nep-tra New Economics Papers
on Transition Economics
Issue of 2012‒02‒20
fifty-two papers chosen by
J. David Brown
Heriot-Watt University

  1. China’s Financial System: Opportunities and Challenges By Franklin Allen; Jun “QJ” Qian; Chenying Zhang; Mengxin Zhao
  2. Economic growth in the post-socialist Russian Federation after 1991: The role of Institutions By Dobler, Constanze; Hagemann, Harald
  3. Real Exchange Rate and Economic Growth: Evidence from Chinese Provincial Data (1992 - 2008) By Jinzhao Chen
  4. Romania's development to a low-tax country: Effective corporate tax burden in Romania from 1992 to 2010 and Romania's current ranking among the eastern European member states By Spengel, Christoph; Lazar, Sebastian; Evers, Lisa; Zinn, Benedikt
  5. Productivity growth and ownership change in China: 1998-2007 By Liu, Jing; Cao, Shutao
  6. Evolution of competition in Vietnam industries over the recent economic transition By Doan, Tinh
  7. Understanding the high profitability of Chinese banks By Löchel, Horst; Li, Helena Xiang
  8. On the Twin Deficits Hypothesis and the Import Propensity in Transition Countries By Hubert Gabrisch
  9. Income differentiation of households in various regions of the Czech Republic By Stávková, Jana; Procházková, Zuzana
  10. Moving up the Quality ladder? EU-China Trade Dynamics in Clothing By Hylke VANDENBUSSCHE; Francesco DI COMITE; Laura ROVEGNO; Christian VIEGELAHN
  11. Entry on difficult export markets by Chinese domestic firms: the role of foreign export spillovers By Florian MAYNERIS; Sandra PONCET
  12. Remittances and Children's Capabilities: New Evidence from Kyrgyzstan, 2005-2008 By Kroeger, Antje; Anderson, Kathryn H.
  13. Land reform and farm performance in Europe and Central Asia: a 20 year perspective By Lerman, zvi
  14. DETERMINANTS OF AGRICULTURAL LAND ABANDONMENT IN POSTSOVIET EUROPEAN RUSSIA By Prishchepov, Alexander V.; Radeloff, Volker C.; Muller, Daniel; Dubinin, Maxim; Baumann, Matthias
  15. The interdependences of central bank’s forecasts and economic agents inflation expectations.Empirical study By Magdalena Szyszko
  16. After 20 Years of Status Quo: The Failure of Gradualism in Slovenia’s Post-Socialist Transition By Spruk, Rok
  17. Wealth effects in emerging economies By Alessio Ciarlone
  18. Income differentiation of households in the CR By Stávková, Jana; Stejskal, Ladislav; Nagyová, Ludmila
  19. Right to the city and critical reflections on property rights activism in China’s urban renewal contexts By Hyun Bang Shin
  20. Synchronization and Diversity in Business Cycles: A Network Approach Applied to the European Union By David Matesanz Gomez; Guillermo J. Ortega; Benno Torgler
  21. Impactul crizei globale asupra structurii comerţului exterior al României By Georgescu, George
  22. The economic transition and migration of Vietnam and the Mekong Delta region By Huynh Truong , Huy
  23. Does Formal Work Pay? The Role of Labor Taxation and Social Benefit Design in the New EU Member States By Koettl, Johannes; Weber, Michael
  24. The Hungarian economy: a hostage of populism By Sándor Richter
  25. Instability, economic stagnation and the role of islam in the North Caucasus By Dobler, Constanze
  26. Assessing regional integration and business potential in the Western Balkans By Sklias, Pantelis; Tsampra, Maria
  27. Trust, Reciprocity, and Guanxi in China: An Experimental Investigation By Fei Song; C. Bram Cadsby; Yunyun Bi
  28. Economic and Spatial Determinants of Interregional Migration in Kazakhstan By Aldashev, Alisher; Dietz, Barbara
  29. The Renminbi's Role in the Global Monetary System By Prasad, Eswar; Ye, Lei (Sandy)
  30. Are Chinese Imports Sensitive to Exchange Rate Changes? By THORBECKE, Willem; SMITH, Gordon
  31. The Convergence Processes in Europe and Latvia By Aleksejs Melihovs; Igors Kasjanovs
  32. Global Imbalances, Current Account Rebalancing and Exchange Rate Adjustments By Turhan, Ibrahim M.; Arslan, Yavuz; Kılınç, Mustafa
  33. Is the "neighbour's" lawn greener? Comparing family support in Lithuania and four other NMS By Salanauskaite, Lina; Verbist, Gerlinde
  34. The wage premium of globalization: Evidence from European mergers and acquisitions By Oberhofer, Harald; Stöckl, Matthias; Winner, Hannes
  35. Nationalism and international trade: theory and evidence By Lan, Xiaohuan; Li, Ben
  36. Shocks on the Romanian foreign exchange market before and after the global crisis By Dumitriu, Ramona; Stefanescu, Razvan
  37. Social Capital and Economic Development : The Case of Uzbekistan By Manuela Trochke
  38. Land use policies and practices for reducing vulnerability in rural Tajikistan By Lerman, Zvi; Wolfgramm, Bettina
  39. Financial Integration and Economic Growth in the European Transition Economies By Mirdala, Rajmund
  40. The long-standing demographic East-West-divide in Germany By Sebastian Klüsener; Joshua R. Goldstein
  41. Kulturelle und strukturelle Faktoren bei der Rückkehr in den Beruf : Ostdeutsche, westdeutsche und ost-west-mobile Mütter im Vergleich By Grunow, Daniela; Müller, Dana
  42. Towards an analytical framework of regional integration in Western Balkans By Sklias, Pantelis; Tsampra, Maria
  43. Visualizing Development:Eyeglasses and Academic Performance in Rural Primary Schools in China By Glewwe, Paul; Park, Albert; Zhao, Meng
  44. Foreign banks and foreign currency lending in emerging Europe By Brown, Martin; de Haas, Ralph
  45. Structure and determinants of consumer expenditures By Stejskal, Ladislav; Stávková, Jana
  46. Money, Trust and Happiness in Transition Countries: Evidence from Time Series By BARTOLINI Stefano; MIKUCKA Malgorzata; SARRACINO Francesco
  47. General implementation stages of the ABC method in the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises By Căpuşneanu, Sorinel/I; Topor, Dan; Rof, Letiţia Maria
  48. The Impact of soft drug legalization on Romania By Donici, Andreea Nicoleta/NA; Maha, Andreea/A
  49. Unequal Access to Higher Education in the Czech Republic: The Role of Spatial Distribution of Universities By Franta, Michal; Guzi, Martin
  50. Urban water supply and sanitation in Mongolia: A description of the political, legal, and institutional framework By Sigel, Katja
  51. Cooperation makes beliefs: climate variation and sources of social trust in Vietnam By Dang, Anh
  52. Turn - of - the - month effect on the Bucharest stock exchange By Stefanescu, Razvan; Dumitriu, Ramona

  1. By: Franklin Allen; Jun “QJ” Qian; Chenying Zhang; Mengxin Zhao
    Abstract: We provide a comprehensive review of China’s financial system, and explore directions of future development. First, the financial system has been dominated by a large banking sector. In recent years banks have made considerable progress in reducing the amount of non-performing loans and improving their efficiency. Second, the role of the stock market in allocating resources in the economy has been limited and ineffective. We discuss issues related to the further development of China’s stock market and other financial markets. Third, the most successful part of the financial system, in terms of supporting the growth of the overall economy, is a non-standard sector that consists of alternative financing channels, governance mechanisms, and institutions. The co-existence of this sector with banks and markets can continue to support the growth of the Hybrid Sector (non-state, non-listed firms). Finally, among the policies that will help to sustain stable economic growth in China are those that reduce the likelihood of damaging financial crises, including a banking sector crisis, a real estate or stock market crash, and a “twin crisis” in the currency market and banking sector.
