nep-tra New Economics Papers
on Transition Economics
Issue of 2017‒02‒19
fifteen papers chosen by
J. David Brown
United States Census Bureau

  1. Life Satisfaction and Diet: Evidence from the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey By Huffman, Sonya; Rizov, Marian
  2. Innovation output and state ownership: Empirical evidence from China's listed firms By Kou, Kou; Kroll, Henning
  3. Household Portfolio Choice, Reference Dependence, and the Marriage Market By Li, Wenchao; Song, Changcheng; Xu, Shu; Yi, Junjian
  4. How do housing purchase limits affect firm default risks in Mainland China? By Alfred Wong; David Leung; Calvin Ng
  5. Ancestry, Diversity & Finance: Evidence from Transition Economies By Dombi, Akos; Grigoriadis, Theocharis
  6. Delayed Credit Recovery in Croatia:Supply or Demand Driven? By Mirna Dumičić; Igor Ljubaj
  7. Funding Hungary: Exposing Normal and Dysfunctional Crisis Management By Piroska, Dóra
  8. China’s rural – urban migration: Who gains, who loses? By Stober, Emmanuel Olusegun
  9. The Distortionary Effects of Incentives in Government: Evidence from China's “Death Ceiling” Program By Raymond Fisman; Yongxiang Wang
  10. Offshore Renminbi Trading: Findings from the 2013 BIS Triennial Central Bank Survey By Yin-Wong CheungAuthor-Workplace-Name: City University of Hong Kong; Matthew S. Yiu
  11. Ambivalence in Place Attachment: The Lived Experiences of Residents in Declining Neighbourhoods Facing Demolition in Shenyang, China By Li, Xin; Kleinhans, Reinout; van Ham, Maarten
  12. Labor Contract Law -An Economic View By Yaofeng Fu; Ruokun Huang; Yiran Sheng
  13. Czech welfare and gender role preferences in transition By Alzbeta Mullerova
  14. Ambiguities of social Europe: Political agenda setting among trade unionists from Central and Eastern Europe and Western Europe By Seeliger, Martin
  15. The impact of inflation expectations on Polish consumers’ spending and saving By Filip Premik; Ewa Stanisławska

  1. By: Huffman, Sonya; Rizov, Marian
    Abstract: The goal of this study is to improve our understanding of life satisfaction overall and in Russia in particular by examining the impacts of diet on lifetime satisfaction and correcting for reverse causality using 1994–2005 data from the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS). Do people with better diets report higher levels of lifestyle satisfaction?Results suggest that calories, fat, and protein consumption, and a more diverse diet have a positive and statistically significant effect on life satisfaction levels of the Russian people. In addition, living in a region with higher per capita income increases life satisfaction of the citizens.While living in a rural area, having health problems, and having young children affect negatively and statistically significantly individual life satisfaction in Russia. Better understanding of the drivers of subjective well-being in Russia will assist in government decision-making processes, including the allocation of scarce resources and the design elements of politics.
    Date: 2017–02–09
  2. By: Kou, Kou; Kroll, Henning
    Abstract: China has experienced a surge in innovation output in which state-owned enterprises (SOE) play an essential role. Using panel data of Chinese listed firms, this paper examines the influence of the state ownership on innovation output at the firm level. Controlling for size, we analyse the effects of central and local government control on the number of firms' patent applications in different time periods. Doing so, standard assumptions on state ownership's inhibiting character are confirmed. However, we then qualify these finding by running separate models for different regions and sectors find that the impact of state-control on innovation performance depends on a number of conditions. More precisely, state control of firms has a negative impact on innovation output in particular in China's Northeast region and in mid-tech sectors whereas under other circumstances it does either not matter or can even exert a positive influence.
