nep-tra New Economics Papers
on Transition Economics
Issue of 2015‒08‒30
twelve papers chosen by
J. David Brown
United States Census Bureau

  1. The Economy of People’s Republic of China from 1953 By Cheremukhin, Anton; Golosov, Mikhail; Guriev, Sergei; Tsyvinski, Aleh
  2. Bank ownership and cost efficiency in Russia, revisited By Mamonov, Mikhail; Vernikov , Andrei
  3. Long Run Trends in Unemployment and Labor Force Participation in China By Shuaizhang Feng; Yingyao Hu; Robert Moffitt
  4. The interaction of grassroots communities and local authorities in Russia By Shagalov, Igor
  5. Remittances and Relative Concerns in Rural China By Akay, Alpaslan; Bargain, Olivier B.; Giulietti, Corrado; Robalinod , Juan D.; Zimmermann, Klaus F.
  6. Methods of Material Incentives in the Civil Service: The Review, Analysis and Proposals By Yuzhakov, Vladimir; Dobrolyubova, Elena; Ludmila, Tatarinova; Schukina, T.
  7. Development of productivity and its components in Slovak agriculture before and after EU accession: Analysis of the impact of CAP introduction on the performance indicators of Slovak crop and livestock farms By Zbranek, Peter
  8. Estimating and explaining the efficiency of township hospitals in Shandong province in the context of the drug policy reform By Laurene Petitfour; Xiezhe Huangfu; Martine Audibert; Jacky Mathonnat
  9. Spatio-temporal analysis of Romania's rural population access to sanitation services in the context of EU accession By Florin Mihai; Liviu Apostol; Ana-Andreea Ghiurcă; Andrea Lămăşanu
  10. Collusion in Multiobject Auctions: An Experimental Evidence By Michala Moravcova
  11. In the Quest of Measuring the Financial Cycle By Miroslav Plasil; Tomas Konecny; Jakub Seidler; Petr Hlavac
  12. Policy areas for increasing productivity in Latvia economics By Zuzana Smidova

  1. By: Cheremukhin, Anton; Golosov, Mikhail; Guriev, Sergei; Tsyvinski, Aleh
    Abstract: This paper studies growth and structural transformation of the Chinese economy from 1953 to 2012 through a lens of a two-sector growth model. The main goal of the paper is to provide a systematic analysis of both the pre-1978 reform and post-1978 reform periods in a unified framework. First, we construct a dataset that allows the application of the neoclassical model and computation of wedges, their components, and rates of TFP growth. Second, we determine the key quantitative factors behind growth and structural transformation. The changes in the intersectoral labor wedge play the dominant role in accounting for the change in the share of labor force in agriculture. TFP growth and changes in the intersectoral wedges are the two most significant factors contributing to GDP growth. Further decomposing the effects of reduction in wedges, we find that two components: the production component (the gap between the ratio of the marginal products of labor and relative wages) and the consumption component (the gap between the marginal rate of substitution and the relative prices) play a particularly large role. Third, we use the pre-reform period as a key benchmark to measure the success of the post-1978 reforms. We show that reforms yielded a significant growth and structural transformation differential. GDP growth is 4.2 percentage points higher and the share of the labor force in agriculture is 23.9 percentage points lower compared with the continuation of the pre-1978 policies. We provide extensive historical evidence for the reforms that are consistent with the evolution of the components of the wedges. The decrease in the production component of the intersectoral wedge is consistent with increased competition and demonopolization of the economy. The decrease in the consumption component of the wedge is consistent with the price and housing reforms. Finally, we project the path of the Chinese economy until 2050 and also calculate a lower bound on future growth by projecting pre-reform trends.
    Keywords: Chinese economy; structural transformation
    JEL: N1 N55 O11 O14 O2 O41 P2
    Date: 2015–08
  2. By: Mamonov, Mikhail (BOFIT); Vernikov , Andrei (BOFIT)
    Abstract: This paper considers the comparative efficiency of public, private, and foreign banks in Russia, a transition economy with several unusual features. We perform stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) of Russian bank-level quarterly data over the period 2005–2013. The method of computation of comparative cost efficiency is amended to control for the effect of revaluation of foreign currency items in bank balance sheets. Public banks are split into core and other state-controlled banks. Employing the generalized method of moments, we estimate a set of distance functions that measure the observed differences in SFA scores of banks and bank clusters (heterogeneity in risk preference and asset structure) to explain changes in bank efficiency rankings. Our results for comparative Russian bank efficiency show higher efficiency scores, less volatility, and narrower spreads between the scores of different bank types than in previous studies. Foreign banks appear to be the least cost-efficient market participants, while core state banks on average are nearly as efficient as private domestic banks. We suggest that foreign banks gain cost-efficiency when they increase their loans-to-assets ratios above the sample median level. Core state banks, conversely, lead in terms of cost efficiency when their loans-to-assets ratio falls below the sample median level. The presented approach is potentially applicable to analysis of bank efficiency in other dollarized emerging markets.
