nep-tra New Economics Papers
on Transition Economics
Issue of 2012‒10‒20
eighteen papers chosen by
J. David Brown
IZA (Institute for the Study of Labor)

  1. WTO Accession and Performance of Chinese Manufacturing Firms By Brandt, Loren; Van Biesebroeck, Johannes; Wang, Luhang; Zhang, Yifan
  2. Do Political Blogs Matter? Corruption in State-Controlled Companies, Blog Postings, and DDoS Attacks By Enikolopov, Ruben; Petrova, Maria; Sonin, Konstantin
  3. Measuring the Shadow Economy: Endogenous Switching Regression with Unobserved Separation By Lichard, Tomáš; Hanousek, Jan; Filer, Randall K.
  4. Intra-Provincial Inequality in China: An Analysis of County-Level Data By Tsun Se Cheong; Yanrui Wu
  5. Trade Integration in the CIS: Alternate Options, Economic Effects and Policy Implications for Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine By Vasily Astrov; Peter Havlik; Olga Pindyuk
  6. Trends and Prospects in China's R&D Sector By Yanrui Wu
  7. School-To-Work Transition Of Higher Education Graduates In Four Eastern European Countries By Cristina Mocanu; Ana-Maria Zamfir; Eliza-Olivia Lungu; Eva Militaru
  8. Child Education and the Family Income Gradient in China By Paul Frijters; Luo Chuliang; Xin Meng
  9. Demystifying China's fiscal stimulus By Fardoust, Shahrokh; Lin, Justin Yifu; Luo, Xubei
  10. Gulag, WWII and the Long-run Patterns of Soviet City Growth By Mikhailova, Tatiana
  11. Entrepreneurship and Changing Consumption Patterns of the Young Wealthy in China By Amy Wang; Stephanie Jones; Weihua Huang
  12. Koltsovo: acteurs régional de la promotion des biotechnologies en Russie KOLTSOVO: A REGIONAL ACTOR OF THE PROMOTION OF BIOTECHNOLOGIES IN RUSSIA By Guillem ACHERMANN
  13. Trade and Product Market Policies in Upstream Sectors and Productivity in Downstream Sectors: Firm-Level Evidence from China By Maria Bas; Orsetta Causa
  14. PISA as a legitimacy tool during China's education reform: Case study of Shanghai By Zhang, Chenjian; Akbik, Alexander
  15. EU-Ukraine DCFTA: the Model for Eastern Partnership Regional Trade Cooperation By Veronika Movchan; Volodymyr Shportyuk
  16. Microfinance at the margin: Experimental evidence from Bosnia and Herzegovina By Britta Augsburg; Ralph De Haas; Heike Harmgart; Costas Meghir
  17. On the Volume and Variety of Intra-Bloc Trade in an Expanded European Union By Neil Foster
  18. Is the Mongolian Equity Market Efficient? Empirical Evidence from Tests of Weak-Form Efficiency By Lim Kai Jie, Shawn; Chadha, Pavneet; Lau, Joshua; Potdar, Nishad

  1. By: Brandt, Loren; Van Biesebroeck, Johannes; Wang, Luhang; Zhang, Yifan
    Abstract: China’s policy-makers argued that WTO accession and the accompanying trade liberalization would have a beneficial impact on the domestic economy. China’s import tariffs differed tremendously across industry in the earlier years, but converged to an almost uniform low level after WTO entry. We exploit sectoral variation in the extent of tariff reduction to identify the impact of increased import competition on firm performance and its contribution to the significant productivity growth over the 1995–2007 period. We find evidence of strong downward pressure on prices and mark-ups, but limited evidence that imports took away market share from domestic firms. Furthermore, much of the effects on sectoral productivity come from changes at the extensive margin. Sectors that liberalized most tend to attract especially productive entrants, private firms in particular, which can be rationalized by an increase in the minimum productivity threshold needed to survive in these sectors.
