nep-tra New Economics Papers
on Transition Economics
Issue of 2010‒12‒23
eleven papers chosen by
J. David Brown
Heriot-Watt University

  1. Evolution of Employment Protection Legislation in the USSR, CIS and Baltic States, 1985-2009 By Muravyev, Alexander
  2. People’s Republic of China and its Neighbors: Partners or Competitors for Trade and Investment? By John Weiss
  3. Evaluating poverty duration and transition:A spell-approach to rural China By Jing You
  4. Vertical integration in the Czech agriculture – focus on dairy and meat sectors By Janda, Karel
  5. Household inflation expectations and inflation dynamics By Péter Gábriel
  6. How related are interbank and lending interest rates? Evidence on selected EU countries By Heryan, Tomas; Stavarek, Daniel
  7. Testing Weak Form Market Efficiency for Emerging Economies: A Nonlinear Approach By Omay, Nazli C.; Karadagli, Ece C.
  8. Financial Integration and Growth -Is Emerging Europe Different? By Christian Friedrich; Isabel Schnabel; Jeromin Zettelmeyer
  9. Corruption, Voting and Employment Status: Evidence from Russian Parliamentary Elections By Olga Popova
  10. Economic determinants of sport participation in Poland By Paweł Strawiński
  11. Are Assets in Medical Savings Accounts Discounted? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in China By Maoyong Fan; Zhen Lei; Guoen Liu

