nep-tra New Economics Papers
on Transition Economics
Issue of 2011‒11‒21
ten papers chosen by
J. David Brown
Heriot-Watt University

  1. Choice of Corporate Debt in China: The Role of State Ownership By Weill, Laurent; Pessarossi , Pierre
  2. The educational attainment, labour market participation and living conditions of young Roma in Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania By Jaromir Cekota; Claudia Trentini
  3. Curative Activities of Township Hospitals in Weifang Prefecture, China: an analysis of environmental and supply-side determinants By Xiao Xian HUANG; Aurore PELISSIER; Jacky MATHONNAT; Martine AUDIBERT; Ningshan CHEN; Anning MA
  4. The Labor Supply and Retirement Behavior of China's Older Workers and Elderly in Comparative Perspective By Giles, John T.; Wang, Dewen; Cai, Wei
  5. Can policy make us happier? Individual characteristics, socioeconomic factors, and life satisfaction in Central and Eastern Europe By Andrés Rodríguez-Pose; Kristina Maslauskaite
  6. China's evolving reserve requirements By Guonan Ma; Yan Xiandong; Kostas Liu Xi
  7. Growth and divergence of the polish subregions over 1995–2006: a search for determinants and spatial patterns By Herbst, Mikolaj; Wójcik, Piotr
  8. Impact Analysis of Changes in The Price of Water Resources in China and Beijing By Masaru Ichihashi; Shinji Kaneko
  9. Determinants of Total Factor Productivity in Former Soviet Union Economies: A Stochastic Frontier Approach By Annageldy Arazmuradov; Gianmaria Martini; Davide Scotti
  10. Is optimization an opportunity ? an assessment of the impact of class size and school size on the performance of Ukrainian secondary schools By Coupe, Tom; Olefir, Anna; Alonso, Juan Diego

  1. By: Weill, Laurent (BOFIT); Pessarossi , Pierre (BOFIT)
    Abstract: We analyze the determinants of debt choices for Chinese firms between bonds and syndicated loans. This issue helps appraise the weak development of bond market in China. We test if flotation costs, asymmetries of information, and renegotiation and liquidation costs influence the choice of debt in line with former studies in the context of regulatory interference in the bond market. We check the role of central state ownership on debt choice in order to assess to what extent corporate debt choices are politically or economically driven. We test these hypotheses on a dataset of 220 listed Chinese firms over the period 2006–2010. We find evidence in favour of the influence of central government ownership on the financing choices of firms it owns, as central state-owned firms are more likely to issue bonds. We also observe limited support for the premise that this influence is stronger for central state-owned firms located closer to the capital. Furthermore, we identify that these companies tend to borrow uniquely on the bond market rather than tapping both debt markets. We provide evidence in favour of the flotation costs hypothesis, but provide mixed evidence for the information asymmetry hypothesis and rather reject the renegotiation and liquidation hypothesis. All in all, our findings show that financial factors play a much more minor role in corporate debt choices compared to other countries, whereas state ownership remain a key determinant of preferring the bond market.
    Keywords: corporate bonds; syndicated loans; debt choice; China; state ownership
    JEL: G21 P34
    Date: 2011–11–11
  2. By: Jaromir Cekota (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe); Claudia Trentini (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the educational attainment, labour market participation and living conditions of young Roma adults in Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania based on data from the generations and gender surveys and other sources of information. It shows that in spite of a small improvement in the educational attainment of young Roma in comparison to the generation of their parents, the educational achievement and employment gaps have increased considerably during the post-communist period. The paper also compares living conditions of the Roma with other population groups. It concludes with a discussion of policy challenges.