    Keywords: China; Productivity; Tariff; Trade liberalization
    JEL: F13 F14
    Date: 2012–10
  2. By: Enikolopov, Ruben; Petrova, Maria; Sonin, Konstantin
    Abstract: Though new media has become a popular source of information, it is less clear whether or not they have a real impact on economic activity. In authoritarian regimes, where the traditional media are not free, this impact might be especially pronounced. We study consequences of blog postings of a popular Russian anti-corruption blogger and shareholder activist Alexei Navalny on the stock prices of state-controlled companies. In an event-study analysis, we find a negative effect of company-related blog postings on both daily abnormal returns and within-day 5-minute returns. To cope with identification problem, we use the incidence of distributed denial-of-services (DDoS) attacks as a variable that negatively affects blog postings, but is orthogonal to other determinants of asset prices. There is a substantial positive effect of the DDoS attacks on abnormal returns of the companies Navalny wrote about, and this effect is increasing in amount of his attention to these companies. the effect is decreasing in attention to posts of other top bloggers, increasing in visitors’ attention to Navalny’s posts, and is consistent with more pronounced individual, in contrast to institutional, trading. Finally, there are long-term effects of certain types of posts on stock returns, trading volume, and volatility. Overall, our evidence implies that blog postings about corruption in state-controlled companies have a negative causal impact on stock performance of these companies.
    Keywords: Alexei Navalny; blogs; corruption; political economy; Russia
    JEL: L82 L86 P16
    Date: 2012–10
  3. By: Lichard, Tomáš (CERGE-EI); Hanousek, Jan (CERGE-EI); Filer, Randall K. (Hunter College/CUNY)
    Abstract: We develop an estimator of unreported income, perhaps due to tax evasion, that does not depend on as strict identifying assumptions as previous estimators based on microeconomic data. The standard identifying assumption that the self-employed underreport income whereas wage and salary workers do not is likely to fail in countries where employees are often paid under the table or engage in corrupt activities. Assuming that evading individuals have a higher consumption-income gap than non-evading ones due underreporting both to tax authorities and in surveys, an endogenous switching model with unknown sample separation enables the estimation of consumption-income gaps for both underreporting and truthful households. This avoids the need to identify non-evading and evading groups ex-ante. This methodology is applied to data from Czech and Slovak household budget surveys and shows that estimated evasion is substantially higher than found using previous methodologies.
    Keywords: shadow economy, switch regression, income-consumption gap
    JEL: C34 E01 H26 J39
    Date: 2012–10
  4. By: Tsun Se Cheong (Business School, University of Western Australia); Yanrui Wu (Business School, University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: This study applies a decomposition technique to analyze China’s regional inequality using county-level data. It is shown that inter-provincial inequality increased significantly during 1997-2007. It is also shown that, although inter-county-level-unit inequality within all the provinces remained more or less the same during the period considered, its contribution to the overall inequality (based on the Theil-T index) amounted to about 60% in 2007. This means that intra-provincial regional inequality is the crux of the problem of regional inequality in China. According to the estimates of the Theil-T index, the increase in intra-provincial regional inequality contributed to 63% of the increase in overall inequality during over the period covered, whereas the provinces of Jiangsu, Hebei and Inner Mongolia together contributed 47%. The county-level data is then divided into city and county subgroups. Further decomposition based on the Theil-T index shows that the inter-county inequality component contributed a much higher proportion than the inter-city inequality component, whereas the component of the inequality between the city and county subgroups contributed the least to the intra-provincial regional inequality. The results from the decomposition also suggest that each province has its own characteristics and evolution pattern of inequality. The decomposition of the intra-provincial regional inequality for each province shows that provinces in the central and western zones should focus on the alleviation of inter-county inequality, while provinces in the north-eastern zone should concentrate on inter-city inequality. The provinces in the eastern zone should focus on both inter-county and inter-city inequalities. The provinces of Fujian, Jiangsu, Henan, Guizhou, and Qinghai should pay attention to the inequality between city and county subgroups.