    JEL: J2 K0 O5
    Date: 2012–02
  2. By: Dobler, Constanze; Hagemann, Harald
    Abstract: The paper emphasizes the transition in Russia and the role institutions played before and during the process. In Russia, a big bang approach was applied. That is to say, transition was conducted all of a sudden, omitting important underlying reforms. This practice should function as a shock therapy. Hence, the approach should leave no other chance than an abrupt adaption to the new free-market rules. These rules would then lead to fast economic growth and development, as they did in other places. However, since Russian GDP per capita and thereby living standards deteriorated dramatically in the years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the plan did not work. At any rate, since then Russian economic indicators recovered and partly achieved their pre-1991 levels at the end of the last decade. The paper depicts Russia's reform efforts and the subsequent developments. The close ties among the political elite, the banking sector and the old nomenklatura are demonstrated. The patrimonial system that persisted for centuries is still observable at the state level. At any rate, Russia can neither evade its historical and institutional development path nor its societal structures that are based on networks and nepotism. Russia's systemic lack of the rule of law and therewith of secure property, the character of the Russian political system with the patriarch as the head of state and the resulting necessity of corruption and bribes inhibit the realization of its full growth potential. --
    Keywords: country studies,economic systems,formerly centrally planned economies,growth,institutions,transition economies
    JEL: N14 N24 N44 O43 O52 P20 P30
    Date: 2011–12
  3. By: Jinzhao Chen (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole des Ponts ParisTech - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris - ENS Paris - INRA, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: This paper studies the convergence, and the role of internal real exchange rate on economic growth in the Chinese provincial level. Using informal growth equation à la Barro [1991] and dynamic panel data estimation, we find conditional convergence among the coastal provinces and among inland provinces. Moreover, our results show that the real exchange rate appreciation has a positive effect on the provincial economic growth.
    Keywords: Real Exchange Rate ; Economic Growth ; China ; Generalized method of moments
    Date: 2012–02
  4. By: Spengel, Christoph; Lazar, Sebastian; Evers, Lisa; Zinn, Benedikt
    Abstract: We trace back Romania's development to a low-tax country among the Member States of the European Union by analysing the major tax law changes in corporate taxation since 1992. We find that the significant reduction of the corporate income tax rate from 45% in 1992 to 16% since 2005 has not been accompanied by a comprehensive broadening of the corporate income tax base as prevalent in many longstanding Member States of the EU and the OECD. Our analysis is not limited to a comprehensive description of the development of corporate taxation in Romania, but goes on with a numerical analysis of the tax burdens at different periods of time which constitute milestones in the development of corporate taxation in Romania. For this purpose, we apply the European Tax Analyzer, which is a computer-based model firm approach. We find that the average company tax burden of the underlying model company has dropped significantly by almost 65% since 1992. Furthermore, our numerical analysis does not confirm the tax base broadening policy. As a result, Romania holds position two among the group of Central and Eastern European EU Member States. --
    Keywords: corporate taxation,effective tax burden,transition economy,EU accession countries,tax reform,tax-rate-cum-base-broadening reform
    JEL: H22 H25 O38
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Liu, Jing; Cao, Shutao
    Abstract: This paper studies the industry productivity dynamics in China’s manufacturing sector from 1998 to 2007, and in particular, explores to what extent the privatization of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) contributes to the aggregate productivity growth. Our results show that, though non-SOEs on average are more productive than SOEs, the average productivity growth among SOEs is greater than the privately-owned firms. Industry concentration, taxation, and credit market all account for this difference in growth between SOEs and non-SOEs. In addition, industry productivity growth is mainly attributed to the growth of non-SOEs, entry of non-SOE firms, and the exit of SOEs. However, non-SOE firms that are transformed directly from SOEs make a small but negative contribution to industry productivity growth.
    Keywords: Productivity Growth, Industry Dynamics, Ownership Change, Reallocation
    JEL: E6 D24 O4
    Date: 2011–04–15
  6. By: Doan, Tinh
    Abstract: Understanding the degree and evolution of competition across industries is an important step towards understanding the impact of economic reform and competition on economic growth in Vietnam during the economic transition. In this paper, the author investigates the evolution of competition in Vietnam during the economic transition using the price-cost margin (PCM) or mark-up that has been widely applied in the economic literature and the profit elasticity (PE) recently developed by Boone in his paper Competition (2000). This paper provides the first empirical study of intensity and evolution of competition across selected industries in Vietnam in the last decade using firm-level data from the Vietnam Enterprise Census (VEC) conducted annually since 2000 by the Vietnam General Statistical Office (GSO). --
    Keywords: Competition,industry,economic transition,Vietnam
    JEL: D40 L5 L11 P20 P30
    Date: 2012
  7. By: Löchel, Horst; Li, Helena Xiang
    Abstract: The big Chinese state-owned banks came as winners out of the global financial crisis. According to the Banker ranking, Chinese banks led the global banking profitability ranking through the years from 2008 to 2010 and contributed one fifth of global banking profits in 2010. The Chinese banking sector, which was deemed as wholly insolvent ten years ago, was reborn like a phoenix from the fire of the Asian financial crisis and the current financial crisis. The banking reform in the last decade with large-scale capital injection, assets carve-outs, restructuring and public listing celebrated great success. However, the low efficiency in Chinese banks is still persistent, as evident in many empirical studies (e.g. Feyzioglu, (2009)). The contradiction of high profitability and low efficiency causes great confusion in understanding banking in China. Our paper aims to reveal the real sources of the high profitability of the big Chinese banks. We compare their profitability pattern with peer banks from Asia, Europe and North America. We first test the hypothesis that the average asset return of the big five Chinese banks will fall below the international comparative level if the current high net interest margin given by the managed interest system in China falls to the international peer average level. Surprisingly, the hypothesis has to be rejected. Instead, our results show that the profitability of Chinese banks stays at international comparative level, despite the high inefficiency in Chinese banks. We therefore test a second hypothesis stating that the profitability of Chinese banks will fallbelow their international peers if staff costs increase by 30 percent in average to reach the international level, with the joint condition of margin decrease. This hypothesis can be proved, which means that the big five Chinese banks compensate its inefficiency by a combination of a non-competitive high interest margin and unsustainable lower labor cost. The above results of course raise the question how the big Chinese banks can stay competitive if China continues to liberalize its interest rate system and labor cost increases. In our concluding remarks, we discuss the possibility that Chinese banks change their business model towards universal banking with additional non-interest income to compensate the drop in interest margin. --
    Keywords: China,banks,finance,banking business model,universal banking
    JEL: G01 G20 G21 G28
    Date: 2011
  8. By: Hubert Gabrisch
    Abstract: This article uses co-integration and related techniques to test for a long-run causal relationship between the fiscal and external deficits of three post-transition countries in Central and Eastern Europe. In addition, an import propensity model is tested by applying OLS and GMM. All the results reject the Twin Deficits Hypothesis. Instead, the results demonstrate that specific transition factors such as a high import intensity of exports and net capital inflows affect the trade balance.