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Li, Wenchao (National University of Singapore); Song, Changcheng (National University of Singapore); Xu, Shu (Southwestern University of Finance and Economics); Yi, Junjian (National University of Singapore)
    Abstract: This paper bridges the financial market and the marriage market using a reference-dependent mechanism. Male-biased sex ratios induce families with sons to hold more risky assets, since competitive marital payment in a tight market raises the reference level of marriage expenditure for such families. Using the 2013 China Household Finance Survey data, we find that a 0.1 increase in the sex ratio raises the probability of participating in the stock market by 25.7 percent, or the stock share of liquid wealth by 42.7 percent for families with a son; there appears no effect for families with a daughter.
    Keywords: household portfolio choice, reference dependence, prospect theory, sex-ratio imbalance, difference-in-differences estimate
    JEL: D03 G02 G11
    Date: 2017–01
  4. By: Alfred Wong (Hong Kong Monetary Authority); David Leung (Hong Kong Monetary Authority); Calvin Ng (Hong Kong Monetary Authority)
    Abstract: The rapid rise in the price of housing in Mainland China in the past decade raised concerns over the potential risks to the economy, leading to the implementation of a policy that placed a limit on housing purchases in many cities in 2010 and 2011. This paper, by using the difference-in-difference method, investigates the effect of the policy on firm default risks. It shows that the impact of housing purchase limits is not homogeneous across cities. While the policy has significantly lowered firm default risks in big cities (especially those cities caught in the first two rounds of policy implementation), it is ineffective in relatively small cities and, in some cases, even caused firm default risks to rise. Furthermore, the effectiveness of the purchase limit on firm default risks becomes weaker when sectors those firms belong to have limited links to the real estate sector. While the purchase limit focuses on default risks arising from the demand side, the risk arising from the housing supply side remains under the current fiscal system and land sales mechanism. Therefore, the housing purchasing limit should be supplemented by fiscal reforms that could mitigate land price increase and hence lower default risks in the long run.
    Keywords: Purchase Limit; Real Estate; Default Risk; Difference in Difference
    JEL: C23 G32 R38
    Date: 2016–09
  5. By: Dombi, Akos; Grigoriadis, Theocharis
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyze the growth effects of historical and biological ancestry, diversity and financial development in transition economies. We show that the common indicators of ethnolinguistic fractionalization, state history and genetic distance yield significant results and to some extent transform the impact of finance on growth in East-Central Europe and the former Soviet Union. Deep ethnolinguistic cleavages produce insignificant results, whereas at intermediate and lower levels of aggregation diversity is likely to significantly improve the effect of finance on growth. Similarly to finer ethnolinguistic cleavages, genetic distance from the United States also favorably increases the relevance of financial development for growth. However, state history as a proxy for long-run ancestral exposure to institutions, political organization and centralization reinforces the negative growth effect of financial development. We argue that financial development is inclined to resolve problems arising from coordination failures and absence of trust in diverse societies by easing liquidity constraints and offering incentives for entrepreneurship to minority groups. In contrast, long state history is likely to generate extractive institutions that facilitate the provision of soft budget constraints. Genetic distance from the United States induces higher reliance on continental rather than Anglo-Saxon financing practices, and therefore increases dependence on banks rather than bonds or equity for external liquidity purposes.
    Keywords: financial development,economic growth,state history,ethnolinguistic diversity,genetic distance,transition economies
    JEL: G21 O15 O43 P26 P51 Z10
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Mirna Dumičić (The Croatian National Bank, Croatia); Igor Ljubaj (The Croatian National Bank, Croatia)
    Abstract: In order to enhance the understanding of credit cycle dynamics in Croatia we explore the evolution of credit demand and credit supply of corporates and households in Croatia and identify their determinants based on the switching regression framework. These results are crosschecked by the insights from the bank lending survey. The conducted analysis shows there are both supply and demand-side factors that limit the possibility of intensifying household and corporate credit activity. However, a more pronounced drag seems to be coming from subdued demand, which is greatly influenced by the unfavourable domestic macroeconomic environment and particularly GDP developments. This suggests that it is not unusual that credit recovery is still missing, but also confirms that the scope for monetary policy to stimulate lending is limited.
