nep-tra New Economics Papers
on Transition Economics
Issue of 2011‒09‒22
nine papers chosen by
J. David Brown
Heriot-Watt University

  1. Wage setting in Hungary: evidence from a firm survey By Gábor Kézdi; István Kónya
  2. Energy efficiency in transition: do market-oriented economic reforms matter? By Nepal, Rabindra
  3. Innovation in China: the rise of Chinese inventors in the production of knowledge By Rachel Griffith; Helen Miller
  4. Emigration and Wages: The EU Enlargement Experiment By Benjamin Elsner;
  5. Migrant Entrepreneurs and Credit Constraints under Labour Market Discrimination By Frijters, Paul; Kong, Tao; Meng, Xin
  6. Productivity and Income Convergence in Transition: Theory and Evidence from Central Europe By Spruk, Rok
  7. Renminbi Rules: The Conditional Imminence of the Reserve Currency Transition By Arvind Subramanian
  8. The Current State of the Financial Sector and the Regulatory Framework in Asian Economies—The Case of the People’s Republic of China By Ping, Luo
  9. Russian Growth Path and TFP Changes in Light of the Estimation of Production Function using Quarterly Data By Kuboniwa, Masaaki

  1. By: Gábor Kézdi (Central European University, Nador u. 9, 1051 Budapest, Hungary; IEHAS and Magyar Nemzeti Bank.); István Kónya (Magyar Nemzeti Bank, 1054 Szabadság tér 8/9, 1850 Budapest and Central European University.)
    Abstract: This paper presents new evidence on the flexibility of the Hungarian labor market, with special emphasis on wages. The results are based on a new survey on wage setting among Hungarian firms. The survey is part of the Eurosystem Wage Dynamics Network (WDN), and it is a harmonized questionnaire administered in 17 countries in Europe, including almost all Euro Area countries as well as five Central and Eastern European countries. The survey results show that the Hungarian labor market, while institutionally flexible, appears to be surprisingly rigid. The survey evidence points to low turnover and possibly more rigid wages than previously thought. JEL Classification: C83, J01, J30.
    Keywords: Wage setting, survey, wage dynamics network, Hungary.
    Date: 2011–09
  2. By: Nepal, Rabindra
    Abstract: Global climate change and security of supply concerns pose significant challenges for sustainable development as well as the need to improve energy efficiency in transition and developing economies. Meanwhile, economic theory suggests that market-based economic policies and reforms are crucial for accelerating energy efficiency in developing and transition countries. Hence, this paper analyses the impacts of several market-oriented economic reforms on energy efficiency in the transition countries. The transition countries experienced a rapid marketization process that saw their economies transformed from central planning towards more market based economies since the early 1990s. The econometric results from the bias corrected fixed-effect analysis (LSDVC) suggest that both large and small scale privatisation process has been the sole driver of energy efficiency in transition countries. However, the lack of suitable institutions to support overall-market reforms implies that other market based economic reforms remain ineffective in improving energy efficiency in transition countries.
    Keywords: market reforms; energy efficiency; transition countries; institutions
    JEL: Q54 P28 C33
    Date: 2011–09–13
  3. By: Rachel Griffith (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Manchester); Helen Miller (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: <p><p><p>In 2010 China was the world's fourth largest filer of patent applications. This followed a decade of unprecedented increases in investment in skills and Research and Development. If current trends continue China could rank first in the very near future. We provide evidence that the growth in Chinese patenting activity has been accompanied by a growth in Chinese inventors creating technologies that are near to the science base. </p><p></p><p></p><p>Part of the success of China has been to attract the investment of foreign multinationals. This is also true for a number of other Emerging Economies. Europe's largest multinational firms increasingly file patent applications that are based on inventor activities located in emerging economies, often working alongside inventors from the firm's home country. </p></p></p>
    Keywords: China; innovation; offshoring; patents.
    JEL: F21 F23 O3
    Date: 2011–09
  4. By: Benjamin Elsner (Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin);
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of a large emigration wave on real wages in the source country. Following EU enlargement in 2004, a large share of the workforce of the Central and Eastern Europe emigrated to Western Europe. Using data from Lithuania for the calibration of a factor demand model I show that emigration had a significant short-run impact on real wages in the source country. In particular, emigration led to a change in the wage distribution between young and old workers. The wages of young workers increased by 6%, whereas the wages of old workers decreased by around 1%. On the contrary, I find no effect on the wage distribution between workers of different education levels.
    Keywords: Emigration, EU Enlargement, European Integration, Wage Distribution
    JEL: F22 J31 O15 R23
    Date: 2011–01
  5. By: Frijters, Paul (University of Queensland); Kong, Tao (Australian National University); Meng, Xin (Australian National University)