    Keywords: twin Deficits, import propensity, transition countries
    JEL: E62 F41 H62
    Date: 2012–01
  9. By: Stávková, Jana; Procházková, Zuzana
    Abstract: The paper deals with income differentiation of households in different regions of the Czech Republic. Actual analysis are based on previous considerations about the origins and dynamics of income disparities in the Czech republic, about the method used to definethe group of respondents, the characteristics of a file with an emphasis on the income variable, the share of social transfers in disposable income, indicators of inequality and poverty assessment of vulnerable households. The primary data sourceare the survey results European Union – Statistics onIncome and Living Conditions in 2005 and 2008. This investigation has become obligatory for the Czech Republic after joining the European Union since 2005. The investigation provides long-term comparative data on income and social situation of households. According to common methodology applied within other EU countries results are compare even between EU member states. To achieve the objectives there will be used following methods: descriptive statistics on the characteristics of income (disposable income of households, the share of social transfers in household disposable income, net cash income of households, average income, revenue deficits). For monitoring the level of income inequality and deepness of poverty will be used Gini coefficient and Lorenz curve. Mentioned characteristics will be compared within the regions of the Czech Republic and the trend will be formulated for the period 2005 - 2008.Household income is one of the decisive factors determining the style of family life, their priorities, to meet their needs, and eisure-time activities. Differences between regions determine preferences and identify opportunities.
    Keywords: poverty; poverty line; at-risk-of poverty; income situation of households; income situation of population
    JEL: I30
    Date: 2011
  10. By: Hylke VANDENBUSSCHE (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES )and Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE), CEPR &KULeuven, LICOS); Francesco DI COMITE (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) and EU Commission); Laura ROVEGNO (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES)); Christian VIEGELAHN (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) and International Labour Organization-Geneva)
    Abstract: This paper compares European and Chinese exports in the clothing sector since the end of the Multi-Fiber Arrangement in 2005. Using detailed product-level data from UN Comtrade, we document the pattern of export prices and quantities observed for both countries, considering both exports to the rest of the world and to a particular destination market. We find that within narrowly defined product categories, European varieties typically sell for a higher price than Chinese varieties. But this price gap is narrowing. Despite rising prices, Chinese varieties are increasingly selling more than European varieties, suggesting that quality differences are narrowing. While European “core” products in clothing are stable over time, Chinese exports show strong product dynamics with exit and entry of new “core” products every year and “core” products changing rapidly. Both China and the EU export in every product category, resulting in a perfect product overlap with no products being exported by only one of the two. To make sure that our findings are not driven by a different product mix or a different destination country mix of EU versus Chinese exports, we compare EU and Chinese exports of clothing to the US and limit the comparison to HS6 product categories that are exported by both countries to the US. Again we obtain similar results as those obtained by comparing EU and Chinese exports to the rest of the world. Also, our evidence is suggestive of China exporting its high quality goods, while the EU exporting its most efficiently produced goods.
    Date: 2011–12–14
  11. By: Florian MAYNERIS (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) and Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE)); Sandra PONCET (Paris School of Ecoonmics, Université de Paris 1 and CEPII)
    Abstract: In this study, we explore how the intensity of foreign export spillovers in China varies depending on the difficulty of entry on export markets. We rely on different proxies to define what a "difficult" country is and we find that the presence of surrounding foreign exporting firms helps domestic ones to start exporting, especially when destination countries are difficult. While on average exposure to foreign exporters is associated with a 10% increase of the probability that domestic firms from the same province start exporting the year after, the figure is around 50% higher when the targeted destination country is identified as difficult. Our results are consistent with the idea that exposure to foreign exporters helps to reduce the fixed cost of creating new trade linkages. Our finding hence suggests that the increasing presence of foreign exporting firms in China might contribute to the diversification of Chinese domestic firms' exports towards more difficult and previously inaccessible destinations.
    Date: 2011–11–28
  12. By: Kroeger, Antje (DIW Berlin); Anderson, Kathryn H. (Vanderbilt University)
    Abstract: The Kyrgyz Republic is one of the largest recipients of international remittances in the world; from a Balance of Payments measure of remittances, it ranked tenth in the world in 2008 in the ratio of remittances to GDP, a rapid increase from 30th place in 2004. Remittances can be used to maintain the household's standard of living by providing income to families with unemployed and underemployed adult members. Remittances can also be used to promote investment not only in businesses and communities but also in people. In this paper, we examine the role that remittances have played in the Kyrgyz Republic in promoting investments in children. Based on the capabilities approach to well-being initiated by Sen (2010), we look at the impact of remittances and domestic transfer payments primarily from internal migration on children's education and health. Our outcomes include enrollment in school and preschool, expenditures, stunting and wasting of preschool children, and health habits of older children. We use unique panel data from the Kyrgyz Republic for 2005-2008 and thus control for some of the biases inherent in cross-sectional studies of remittances and family outcomes. We find that overall remittances and domestic transfers have not promoted investments in the human capital of children. Specifically, preschool enrollments were higher in the urban north but secondary school enrollments were lower in other regions in remittance receiving households; expenditures were also negatively affected in the south and the mountain areas. These negative enrollment results were larger for girls than for boys. We also found evidence of stunting and wasting among young children and worse health habits among boys in remittance or transfer receiving households. In the long run, Kyrgyzstan needs human capital development for growth; our results suggest that remittances are not providing the boost needed in human capital to promote development in the future.
    Keywords: children's education and health, remittances, Central Asia
    JEL: C23 F22 I21 R23
    Date: 2012–01
  13. By: Lerman, zvi
    Abstract: The rural sector in nearly all the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has undergone a shift from predominantly collective to more individualized agriculture. At the same time, most of the land in the region has shifted from state to private ownership. These two shifts â a shift in tenure and a shift in ownership â were part of the transition from a centrally planned economy to a more marketoriented economy that began around 1990 in the huge post-Soviet space stretching from Prague to Vladivostok. The transition reforms in the region were unprecedented in their scope and pace. Some 150 million hectares of agricultural land transferred ownership in these countries in just one decade of reform (1990-2000), compared with 100 million hectares in Mexico during 75 years (1917-1992) and 11 million hectares in Brazil during 30 years (1964- 1994) (Deininger 2003). The basis of this shift from collective to individual agriculture lay in two interrelated aspects of agricultural policy reform: land reform, which concerns issues of land use rights and land ownership; and farm reform, which deals with issues of restructuring of farms into individual land holdings. Land reform, together with farm restructuring, set an agenda for the transformation of socialist farms into hopefully a more efficient farm structure with a clear market orientation
    Keywords: Land reform, farm performance, Europe, Asia, Farm Management, Land Economics/Use,
    Date: 2012
  14. By: Prishchepov, Alexander V.; Radeloff, Volker C.; Muller, Daniel; Dubinin, Maxim; Baumann, Matthias
    Abstract: Socio-economic and institutional changes may accelerate the rates and determinants of land-use and land-cover change (LULCC). Our goal was to explore the determinants of agricultural land abandonment in post-soviet Russia during the first decade of transition from-state command to market driven economy from 1990 to 2000. Based on economic assumptions of the profit maximization we selected and analyzed the determinants of agricultural land abandonment for one large agro-climatic and economic region of European Russia that covered 150,500 km2 and 67 districts in Kaluga, Rjazan, Smolensk, Tula and Vladimir provinces. We integrated maps of abandoned agricultural land (five Landsat TM/ETM+ footprints 185*185 km each with 30-m resolution), environmental and geographic determinants, and socioeconomic statistics and estimated logistic regressions at the pixel-level. Our results showed that agricultural land abandonment was significantly associated with lower average grain yields in the late 1980s, distances to villages, municipalities and settlements > 500 citizens, isolated agricultural areas within the forest matrix and distances from forest edges. Hierarchical partitioning showed that average grain yields in the late 1980s contributed the most in explaining the variability of abandonment (42%, of the explained variability), followed by location characteristics of the land. The results suggest that the underling driving forces such as massive decline of state subsidies for agriculture was a key contributor for the amount of abandonment and those areas socially, economically and environmentally marginal agriculture areas were the first to be left uncultivated.