    Keywords: minorities, Roma, discrimination, employment, education, transition
    JEL: I31 J15 J71
    Date: 2011–09
  3. By: Xiao Xian HUANG (-); Aurore PELISSIER (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International); Jacky MATHONNAT (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International); Martine AUDIBERT (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International); Ningshan CHEN; Anning MA
    Abstract: Township hospitals, which are an important link of the Chinese rural healthcare system, were affected by the successive socio-economic reforms since the 1980s. As a consequence, their utilization declined. From longitudinal data covering 9 years (2000-2008) and 24 township hospitals randomly selected in Weifang prefecture (Shandong province, China), this article analyses the environmental and supply-side determinants of township hospitals curative activities, measured by the number of outpatient visits and that of discharged patients. The Hausman-Taylor and the Fixed-Effect Vector Decomposition estimators are employed in order to cope with time-invariant variables. The New Rural Cooperative Medical Scheme, introduced in 2003, allowed increasing the activity of township hospitals even if financial barriers remain to the access to expensive medical services. The analyses underline that referral practices should be reinforced and the size of the township hospitals needs to be adequate as they seem to be over-sized.
    Keywords: China, Healthcare services, Township Hospitals, New Rural Cooperative Medical Scheme, Hausman-Taylor, Fixed-effects vector decomposition
    JEL: O12 I38 I1 G22
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Giles, John T. (World Bank); Wang, Dewen (World Bank); Cai, Wei (World Bank)
    Abstract: This paper highlights the employment patterns of China’s over-45 population and, for perspective, places them in the context of work and retirement patterns in Indonesia, Korea, the United States, and the United Kingdom. As is common in many developing countries, China can be characterized as having two retirement systems: a formal system, under which urban employees receive generous pensions and face mandatory retirement by age 60, and an informal system, under which rural residents and individuals in the informal sector rely on family support in old age and have much longer working lives. Gender differences in age of exit from work are shown to be much greater in urban China than in rural areas, and also greater than observed in Korea and Indonesia. Descriptive evidence is presented suggesting that pension eligible workers are far more likely to cease productive activity at a relatively young age. A strong relationship between health status and labor supply in rural areas is observed, indicating the potential role that improvements in access to health care may play in extending working lives and also providing some basis for a common perception that older rural residents tend to work as long as they are physically capable. The paper concludes with a discussion of measures that may facilitate longer working lives as China’s population ages.
    Keywords: retirement, population aging, labor supply, pensions, China, Indonesia, Korea
    JEL: J26 J14 O15 O17 O57
    Date: 2011–10
  5. By: Andrés Rodríguez-Pose (IMDEA Social Sciences Institute); Kristina Maslauskaite (College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium)
    Abstract: In the last decade, Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries have witnessed a rapid economic convergence vis-à-vis Western Europe. However, this rapid growth has not been matched by a similarly rapid increase in life satisfaction, which has remained low in the European context. This paper sets out to address this conundrum, by looking at the individual and macro-level determinants of individual life satisfaction in ten CEE countries. The results highlight that while Central and Eastern Europeans share the same individual determinants of happiness as people in the West (despite some significant cross-country variation), macroeconomic and institutional differences are the key factors behind the lack of convergence in life satisfaction. On the macroeconomic side, GDP growth is still a source of increasing well-being, but the happiness bonus associated with it is becoming smaller. The different levels of individual happiness in CEE are therefore mostly determined by institutional factors such as corruption, government spending and decentralisation, making policies aimed at enhancing institutional quality capable of bringing about substantial improvements in the overall life satisfaction of the people in the region.
    Keywords: Happiness; Convergence; Easterlin paradox; Institutions; Corruption; Decentralisation; Central and Eastern Europe
    Date: 2011–11–10
  6. By: Guonan Ma; Yan Xiandong; Kostas Liu Xi
    Abstract: This paper examines the evolving role of reserve requirements as a policy tool in China. Since 2007, the Chinese central bank (PBC) has relied more on this tool to withdraw domestic liquidity surpluses, as a cheaper substitute for open-market operation instruments in this period of rapid FX accumulation. China's reserve requirement system has also become more complex and been used to address a range of other policy objectives, not least being macroeconomic management, financial stability and credit policy. The preference for using reserve requirements reflects the size of China's FX sterilisation task and the associated cost considerations, a quantity-oriented monetary policy framework challenged to reconcile policy dilemmas and tactical considerations. The PBC often finds it easier to reach consensus over reserve requirement decisions than interest rate decisions and enjoys greater discretion in applying this tool. The monetary effects of reserve requirements need to be explored in conjunction with other policy actions and not in isolation. Depending on the policy mix, higher reserve requirements tend to signal a tightening bias, to squeeze excess reserves of banks, to push market interest rates higher, and to help widen net interest spreads, thus tightening domestic monetary conditions. There are, however, costs to using this policy tool, as it imposes a tax burden on Chinese banks that in turn appear to have passed a significant portion of this cost onto their customers, mostly depositors and SMEs. However, the pass-through onto bank customers appears to be partial.
