia Akulava; Ganna Vakhitova
  6. Into the Void: Governing Finance in Central and Eastern Europe By Pistor, Katharina
  7. The New Grand Bourgeoisie under Post-Communism: Central Europe, Russia and China Compared By Szelenyi, Ivan
  8. Эволюция банков в Х- и Y-экономиках By Kirdina, Svetlana; Vernikov, Andrei
  9. After the Financial Crisis: Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia By Robert Shelburne; Claudia Trentini
  10. Reform and Inequality during the Transition: An Analysis Using Panel Houshold Survey Data, 1990-2006 By Milanovic, Branko; Ersado, Lire
  11. Intra-Industry Trade in Agricultural Products: The Case of China By Wang Jing; Nuno Carlos Leitão; Horácio C. Faustino
  12. Regional efficiency of knowledge economy in the new EU countries: The Romanian and Bulgarian case By Roman, Monica
  13. Transition in Southeast Europe: Understanding Economic Development and Institutional Change By Uvalic, Milica
  14. The Travails of Unification: East Germany's Economic Transition since 1990 By Maier, Charles S.
  15. Identity and Space on the Borderland between Old and New in Shanghai: A Case Study By Iossifova, Deljana
  16. What Determine China’s Inflation? By Hua Xiuping
  17. Yardstick competition in a Federation: Theory and Evidence from China By Emilie CALDEIRA
  18. Foreign Bank Presence and its Effect on Firm Entry and Exit in Transition Economies By Olena Havrylchyk
  19. The evolution of post-communist countries: An interpretation from the perspective of cooperation By Dimiter Ialnazov; Nikolay Nenovsky
  20. Currency substitution in the economies of Central Asia: How much does it cost? By ISAKOVA, Asel
  21. Assessing the potential for knowledge-based development in transition countries By Reinhilde Veugelers
  22. The Great Transformation 1989-2029: Could It Have Been Better? Will It Be Better? By Kolodko, Grzegorz W.
  23. Cross-border banking and the international transmission of financial distress during the crisis of 2007-2008 By Alexander Popov; Gregory F. Udell
  24. Consumer protection and financial literacy : lessons from nine country studies By Rutledge, Susan L.
  25. Unions Improve Chinese Workers' Welfare By Ninghua Zhong
  26. Local employment policies in the context of the economic crisis:Influences of the European Community structural instruments By Matei, Lucica; Matei, Ani
  27. The role of the Plan By Kyn, Oldrich
  28. The Extreme Risk Problem and Monetary Policies of the Euro-Candidates By Hubert Gabrisch; L. Orlowski
  29. Pro-Poor Growth, Poverty and Inequality in Rural Vietnam By Woojin Kang; Katsushi S. Imai
  30. The spatial diffusion of social conformity: the case of voting participation By Coleman, Stephen
  31. EU Banks Rating Assignments: Is there Heterogeneity between New and Old Member Countries? By Guglielmo Maria Caporale; Roman Matousek; Chris Stewart

  1. By: Ofer, Gur
    Abstract: Only recently, 20 years after transition to a market system, has Russia regained a similar production level it had achieved on the eve of transition in 1991. This may sound surprising, given its low productivity under central planning which dropped even l
    Keywords: transition, institutions, Russia, economic growth, human capital, higher
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Pomfret, Richard
    Abstract: After becoming independent in 1991, the five Central Asian countries pursued differing transition paths from the defunct central planning. This paper analyses the connection between economic policies and performance during the 1990s and 2000s.
    Keywords: Central Asia, transition from central planning
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Volodymyr Vakhitov (Kyiv School of Economics, Kyiv Economics Institute); Chris Bollinger (University of Kentucky)
    Abstract: We use establishment level longitudinal data to estimate agglomeration economies in the Ukraine for machine manufacturing and hi-tech industries. We differentiate state-owned, private-domestic-owned and private-internationally-owned firm types. Our baseline results are comparable to other firm level measures of similar industries and to other research in the former Soviet Union. We find that state owned firms accrue little or no agglomeration benefits, while privately-owned firms are able to take advantage of agglomeration effects. Foreign-owned firms may gain the most from agglomeration. These results suggest that agglomeration economies are typically gained at the management level.