    Keywords: Land Economics/Use,
    Date: 2011
  15. By: Magdalena Szyszko (Wyższa Szkoła Bankowa w Poznaniu, Katedra Bankowości i Rynku Finansowego)
    Abstract: This paper focuses on the associations between the inflation forecasts of the central bank and inflation expectations of the households. The first part is of a descriptive nature. It gives the theoretical background of modern monetary policy focusing on the role of expectations. It also presents the idea of inflation forecast targeting. Then the framework of the inflation forecast targeting in four countries: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania is presented. The empirical part of the study is an attempt to find associations between the inflation forecasts results and inflation expectations of consumers derived on the basis of surveys. The theory gives sound background for the existence of such relationships.The interdependences are tested in several ways. The last part of the paper focuses on the results and conclusions.
    Keywords: inflation forecasts, inflation forecasts targeting, inflation expectations
    JEL: E52 E58
    Date: 2011
  16. By: Spruk, Rok
    Abstract: In the past 20 years, the Slovenia has been praised as the richest former socialist country, having accomplished the advancement from borrower into donor status at the World Bank and having entered the European Monetary Union as the first country from former socialist block. In the due course of transition to market, Slovenia adopted the gradualist approach to economic reform, emphasizing gradual privatization, excessive regulation of the labor market and financial sector as well as the slow stabilization of public finances. In this paper, we review macroeconomic performance of Slovenia in past two decades in a comparative perspective. The paper outlines the growth trajectory of Slovenia from the onset of Habsburg Empire to the present. We showed that until 1939, Slovenia has almost fully converged to the income per capita frontier of Austria and Italy while the income per capita diverged substantially in the period 1945-1990 from Western European frontier. We review the contours of labor market protectionism, state dominance in banking and financial sector and emergence of the corporate oligarchy as the main symptoms of stalled economic performance given a substantial differential in income per capita between Slovenia and EU15. Moreover, we demonstrate how former communist elites transformed into powerful networks of interest groups which preserved status quo from socialist period through systemic blockade of key economic reforms to stabilize public finances in the light of age-related pressures and to boost productivity growth and structural change.
    Keywords: post-socialist transition; macroeconomic stabilization; economic growth; political economy; Slovenia
    JEL: E02 N13 P27 P16 N14
    Date: 2012–01–19
  17. By: Alessio Ciarlone (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: In this paper I estimate the impact of changes in real and financial wealth – proxied by house and stock market prices – on private consumption for a panel of sixteen emerging economies in Asia and Central and Eastern Europe. Using recent econometric techniques for heterogeneous panels, i.e. the pooled mean group estimator, inference is drawn about the long- and short-run relationship between the variables of interest. Both real and financial wealth are found to affect household consumption positively in the long-run, with the elasticity of housing wealth being greater than that of stock market wealth. When the model is run separately for the two groups of countries, the long-run impact of an increase (decrease) in house prices is generally greater in Central and Eastern European economies than in Asian ones, which make the former more vulnerable to further adverse developments in the housing market.
    Keywords: house prices, wealth effects, emerging markets, panel co-integration, pooled mean group estimator
    JEL: C23 D12 E20 E21 E32 E44 R21 R31
    Date: 2012–01
  18. By: Stávková, Jana; Stejskal, Ladislav; Nagyová, Ludmila
    Abstract: The Czech Republic has recently experienced phases of economic growth and periods of economic crisis, this fact affects the standard of living and household behaviour and affects the formation of life-style. This paper deals with the income situation of households. The main source of data is EU SILC survey from the years 2005 to 2008. The result of the enquiry and processing of primary data is information about the average income per household member, the poverty level and the number of households at risk of poverty. For the formulation of income differentiation is used Gini coefficient. Attention is paid to factors that affect income inequality (the number of household members, social group, age). Information, about the income situation of households, is amended by following indicators of material deprivation. The paper also analyses the impact of social transfers on income inequality. The analysis and subsequent solving of the problem of income inequality may be contributed with further analysis of empirical data of this type.
    Keywords: income differentiation of households; poverty level; material deprivation; social transfers
    JEL: I31 I32
    Date: 2011
  19. By: Hyun Bang Shin
    Abstract: The rapid transformation of urban socio-spatial landscape in China has resulted in an increasing degree of frustration and discontent among local residents who face threats of demolition and eviction. This has given rise to sporadic protests by local residents who are often known as 'nail households', that is, persistent protesters who are fixed to the land and hold onto their dwellings in protest against unwilling eviction and demolition of their dwellings. The presence of these protesters provides an effective example of local residents' out cry in China. This paper is an attempt to critically re-visit the existing debates on local residents' property rights activism in urban redevelopment processes, and to discuss the extent to which it can be an effective strategy. The paper refers to the right-to-the-city debate to examine whose right counts in China's urban renewal contexts. It also makes use of empirical findings, both quantitative and qualitative, to examine how nail houses are received among local residents and migrants, and discusses the extent to which migrants can fit into local residents' struggle against the top-down imposition of neighbourhood transformation. The paper ultimately calls for the need to form a place-based alliance that enables urbanites including migrants to come together to launch an effective claim on their right to the city.
    Keywords: right to the city, property rights, urban renewal, nail houses, displacement, China
    JEL: I38 K42 O18 P26
    Date: 2011–12
  20. By: David Matesanz Gomez; Guillermo J. Ortega; Benno Torgler
    Abstract: This paper analyses synchronization in business cycles across the European Union (EU) since 1989. We include both old and new European Union members and countries which are currently negotiating accession, as well as potential European Union members. Our methodological approach is based on the correlation matrix and the networks within, which allows us to summarize the individual interaction and co-movement, while also capturing the existing heterogeneity of connectivity within the European economic system. The results indicate that the synchronization of the old EU countries remained stable until the current financial crisis. Additionally, the synchronization of the new and potential members has approached to the old EU members although we observe the existence of different synchronization levels and dynamics in output growth in single countries as well as in groups of countries. Some countries have achieved an important degree of co-movement (such as the Baltic Republics, Hungary, Slovenia and Iceland), while others have experienced reduced synchronization, or even desynchronization (such as Romania, Bulgaria and even Greece and Ireland).
    Keywords: Business cycle synchronization; European Union countries; EU candidates; complex systems; network topology
    JEL: E32 C45 O47
    Date: 2012–01
  21. By: Georgescu, George
    Abstract: Under the global crisis impact the structure of international trade flows witnessed significant changes. In the case of Romania, paradoxically for an emerging country, in terms of product composition during 2007-2010, the share of capital goods decreased in total imports and increased in total exports, while the share of intermediate goods recorded an opposite development. In terms of competitiveness, no evidence of significant changes has been found, the most important export chapters having comparative advantages connected with the processing trade operations. Obviously, Romania lacks an export strategy able to sustain the national exporters on new foreign markets and reducing the trade balance deficits.