    Keywords: reserve requirements, sterilisation tools, monetary policy, net interest margin and spread, tax incidence, Chinese economy
    Date: 2011–11
  7. By: Herbst, Mikolaj; Wójcik, Piotr
    Abstract: This paper investigates the presence of sigma and beta convergence between the Polish subregions over 1995–2006. We verify for the absolute convergence, as well as for the convergence conditioned on the stock of physical capital, human capital and the size of the central city, these being emphasised in the literature as important factors of regional growth. We also test for the presence of spatial effects in the determination of regional growth rates. In line with research from other countries, we observe a sigma divergence and unconditional beta divergence rather than convergence of income across Polish subregions. Conditional convergence is observed only between the regions around cities of similar size. Large agglomerations in particular increase their economic advantage over peripheral regions during dynamic growth periods in the Polish economy, while during periods of economic slowdown the human capital stock proves significant in determining regional growth.
    Keywords: regional growth; Poland; spatial regression; NTS3
    JEL: O18 C31 R12
    Date: 2011–10–19
  8. By: Masaru Ichihashi; Shinji Kaneko (Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation, Hiroshima University)
    Abstract: This paper aims to analyze the impact of changes in resource prices on intra-region goods supply and on extra-region changes in prices, as well as possible impacts on the demand side, using China and Beijing as examples for analysis. Results of the analysis with Input-Output model and CGE model demonstrate that changes in the price of water supply do not have as significant an impact as is the case with energy goods such as electrical power or oil and mining. Also, another result with International IO model shows that an increase in the price of water resources in China would first induce changes in the prices of some domestic goods (education and research, chemical fertilizers, etc.); the effect on other countries would be relatively large in countries including Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and South Korea, and in the industries of flour milling, heavy electrical equipment, knitting, non-ferrous metals, and apparel. However, all of these impacts would be minimal.
    Keywords: water resources; energy price rising effect; International Input-Output; CGE model.
    JEL: F18 O13 Q56
    Date: 2011–11
  9. By: Annageldy Arazmuradov; Gianmaria Martini; Davide Scotti
    Abstract: This paper investigates the process of GDP generation in Former Soviet Union (FSU) economies to provide understanding of the impact of technology channels on countries’ efficiency. We apply a stochastic frontier approach to 15 FSU economies over the period 1995–2008, and we find that machinery imports and human capital improve a country’s efficiency. Furthermore, we show that trade in capital goods and human capital also have a positive effect on total factor productivity (TFP), which, in turn, improves real GDP growth. Hence, our results suggest that FSU countries should improve public policies that provide incentives to invest in cross-country technology transfer and in domestic education in order to improve their economic growth. Additionally, our empirical evidence argues against the resource-curse hypothesis. We also show, by computing the efficiency change and technological change indices at the country level, that FSU economies are benefiting more from catching up to the best practice frontier than from exploiting technological progress.
    Keywords: Eurasia, Former Soviet Union (FSU), Technology Channels, Total Factor Productivity (TFP), Stochastic Frontier Analysis
    JEL: O33 O47 O57
    Date: 2011
  10. By: Coupe, Tom; Olefir, Anna; Alonso, Juan Diego
    Abstract: Using a rich data set of almost the entire population of Ukrainian secondary schools, the authors estimate the effect of school size and class size on the performance of secondary schools on Ukraine's External Independent Test. They find that larger schools tend to have somewhat better performance, both in terms of test scores and in terms of test participation. The size of this effect is relatively small, however, especially in rural areas for which the estimates are likely to be more clean estimates. Class size is found to be insignificant in most specifications and, if significant, of negligible size.
    Keywords: Tertiary Education,Secondary Education,Teaching and Learning,Education For All,Primary Education
    Date: 2011–11–01

This nep-tra issue is ©2011 by J. David Brown. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.