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Vasily Astrov (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Peter Havlik (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Olga Pindyuk (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: A functioning Belarus-Russia-Kazakhstan Customs Union (BRK-CU) would comprise the bulk of the FSU economy and represent a significant step towards an attempted re-integration of the FSU – even more so if Ukraine were also to join. There are still important structural differences in intra-regional compared to extra-regional trade of these countries, regarding exports in particular. The existing specialization patterns and comparative advantages may – apart from purely political considerations – provide some economic rationale for closer trade integration. Our difference-in-difference gravity-based estimates indicate that during the period 1999-2009 liberalization took place primarily in the trade of Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine with third countries, whereas in their mutual trade barriers in many manufacturing and services sectors actually increased. The BRK-CU largely eliminated the remaining non-tariff barriers in mutual trade and, upon the adoption of a Common External Tariff (CET) in 2010, unified the participating countries’ trade policies vis-à-vis third countries. As a result of CET adoption, the average (un-weighted) level of protection declined by about 2 p.p. in Russia and 1.3 p.p. in Belarus, but increased by around 2.5 p.p. in Kazakhstan. Available estimates of the economic effects of the BRK-CU differ by a wide margin. Our computable general equilibrium (CGE) estimation results suggest that joining the BRK-CU might potentially bring net GDP losses to Ukraine. BRK-CU membership appears to bring net GDP and welfare losses also to Kazakhstan whereas Belarus and Russia benefit in terms of GDP and labour income growth. There seems to be little (economic) justification for Russia prompting Ukraine to join the BRK-CU. Ukraine, on the other hand, is likely to have a significant increase in GDP and real labour income after implementing the DCFTA with the EU.
    Keywords: foreign trade, integration, Customs Union, gravity and CGE modelling, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine
    JEL: C5 F1 F5 P3
    Date: 2012–09
  6. By: Yanrui Wu (Business School, University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: This paper presents a critical review of trends and prospects in China’s research and development (R&D). Specifically it discusses the main achievements and the role of major players in China’s R&D sector. It also highlights the potential challenges which Chinese policy makers have to face in the future.
    Date: 2012
  7. By: Cristina Mocanu; Ana-Maria Zamfir; Eliza-Olivia Lungu; Eva Militaru
    Abstract: Education is one of the most important factors of allocation and matching on the labour market2. However, there are important cross-national differences with respect to unemployment rate of those with tertiary education, youth transition to the world of work and quality of jobs in which educated school leavers are employed3 4. School-to-work transition is a recently developed concept that is associated with change and uncertainty. For most young people, the integration on the labour market is long and difficult. School leavers are more vulnerable to unemployment due to the fact that they have to compete with more experienced workers for jobs while employers anticipate higher training costs for them. Moreover, as some skills acquired in school are not adapted to job requirements, young people experience difficulties at the labour market entry. On the other hand, labour market conditions are important determinants for youth transition performance. While there is a rich literature on school-to-work transition in Western countries, there is still a gap of knowledge in Eastern European ones. This paper explores patterns of labour market entry of higher education graduates in several Eastern European countries. We analyse HUGESCO data set that provides information on higher education graduates leaving education in 2002 and 2003 in four post-communist countries: Poland, Hungary, Lithuania and Slovenia. School leavers were interviewed in 2008 and offered information on their first and current job. We restrict our sample to individuals which have had paid work after graduation and explore three indicators for assessing the quality of their school-to-work transition: speed of labour market entry, stability and adequacy of insertion. Transition speed is measured by the duration to the first job, while stability of insertion is assessed by the duration of first employment spell. Both indicators are explored by using survival rate analyses. Finally, adequacy of insertion is measured by education-job mismatch at the first job. We study cross-national differences for the three indicators and their relation with individual, structural and institutional variables, including economic conditions, employment protection legislation index (OECD), mechanisms of finding employment, as well as features of the education system. This paper is organised as follows. The second chapter provides a review of the most important contributions in the field of school-to-work transition, with a special accent on higher education graduates. The third section includes a presentation of our data and methodology and the paper ends with the discussion of our results and conclusions together with outlining the theoretical and practical implications of our outcomes.