    Keywords: credit supply, credit demand, households, corporates, Croatia, switching regression framework
    JEL: E44 G21 G28
    Date: 2017–01
  7. By: Piroska, Dóra
    Abstract: This paper contrasts the approaches of the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank to the management of the Hungarian financial crisis of 2008. It exposes normal behaviour of the IMF and the EU Commission and dysfunction on the part of the ECB, during the first liquidity trap phase of the global financial crisis. The methodology applied contrasts the IOs’ mandate with their framing of the Hungarian crisis as well as with their actual policy recommendations. It uncovers that the IMF negotiating team had a market focus, stressed the European and regional dimensions of the Hungarian crisis, and recommended large financial assistance. The Commission’s Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs representatives focused on the budgetary imbalances and treated the crisis primarily as a Hungarian crisis, which has the potential of contaminating the whole EU. They provided moderate financial assistance. Finally, the ECB thought to combat contagion to the Eurozone by ignoring the European dimension of the Hungarian case. It was reluctant to provide significant assistance to an EU member state, whose banking sector is dominated by Eurozone banks. It concludes with a note on the possible negative consequences of the ECB’s action on the European Union’s integration.
    Keywords: Hungary, International Monetary Fund, European Union, European Central Bank, international organisation, global financial crisis, institutional dysfunction
    JEL: E58 F34 F53 G01 H63
    Date: 2017–02–07
  8. By: Stober, Emmanuel Olusegun
    Abstract: There is a price to pay for any and every country to develop. This price can be said to have been duly paid by migrant workers in China. The benefit of such price is the stamping out of extreme poverty by 94% from 1990 – 2015. This study is embodied by the Lewis Structural Change Model and looks at China’s population control programs – the restriction on internal labor mobility, its income inequality implication and economy development. The research reveals how the sacrifices of the migrant workers payoff in reforming the economic conditions in the rural areas; this points to the reasons why the rural income and development are highly dependent on migrant remittance and why China’s economy development would not have been possible without labor migration.
    Keywords: China; Internal migration; Migrant workers; Remittance; Wages discrimination
    JEL: F24 J61 J8 O15 R23
    Date: 2016–11
  9. By: Raymond Fisman; Yongxiang Wang
    Abstract: We study a 2004 program designed to motivate Chinese bureaucrats to reduce accidental deaths. Each province received a set of ‘death ceilings’ that, if exceeded, would impede government officials' promotions. For each category of accidental deaths, we observe a sharp discontinuity in reported deaths at the ceiling, suggestive of manipulation. Provinces with safety incentives for municipal officials experienced larger declines in accidental deaths, suggesting complementarities between incentives at different levels of government. While realized accidental deaths predict the following year's ceiling, we observe no evidence that provinces manipulate deaths upward to avoid ratchet effects in the setting of death ceilings.
    JEL: D73 H75
    Date: 2017–01
  10. By: Yin-Wong CheungAuthor-Workplace-Name: City University of Hong Kong; Matthew S. Yiu (Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research)
    Abstract: Using foreign exchange transaction data reported in the Triennial Central Bank Survey by the Bank for International Settlements, we find that offshore renminbi (RMB) trading activity is affected by both the host economy¡¯s characteristics and its link with China. For instance, the occurrence of offshore RMB trading is determined by the economy¡¯s GDP, stage of financial development and free trade agreement with China. When an economy hosts offshore RMB trading, the trading volume is affected by the size of its foreign exchange market, equity market capitalisation, as well as the bilateral link with China through foreign direct investment flows.