    Keywords: Global Crisis; International Trade; International Competitiveness; Processing Trade; Export Strategy
    JEL: F15 F40 F10 G28 G01
    Date: 2012–01–10
  22. By: Huynh Truong , Huy
    Abstract: Relationship between economic transition and migration has long attracted increasing attention of both policy-makers and researchers. Migration is seen as a response of changes during the economic transition in a country, because labour is an important production factor in the market, in which labourers have a desire to move to a place of better working conditions rather than going to a disadvantaged conditions (De Haas, 2010; Todaro, 1980).In this paper I extend this discussion by examining how effects of economic transition on internal migration since the late 1980s. This idea aims at gaining a broader insight into the relationship between economic transition and migration during the renovation process
    Keywords: Economic transition; migration
    JEL: A10 A14
    Date: 2011–12
  23. By: Koettl, Johannes (World Bank); Weber, Michael (World Bank)
    Abstract: The analysis presented in this paper defines three different synthetic measurements of disincentives for formal work: two standard measurements, namely the tax wedge and the marginal effective tax rate (METR); and a new, innovative measurement called formalization tax rate (FTR). The novelty of the latter is that it measures disincentives stemming not only from labor taxation, but also from benefit withdrawal due to formalization. A descriptive analysis across a large number of OECD and Eastern European countries reveals that the disincentives for formal work – when measured through the FTR – are especially high for low-wage earners. This suggests that formal work might not pay in this segment of the labor market, in particular for the so-called mini-jobs and midi-jobs (low paying part-time work). Another novelty of the paper is its empirical approach. Using EU-SILC 2008 data and OECD Tax and Benefit data for six Eastern European countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, and Slovakia), we match disincentives for formal work to individual observations in a large data set. Applying a probit regression, the analysis finds a significant positive correlation between FTR or METR and the incidence of being informal. In other words, controlling for individual and job characteristics, the higher the FTR or the METR that individuals are facing is, the more likely they are to work informally. The tax wedge, on the other hand, yields a negative correlation. This indicates that the tax wedge is not sufficiently capturing disincentives for formal work. We also conclude that in cross-country analysis, it might be more useful to use the tax wedge that applies to low wage earners as opposed to average wage earners.
    Keywords: tax evasion, non-wage labor costs and benefits, informal employment, measurement of work disincentives, formalization tax rate
    JEL: H26 J32 O17
    Date: 2012–01
  24. By: Sándor Richter (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: Once the model economy of transition, Hungary has been struggling with much higher public and private debt and a significantly worse growth performance than its peers in the region. A deteriorating exchange rate, increasing yields on government securities and soaring CDS spreads have recently forced the Hungarian government to seek financial assistance from the IMF and the European Union. This research note has the intention to discuss the current problems of the Hungarian economy from a historical perspective.
    Keywords: Hungary, transition and reforms, economic situation, economic policy, populism
    Date: 2012–01
  25. By: Dobler, Constanze
    Abstract: Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, the North Caucasus is known as a politically unstable region and as a melting pot for terrorism and all kinds of criminal activity, reaching from drugtrafficking and illegal arms trade to hijacking and extortion. Furthermore, the North Caucasus is one of Russia's poorest and least developed regions. Although the role of Islam as a destabilizing factor should not be overestimated, it is a determining characteristic regarding the region's past and current development. The paper considers specific influencing factors like the North Caucasus' geographical location, foreign influence, its Soviet past, its history of Islamization, its societal structure, its ethnic heterogeneity and the prevalent Russian institutional vacuum with a focus on Islam and its local characteristics. Then it is questioned whether sustainable socio-economic development is possible within the prevalent institutional environment and whether Islam plays a decisive role or not. It is discovered, that weak governance on the central and regional levels and the inability to implement and enforce the rule of law are responsible for the region's socio-economic situation. The form of societal organization plays a role, too. These factors, however, are historically determined and will therefore persist, in part even in the long run. --
    Keywords: country studies,economic history,economic systems,formerly centrally planned economies,regional history,religion
    JEL: N44 N93 N94 O52 P20 P30 Z12
    Date: 2011–12
  26. By: Sklias, Pantelis; Tsampra, Maria
    Abstract: This paper extrapolates the patterns and volume of business development within the Western Balkans region. This is a war-torn area with social, cultural, religious and political specificities. Despite noticeable institutional and growth progress of the individual countries, regional business is still lagging as persistent state rigidities create trade distortions. We argue that intra-regional business clusters, embedded in shared socio-cultural characteristics, can be the alternative to underdevelopment. Political willingness is the prerequisite, as market forces in transitional areas seem to be of secondary importance to regional business development and integration. New analytical approaches are needed to capture the complex reality.
    Keywords: Regional development; business clusters; transition economies
    JEL: R58 F23 R12
    Date: 2011–11–25
  27. By: Fei Song (Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University); C. Bram Cadsby (Department of Economics, University of Guelph); Yunyun Bi (Taiping Asset Management, Shanghai, China)
    Abstract: We examine the influence of social distance on levels of trust and reciprocity in China. Social distance, reflected in the indigenous concept of guanxi, is of central importance to Chinese culture. In Study 1, some participants participated in two financially salient trust games to measure behavior, one with an anonymous classmate and the other with an anonymous, demographically identical nonclassmate. Other participants, drawn from the same population, completed hypothetical surveys to gauge both hypothetical behavior and expectations of others. Social distance effects on actual and hypothetical behavior were statistically consistent. The results together corroborated the hypothesized negative relationship between trust and social distance. However, reciprocity was not responsive to social distance. Study 2 found that affect-based trust, but not cognition-based trust, played a mediating role in the relationship between social distance and interpersonal trust in a hypothetical scenario. We conclude that close guanxi ties in China engender affect-based trust, which is extended to shouren classmates. This is true despite the fact that no more cognition-based trust is placed nor reciprocity received or expected from classmates compared to demographically identical shengren nonclassmates.
    Keywords: Experiment; Affect-based Trust; China; Guano; Reciprocity; Trust; Social Distance
    JEL: C91 D03 D69
    Date: 2012
  28. By: Aldashev, Alisher (Kazakh-British Technical University of Almaty); Dietz, Barbara (Institute for Eastern European Studies, Regensburg)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze economic and spatial determinants of interregional migration in Kazakhstan using quarterly panel data on region to region migration in 2008-2010. In line with traditional economic theory we find that migration is determined by economic factors, first of all income: People are more likely to leave regions where incomes are low and more likely to move to regions with a higher income level. As predicted by gravity arguments, mobility is larger between more populated regions. Furthermore, distance has a strong negative impact on migration, indicating high migration related costs and risks. Assuming that high migration costs are caused by poor infrastructure, investments in public and social infrastructure should facilitate regional income convergence in Kazakhstan and improve living standards in depressed regions.
    Keywords: interregional migration, Kazakhstan, gravity model
    JEL: J61 P36 R23
    Date: 2012–01
  29. By: Prasad, Eswar (Cornell University); Ye, Lei (Sandy) (Cornell University)
    Abstract: We analyze three related but distinct concepts concerning the renminbi's role in the global monetary system: (i) "internationalization" of the currency; (ii) currency convertibility; and (iii) reserve currency status. Their sequencing in relation to other policy goals such as financial sector reforms and exchange rate flexibility will affect their benefit-risk tradeoffs. We describe the measures taken and progress attained in each of these areas, and discuss the implications of these changes for the balance and sustainability of China's own economic development as well as the associated implications for the global monetary system. While China is actively promoting the internationalization of its currency, it is a long way from attaining full convertibility or meeting other prerequisites for achieving reserve currency status. Ultimately, China will proceed with capital account convertibility in its own controlled and gradual manner, with the goal being an open capital account but with significant administrative and other "soft" controls. The renminbi will play an increasingly important role in the international monetary system but is unlikely to displace the U.S. dollar anytime soon.