    Keywords: higher education, transition speed, employment spell, job mismatch, survival rate, labour market regulation
    Date: 2012–09
  8. By: Paul Frijters (School of Economics, The University of Queensland); Luo Chuliang; Xin Meng
    Abstract: This paper looks at the relation between education and family income using a 2008-2009 survey of nearly 10,000 children in 15 cities and nine provinces throughout China. We use school test scores on mathematics and language, as well as parent-reported educational progress, out-of-pocket expenses, and self-reported quality of schooling. Across all measures, children from wealthier families do better, but the gap is much smaller for older children than younger children in rural areas and is almost entirely gone at the end of secondary school. In Chinese cities and in Western countries like the US the opposite is the case, with the gap between children from poor and rich households staying constant or even widening as the kids get older. Our explanation is that it takes a generation of universal education for ability, education, and parental income to become highly correlated, which will already have happened in Chinese cities and in Western countries, but is only just now happening in rural areas in China. Accordingly, the relation between family income and child ability increases over generations, reducing future education and income mobility.
    Date: 2012–10–01
  9. By: Fardoust, Shahrokh; Lin, Justin Yifu; Luo, Xubei
    Abstract: China's government economic stimulus package in 2008-09 appears to have worked well. It seems to have been about the right size, included a number of appropriate components, and was well timed. Its subnational component was designed to maximize the impact of the stimulus package on the economy and minimize the potential procyclical elements that are usually built into subnational fiscal mechanisms in federal countries. Moreover, China's massive fiscal stimulus played an important role in the overall recovery of the global economy. Using a simple analytical framework, this paper focuses on two key factors behind the success of the stimulus: investments in bottleneck-easing infrastructure projects and countercyclical nature of subnational spending based on the assumption that well-chosen infrastructure projects could improve business climate and thereby crowd in the private investment. The paper concludes that the expansionary subnational government spending played a key role in strengthening the overall impact of the stimulus and sustaining growth. It also highlights the importance of public investment quality and cautions about the sustainability of local government financing through the domestic banking system and increases in local governments off balance sheet or contingent liabilities. These lessons may be of particular relevance today for China, as well as other countries, in formulating policy response to another global economic slowdown or crisis, possibly as a result of the Eurozone turmoil. For China, investing in urban infrastructure and green economy, as well as in higher quality and better targeted social services, will be crucial for improving income inequality and inducing a more inclusive growth path.
    Keywords: Debt Markets,Subnational Economic Development,Banks&Banking Reform,Economic Theory&Research,Emerging Markets
    Date: 2012–10–01
  10. By: Mikhailova, Tatiana
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the geographical patterns of city growth in the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation in relation to the Stalinist policies of the 1930s to 1950s, and WWII. Using a unique data set on the locations of Gulag camps, and on the evacuation of industrial enterprises during WWII, I estimate the effect of these factors on city growth throughout the Soviet and post-Soviet period. The cities where Gulag camps were located grew significantly faster than similar cities without camps. WWII events (location of the frontlines, evacuation) also affected local population growth, but their impact diminished with time and disappeared completely after 25 years. In contrast, the effect of Gulag camps has been permanent.