    Keywords: banks; comparative efficiency; SFA; state-controlled banks; Russia
    JEL: G21 P23 P34 P52
    Date: 2015–07–27
  3. By: Shuaizhang Feng; Yingyao Hu; Robert Moffitt
    Abstract: Unemployment rates in countries across the world are typically positively correlated with GDP. China is an unusual outlier from the pattern, with abnormally low, and suspiciously stable, unemployment rates according to its official statistics. This paper calculates, for the first time, China’s unemployment rate from 1988 to 2009 using a more reliable, nationally representative household survey in China. The unemployment rates we calculate differ dramatically from those supplied in official data and are much more consistent with what is known about China’s labor market and how it has changed over time in response to structural changes and other significant events. The rate averaged 3.9% in 1988-1995, when the labor market was highly regulated and dominated by state-owned enterprises, but rose sharply during the period of mass layoff from 1995- 2002, reaching an average of 10.9% in the subperiod from 2002 to 2009. We can also calculate labor force participation rates, which are not available in official statistics at all. We find that they declined throughout the whole period, particularly in 1995-2002 when the unemployment rate increased most significantly. We also report results for different demographic groups, different regions, and different cohorts.
    JEL: J64 O15 O53
    Date: 2015–08
  4. By: Shagalov, Igor
    Abstract: Taking into consideration the underdevelopment of the Russian civil community it is of essential interest to touch upon local communities (known as TOS). Local governments and TOS communities could provide similar services and as such cooperate or compete with each other. Community initiatives could supplant poorly performing government services, or governments could outsource to communities some of its functions. Based on empirical Russian data, collected in the city of Kirov this research shows that the prevailing initial incentive to establish TOS is driven by the prospect of obtaining seed money from the government. We detected sources of TOS advantages over municipal authorities: ratio of costs and benefits, sensitivity to the demands of consumers, social capital, and voluntary nature of TOS. TOS are more likely to emerge in communities where people are sceptical about the efficacy of conventional mechanisms of democratic accountability, and prefer to collaborate with municipal governments on specific projects
    Keywords: TOS, non-profit organization, efficiency, social capital, local authorities, civil community, Russia
    JEL: L31 L33
    Date: 2015–07–28
  5. By: Akay, Alpaslan (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Bargain, Olivier B. (Aix-Marseille Université and IZA); Giulietti, Corrado (IZA); Robalinod , Juan D. (Cornell University); Zimmermann, Klaus F. (IZA and Bonn University)
    Abstract: The paper investigates the impact of remittances on the relative concerns of households in rural China. Using the Rural to Urban Migration in China (RUMiC) dataset we estimate a series of well-being functions to simultaneously explore the relative concerns with respect to income and remittances. Our results show that although rural households experience substantial utility loss due to income comparisons, they gain utility by comparing their remittances with those received by their reference group. In other words, we find evidence of a “status-effect” with respect to income and of a “signal-effect” with respect to remittances. The magnitudes of these two opposite effects are very similar, implying that the utility reduction due to relative income is compensated by the utility gain due to relative remittances. This finding is robust to various specifications, controlling for the endogeneity of remittances and selective migration, as well as a measure of current migrants’ net remittances calculated using counterfactual income and expenditures.
    Keywords: positional concerns; remittances; subjective well-being
    JEL: C90 D63
    Date: 2015–08
  6. By: Yuzhakov, Vladimir (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Dobrolyubova, Elena (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Ludmila, Tatarinova (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Schukina, T. (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA))
    Abstract: Author's review of international experience of material incentives in the civil service and the results of the study practice material incentives for civil servants at federal and regional level are presented. On the basis of generalization of data of federal executive bodies and subjects of the Russian Federation with regard to the practice of developed foreign countries authors formed proposals on various methods of material incentives in the civil service. Particular attention is paid to the relationship of wages of civil servants and effectiveness of their professional performance.