    Keywords: international monetary system, reserve currency, capital account liberalization, convertibility, exchange rate flexibility
    JEL: F3
    Date: 2012–02
  30. By: THORBECKE, Willem; SMITH, Gordon
    Abstract: Estimating the price elasticity of China's imports is difficult because many imports are used to produce exports and because the real effective exchange rate has remained fairly stable. To circumvent the first problem, we control for re-exports, and to increase the discriminatory power of the tests, we employ a panel data set including imports from 25 countries. The results indicate that a 10 percent RMB appreciation would increase imports for processing and ordinary imports by three to four percent. As China climbs the value chain, the potential for import substitution and hence the import price elasticity should increase. Thus, a renminbi appreciation should help to raise China's imports and rebalance its economy.
    Date: 2012–02
  31. By: Aleksejs Melihovs; Igors Kasjanovs
    Abstract: This paper, attempting to tackle separately real and structural convergence, is an in-depth study of the convergence processes in Latvia and Europe. Latvia's structural convergence towards both the EU and other neighbouring (Baltic) countries is estimated using the Krugman index. Real convergence processes in the EU, distinguishing between ? convergence and beta convergence, are likewise studied. In addition, cluster analysis with grouping European countries by their structural features is conducted. In this study, the current beta convergence and sigma convergence processes within the EU are identified, yet an in-depth study disclosed that it was mostly the EU12 countries that were the convergence process drivers, with convergence at the regional level well behind that at the national level. The convergence among the EU Member States primarily depended on the wealthier regions of countries becoming richer (characteristic of EU12 in particular), with the process proceeding at a faster pace in relatively poorer countries. This suggests that within a country the discrepancies between rich and poor regions intensify over time. That leads to a conclusion that the European regional policy aimed at decreasing regional income heterogeneity did not prove efficient in the reference period. Structural convergence in Latvia was mainly observed in 2008 and 2009, i.e. the years of real divergence enhanced by the onset of the crisis. Structural convergence in the breakdown of gross value added was mainly driven by the fluctuations of the value added ratio of trade, tourism and transport, manufacturing and construction sector. The conducted cluster analysis demonstrates that over time European countries have become more homogenous or mutually similar in terms of economic structure. A particular focus on the specific economic characteristics of countries leads to a different conclusion: the countries in Europe agglomerated into several specific groups, thus clearly outlining the different drivers of growth in the post-crisis period.
    Keywords: Latvia, the EU, structural convergence, real convergence, specialisation, cluster analysis
    JEL: C20 C50 F15 E13 E60
    Date: 2011–12–31
  32. By: Turhan, Ibrahim M.; Arslan, Yavuz; Kılınç, Mustafa
    Abstract: We analyze the global imbalances and the required adjustments for rebalancing in current accounts and real exchange rates. We set up a two-country two-sector model for the US- China with two asymmetries. First, we assume that the size of China initially is one third of the US but its size becomes half of the US in the next ten years consistent with the fast growth expectations in China. Secondly, we assume that China initially runs a net export surplus against the US. Then we quantitatively study two adjustment scenarios. First scenario,called Slow Adjustment, assumes that in the process of growth, Chinese demand composition moves more towards domestic non-tradable sector. In this case, Chinese real exchange rate appreciates gradually and net export surplus also decreases slowly. Second scenario, called Quick Adjustment, assumes that in addition to the higher non-tradable share in output, net export surplus against US goes to zero quickly in fi…ve years. In this case, net export adjustment happens quickly and real exchange rates in China also appreciate faster and at a higher rate than Slow Adjustment case. Even though, global imbalances are eliminated faste in the Quick Adjustment case, high real appreciation in China hurts importers in the US. A comparison in terms of output shows that Slow Adjustments is preferred for both countries.
    Keywords: Global imbalances; Current accounts; Exchange rate adjustments
    JEL: F32 F41 F36
    Date: 2011–12
  33. By: Salanauskaite, Lina; Verbist, Gerlinde
    Abstract: To what extent can a countrys effectiveness in reducing child poverty be attributed to the size of family cash transfers (i.e. both benefits and tax advantages) or to their design? In this paper, we disentangle the importance of each of these two factors, focusing on the family support system in Lithuania and comparing it with four other new member states. Both single and large families have increased susceptibility to poverty in Lithuania. This contrasts with other former communist countries, namely Estonia, Hungary, Slovenia and the Czech Republic which protect these family types much better. This paper examines whether their family transfer systems would achieve similar results in Lithuania. We employ the EUROMOD microsimulation tax-benefit model to swap family policies across countries and to test whether size or design has greater effects on child poverty reduction in Lithuania. Our results point to considerably improving poverty situation among large families under Hungarian, Slovenian and the Czech policies. Single parent families would only gain if Lithuanian spending on family transfers would increase by a large degree. Estonian policies would lead to very mixed results: small gains for large families and losses for single parent families
    Date: 2011–12–19
  34. By: Oberhofer, Harald; Stöckl, Matthias; Winner, Hannes
    Abstract: We provide evidence on the impact of globalization on labor market outcomes analyzing pay differences between foreign-acquired and domestically-owned firms. For this purpose, we use firm level data from 16 European countries over the time period 1999-2006. Applying propensity score matching techniques we estimate positive wage premia of cross-boarder merger and acquisitions (M&As), suggesting that foreign acquired firms exhibit higher short-run (post-acquisition) wages than their domestic counterparts. The observed wage disparities are most pronounced for low paying firms (with average wages below the median). Finally, we find systematic wage premia in Western European countries, but not so in Eastern Europe. --
    Keywords: Globalization,mergers and acquisitions,wage effects,propensity score matching
    JEL: C21 F15 G34 J31
    Date: 2012
  35. By: Lan, Xiaohuan; Li, Ben
    Abstract: Nationalism is important in shaping the politics of every country throughout the world, but the economic rationale underlying nationalism remains unclear. This paper provides a framework for analyzing nationalistic sentiments, including asserted supremacy of national interests, xenophobia, state sovereignty, and militarization. The level of nationalistic sentiments varies by the relative importance of the domestic market to local economies. Autarkies display the most nationalism, and nationalistic sentiments are weaker (stronger) where the local economy relies more on exports (domestic sales). Our paper next tests this theory using a unique dataset collected across 218 Chinese cities. Using within-country variations in nationalistic sentiments, we are able to identify their association with trade in a context with the same set of history, ethnicity, ideology, and geopolitics. We find a negative association between nationalistic sentiments and dependence on exports, with a wide range of city characteristics such as demographics, protectionist attitudes, and business climate held constant. In contrast, we find no equivalent association between other ideologies and dependence on exports.
    Keywords: Nationalism, trade, conflict, globalization, China
    JEL: F52 F10 D74 P16
    Date: 2011–10–24
  36. By: Dumitriu, Ramona; Stefanescu, Razvan
    Abstract: This paper explores some changes induced on the Romanian foreign exchange market by the global crisis. We study these changes from the perspective of number and intensity of the shocks occurred before and after the global crisis. We found some significant differences, explainable not only by the direct effects of the crisis, but also by the intervention of the National Bank of Romania.