    Keywords: Cities; USSR; Gulag; WWII
    JEL: P25 R12 R11
    Date: 2012–09–09
  11. By: Amy Wang (MsM, Doctoral Candidate); Stephanie Jones (Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior, MsM); Weihua Huang (KPMG China Practice in Belgium)
    Abstract: Research by our co-author Weihua Huang suggests that according to the Hurun Wealth Report 2010, in China there are at least 875,000 USD millionaires, 1900 RMB billionaires (with over EUR 110 million), and 140 Chinese have made over RMB 10 billion. Many of these are comparatively young – between 25 and 30 years of age. There is a great deal of hidden wealth in the Chinese economy, with a significant number of low-key billionaires keeping their heads below the parapet – and this includes some of the youngest.The average age of China’s most wealthy inhabitants is only 39 years of age. On average, they are 15 years younger than their counterparts outside of China, and their wealth is growing more rapidly.The male to female ratio is 7:3, which is also very different from many other countries. Beijing is home to more of China’s rich than anywhere else, with 151,000 millionaires. Guangdong occupies the second position, and Shanghai is third.They made their money primarily as entrepreneurs in private business from the service, property and manufacturing sectors (in that order) and they are confident about China’s economic outlook, despite the world economic downturn and soft-landing of China’s long economic growth-spurt. These young entrepreneurs represent a privileged class of young wealthy shopaholics. How do they spend their money? The consumption habits of China’s young wealthy have been evolving and changing in recent times. They enjoy collecting luxury items and being connoisseurs… Chinese classical art, cars and watches… on average they own three cars and 4.4 luxury watches each.Travel, golf and swimming are their leisure activities of choice, and they take an average of 16 days’ holiday a year.With regard to lifestyle, swimming is the preferred hobby of Tier 1 millionaires and tea tasting for Tier 2/3. In Tier 1 Chinese millionaires prefer collecting cars and watches while in Tier 2/3 the preference is for traditional Chinese paintings. The favoured fashion brands of Chinese millionaires in Tier 1 cities are Giorgio Armani, and Gucci and Boss in Tier 2/3. Chinese millionaires identify Cartier as the most preferred jewellery brand but among Tier 1 millionaires.Bulgari is also well liked and Montblanc is popular with Tier 2/3 city millionaires. A research report from UBS AG showed that by the end of 2015, China's domestic consumption is expected to account for 15.6 percent of the world's total spending, jumping from 5.4 percent in 2011, with the result that China is becoming the world's second largest consumer market following the US.China’s middle class (also exceptionally young compared with other countries) currently accounts for roughly 23% of the whole population, to reach 40% in 2020.According to Euro-monitor International, by 2020, China’s middle class will expand to 700 million (the middle class in China is defined as households with an annual income between RMB 60,000 and RMB 500,000, divisible by around 10 to create approximations in USD, GBP and Euros). Many of these middle-class consumers are young, and are accumulating their wealth now, in real time. This paper will also consider how Western businesses are cashing-in on these trends, looking at risks and opportunities in the China market, based on another co-author’s recently published book, The BRICS and Beyond. The third co-author has added her insights from her doctoral studies on the development of Chinese multinationals and Chinese brands. Primarily, the contribution of this paper is the provision of a literature review of recent articles – primarily from the Emerald database and supplemented with material published by audit and consulting firm KPMG, blue chip consultants McKinsey and the research-based Economist Intelligence Unit. This paper is basically a summary of the literature on young, wealthy Chinese entrepreneurs and the way they spend their wealth, and what others can learn from this.