    Keywords: Agglomeration, Localization Economies, Ownership Structure, Transition, Production Function
    JEL: O1 P2 R1 R3
    Date: 2010–05
  4. By: Ganna Vakhitova (Kyiv School of Economics, Kyiv Economic Institute); Tetyana Pavlenko (Kyiv School of Economics)
    Abstract: TThere is a large literature on innovation contribution to productivity for EU countries including CEE states. At the same time very little is known about CIS countries. We apply the same framework and select the same period (2004-2006) to make our study comparable. The modified CDM model considers not only companies that report formal innovation expenditures but the entire sample of manufacturing firms. This approach accounts for underreporting of innovative firm’s efforts, especially among small firms. Additionally, we allow dynamic two-direction relationship between productivity and innovation input and test “success breeds success” hypothesis. Our major attention is given to the impact of the government support on firm’s R&D expenditures, innovations and productivity. The results show that government financial support has positive effect on the probability and amount of firm’s innovation expenditures but not on the probability of innovation itself, neither for process nor for product innovation. The latter finding emphasizes that only the effective government innovation policy may actual positively contribute to the productivity after all. We found that both parts of the "success breeds success" hypothesis work. Firms which have introduced new or significantly improved product in the past are more likely to invest into R&D and to come up with a product innovator in the future. Our results also suggest that amount of innovation expenditures in the following period is influenced by firm’s productivity in the previous period. Empirical evidence of this is quite rare in the literature. Finally, similar to Estonia during late transition only process innovation has been found to contribute to productivity of Ukrainian firms.
    Keywords: R&D, innovation, productivity, "success breeds success", transition, Ukraine
    JEL: C33 D24 F14 O31 O33 O47 L60
    Date: 2010–06
  5. By: Maryia Akulava (Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center); Ganna Vakhitova (Kyiv School of Economics, Kyiv Economic Institute)
    Abstract: There are evidences in the literature that FDI impact on enterprises’ performance across three large sectors, i.e. primary, secondary and services, differs substantially. We suggest that these disparities may be due to two factors. First, the weak inter- and intra-sectoral links may prevent the FDI spillovers. Second, sector entry restraints can limit the foreign technology diffusion. Using firm-level data that covers 80% of population in all three sectors we provide some evidence supporting these hypotheses. In particular, horizontal and vertical spillovers a found to have very different impact on firms by sectors. There is an overall positive horizontal spillover effect which is mostly driven by impact in the manufacturing due to the level of competitiveness of that sector. Vertical spillovers are working in the opposite direction and their influence is pronounced for domestic companies in the service sector and for foreign enterprises in the primary sector. Most importantly, the direct FDI effect is the largest in the most restricted primary sector and falls with time in services where substantial liberalization has been undertaken.
    Keywords: Foreign Direct Investment, horizontal spillovers, vertical spillovers, cross-sectoral difference, Ukraine
    JEL: F21 F23 C33
    Date: 2010–06
  6. By: Pistor, Katharina
    Abstract: Twenty years after the fall of the iron curtain-which for decades had separated East from West-most countries of Central and Eastern Europe are now members of the European Union; some have even adopted the euro. Nonetheless, these countries have also
    Keywords: financial regulation, global finance, home-host country regulation
    Date: 2010
  7. By: Szelenyi, Ivan
    Abstract: In the former socialist redistributive economies, the transition to market economy and the conversion to private ownership followed different trajectories. The paper offers an overview on how a new class of grand bourgeoisie was formed in three different
    Keywords: post-socialism, transitional economies, wealth, privatization, bourgeoisie
    Date: 2010
  8. By: Kirdina, Svetlana; Vernikov, Andrei
    Abstract: We compare banking in economic systems of different type, namely X-type (redistributive economy) and Y-type (market economy). In an X-type economic system banking has a peculiar institutional design and is organized “top-down”, whereas in a Y-type market economy we see a “bottom-up model” of banking system. We suggest that in countries where X-type economy prevails the private banking activity is merely a complementary institution to centralized finance and credit allocation. We test this hypothesis with historical and contemporary evidence from Russia as well as from China. Russia’s experiment with bank de-nationalization did not produce a well functioning system of privately owned banks. Current trends in the Russian banking may be deemed consistent with the direction of evolution of economic institutions in the country including broader state ownership on core industrial assets. The share of state-controlled banks keeps growing to have reached 54 percent of total banking assets. We conclude that the complex and uncoordinated nature of change in Russian banking reflects a search for a better balance between redistributive and market instruments and an institutional model of banking that would fit this country more organically.
