nep-tra New Economics Papers
on Transition Economics
Issue of 2015‒09‒26
thirteen papers chosen by
J. David Brown
United States Census Bureau

  1. Russia's Economy under Putin: From Crony Capitalism to State Capitalism By Simeon Djankov
  2. Methodology of Compiling Sectoral Financial Balances in the National Economy By Alexey Vedev; Mikhail Khromov
  3. The Impact of the Magyar Nemzeti Bank's Funding for Growth Scheme on Firm Level Investment By Marianna Endresz; Peter Harasztosi; Robert P. Lieli
  4. Creşterea economică a României între 1980 şi 2013 By Stefanescu, Răzvan; Dumitriu, Ramona
  5. The Eurasian Economic Union: An EU-Like Legal Order in the Post-Soviet Space? By Maksim Karliuk
  6. Food Security in Russia: Monitoring, Trends and Threats By Natalia Shagaida; Vasiliy Uzun
  7. Attitude to the National Leader Through the Lenses of Investment Climate Assessment: The Case of Russia By Andrei Yakovlev; Irina Levina; Anastasia Kazun
  8. Republic of Kazakhstan: 2015 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report for the Republic of Kazakhstan By International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
  9. Cultural and Ethnic Differences in the Transitions from Work to "Retirement" of Rural Elders in China's Minority Regions By Connelly, Rachel; Maurer-Fazio, Margaret
  10. Urban Employment in Small Businesses and the Level of Economic Development: Evidence from Chinese Cities By Moreno Monroy, Ana I.; Yu, Shu; Euse, Victoria
  11. Interdependence of Industrial Production Index and capital market in Croatia: VAR model By Tomić, Bojan; Sesar, Andrijana
  12. Estimation of Costs in the Russian Public Procurement System: A Case Study of Voronezh State University By Olga N. Balaeva; Andrei A. Yakovlev
  13. Fertility, Household Structure, and Parental Labor Supply: Evidence from Rural China By Li, Hongbin; Yi, Junjian; Zhang, Junsen

  1. By: Simeon Djankov (Peterson Institute for International Economics)
    Abstract: In the 15 years of President Vladimir Putin's rule, state control over economic activity in Russia has increased and is greater today than in the immediate postcommunist era. The concentration of political and economic power in Putin's hands has led to an increasingly assertive foreign policy, using energy as a diplomatic tool, while plentiful revenues from extractive industries have obfuscated the need for structural reforms at home. The West's 2014 sanctions on Russia have brought about economic stagnation, and with few visible means of growth, the economy is likely to continue to struggle. Watching Europe struggle with its own growth, in part because of deficiencies in its economic model, Russia will not be convinced to divert from state capitalism without evidence of a different, successful economic model. Changing course can only be pursued in the presence of political competition; the current political landscape does not allow for such competition to flourish.
    Date: 2015–09
  2. By: Alexey Vedev (Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy); Mikhail Khromov (Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy)
    Abstract: This paper is focused on the investigation of the model for compiling sectoral financial balances in the Russian economy in the context of the development of tools for the analysis of intersectoral financial flows. The paper is aimed at the drafting of methodological recommendations for compiling and analysis of balance of financial results as one of the element of macroanalysis method. Methodology of the research is based on the analysis of the available statistical sources and their comparison for the creation as far as it is feasible full and noncontradictory picture of the financial system of the Russian economy.
    Keywords: Russian economy, sectoral balances
    JEL: E21 E41 E51 E58 G21
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Marianna Endresz (Magyar Nemzeti Bank (the Central Bank of Hungary)); Peter Harasztosi (Magyar Nemzeti Bank (the Central Bank of Hungary)); Robert P. Lieli (Magyar Nemzeti Bank (the Central Bank of Hungary))
    Abstract: The Magyar Nemzeti Bank (the Central Bank of Hungary) introduced a “funding for lending” type loan program aimed at small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in mid-2013. We combine firms’ balance sheet data with two loan data sets to study the program’s impact on firm level investment in 2013. We start from a simple difference-in-differences (DID) estimator, but argue that the parallel trend assumption that underlies the method is likely violated. Therefore, we propose a correction based on the idea that the selection process involved in securing a market loan in a pre-program year is similar to the selection process into the program. Our results indicate that the program succeeded in generating extra investment in the SME sector that would not have taken place otherwise; specifically, we attribute to the program about 30% of the total investment undertaken by participating firms. Nevertheless, the effect is markedly heterogeneous with respect to firm size, being proportionally larger for smaller firms.
    Keywords: funding for lending, program evaluation, difference-in-differences estimation, unconventional monetary policy.
    JEL: D04 G38 E58
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Stefanescu, Răzvan; Dumitriu, Ramona
    Abstract: This paper explores the economic growth of Romania in three periods: the last decade of the communist regime (1980-1989), the transition from a centrally planned economy to a market economy (1990-2006) and the seven years that followed the adhesion to European Union (2007 – 2013). We approach several aspects of the economic growth: GDP evolution, the social impact and the relations with the other macroeconomic objectives. We find, for each period, some circumstances that influenced this process: the dramatic efforts to pay back all the foreign debt, for the period 1980-1989, the political and institutional instability during the transition period and, finally, the challenges of the European markets combined with the effects of the global crisis.