    Abstract: We use a unique data of representative migrants and urban local workers in 15 Chinese cities to investigate entrepreneurship and credit constraints under labour market discrimination. We divide self employed into prefer to be self-employed and prefer to have a salaried job but cannot find one; and divide salaried workers into want-to-be entrepreneurs and happy-to-be salaried workers. Over 40 percent of migrant workers are either currently or want-to-be entrepreneurs. Both groups are very similar in terms of risk taking preferences and network size. Want-to-be entrepreneurs however suffer from credit constraints identified by negative financial shocks in the year before. Our back-of-envelope calculation reveals that overcoming the current level of credit constraints may be worth 2% of GDP per year direct earnings increases.
    Keywords: entrepreneurs, credit constraints, migration, China
    JEL: L26 J14 J70
    Date: 2011–09
  6. By: Spruk, Rok
    Abstract: The paper examines the evolution of income per capita for a sample of high-income transition countries in the period 1991-2007. The analysis focuses on the dynamics of income per capita convergence throughout the period. We review patterns of income dispersion in Central Europe in a historical perspective and examine the evolution of convergence and divergence in a distinct perspective. We present the model of beta convergence by augmenting the basic Solow-Swan model with human capital accumulation and total fertility rate. Our evidence suggests that high-income transition countries experienced a period of robust convergence as the income per capita differential, relative to the U.S level, diminished substantially over time. In addition, the increase in the stock of human capital contributed substantially to the speed of real convergence.
    Keywords: economic growth; output convergence; post-socialist transition; Solow model; panel-data estimation methodology
    JEL: O47 C23 N13 P20
    Date: 2011–07
  7. By: Arvind Subramanian (Peterson Institute for International Economics)
    Abstract: Against the backdrop of the recent financial crisis and the ongoing rapid changes in the world economy, the fate of the dollar as the premier international reserve currency is under scrutiny. This paper attempts to answer whether the Chinese renminbi will eclipse the dollar, what will be the timing of, and the prerequisites for this transition, and which of the two countries controls the outcome. The key finding, based on analyzing the last 110 years, is that the size of an economy—measured not just in terms of GDP but also trade and the strength of the external financial position—is the key fundamental correlate of reserve currency status. Further, the conventional view that sterling persisted well beyond the strength of the UK economy is overstated. Although the United States overtook the United Kingdom in terms of GDP in the 1870s, it became dominant in a broader sense encompassing trade and finance only at the end of World War I. And since the dollar overtook sterling in the mid-1920s, the lag between currency dominance and economic dominance was about 10 years rather than the 60-plus years traditionally believed. Applying these findings to the current context suggests that the renminbi could become the premier reserve currency by the end of this decade, or early next decade. But China needs to fulfill a number of conditions—making the reniminbi convertible and opening up its financial system to create deep and liquid markets—to realize renminbi preeminence. China seems to be moving steadily in that direction, and renminbi convertibility will proceed apace not least because it offers China's policymakers a political exit out of its mercantilist growth strategy. The United States cannot in any serious way prevent China from moving in that direction.
    Keywords: Reserve Currency, Dollar, Sterling, Renminbi, China
    JEL: F02 F31 F33
    Date: 2011–09
  8. By: Ping, Luo (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: Reform of financial regulation is a priority on the international agenda. At the call of the Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (G-20), a number of new international standards have been issued, most notably Basel III. As a member of the G-20, the Financial Stability Board (FSB), and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is now on a faster track in adopting international standards. However, the key issue for the PRC—as well as many other emerging markets—is to how to keep focused on the domestic policy agenda while adopting the new global standards.
    Keywords: financial regulation; basel iii; prc financial sector
    JEL: E44 E52 E58 G18 G28
    Date: 2011–09–15
  9. By: Kuboniwa, Masaaki
    Abstract: We present estimations of a Cobb-Douglas production function with a steady change in TFP (total factor productivity) for the Russian economy, using quarterly data for the favorable period 1998Q3–2008Q2 and the period 1995Q1–2010Q2 as well. Compiling our baseline data on capital and labor adjusted for utilization, we explicitly present estimations of the coefficients (the capital distribution ratio and TFP) of production function, which show that TFP is the major growth source, followed by the capital contribution. We also show results of measurement of Russia‟s GDP gaps as the differences between potential and actual GDPs based on the production function and the Hodrick-Prescott filter.
    Keywords: Growth, TFP, Cobb-Douglas, Russia
    JEL: E01 P24
    Date: 2011–02

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