    Keywords: Institutions; institutional matrix; Russia; banks; redistribution; state
    JEL: B40 G21 P50
    Date: 2010–05
  9. By: Robert Shelburne (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe); Claudia Trentini (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe)
    Abstract: The Pan-European Region made significant progress from 1995 to 2007 in improving the economic, social, environmental and health indicators incorporated into the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). However, given the huge set-backs associated with the transition recession in the early 1990s and the more recent economic declines from the global financial crisis, achievement of some of the MDGs in a significant number of countries by 2015 is now problematic. The degree to which the actual targets can be achieved by 2015 will depend critically on: (i) the speed of recovery from the current crisis and the policy responses to it; (ii) the commitment by national governments to focus resources on the MDG objectives and their willingness to implement new policy initiatives, and (iii) the level of foreign assistance and regional cooperation that can be obtained. The EU new Member States (NMS) are most likely to meet the MDGs, while the prospects for the other European emerging economies are more mixed, especially for MDGs related to poverty and health. All of the Pan-European economies are falling short in terms of achieving environmental sustainability and gender equality.
    Keywords: millennium development goals, economic development, Europe, financial crisis, transition economies, CIS, Russia, caucasus, central Asia, health, education, environmental sustainability, gender, HIV, AIDS, Tuberculosis, trade,
    JEL: O10 O52 P20 P27 P36 I10 I20 I30 F02 J40
    Date: 2010–04
  10. By: Milanovic, Branko; Ersado, Lire
    Abstract: This paper, using for the first time household survey data from 26 post-communist countries, covering the period 1990-2005, examines correlates of unprecedented increases in inequality registered by most of these economies. We find that, after controlling
    Keywords: inequality, transition, economic policy
    Date: 2010
  11. By: Wang Jing; Nuno Carlos Leitão; Horácio C. Faustino
    Abstract: This paper studies the extent and determinants of intra-industry trade (IIT) in agricultural products of China for the period 1997-2006. The IIT index shows that the level of IIT in agricultural products between China and its thirteen main trading partners is not high. Using a panel data analysis, the empirical results of determinants of IIT indicate that differences in per-capita income and geographical distance have a negative effect on Chinese IIT in agricultural products. Free trade agreements between China and some trading partners weaken the negative effect of per-capita income differences on IIT. The results also suggest that cultural similarity between China and some countries has a positive influence on this type of trade.
    Keywords: agricultural products; intra-industry trade; China.
    JEL: F14
    Date: 2010–04
  12. By: Roman, Monica
    Abstract: The economic success is more and more based on upon the effective utilization of intangible assets such as knowledge, skills and innovative potential as the key resource for competitive advantage. For transition countries, such as Romania and Bulgaria, the efficiency of research and development activities is particularly important, since technological progress is one of the core aspects of economic growth. In this article we describe the common features of the two countries, but also the existing differences in respect with knowledge based economy. There are significant regional differences within the countries and marginal regions must close the gap with more developed regions. The paper analyzes research efficiency at the regional level for NUTS2 regions from Romania and Bulgaria between 2003 and 2005, applying a DEA framework. Our main finding is that Bulgarian regions are more efficient in R&D activities compared to Romanian ones. The only Romanian efficient region is Bucuresti Ilfov, while the other two efficient regions are rather small Bulgarian regions, with fewer resources. They show a remarkably high level of research efficiency, whereas some of the larger regions (both from Romania and Bulgaria) lag behind.