    Keywords: material incentives, civil service, civil servants, wages
    Date: 2015–04
  7. By: Zbranek, Peter
    Abstract: The common agricultural policy affects a broad range of issues on farms. Their productivity is no exception and CAP can affect it with different intensities and in different directions. CAP was introduced in the Slovak Republic after its accession to the EU in 2004. From that moment there was a significant increase in number of farms receiving subsidies. The aim of this paper was therefore to analyze the impact of these changes on the development of productivity and its components on the Slovak farms. The research consisted of two stages. The first stage we got a detailed picture of the evolving nature of the performance of Slovak crop and livestock farms in the period 2000-2012 by applying two approaches to evaluation of change in total factor productivity and its components, namely Malmquist Productivity Indices and Luenberger Productivity Indicators. We found that on average both types of farms increased their total factor productivity during the specified period. The driving force behind this development was the technological progress, the slowing factor was deterioration of technical efficiency of farms. By way of further decomposition of Malmquist indices we have also revealed Hicks-non-neutral technical change in the character of Slovak agriculture since the industry increasingly opted for automation and mechanization of production and mitigated use of the workforce. In the second stage we applied Random Effect Models for analyzing panel data to examine the effects of accession to the EU on the development of performance indicators of Slovak farms and input bias of technical change. We found that dependence on farm subsidy policy was significantly higher after joining the Union, while total factor productivity after 2004 developed worse for both types of farms. The effect of changes in the share of total subsidies received on total farm income was the net effect of investment induced productivity growth and the negative effect of efficiency loss. The first prevailed in the case of crop and the second one in the case of livestock farms.
    Keywords: Malmquist Productivity Indices, Luenberger Productivity Indicators, EU accession, Common Agricultural Policy, input bias of technical change, Agricultural and Food Policy, C23, C25, C44, Q18,
    Date: 2015–06
  8. By: Laurene Petitfour (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I); Xiezhe Huangfu (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I); Martine Audibert (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I); Jacky Mathonnat (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)
    Abstract: To cope with the rising price of drugs, in 2009 the Chinese government launched a large pharmaceutical reform. Its key element is the implementation of a National Essential Medicine List, leading to a reorientation of incentives for health services providers. Health facilities are not anymore allowed to make any profit on drug sales (“zero mark-up policy”), while this used to be their main source of financing. Different compensation schemes have been implemented by the authorities. In a context of refunding of the financing structure of health care facilities, it is crucial to understand how the reform has affected –or not- health care facilities activity and efficiency. This study relies on a survey data from a sample of 30 Township Hospitals of the rural prefecture of Weifang (Shandong province). Using a two-stage procedure, it aims at assessing the THs’ technical efficiency scores and then at identifying the determinants of this efficiency. The first stage is realized with a non-parametric frontier approach, the so-called ‘partial frontier’ method, order-m to deal with the problem of dimensionality. The identification of the determinants of efficiency requires panel data models, with random individual effects. Results show that the average efficiency remains constant between 2006-09 and 2010-12, around 0.65. The most significant and robust factors of technical efficiency are the share of subsidies in the TH incomes for the first sub-period (negative effect), and the number of covered inhabitants per bed (positive effect). It suggests that drug reform hasn’t improve primary health facilities efficiency, certainly because the reform did not tackle with success the issues of the financial barriers to universal access to healthcare -out-of-pocket payments from patients-, and of the perception of quality of public healthcare.
    Date: 2015–07–27
  9. By: Florin Mihai ("Alexandru Ioan Cuza " University); Liviu Apostol ("Alexandru Ioan Cuza " University); Ana-Andreea Ghiurcă ("Alexandru Ioan Cuza " University); Andrea Lămăşanu ("Alexandru Ioan Cuza " University)
    Abstract: This paper analysis the disparities between Romanian Counties regarding the spatio-temporal evolution of rural population acces to sanitation services for pre-accession period (2003-2006) and the first two years since Romania is part of the EU-27 (2007-2008) highlighting positive or negative changes occurred in this period.Romanian counties were mapped and divided into five typological classes,using multivariate analysis such as hierarchical cluster analysis method.Each class has different values of rural population served by waste collection services related to the Romania average (expressed in standard deviations).Limited access to sanitation services from rural areas lead to uncontrolled waste disposal.Despite improvement of public access to sanitation services in rural areas compared to 2003 most of population still lack access to waste collection services in 2008.In this context, implementation of the acquis communautaire on municipal waste management is difficult to achieve in rural territory.