    Keywords: Romanian Foreign Exchange Market; Shocks; Global Crisis; Monetary Policy; National Bank of Romania
    JEL: G14 G15 G01
    Date: 2011–06–03
  37. By: Manuela Trochke (Osteuropa-Institut, Regensburg)
    Abstract: While most transition countries suffered substantially from the world financial crisis of 2008 and still cope with its consequences, Uzbekistan has stayed almost untouched and shows constant economic growth since 2001. Neither macroeconomic foundations nor available institutional indicators provide an explanation for the sustained “Uzbek Growth Puzzle” (Zettelmeyer, 1999). This paper argues that social capital plays a major role in this puzzle. I examine how social capital has contributed to (1) the ease of transition, (2) the development of effective markets and (3) the development of an effective government. In view of the empirical results from other countries, I analyze the Uzbek case with the help of stylized facts for Uzbek social capital and the data derived from the AsiaBarometer surveys for 2003 and 2005.
    Date: 2011–12
  38. By: Lerman, Zvi; Wolfgramm, Bettina
    Abstract: Tajikistan, with 93% of its surface area taken up by mountains and 65% of its labor force employed in agriculture, is judged to be highly vulnerable to risks, including climate change risks and food insecurity risks. The article examines a set of land use policies and practices that can be used to mitigate the vulnerability of Tajikistanâs large rural population, primarily by increasing family incomes. Empirical evidence from Tajikistan and other CIS countries suggests that families with more land and higher commercialization earn higher incomes and achieve higher well-being. The recommended policy measures that are likely to increase rural family incomes accordingly advocate expansion of smallholder farms, improvement of livestock productivity, increase of farm commercialization through improvement of farm services, and greater diversification of both income sources and the product mix. The analysis relies for supporting evidence on official statistics and recent farm surveys. Examples from local initiatives promoting sustainable land management practices and demonstrating the implementation of the proposed policy measures are presented
    Keywords: Vulnerability to risks, rural incomes, agriculture, land use policies, Tajikistan, climate change risks, sustainable land management, transition countries. Tajikistan, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Environmental Economics and Policy, Land Economics/Use,
    Date: 2011
  39. By: Mirdala, Rajmund
    Abstract: Economic crisis affected economic activity in the European transition economies (ETE) with an unprecedented extent that may be compared to an initial shock ETE experienced at the beginning of the transition process in the early 1990s. Deterioration of the overall macroeconomic performance was followed by the various spurious effects leading to the slowdown in the process of convergence toward Western European countries. One of the key aspects of this long-term trend - participation of ETE in the process of international capital flows became affected by the economic crisis too. While the overall benefits from the cross-border capital movements significantly contributed to the high rates of real output growth in ETE (most of the countries from this group became large net debtors in the last two decades) during pre-crisis period, sudden shift in a direction as well as a size of a foreign capital inflows may markedly affect the speed of the recovery process from the economic crisis. In the paper we observe main trends in the process of an international financial integration in ten ETE since 1995. To estimate effects of foreign capital inflows on the performance of ETE we analyze effects of foreign direct investments, portfolio investments and other investments on the real output development. To meet this objective we estimate vector error correction (VEC) model. We estimate two models (one with data sets for pre-crisis period only and second for the whole period). To identify structural shocks we implement a Cholesky decomposition of innovations. Impulse-response functions are computed to estimate short-run effects of foreign capital inflows on real output. Compared results for both models should help us to assess the effects of economic crisis. Mutual short-run (temporal) effects of foreign capital inflows on the real output are estimated using linear Granger causality test.
    Keywords: financial integration; international capital flows; economic growth; vector autoregression; Cholesky decomposition; impulse-response function; Granger causality
    JEL: G14 G15 O16 F43
    Date: 2011–10
  40. By: Sebastian Klüsener (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Joshua R. Goldstein (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: Over the last decades numerous studies have dealt with demographic differences between the former communist eastern part of Germany and western Germany. Although the demography of these two regions has converged with respect to mortality and overall fertility levels, non-marital births are the norm in eastern Germany but the exception in western Germany. A number of explanations, stemming from the policy and socio-economic conditions of eastern and western Germany in recent decades, have been put forth. Here, we show that the divide in demographic behavior regarding fertility and marriage pre-dates the division of Germany into a communist east and (capitalist) west. Indeed, the areas in eastern Germany that formed the German Democratic Republic had in average roughly twice the level of non-marital fertility from at least since the middle of the 19th century. The persistence of the past suggests that explanations depending on current conditions are likely to be incomplete and that convergence, if it happens, will be a process lasting many decades or even centuries.
    Keywords: German Empire, Germany, Germany/FRG, Germany/GDR, family formation, fertility, historical analysis, nuptiality, spatial analysis
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2012–01
  41. By: Grunow, Daniela; Müller, Dana (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "We assess the relative impact of cultural norms and structural conditions on employment interruption patterns of new mothers in reunified Germany, 1992-2009. During this time, East and West Germany share similar family policies, yet, the regions differ markedly with regard to cultural orientations towards working mothers. Our comparison therefore allows drawing conclusions about the relative importance of structural and cultural factors in shaping patterns of individual behaviour. New mothers who were born and raised in the east, but had their first child after moving to the west provide us with key insights in this respect. We test three cultural mechanisms which seek to explain the distinct behaviour of east-west mobile mothers, relative to their immobile peers: selection, adaptation and socialization. Our results show that eastwest mobile mothers return to work faster than West German mothers, but more slowly than East German mothers. The longer east-west mobile mothers have lived in western Germany prior to the birth of their first child, the more similar they behave to West German mothers. We interpret this as evidence of successive adaptation. In addition we find evidence of socialization-based similarities among mothers who grew up in the eastern part of Germany. These similarities between the mobile and immobile eastern German peers only become apparent after controlling for regional context differences." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    Keywords: Berufsrückkehrerinnen, Mütter, berufliche Reintegration, regionaler Vergleich, kulturelle Faktoren, institutionelle Faktoren, Elternzeit, Elterngeld, Erwerbsunterbrechung - Dauer, Geschlechterrolle, Rollenverständnis, Binnenwanderung, berufliche Mobilität, Lebenslauf, Berufsverlauf, IAB-Biografiedaten, Sozialisationsbedingungen, Ostdeutschland, Westdeutschland, Bundesrepublik Deutschland
    JEL: J62 J21 C41
    Date: 2012–01–20
  42. By: Sklias, Pantelis; Tsampra, Maria
    Abstract: The paper focuses on the regional integration of Western Balkans and its prospects. We enrich mainstream political economic approaches by a framework assessing regional integration with the use of political, cultural, institutional and economic variables: coincidence in political interests and national barriers; common perceptions, values, principles and culture; restructuring and maturity of institutions; production complementarities, trade flows and financial transactions; technology and infrastructures. Evaluating these variables in the Western Balkans, we conclude that integration can proceed through a top-down enforced process by the EU or the International Community rather, than through individual efforts of the region’s nation-states.
    Keywords: Regional integration; Western Balkans; political economy variables
    JEL: F15 P2 R11
    Date: 2012–01–15
  43. By: Glewwe, Paul; Park, Albert; Zhao, Meng
    Abstract: About 10% of primary school students in developing countries have poor vision, but very few of them wear glasses. Almost no research examines the impact of poor vision on school performance, and simple OLS estimates are likely to be biased because studying harder often adversely affect oneâs vision. This paper presents results from a randomized trial in Western China that offered free eyeglasses to 1,528 rural primary school students. The results indicate that wearing eyeglasses for one year increased average test scores of students with poor vision by 0.15 to 0.22 standard deviations, equivalent to the learning acquired from an additional 0.33-0.50 years of schooling, and that the benefits are greater for under-performing students. A simple cost-benefit analysis suggests very high economic returns to wearing eyeglasses, raising the question of why such investments are not made by most families. We find that girls are more likely to refuse free eyeglasses, and that lack of parental awareness of vision problems, mothersâ education, and economic factors (expenditures per capita and price) significantly affect whether children wear eyeglasses in the absence of the intervention.