    Date: 2012–09
  12. By: Guillem ACHERMANN (Laboratoire de Recherche sur l'Industrie et l'Innovation. ULCO)
    Abstract: Le secteur des biotechnologies en Russie hérite de structures scientifiques matérielles et organisationnelles du régime soviétique disséminées sur tout le territoire. Celles-ci ont été confrontées dans les années 1990 à une situation inattendue dans leur développement : la réduction drastique de financements étatiques et l'absence d'une politique industrielle cohérente. Ce n'est qu'après l'arrivée de Vladimir Poutine au pouvoir en 2000 que des priorités en matière de développement industriel sont initiées. Entre stratégies de conservation et de restructuration, de nombreux acteurs régionaux ont mis en avant leurs spécificités dans la formation d'une politique fédérale d'innovation. Ainsi, un emboîtement de statuts juridiques et programmes de développement a permis à certains territoires de redéfinir leur poids économique dans la réorganisation de l'appareil productif national. La formation municipale de Koltsovo, à quelques kilomètres de la ville de Novossibirsk (Sibérie) en est un exemple concret. Ce document retrace la place grandissante de l'innovation dans les politiques économiques du jeune Etat russe et l'évolution du territoire de Koltsovo. The sector of biotechnologies in Russia has inherited the scientific material and organizational structures of the Soviet regime on the whole territory of the country. These structures have been confronted in the 90s to a situation which was unexpected in their development: the drastic reduction of the financing and an absence of coherent industrial policy. Some priorities in industrial development were determined only with the ascension of Vladimir Putin as the head of the country in 2000. In the formation of a federal innovation policy a lot of regional actors chose between the strategy of conservation and the restructuring one depending on their peculiarities. Thus, the nesting of juridical status and program of development has allowed for some territories to redefine their economic impact in the reorganization of the domestic production capacity. The municipality of Koltsovo, located a short distance away from the town of Novosibirsk (Siberia), is a concrete example. This document traces the growing place of innovation in the economic policies of the young Russian State and the evolution of the Koltsovo territory.
    Keywords: biotechnologies, fnancement de la recherche, Koltsovo
    JEL: O31
    Date: 2012–09
  13. By: Maria Bas; Orsetta Causa
    Abstract: This paper explores the productivity impact of trade, product market and financial market policies over the last decade in China – a fast growing country where, despite significant reform action, regulatory stance remains still far from OECD standards. The paper makes a critical distinction between downstream and upstream industries, focusing on the indirect effects of regulation in upstream industries on firm performance in downstream manufacturing industries. This framework allows investigating the link between these policies and productivity growth depending on how far incumbents are relative to the technological frontier. The analysis is novel in several respects. Drawing on new OECD policy indicators of sector-level product market regulation and firm level data, econometric estimates deliver new evidence on the potential gains from product and financial market reforms in China, two policy areas that had not been studied in previous empirical literature. Firm-level microeconomic data further allow shedding light on the differential effects of policies within industries, while also highlighting the potential channels through which productivity is affected by reform. The key conclusion that can be derived from the empirical analysis is that further product, trade and financial market reforms would bring substantial gains in China and could therefore speed up the convergence process. Taken at face value, the empirical estimates would imply that aligning product, trade and financial market regulation to the average level observed in OECD countries would bring aggregate manufacturing productivity gains of respectively 9%, 4% and 6.5% after five years. Trade and product market reforms are found to deliver stronger gains for firms that are closer to the industry-level technological frontier, while the reverse holds for financial market reforms.<P>L'impact des réglementations commerciales et du marché des produits dans les secteurs en amont sur la productivité en Chine : une analyse sur données de firmes<BR>Cet article explore l’impact des réformes structurelles dans les domaines du commerce international, du marché des produits et des marchés financiers sur la productivité Chinoise au cours des dix dernières, la Chine pouvant être considéré comme un pays en forte croissance dans lequel, malgré la mise en ouvre de réformes importantes, la politique réglementaire reste bien loin des standards de l’OCDE. Cet articule fait une distinction cruciale entre les secteurs en amont et les secteurs en aval, et se concentre sur les effets indirects de la régulation en amont sur la productivité en aval. Ce cadre permet d’étudier le lien entre ces politiques et la croissance de la productivité en fonction de la distance qui sépare les firmes de la frontière technologique. L’analyse est nouvelle à plusieurs égards. S’appuyant sur de nouveaux indicateurs de l’OCDE sur la réglementation du marché des produits et sur une base de données au niveau de la firme, l’analyse délivre des résultats nouveaux sur les gains potentiels en Chine de réformes sur les marchés de produits et financiers, deux domaines inexplorés dans la littérature précédente. Les données au niveau de la firme permettent de mettre en lumière l’effet différentiel des politiques au sein de chaque secteur, et donc par là même les mécanismes potentiels via lesquels les réformes affectent la productivité. La conclusion principale est que davantage de réformes dans les domaines précités pourraient apporter des gains substantiels en Chine, ce qui pourrait donc accélérer le processus de convergence. Les résultats empiriques impliqueraient, pris tels à la lettre, qu’un alignement des politiques réglementaires dans les domaines du marché des produits, du commerce international et des marchés financiers sur le niveau moyen observé dans les pays de l’OCDE apporterait des gains agrégés de productivité de l’ordre de 9%, 4%, et 6.5% respectivement au bout de cinq ans. Les réformes commerciales et du marché des produits délivrent des gains plus importants pour les firmes prés de la frontière technologique tandis que le résultat inverse est trouvé pour les réformes des marchés financiers.