  1. By: Muravyev, Alexander (IZA)
    Abstract: This paper presents and discusses new data on employment protection legislation (EPL) in the successor states of the former USSR – the CIS and Baltic states – over 25 years from 1985 to 2009. We use the OECD methodology (OECD EPL, version II) for assessing the strictness of national labor laws with respect to employers’ firing costs. In addition to the overall OECD EPL index, we present detailed statistics for 18(22) sub-indicators used for its computation. The new data allow us to make several important observations. In particular, the data do not support the widely held view that labor regulations in the former USSR with respect to firing costs were extremely rigid and were subsequently liberalized by the 15 successor states over the course of transition to a market economy. Rather, the dynamics of the EPL index in the region resembles an inverted U-shaped pattern with the peak of labor market rigidity occurring in the mid-1990s in the CIS countries and a decade later in the Baltic States. In terms of major sub-indicators, we observe a rather unusual pattern: gradual liberalization of permanent contracts on the background of increasing regulation of temporary contracts and collective dismissals. This is in sharp contrast with the OECD economies, where liberalization of temporary contracts has been the major trend in the recent decades. By now, the ex-USSR states as a group do not differ that much from the EU-15 and OECD countries in terms of the overall EPL index, although they differ considerably in terms of contributions to the overall EPL of its thee major components, namely, regulation of permanent contracts, temporary contracts, and collective dismissals. We also show that our EPL data are correlated with a number of variables characterizing economic development, progress in market-oriented reforms, and political regimes prevailing in the countries studied, which suggests potential of using the new dataset in further politico-economic research.
    Keywords: labor market institutions, employment protection, transition countries
    JEL: J68 K31 P20
    Date: 2010–12
  2. By: John Weiss
    Abstract: The very rapid economic growth of the People’s Republic of China (henceforth PRC), its dramatic success in world export markets and its heavy receipts of foreign direct investment (FDI) have generated much thought and debate in policy and business circles in different parts of the world. This paper surveys evidence from research by ADB Institute staff and Visiting Fellows conducted over the last two years that sheds light on these issues. The paper examines differences in trade structure between PRC and its trading partners, finding that PRC’s current structure is closest to that in Korea and Taipei, China in 1990. [ADB In stitute Research Paper Series No. 59]
    Keywords: People’s Republic of China, foreign direct investment (FDI), success, world export, markets, Korea, Taipei, China
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Jing You
    Abstract: This article uses a discrete-time multivariate duration model to study poverty transition in rural China between 1989 and 2006. The analysis identifies nonlinear negative duration-dependence for both exit and re-entry rates of poverty. There is significant difference in hazard rates of exit and reentry associated with geographic location and educational level of households, but less related to gender, occupation or ethnic background of household head. The factors facilitating households’ ending a poverty spell are found to be education, land ownership, asset accumulation, health insurance and out-migration, while larger family size and dependence ratio may reduce the chance of exit. This article is forthcoming in Applied Economics Letters, 2011.
    Date: 2010
  4. By: Janda, Karel
    Abstract: In this paper we provide an overview of the two most important sectors in the Czech agriculture: the dairy farming and the meat production. Since the focus of our paper in on the vertical integration, we provide this overview along the whole production vertical line. We start with the suppliers for the farmers and continue through the farm production, distribution and milk and meat processing and storage facilities. The final links in the production vertical structure are wholesale and retail consumers. In both of the considered vertical lines we concentrate on the key analytical parameters which are price transmission elasticities and we provide an overview of their values obtained in the Czech agricultural economic research. Since the question of competition and strategic relations inside the vertical supply-demand structure is an important topic in industrial organization theory and policy, we also pay attention to major cases of alleged fair competition violations in the Czech meat and diary industry.
    Keywords: Vertical integration; meat; dairy; Czech Republic
    JEL: L11 Q13 Q12
    Date: 2010–12–12
  5. By: Péter Gábriel (Magyar Nemzeti Bank)
    Abstract: Although in modern monetary economics it is usually assumed that inflation expectations play a prominent role when economic agents set prices and wages, the empirical evidence for this link is scarce. This paper aims to identify the effect of changes in inflation expectations on prices and wages in an SVAR framework for three inflation targeting countries (Czech Republic, Hungary and United Kingdom). The results show that in all countries the effect is significant. In comparison with the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic, inflation expectations in Hungary are more volatile and less anchored, which can be an important source of the high volatility of the inflation rate.
    Keywords: inflation expectations, consumer survey
    JEL: D84 E31
    Date: 2010
  6. By: Heryan, Tomas; Stavarek, Daniel
    Abstract: This paper investigates the nature of the causal relationships among interbank market interest rates and corporate loans interest rates in four countries from the euro area (Austria, Belgium, France and Italy), and in the Czech Republic. The paper also estimates a development of bank credit margin in banking industries of these countries in period from January 2004 to March 2010. Using Johansen cointegration and Granger causality tests on monthly data we investigate long-term as well as short-term causalities between the interest rates. The results suggest that interest rate relationships differ in all selected countries, and also that foreign majority owners of the Czech banks could affect interest rate policy of the subsidiaries to offset losses realized by the parent banks.
    Keywords: Cointegration; Granger Causality; Interbank Interest Rates; Lending Interest Rates; European Union
    JEL: E43 C32 E40 F36
    Date: 2010–11–19
  7. By: Omay, Nazli C.; Karadagli, Ece C.
    Abstract: In this paper, we address weak form stock market efficiency of Emerging Economies, by testing whether the price series of these markets contain unit root. Nonlinear behavior of stock prices is well documented in the literature, and thus linear unit root tests may not be appropriate in this case. For this purpose, we employ the nonlinear unit root test procedure recently developed by Kapetanios et al. (2003) and nonlinear panel unit root test Ucar and Omay (2009) that has a better power than standard unit root tests when series under consideration are characterized by a slower speed of mean reversion. Large power gains are achieved through combining cross-sectional information and nonlinear estimation techniques in computing unit root tests. The results of ADF and PP indicate that Bulgarian, Greek, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovenian and Turkish stock markets are weak form efficient, while the results of nonlinear unit root test implies that Russian, Romanian and Polish stock markets are not weak form efficient. Moreover, the linear panel unit root test suggest that this group as all efficient where as nonlinear panel unit root test suggest as a group they are not efficient.
    Keywords: Keywords: Linear and Nonlinear Unit root and Panel Unit Root; Emerging Markets; Market Efficiency
    JEL: G14 C12 C01
    Date: 2010–09–10
  8. By: Christian Friedrich (Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland); Isabel Schnabel (Chair of Financial Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-UniversitŠt Mainz, Germany); Jeromin Zettelmeyer (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, London, UK)
    Abstract: Using industry-level data, this paper shows that the European transition region benefited much more strongly from financial integration in terms of economic growth than other developing countries in the years preceding the current crisis. We analyze several factors that may explain this finding: financial development, institutional quality, trade integration, political integration, and financial integration itself. The explanation that stands out is political integration. Within the group of transition countries, the effect of financial integration is strongest for countries that are politically closest to the EU. This suggests that political and financial integration are complementary and that political integration can considerably increase the benefits of financial integration.
    Keywords: Financial integration; political integration; economic growth; parent banking; European transition economies
    JEL: E43 E52 E58 D44
    Date: 2010–11–17
  9. By: Olga Popova
    Abstract: This paper examines to what extent the distribution of votes and voting behavior of people with different employment status are affected by regional differences in corruption. Using data from the Russian Parliamentary (State Duma) Elections 1999 and 2003, I develop and estimate a SUR system of equations which takes into account specific features of the Russian electoral system. The paper distinguishes between hard and perceived measures of corruption and analyzes the effects of corruption on the voting shares of particular parties and on voters' participation in elections. Additionally, a series of Monte Carlo simulations are performed to analyze the effects of corruption on the distribution of votes.
    Date: 2010–12
  10. By: Paweł Strawiński (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw)
    Abstract: The article presents statistical description of economic factors that determine sport participation in Poland. Utilising data from 2008 Sport Participation Survey the biprobit model that takes into account the dependency between individuals and household attitude to sport participation is estimated. Sport participation is found to slightly decline with age of a person, on the other hand, education is found to be positively related to sport participation. The idiosyncratic factor of sport participation in Poland is the influence of children; they seem to encourage their relatives to partake in physical activity. Additionally, both the income level of a household and a personal income of a person have an influence on sport participation.
    Keywords: sport participation, sport expenditure, household, income, education
    JEL: L83 D19 I0
    Date: 2010
  11. By: Maoyong Fan (Department of Economics, Ball State University); Zhen Lei (Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering, Penn State University); Guoen Liu (Guanghua School of Management at Peking University)
    Abstract: In China, Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) are a major tool financing health care consumption in urban areas. Whether MSAs control medical expenditures and encourage saving is based on an assumption that enrollees treat the MSA money the same as their pocket money. This assumption has never been tested. Given the mandatory and restrictive nature of MSAs in China, we hypothesize that enrollees may discount their MSAs and spend them prematurely. To test whether assets in MSAs are discounted, we take advantage of a policy change as a natural experiment in city of Zhenjiang. The policy change affected different age cohorts differently in terms of financial contributions to MSAs. Empirical results show that a reduction in MSAs caused enrollees to reduce their annual medical expenditures by more than the amount of the MSA reduction. The effect was largest for those with intermediate medical expenditures, who were more likely to exhaust their MSAs and pay out-of-pocket expenses. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that enrollees discount their MSAs. The smaller their MSAs are, the higher the chance of paying medical expenditures out-of-pocket (the "true" price): when forced to pay the "true" price of medical services, they consume less.
    Keywords: Medical Savings Account, Natural Experiment, Medical Expenditures, Health
    JEL: I11 I18 O12
    Date: 2010–12

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