    Date: 2015–06–17
  10. By: Michala Moravcova (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague, Smetanovo nábreží 6, 111 01 Prague 1, Czech Republic)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of German macroeconomic news announcements on the Czech financial market – as proxied by EUR/CZK exchange rate returns – over three sub-periods: the financial crisis period (2008–2009), the post-crisis period (2010–11/2013) and the currency intervention period (11/2013-2014). Both symmetric and asymmetric models from the class of generalized autoregressive conditional heteroscedasticity (GARCH) models are applied. Macroeconomic shocks (GDP, ZEW, IFO, factory orders, industrial production, Purchasing manager’s indexes (PMI) from service and production sectors) are constructed as deviations form expected values. The results suggest that announcement of German GDP and IFO index calm the exchange rate volatility during the 7-year total examined time period. Splitting the time series into 3 individual sub-periods the results suggest that announcements of GDP, factory orders decrease and announcements of industrial production, IFO index increase the conditional volatility during financial crises. Furthermore, announcements of GDP and ZEW index calm the exchange rate’s conditional volatility during the post-crises period. Finally, announcements of GDP data and PMI index form production sector increase conditional variance during the central bank’s currency interventions. Moreover, announcement of higher IFO index depreciates the CZK value during the post-crisis period.
    Keywords: exchange rate volatility, heteroscedasticity, GARCH, EGARCH, macroeconomic news
    Date: 2015–08
  11. By: Miroslav Plasil; Tomas Konecny; Jakub Seidler; Petr Hlavac
    Abstract: The recent financial crisis has demonstrated the importance of the linkages between the financial sector and the real economy. This paper sets out to develop two complementary methods for assessing the position of the economy in the financial cycle in order to identify emerging imbalances in timely manner. First, we construct a composite indicator using variables representing risk perceptions in the financial sector and calibrate this indicator to capture the credit losses the Czech banking sector experienced during the recent crisis. Second, we focus on the transitions of loans from one risk category to another, which allows us to capture the financial cycle from the perspective of the debt-paying ability of non-financial corporations. Both financial cycle measures can be used by policy makers for a wide range of policy decisions, including that on the setting of the countercyclical capital buffer.
    Keywords: Bayesian model averaging, countercyclical capital buffer, credit risk, factor model, financial cycle
    JEL: C11 E32 E37 E58
    Date: 2015–07
  12. By: Zuzana Smidova
    Abstract: Much of the convergence of the Latvian economy needs to come from productivity increases. To achieve this, policy makers should do more to facilitate the integration of the economy into global trade and promote competitive business environment. By benchmarking Latvia vis-à-vis the other Baltic but also some CEE peers, this paper identifies potential for decreasing the regulatory burden, removing trade and investment barriers and strengthening the competitive business environment as well as general framework conditions such as judiciary and access to finance. Furthermore, to ensure that knowledge transfer – essential for increasing productivity – does take place, reforms of the vocational education and training system, of lifelong learning and of policies for research and development, currently under implementation, have yet to deliver.<P>L'action publique pour accroître la productivité en Lettonie<BR>La convergence de l’économie lettone devra pour une grande part s’appuyer sur des hausses de la productivité. Pour y parvenir, les responsables de l’action publique devraient prendre des mesures supplémentaires pour faciliter l’intégration de l’économie dans le commerce mondial et favoriser la compétitivité de l’environnement des entreprises. En évaluant la Lettonie vis-à-vis des autres pays baltes mais aussi des pays d’Europe centrale, ce document identifie un potentiel pour diminuer le fardeau de la réglementation, supprimer les barrières aux échanges et à l’investissement, augmenter la concurrence sur les marchés des produits, améliorer le système judiciaire et l'accès au financement. De plus, pour assurer que le transfert de connaissances dans l’économie, qui est essentiel pour la croissance de la productivité, s’instaure, la réforme du système d’enseignement et de formation professionnels et de l'apprentissage en continu ainsi que les politiques de recherche et développement, actuellement mises en oeuvre, n’ont pas encore porté leurs fruits.
    Keywords: productivity, innovation, trade barriers, competition, insolvency
    JEL: D43 F43 K21 O38 O47
    Date: 2015–08

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