    Keywords: regions knowledge economy transition countries efficiency DEA
    JEL: R58 P27 R11 O31
    Date: 2010–02
  13. By: Uvalic, Milica
    Abstract: The paper analyses the 20-year experience with transition in the SEE countries in a comparative framework, illustrating how these countries encountered difficulties in its implementation, despite having some of the best starting conditions in 1989 to impl
    Keywords: economic transition, Southeast Europe, economic development, institutional
    Date: 2010
  14. By: Maier, Charles S.
    Abstract: The former German Democratic Republic underwent a unique post-communist transition because it was absorbed into the wealthy Federal Republic of Germany and has received massive subsidies. Nonetheless, serious difficulties have persisted, including
    Keywords: currency conversion; deindustrialization; market economy; transition, Treuhand,
    Date: 2010
  15. By: Iossifova, Deljana
    Abstract: China's urban geography has been dramatically altered over the past three decades. The co-presence of splinters in urban fabric-contrasting and continuously changing in terms of condition, use, and socio-cultural consistency-is symptomatic for the
    Keywords: Shanghai, intraurban borderland, urban restructuring, rural-to-urban migration,
    Date: 2010
  16. By: Hua Xiuping (China Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: We examine determinants of inflation in China. Analyses of both year‐on‐year and month‐on‐month growth data confirm excess liquidity, output gap, housing prices and stock prices positively affecting inflation. Impulse response analyses indicate that most effects occur during the initial five months and disappear after 10 months. Effects of real interest rates and exchange rates on inflation are relatively weak. Our results suggest that output gap is as important as excess liquidity in explaining inflation trajectory. The central bank should closely monitor asset prices given their spillovers to inflation. Currently liquidity measures are still central for controlling inflation, but further liberalization of interest rates and exchange rates are critical.
    Keywords: China, inflation, excess liquidity, output gap and asset prices
    JEL: E31 E58 G12 R20
    Date: 2010
  17. By: Emilie CALDEIRA
    Abstract: While some scholars argue that fiscal decentralization gave Chinese local officials strong incentives to promote local economic growth, traditional fiscal federalism theories are not directly relevant to explain such an effect in the particular context of China. In this paper, we explain the existence of interjurisdictional competition among Chinese local officials using a model of yardstick competition "from the top", in which the central government (and not local voters) creates a competition among local officials by rewarding or punishing them on the basis of relative economic performance. Our model predicts that, in this context, local governments are forced to care about what other incumbents are doing and that public spending settings are strategic complements. Then, by estimating a spatial lag dynamic model for a panel data of 29 Chinese provinces from 1980 to 2004, we provide empirical evidence of the existence of such public spending interactions. We propose a rigorous empirical framework which takes into account heterogeneity, simultaneity and endogeneity problems and spatial error dependence. The results are encouraging to the view that there are some strategic interactions among Chinese provinces, resulting from a yardstick competition created by the central government.
    Keywords: decentralization, China, public spending interactions, yardstick competition, spatial panel data
    JEL: H7 H2 D72
    Date: 2010
  18. By: Olena Havrylchyk
    Abstract: This study investigates the impact of foreign bank penetration in Central and Eastern Europe on firm entry. We demonstrate that the acquisition of domestic banks by foreign investors has led to reduced firm creation, smaller average size of entrants and increased firm exit in opaque industries compared to transparent ones. At the same time, the entry of greenfield foreign banks spurred firm creation and exit. Unlike previous studies, which use interchangeably the notions of opacity and size, we define opacity in terms of technological process and show that economic significance of foreign bank entry is larger for opaque industries than for industries with large shares of small firms. Our findings can be interpreted as evidence of increased credit constraints and are consistent with theories that argue that foreign bank presence exacerbates informational asymmetries.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; foreign bank entry; asymmetric information; credit constraints
    JEL: E51 G21 M13
    Date: 2010–06
  19. By: Dimiter Ialnazov; Nikolay Nenovsky
    Abstract: How do we account for the difficulties that former socialist countries experienced in the beginning of transition? Why is it that some countries performed relatively better (the Baltic and Central European countries) than others (Bulgaria and Romania)? Why in the second half of 1990s, and especially immediately before the EU enlargement, almost all of the former Soviet bloc countries achieved better results? And how can we explain the problems facing the new member-states after they joined the EU and euro funds began to flow in? In short, the basic hypothesis we present is the following both the transition phases and the diversity of trajectories of post-communist countries are the result of the difference in prevailing strategic behaviours. This difference determines the models of cooperation, namely the two main archetypes that of the prisoner’s dilemma and the stag hunter, applied at the socioeconomic context of post-communist transition. These two archetypal societal models are on their part conditional on the existence of external and internal anchors. While with the prisoner’s dilemma, that became a model of total exchange under the conditions of high social heterogeneity and broken informational channels, it is profitable not to cooperate, under the stag hunter model (a model involving a common goal, a common project) advantageous in general are cooperative strategies. The various countries in different phases can be approximated to either one or the other game – the prisoner’s dilemma or the stag hunter. A shift to the cooperative game becomes possible as a result of the operation of internal or external anchors. For instance, in the beginning of the transition, with no clear vision in sight amid an outburst of large diversity of economic and social actors, and old system’s information channels falling to pieces, the appropriate analytical model to apply would be the prisoner’s dilemma. And vice versa, later on, especially when a decision was adopted to join the EU and with pre-accession chapters being opened and closed, i.e. an external anchor emerging, appropriate for analytical reasoning becomes the stag hunter game model.