    Keywords: productivity, financial liberalisation, trade liberalisation, China, firm level data, product market reform, productivité, libéralisation financière, Chine, données de firmes, réformes du marché des produits, libéralisation commerciale
    JEL: D24 F13 L8 O1 O5
    Date: 2012–09–20
  14. By: Zhang, Chenjian; Akbik, Alexander
    Abstract: In this paper we examine the Chinese domestic discourse centering on Shanghai's participation in the PISA study and interpretations of the 2009 results. The main focus is to examine why local education authority took part in the PISA project and how actors from the education authority use PISA as a tool to legitimize their reform stance. We adopted discourse and rhetorical analysis techniques and analyzed the data collected from newspapers and official documents. The analysis shows that the local education authority and PISA team used PISA as an external assessment tool to legitimate the pre-existing education reform measures, confirm its leadership, and appeal for the collective actions from other social groups in future reform agenda. Different interpretations of the test results by independent educators and overseas professors are demonstrated to contrast officials' framings and shed light on the rationales behind these framings. This study contributes to the theoretical discussion of how local actors use PISA to respond to domestic and international pressures on education reform and at the same time pursue local political interests. -- In diesem Artikel analysieren wir den innerpolitischen Diskurs Chinas über die Teilnahme Shanghais an der PISA-Studie 2009 sowie über die anschließenden Interpretationen bezüglich der Ergebnisse dieser Studie. Hierbei liegt der thematische Schwerpunkt auf der Forschungsfrage, warum die lokale Bildungsbehörde an PISA teilgenommen hat und wie relevante Akteure diese Teilnahme und die Ergebnisse der Studie als Mittel zur Legitimation von Reformen im Bildungssystem genutzt haben. Dabei haben wir auf die Methoden der Diskurs- und Rhetorikanalyse zurückgegriffen und Daten aus Zeitungen sowie offiziellen Dokumenten analysiert. Diese Untersuchung hat aufgezeigt, dass die lokale Bildungsbehörde und das lokale PISA-Team die PISA-Studie als externes Beurteilungswerkzeug genutzt hat um vorhandene Reformen zu legitimieren, die Führungsrolle der lokalen Behörden zu bestätigen und bestimmte kollektive Aktionen von anderen sozialen Gruppierungen für zukünftige Reformen zu fördern. Verschiedene Interpretationen der PISA-Ergebnisse unabhängiger Bildungsexperten, sowie im Ausland ansässige chinesische Professoren zeigen ein gegensätzliches Bild der offiziellen Interpretation und offenbaren die Gründe hinter diesen. Diese Studie trägt zur theoretischen Diskussion über den Nutzen von PISA durch lokale Behörden bei, die auf den innerstaatlichen und internationalen Druck bei Bildungsreformen reagieren und gleichzeitig lokale politische Interessen verfolgen.