    Keywords: Economic Growth, Economic Development, Poverty, Macroeconomic Policy.
    JEL: N10 O40 O49
    Date: 2015–01–25
  5. By: Maksim Karliuk (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) is an emerging regional organization of economic integration in the post-Soviet space. Following the limited success of previous integration attempts, it seeks to pursue deeper integration, borrowing features from the EU. The EAEU possesses a complex system of elements of an emerging legal order, some of which have distinct similarities with the EU, but others are decisively different. This paper analyses these features in order to find whether the legal changes that accompany the creation of the new entity allow ensuring the effective functioning of the EAEU and whether the respective legal order is autonomous similar to that of the EU. The author argues that the EAEU lags behind the EU in terms of the autonomy of the legal order and in its ability to ensure the effective functioning of the organization. Supranational features are limited, while it relies predominantly on intergovernmental elements with a view to preserve the interests of all Member States
    Keywords: Eurasian integration, Eurasian Economic Union, European Union, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, constitutional law, autonomous legal order, regional integration, supranationality.
    JEL: K33
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Natalia Shagaida (Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy); Vasiliy Uzun (Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy)
    Abstract: This paper focuses on monitoring, assessment and threats of food security in Russia. The authors propose methodologies and submit calculations of aggregate indices of assessment of the food security. Economic accessibility of food for groups of population with different income levels in the country as a whole and in the constituents of the Russian Federation.
    Keywords: Russian economy, food security
    JEL: Q17 Q18
    Date: 2015
  7. By: Andrei Yakovlev (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Irina Levina (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Anastasia Kazun (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper considers two issues. First, it evaluates the changes in Russia’s investment climate in 2012-2014 after the announcement of an ambitious governmental program to improve the conditions for doing business. Second, because the relevant reforms were personally initiated by Vladimir Putin, we carried out a survey experiment designed to find out how references to a popular politician influence respondents’ opinions about the business climate. We used the data of a large-scale survey of top managers in Russian manufacturing sector conducted in July-October of 2014. Contrary to the World Bank report, Easy Doing Business, our empirical data shows that there was practically no improvement in the investment climate in Russia in 2012-2014. Also contrary to the results of population surveys showing extremely high public support for Vladimir Putin after Crimea’s accession to Russia, our survey experiment demonstrated that referring to the President Putin as the initiator of business climate reform improves assessments of the business climate change only slightly. However, the effect of reference to the President’s initiative differs significantly for firms from different size groups – we revealed no effect of question wording in the group of small firms, much higher share of non-answers in the group of large firms and a significant increase in the share of positive assessments of business climate among mid-size firms when Vladimir Putin was mentioned.
    Keywords: economic policy, business climate, enterprises behavior, experiments
    Date: 2015
  8. By: International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
    Abstract: Context: Over the past two decades, Kazakhstan has successfully harnessed its oil resources to bolster economic growth, increase buffers, and reduce poverty. However, in the face of recent large and likely long-lasting external shocks?lower oil prices, Russia slowdown, and corollary exchange rate (ER) movements (ruble depreciation, dollar appreciation)—growth has decelerated rapidly, financial conditions have tightened, and pressures on the balance of payments and exchange rate have built up. The shocks have also increased financial sector vulnerabilities, where nonperforming loans (NPLs), while declining significantly, remain high, and rising balance sheet risks and tight exchange rate management, have put further drag on banks’ lending and economic activity. Nevertheless, more recently, and in response to reduced currency pressures and reduced spreads, the authorities successfully tapped the international capital markets and widened the ER band. Focus of consultation and key recommendations: The consultation focused on calibrating the policy response to address Kazakhstan’s near-term challenges and long-term goals of becoming a dynamic emerging market economy. Principally, there is need to (i) identify credible medium-term fiscal consolidation measures to ensure sustainability; (ii) introduce greater exchange rate flexibility to help the economy absorb current and future external shocks; (iii) bolster financial sector resilience to limit adverse spillovers back to the real sector; and (iv) implement structural reforms to ensure durable growth and shared prosperity. Previous consultation: During the 2014 Article IV Consultation, Directors stressed the importance of restoring confidence in the post-devaluation environment and further strengthening the policy frameworks to bolster the economy’s resilience to shocks. Specifically, Directors (i) urged appropriate supervisory actions to enforce the NPL ceilings effectively, while ensuring adequate provisions; (ii) highlighted the need to speed up the introduction of a new policy interest rate instrument; (iii) stressed the need to enhance fiscal coverage and integration into a consistent macro-fiscal framework; and (iv) noted the priority of strengthening human capital and institutions, and lowering the role of the state in the economy. Since then, the authorities’ resolute efforts on lowering NPLs have begun to pay off, and important early steps have been taken to enhance monetary policy operations, ER flexibility, and communication. Progress in bolstering the fiscal policy framework, however, has been slow. The authorities have also embarked on an ambitious structural reform program and recently completed negotiations to join the WTO within 2015.