    Keywords: post communist transformation, cooperation, anchoring
    JEL: B52 P20 P30 P50
    Date: 2010–02
  20. By: ISAKOVA, Asel (CERGE-EI, 11121 Praha 1, Czech Republic)
    Abstract: Underdeveloped financial markets and periods of high inflation have stimulated dollarization and currency substitution in the economies of Central Asia. Some authors argue that the latter can pose serious obstacles for the effective conduct of monetary policy and can affect households' welfare. This study uses a model with money-in-the-utility function to estimate the elasticity of substitution between domestic and foreign currencies in three economies of Central Asia - Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan. Utility derived from holding money balances is represented by a CES function with money holdings denominated in two currencies. The residents are assumed to diversify their monetary holdings due to instability of the domestic currency. The steady state analysis reveals that though currency substitution decreases governments' seigniorage revenue, holding foreign money can be welfare generating if domestic currency depreciates vis-ˆ-vis the currencies in which households' foreign balances holdings are denominated. De-dollarization can only be achieved through further macroeconomic stabilization that will bring price and exchange rate stability. Financial sector development will also decrease currency substitution through the provision of reliable financial instruments and the gaining of public confidence.
    Keywords: currency substitution, dollarization, monetary policy, seigniorage, welfare, transition economies
    JEL: E58 P2 E41
    Date: 2010–04–01
  21. By: Reinhilde Veugelers
    Abstract: This Working Paper by Bruegel Senior Fellow Reinhilde Veugelers examines the potential for a knowledge-based growth path in transition countries of central and eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. The paper looks closely at how total-factor productivity, a residual growth factor commonly interpreted as reflecting technological progress, drives growth rates in these economies which exhibit a much lower GDP per capita compared to the EU15 or the United States.  By analysing the prerequisites for knowledge-based growth, the author explains why transition countries are at a systemic disadvantage relative to the EU15, US and Japan and have limited potential for knowledge-based growth.
    Date: 2010–05
  22. By: Kolodko, Grzegorz W.
    Abstract: Over 1.8 billion people, from Central Europe to East Asia, have been involved in the great systemic transformation to market economy, civic society and democracy. The process has brought mixed fruits. The diversification of the current situation is a resu
    Keywords: transformation, economic growth, development, institutions, economic policy,
    Date: 2010
  23. By: Alexander Popov (European Central Bank, Financial Research Division, Kaiserstrasse 29, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.); Gregory F. Udell
    Abstract: We study the effect of financial distress in foreign parent banks on local SME financing in 14 central and eastern European countries during the early stages of the 2007-2008 financial crisis. We use survey data on applicant and non-applicant firms that enable us to disentangle effects driven by shocks to the banking system from recession-driven demand shocks that may vary across lenders. We find strong evidence that credit tightened in the relatively early stages of the crises caused by the following types of bank financial distress: 1) low equity ratio; 2) low Tier 1 capital ratio; and 3) losses on financial assets. We also find that foreign banks transmit to Main Street a larger portion of similar financial shocks than domestic banks. The observed decline in credit is greater among high-risk firms and firms with fewer tangible assets. JEL Classification: E44, E51, F34, G21.