    Date: 2016–08
  11. By: Li, Xin (Delft University of Technology); Kleinhans, Reinout (Delft University of Technology); van Ham, Maarten (Delft University of Technology)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the place attachment of residents in declining neighbourhoods that are facing demolition in Shenyang, China. Through in-depth interviews with homeowners living in danwei communities, or urban villages, at the pre-demolition phase, this paper reveals the strong connection between place attachment and both positive and negative lived experiences. The homeowners cleverly mobilise stable neighbourhood features and the challenges brought by neighbourhood changes to relieve their life constrains, such as the form of dwellings, low living costs and the place identity, which contributes to the development of place attachment. However, various forms of neighbourhood decline have negative effects on their place attachment. Urban redevelopment, therefore, confronts residents with a dilemma concerning the relative importance of their sense of rootedness in the neighbourhood and the desire to relocate to achieve better living conditions. By exploring this ambivalence, this paper displays how neighbourhood decline, and the impending demolition, affect residents' lived experiences and how residents in turn reconstruct their place attachment.
    Keywords: place attachment, ambivalence, lived experiences, declining neighbourhoods, urban redevelopment, China
    JEL: O18 R23
    Date: 2017–01
  12. By: Yaofeng Fu; Ruokun Huang; Yiran Sheng
    Abstract: China's new labor law -- Labor Contract Law has been put into practice for over one year. Since its inception, debates have been whirling around the nation, if not the world. In this article, we take an economic perspective to analyze the possible impact of the core item -- open-ended employment contract, and we find that it deals poorly with adverse selection, with moral hazard problems arise, which fails to meet the expectations of law-makers and other parties.
    Date: 2017–02
  13. By: Alzbeta Mullerova
    Abstract: Two decades after the fall of state socialism, the Czech Republic records the widest employment gap between women with and without pre-school children among OECD countries: 41 pp. Several substantial parental leave reforms took place during the first stage of the transition (1995) and after the EU accession (2008). The responses by the targeted population, i.e. take-up rates and duration of work interruptions, do not fully mimic predictable effects drawn by financial incentives. Why is that? Using the European Values Study and the Generations and Gender Programme panel data, I show that quite counter-intuitively, in the context of post-socialist public policy adjustments, preference for long leaves does not stem from lower preference for welfare state institutions, but from a purely intra-household value change in favour of higher task specialization between men and women. Indeed, unlike most European countries and even other post-communist countries, we observe a significant turn towards specialized couple preferences - among both women and men, both parents and non-parents, and both the higher and lower educated.
    Keywords: Family policy, Gender roles, Culture, Central and Eastern European transition.
    JEL: J16 Z10 P52
    Date: 2017
  14. By: Seeliger, Martin
    Abstract: The article analyzes the integration of Central and Eastern European (CEE) trade unions in European policy-making. With reference to transnational cooperation in two fields of European-level decision making (issues concerning freedom of services and a European minimum wage), it investigates the extent to which trade unions from the CEE countries are participating in the development of policy positions among European-level trade union organizations. On this basis, the article highlights three things: (1) the instrumental meaning of "Social Europe," (2) the necessity of a mid-way position between optimistic and pessimistic viewpoints on East-West trade union cooperation, and (3) the meaning of social skill among European-level trade union actors.
    Keywords: Social Europe,trade unionism,eastern enlargement,labor transnationalism,European integration,Soziales Europa,Gewerkschaften,Osterweiterung,Internationalismus,europäische Integration
    Date: 2017
  15. By: Filip Premik; Ewa Stanisławska
    Abstract: We explore the relation between inflation expectations of consumers and their spending and saving behavior(proxied by buying and saving attitude) using micro data from Consumer Opinion Survey. This issue has gained attention in recent times due to the continuing deflation in Poland,raising concerns about consumption dynamics. The analysis suggests that inflation expectations negatively affect the saving attitude, especially in the group of consumers characterized by very good financial situation. Moreover, the role of inflation expectations has increased since the global financial crisis. The results for the buying attitude are somewhat puzzling – especially if we try to interpret them together with the results for the saving attitude – as they suggest also negative (although very weak) link to inflation expectations. We suspect that it is related to the formulation of the survey questions and attach more weight to the conclusions from analysis of the saving attitude.
    Keywords: inflation expectations, consumption, savings, survey data, consumer sentiment
    JEL: D12 D14 E31
    Date: 2017

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