    Date: 2015–09–03
  9. By: Connelly, Rachel (Bowdoin College); Maurer-Fazio, Margaret (Bates College)
    Abstract: This paper considers the work to "retirement" transitions of the rural elders in China who reside in seven regions with substantial minority populations. The data employed, those of the China Household Ethnicity Survey, are ideal for examining the effect of cultural differences on this key lifecycle event, the reduction of market-oriented work with age. Membership in particular ethnic minority groups is used to proxy the potential differences in the culture of aging and caregiving. We find that beyond education, the strongest predictors of labor force participation for China's rural elders are age, disability, widowhood, and ethnic minority status. The effects of ethnic minority group status on labor force participation are robust and the differences in participation among ethnic groups are sometimes large. It is thus misleading, in the analysis of the labor force participation of China's rural elders, to simply dichotomize ethnic minority and majority (Han) group membership. Further careful research is needed to help understand the differences in perceptions of aging among China's rural ethnic minority groups.
    Keywords: ethnicity, retirement, labor force participation, elders, aging, China Household Ethnicity Survey
    JEL: J14 J15 J16 J26 D13 O53
    Date: 2015–09
  10. By: Moreno Monroy, Ana I.; Yu, Shu; Euse, Victoria
    Abstract: Based on a panel of Chinese cities over the period 2004-2009, we analyze the relationship between the level of economic development and the share of urban employment in small businesses. We find that this relationship can be described by an inverted U-shape. In cities with lower levels of economic development, the restructure of the state sector along with a booming service industry is associated with a higher share of employment in small businesses. On the other hand, in cities with higher levels of economic development, a more vibrant manufacturing sector is related to a lower share of employment in small businesses.
    Keywords: Mercat de treball, Empreses petites i mitjanes, Xina, 331 - Treball. Relacions laborals. Ocupació. Organització del treball,
    Date: 2015
  11. By: Tomić, Bojan; Sesar, Andrijana
    Abstract: Industrial production is an important indicator of future trends in each of the economy including the Croatian economy. On the other hand, as a preceding factor of the economy dynamics changes, the equity indices of the capital market can be used. Due to different considerations and interpretations of their mutual initial causation, the paper analyzes the interdependence between the main index Croatian capital market CROBEX and indicators of total industrial production of the Republic of Croatian. Also, in the model was introduced exchange parity euro/kuna as an additional variable rate which is considered to have a significant influence on the competitiveness of the Croatian economy, as well as the capital market. The theoretical premise about the interaction of the foreign exchange rate and capital markets has been considered in the context of the "flow-oriented" and "stock-oriented" model. Aiming to determine the interdependence between aforementioned variables, the analysis was carried out using the vector autoregression model (VAR). The Granger causality test was conducted as part of the VAR model, as well as the decomposition of variance in future periods and the impulse response function of relevant variables. The results of analysis indicate the existence of causality of the exchange rate to the index of industrial production, as well as the existence of causality of the index of industrial production to CROBEX index.
    Keywords: VAR model; causality; industrial production; CROBEX; the exchange rate.
    JEL: C32 E44 G17
    Date: 2015–04–29
  12. By: Olga N. Balaeva (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Andrei A. Yakovlev (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The growing attention of governments, international organizations and NGOs to public procurement issues over the last two decades has been accompanied by many studies of the efficiency of public procurement. However, few researchers have considered the costs of procurement regulation for public customers and private suppliers. This problem is especially acute for the public procurement system in Russia. In this paper, taking into account recent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report for European Commission, we propose an approach for measuring the procurement costs of public customers. We have tested this approach with data on a large Russian public customer — Voronezh State University (VSU). We show that the proposed approach is universal and can be applied at a micro—level by other public customers to measure the efficiency of their procurement and to optimize the costs. This approach can also be used as a basis for a larger inquiry into the costs and effectiveness of procurement at the level of regional authorities or ministries
    Keywords: public management, public procurement, transaction costs
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2015
  13. By: Li, Hongbin (Tsinghua University); Yi, Junjian (National University of Singapore); Zhang, Junsen (Chinese University of Hong Kong)
    Abstract: This paper tests the effects of fertility on household structure and parental labor supply in rural China. To solve the endogeneity problem, we use a unique survey on households with twin children and a comparison group of non-twin households. The ordinary least squares estimates show a negative correlation between fertility and parental labor supply. Using twinning as a natural experiment, we do not find evidence on the negative effects of fertility on parental labor supply. By contrast, we find that the twinning-induced increase in fertility enhances significantly the coresidence of grandparents. The results remain robust when we use the Chinese 1990 population census. We suggest that the negative effects of fertility on parental labor supply are mitigated by the childcare provided by grandparents. Our results have important implications for population and public childcare policies.
    Keywords: fertility, parental labor supply, household structure
    JEL: J13 J18 J22 O10
    Date: 2015–09

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