    Keywords: credit crunch, financial crisis, bank lending channel, business lending.
    Date: 2010–06
  24. By: Rutledge, Susan L.
    Abstract: The recent turmoil in financial markets worldwide has emphasized the need for adequate consumer protection and financial literacy for long-term stability of the financial sector. This Working Paper aims to summarize key lessons from reviews of consumer protection and financial literacy in nine middle-income countries of Europe and Central Asia (Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, the Russian Federationand Slovakia). All the country assessments used a systematic common approach, based on a set of Good Practices for Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy developed by the World Bank's Europe and Central Asia Region. The objective of the Working Paper is to contribute to the international dialog on strengthening financial consumer protection and financial literacy in emerging markets.A financial consumer protection regime should meet three objectives. First, consumers should receive accurate, simple, comparable information of a financial service or product, before and after buying it. Second, consumers should have access to expedient, inexpensive and efficient mechanisms for dispute resolution with financial institutions. Third, consumers should be able to receive financial education when and how they want it. A common challenge among the nine countries is the need of an adequate institutional structure for financial consumer protection. However independent of the specific institutional structures, financial consumers should have one single agency where to submit complaints and inquiries. Financial institutions should be required to apply fair, non-coercive and reasonable practices when selling and advertising financial products and services to consumers. Personal data should also be carefully protected.
    Keywords: Financial Literacy,Access to Finance,Emerging Markets,Debt Markets,Bankruptcy and Resolution of Financial Distress
    Date: 2010–06–01
  25. By: Ninghua Zhong (China Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Based on a survey of 1,268 firms in 12 Chinese cities, this paper empirically studies the effects of unions on three aspects of workers’ welfare, namely, hourly wages, monthly working hours, and pension coverage. Our baseline results show that unionization increases hourly wage rates by 5.6%, reduces monthly working hours by 1.4%, and raises pension coverage by 12.3%. Taking the endogeneity of unionization into consideration, our 3SLS estimation finds larger effects. These results are robust in the subsample of domestic private enterprises where unions are less common than in other types of firms. Further econometric analysis has established two channels for unions to improve workers’ welfare, one by encouraging collective wage contracts, and the other by encouraging written contracts.
    Keywords: Unionization, workers’ welfare, Chinese firms
    JEL: J3 J51
    Date: 2010
  26. By: Matei, Lucica; Matei, Ani
    Abstract: For several European states, including Romania, the European integration process has overlapped with the effects of the economic and financial crisis. The consequences of such a situation are apparently contradictory. On one hand, the crisis lowers the European integration process in view of achieving the performance imposed by the Single Market, the economic and administrative convergence etc. On the other hand, the possibility of accessing the European structural funds becomes a welcome financial resource for diminishing or stopping the effects of the crisis. The second alternative establishes new balances or imbalances at the local community level, with effect on the employment policies. The European structural instruments – Structural Funds, Cohesion Fund, EC initiatives – are associated with the effects induced in view to achieve the EU objectives such as: economic, social and territorial cohesion, economic growth, competitiveness, employment, sustainable development etc. The current paper aims to emphasise in a theoretic and empiric manner, the influences of these structural instruments on the employment policies at local level. At the same time, those influences will be correlated statistically with the effects of the financial crisis, obtaining a more comprehensive image concerning the consequences of the mix of national and EC policies for the economic integration and fight against the effects of the financial crisis for some EU states. The authors propose a model of local development based on the theory of the general balance, integrating the resources provided by the structural instruments and emphasizing their compensatory effects related to the financial crisis. The proposed model is empirically exemplified for some development regions in Romania, suggestive for general conclusions, of comparative nature, at European and international level
    Keywords: local employment policies; economic crisis; structural instruments
    JEL: E24 H53 J23
    Date: 2010–04–15
  27. By: Kyn, Oldrich
    Abstract: The economic reform of 1960's in Czechoslovakia attempted change to the Socialist Market Economy. That raised the question of compatibility of central planning with the market mechanism. This paper tries to show, that the Soviet-type Command planning is truly incompatible with market. The plans that would be compatible must be flexible, nonobligatory and probabilistic. They must not prescribe specific compulsory targets, but rather recommend ranges of desirable output and other indicators, and they should be frequently adjusted to changing conditions.