    Date: 2012
  15. By: Veronika Movchan; Volodymyr Shportyuk
    Abstract: The EU has been one of the largest trade partners for so called Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries, namely Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Commodity turnover of these countries with the EU vary between 30% and 50% of total, but their access to the EU market is less preferential than for many other neighboring countries. They trade with the EU on the basis of MFN regime, and five EaP countries, with exemption of Belarus, use privileges provided by Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) or the GSP+ or autonomous trade preferences (Moldova). With the launch of EaP initiative in 2009, relations between the EU and the Eastern European countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) have received new impetus for development. The EaP offers upgrade of relations within three major dimensions, namely (a) the Association Agreement (AA), (b) Agreement on a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), and (c) Visa Facilitation and Readmission agreements. The AA talks have been launched with all EaP countries expect for Belarus, and four of them have been involved in the DCFTA talks. Ukraine has progressed the most, as after five years of negotiations the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement with embedded DCFTA has been initialed in 2012. The aim of this study is to assess gains and losses that could arise from the DCFTA with the EU for the EaP countries, using information about EU-Ukraine DCFTA as model case for EaP regional trade cooperation. The focus of the paper is on non-tariff (regulatory) component of the EU DCFTA and potential implications of regulatory approximation. Also, current level of harmonization of EaP countries’ regulatory framework with the EU acquis in the areas related to the DCFTA is analyzed.
    Keywords: EaP, DCFTA, Regional Integration, Ukraine
    JEL: F15
    Date: 2012–10
  16. By: Britta Augsburg (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Ralph De Haas; Heike Harmgart (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Costas Meghir (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Yale University)
    Abstract: We use an RCT to analyse the impact of microcredit on poverty reduction in Bosnia. The study population are loan applicants that would normally have just been rejected based on regular screening. We find that access to credit allowed borrowers to start and expand small-scale businesses. Households that already had a business and where the borrower had more education ran down their savings, presumably to complement the loan and to achieve the minimum amount necessary to expand their business. In less-educated households, however, consumption went down. A key new result is that there was a substantial increase in the labor supply of young adults (16-19 year olds). This was accompanied by a reduction in school attendance.
    Keywords: Microfinance, liquidity constraints, human capital, randomized controlled trial
    JEL: G21 D21 I32
    Date: 2012–09
  17. By: Neil Foster (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: This paper examines the development of exports within the expanded European Union over the period 2000-2007. The paper addresses the issues of how and why within-bloc exports have developed following accession. The paper shows that exports within CEFTA and within other accession countries have grown more quickly than those between old EU members, but that after accounting for traditional gravity determinants there has been no significant change in this behaviour following accession in 2004. As such, this is likely to reflect a natural realignment of trade patterns following the communist era, as well as the relatively stronger performance of the new entrants when compared with existing EU members. The results also indicate that much of the increase in exports within the accession countries has been due to an increase in the variety of products traded, rather than an increase in the volume of existing products.
    Keywords: trade, intensive and extensive margins, gravity model, EU accession
    JEL: F15
    Date: 2012–06
  18. By: Lim Kai Jie, Shawn; Chadha, Pavneet; Lau, Joshua; Potdar, Nishad
    Abstract: This paper investigates the empirical validity of the weak-form of the Efficient Market Hypothesis in the Mongolian equity market over Jan 1999 to Jul 2012. We examine the characteristics of the market by testing the fit of returns to a normal distribution using the Jarque-Bera Test, and find strong evidence against normality. The data also exhibits positive skewness and a high level of excess kurtosis. Next, we test for the presence of autocorrelation using the Ljung-Box Q Test and the non-parametric Runs Test, and find strong evidence against the null hypothesis of no autocorrelation for both of these tests. Finally, we test the associated Random Walk Hypothesis using the Augmented Dickey- Fuller Test and the Chow-Denning Multiple Variance Ratio (MVR) Test. We reject the null hypothesis of the presence of a unit root for the Augmented Dickey-Fuller Test. In addition, we find evidence against the Random Walk Hypothesis even after adjusting for the possible presence of heteroscedasticity in the MVR Test. Since all the tests present results consistent with weak-form inefficiency, we reject the weak-form of the Efficient Market Hypothesis for the Mongolian equity market.
    Keywords: Weak-form efficient market hypothesis; Mongolian equity market; Random walk hypothesis
    JEL: G14 G1
    Date: 2012–09

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