    Keywords: Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,
    Date: 2012–01
  44. By: Brown, Martin; de Haas, Ralph
    Abstract: Based on survey data from 193 banks in 20 countries we provide the first bank-level analysis of the relationship between bank ownership, bank funding and foreign currency (FX) lending across emerging Europe. Our results contradict the widespread view that foreign banks have been driving FX lending to retail clients as a result of easier access to foreign wholesale funding. Our cross-sectional analysis shows that foreign banks do lend more in FX to corporate clients but not to households. Moreover, we find no evidence that wholesale funding had a strong causal effect on FX lending for either foreign or domestic banks. Panel estimations show that the foreign acquisition of a domestic bank does lead to faster growth in FX lending to households. However, this is driven by faster growth in household lending in general not by a shift towards FX lending.
    Keywords: Foreign banks; FX lending; financial integration; Emerging Europe
    JEL: F15 F36 G21
    Date: 2012–01
  45. By: Stejskal, Ladislav; Stávková, Jana
    Abstract: The article is focused on consumption expenditures in the Czech republic. The authors realized a marketing research last year including more than 2,000 respondents. Its main aim was to enable more detailed insight into relatively well-known economic fact. The analysis is based on primary research results.
    Keywords: consumption; expenditures; buying behaviour
    JEL: D19
    Date: 2011
  46. By: BARTOLINI Stefano; MIKUCKA Malgorzata; SARRACINO Francesco
    Abstract: The evolution over time of subjective well-being (SWB) in transition countries exhibit some peculiarities: greater variations which are more strongly correlated with the trends of GDP relative to other countries. What is the possible role of social trust in predicting such variations? We compare the capacity of the trends of GDP and of social trust to predict the trends of SWB. We find that the strength of the relationship between social trust and SWB over the medium-term is comparable to that of GDP. Our conclusion is that in the medium-term, even in countries considered as an extreme case of relevance of material concerns for well-being, social trust is a powerful predictor of the evolution over time of SWB. However, in the short run the relationship between social trust and SWB does not hold and GDP stands out as the only significant correlate of SWB.
    Keywords: Easterlin paradox; GDP; economic growth; subjective well-being; happiness; life satisfaction; social capital; time-series; short run; transition countries
    JEL: D03 D60 I31 O10 P27 P50
    Date: 2012–02
  47. By: Căpuşneanu, Sorinel/I; Topor, Dan; Rof, Letiţia Maria
    Abstract: This article highlights the analysis and implementation stages of the ABC method in small and medium sized enterprises in Romania. It presents the historical development of the ABC method and its implementation issues identified in the economic entities. It stresses the importance of the ABC method to obtain relevant information to management decision-making entities. Emphasis is placed on the analysis type implementation issues: financial, behavioral, technical, informational, managerial, also performance and ownership. Also are proposed and shown the specific implementation stages of the ABC method adapted to small and medium-sized enterprises in Romania. To facilitate understanding of the ABC method implementation in small and medium-sized enterprises in Romania, have been submitted questions whose answers are accompanied by actions designed to enlighten all those involved in the implementation process. The article ends with the results of implementing the ABC method by internationally renowned experts and the author's conclusions about the stages of implementation of the ABC method in small and medium-sized enterprises in Romania. Author's vision is intertwined with visions of managerial accounting specialists offering a wide scope and successful implementation of the ABC method in small and medium-sized enterprises in Romania.
    Keywords: Activity-Based Costing; implementation; SME; principles; management accounting
    JEL: M41 M21
    Date: 2011–11–15
  48. By: Donici, Andreea Nicoleta/NA; Maha, Andreea/A
    Abstract: This article approaches the problem of soft drugs legalization, from a liberalist point of view, underling the impact that this will have on Romania. Each year, in Romania, the number of soft drug users is increasing. Drug consumption exists and it will continue to exist, Romania being able to take advantage not only from an economic point of view. Another important thing that we have to take into account is that soft drugs do not lead to addiction, and however, continue to be prohibited by law.
    Keywords: soft drugs; legalization; prohibition
    JEL: L6
    Date: 2012–01–26
  49. By: Franta, Michal (Czech National Bank); Guzi, Martin (IZA)
    Abstract: We explore a potential source of human capital spatial disparities: the unequal access to tertiary education caused by the absence/presence of a local university. Because the entrance to a university is a sequential process in the Czech Republic we model both a student's decision to apply to a university and the admission process. Two possible sources of unequal access to university are distinguished: cost savings and informational advantages for those residing close to a university. Estimation results suggest that the presence of a university per se is not driving student's decision to apply. Further we find that information advantage due to university proximity plays a significant role in the admission process. However this advantage is specific to the field of study, and becomes stronger in the case of highly oversubscribed study fields. To equalize the chance of admission, policy makers should consider geographical expansion of the system of universities accompanied by the expansion of university programs.
    Keywords: human capital, spatial distribution, access to tertiary education
    JEL: I20 I21 J24
    Date: 2012–01
  50. By: Sigel, Katja
    Abstract: The lack of adequate water supply and sanitation services is a major issue related to sustainable development in many parts of the developing world. This also holds for Mongolia. Current data suggests that Mongolia may not meet the Millennium Development Goal 7, target 7c to halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015. This mostly applies to peri-urban ger areas where people live in gers - the traditional Mongolian portable felt tent - and/or in simple, detached houses. This report analyses the political, legal and institutional framework for improving urban water supply and sanitation in Mongolia. A special focus is placed on domestic consumers, notably the peri-urban poor living in the ger areas of large cities such as Ulaanbaatar, Darkhan and Erdenet. All administrative levels are included in the assessment. The report shows that a variety of policies, programmes, laws and regulations concerning aspects of the water supply and sanitation sector exist, but they are not harmonised and there are significant gaps. The specific problems of peri-urban ger areas are not normally addressed in these policy documents. Some authors argue that the problem is not so much the lack of policies and laws but a lack of capability to implement them and the absence of clear institutional responsibility. --
    Keywords: water supply,sanitation,Mongolia,peri-urban,policies,laws,institutions,enabling environment
    Date: 2012
  51. By: Dang, Anh
    Abstract: I investigate the origins of social trust within Vietnam. Combining a unique contemporary survey of households with historic data on climate variation, I show that individuals who were heavily threatened by negative climate fluctuation exhibit more trust in neighbors and other people in close group. The evidence indicates that the effects of climate variation on social trust transmitted through strengthening the cooperation among village peasants in coping with risk and uncertainty. The results also indicate that households with higher proportion of agricultural incomes tend to rely more on village members in the case of emergency. However, the increased village relationship does not erode family ties.
    Keywords: Climate variation; social trust; Vietnam
    JEL: O13 Z13 Q54
    Date: 2011–11
  52. By: Stefanescu, Razvan; Dumitriu, Ramona
    Abstract: This paper explores the presence of the turn – of – the – month effect on Bucharest Stock Exchange. We employ daily values from 2002 to 2011 of the two important indices of the Romanian capital market: BET – C and RAQ – C, composed on the stock prices of some of the biggest Romanian companies and RAQ – C, which includes the stock prices of smaller firms. We find evidences of the turn – of – the – month effect only for the BET – C evolution.
    Keywords: Calendar anomalies; Turn – of – the - month effect; Romanian capital markets; Seasonality; Efficient Market Hypothesis
    JEL: G00 G10
    Date: 2011–03–06

This nep-tra issue is ©2012 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.