    Keywords: Planning; Czechoslovakia
    JEL: P21
    Date: 2010–06–03
  28. By: Hubert Gabrisch; L. Orlowski
    Abstract: We argue that monetary policies in euro-candidate countries should also aim at mitigating excessive instability of the key target and instrument variables of monetary policy during turbulent market periods. Our empirical tests show a significant degree of leptokurtosis, thus prevalence of tail-risks, in the conditional volatility series of such variables in the euro-candidate countries. Their central banks will be well-advised to use both standard and unorthodox (discretionary) tools of monetary policy to mitigate such extreme risks while steering their economies out of the crisis and through the euroconvergence process. Such policies provide flexibility that is not embedded in the Taylor-type instrument rules, or in the Maastricht convergence criteria.
    Keywords: monetary policy rules, tail-risks, convergence to the euro, global financial crisis, equity market risk, interest rate risk, exchange rate risk
    JEL: E44 F31 G15 P34
    Date: 2010–05
  29. By: Woojin Kang (Economics, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, UK); Katsushi S. Imai (Economics, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, UK and Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University)
    Abstract: This study explores the effects of Vietnam's transition on the welfare of different ethnic groups in rural Vietnam. It draws on three rounds of household surveys, VHLSS 2002, 2004 and 2006. It is first observed that the pace of poverty reduction for minorities surpassed the majority over the period 2002 to 2006, although poor people were still concentrated in the minority groups. Secondly, the disparity of living standards has been widening. In particular, inequality in both the majority and minority increased over the periods. Thirdly, the study shows that the pure effect of economic growth on poverty is estimated to have been greater if inequality remained constant. It is noted that the impacts of economic growth vary depending on which ethnic group a household belongs to. Finally, it is also confirmed from regression decompositions of within inequality that the main driver of inequality is not identical among different ethnic groups. Given the diversity across ethnic groups, we can conclude that the governmental policy aiming at equal access to infrastructure and more equal distribution of assets, such as land, for ethnic minority groups would lead to more equal distribution of consumption and poverty reduction of those groups. Also, consideration of local needs of each ethnic minority group would be necessary in designing and implementing public policies given the heterogeneous socio-economic circumstances surrounding each ethnic minority group.
    Keywords: Vietnam, Ethnic minority, Growth, Poverty, Inequality, Decomposition
    JEL: C21 I32 P36
    Date: 2010–05
  30. By: Coleman, Stephen
    Abstract: Social interaction combined with social conformity spreads attitudes and behaviors through a society. This paper examines such a process geographically for compliance with the norm that good citizens should vote. The diffusion of conformist behavior affects the local degree of conformity with the norm and produces highly specific and predictable patterns of behavior across a country. These are demonstrated with qualitative and quantitative spatial analysis of voter turnout in the United States and Russia.
    Keywords: social conformity; norm compliance; voting; spatial analysis; United States; Russia; mathematical model; diffusion
    JEL: Z13 C31 D72
    Date: 2010–06–03
  31. By: Guglielmo Maria Caporale; Roman Matousek; Chris Stewart
    Abstract: We model EU countries' bank ratings using financial variables and allowing for intercept and slope heterogeneity. Our aim is to assess whether "old" and "new" EU countries are rated differently and to determine whether "new" ones are assigned lower ratings, ceteris paribus, than "old" ones. We find that country-specific factors (in the form of heterogeneous intercepts) are a crucial determinant of ratings. Whilst "new" EU countries typically have lower ratings than "old" ones, after controlling for financial variables we also discover that all countries have significantly different intercepts, confirming our prior belief. This intercept heterogeneity suggests that each country's rating is assigned uniquely, after controlling for differences in financial factors, which may reflect differences in country risk and the legal and regulatory framework that banks face (such as foreclosure laws). In addition, we find that ratings may respond differently to the liquidity and operating expenses to operating income variables across countries. Typically ratings are more responsive to the former and less sensitive to the latter for "new" EU countries compared with "old" EU countries.
    Keywords: EU countries, banks, ratings, ordered probit models, index of indicator variable
    JEL: C25 C51 C52 G21
    Date: 2010

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