nep-tra New Economics Papers
on Transition Economics
Issue of 2017‒09‒10
twelve papers chosen by
J. David Brown
United States Census Bureau

  1. Sharing the benefits of China’s growth by providing opportunities to all By Ben Westmore
  2. Boosting firm dynamism and performance in China By Margit Molnar
  3. Accounting for the Role of Information and Communication Technology in China's Productivity Growth By Harry X. WU; David T. LIANG
  4. Evaluating dynamics, sources and drivers of productivity growth at the farm level By Raushan Bokusheva; Lukáš Čechura
  5. Waste collection in rural communities: challenges under EU regulations. A Case study of Neamt County, Romania By Florin Mihai
  6. Optimal rice land protection in a command economy By Long Chu; Hoa-Thi-Minh Nguyen; Tom Kompas; Khoi Dang; Trinh Bui
  7. Ethnic diversity and economic performance: An empirical investigation using survey data By Efendic, Adnan; Pugh, Geoffrey T.
  9. Wage Dynamics in Bulgaria: Co-movement and Causality By Manolova, Hristina; Vasilev, Aleksandar
  10. Study on rural migration and return migration in Kosovo By Möllers, Judith; Traikova, Diana; Herzfeld, Thomas; Bajrami, Egzon
  11. Uzbekistan's higher education and research system: Main actors and recent reforms of doctoral graduation By Wegmarshaus, Gert-Rüdiger
  12. The state of doctoral research in Uzbekistan: Results of a survey of doctoral students in agricultural economics By Ganiev, Ibragim; Djanibekov, Nodir; Hasanov, Shavkat; Petrick, Martin

  1. By: Ben Westmore
    Abstract: Living standards in China have greatly improved over the past few decades. Both sustained economic growth and an expansion of the social security system have contributed to a sharp reduction in the number of people in poverty. However, urban-rural inequalities remain large and some of the poorest households are being left behind. Further reforms are needed to ensure that the benefits of future growth are shared and that marginalised groups have the opportunity to actively participate in the economy. In particular, policy settings should be adjusted to increase access to good quality education and healthcare for rural and migrant workers and to improve the portability of social security benefits. Changes to the social assistance system that raise work incentives and protect low-income households in poorer locations are also a priority. New spending measures can be funded by adjustments to the tax system which will, in themselves, benefit inclusiveness. This Working Paper relates to the 2017 OECD Economic Survey of China ( y-china.htm).
    Keywords: education, health, inclusive growth, pension system, social assistance policies
    JEL: H55 I14 I24 I30 I38 O53
    Date: 2017–09–11
  2. By: Margit Molnar
    Abstract: With persisting slower growth worldwide and in China, over-capacity in some heavy industry sectors, declining profitability, and intensifying competition from other, lower-cost emerging economies, corporate behaviour in China needs to change and focus more on efficiency and sustainability. This need is further intensified by mounting environmental pressures and China’s ambition for greener and more sustainable growth. A larger proportion of firms, including state-owned enterprises, should step up innovation efforts and improve corporate governance practices. To this end, supportive policies are needed, fostering an environment that is more conducive to innovation and entrepreneurship, and facilitating resource reallocation through the exit of unviable firms. At the same time, fraudulent corporate practices must be halted and State assets need to be better managed. Reforms are under way or envisaged that will help improve corporate performance and, more broadly, deliver more resilient and environmentally sustainable growth and continuing progress in living standards. This Working Paper relates to the 2017 OECD Economic Survey of China ( y-china.htm).
    Keywords: bankruptcy, business environment, corporate debt, corporate governance, entrepreneurship, industrial policy, Innovation, intellectual property rights, overcapacity, research and development, state-owned entreprise reform, zombie firms
    JEL: G34 G38 L26 L52 O3 P31
    Date: 2017–09–11
  3. By: Harry X. WU; David T. LIANG
    Abstract: Applying the Jorgensonian aggregate production possibility frontier (APPF) model to the China Industrial Productivity (CIP) data set constructed in the principle of KLEMS, we scrutinize the role of information and communication technology (ICT) industries in China's post-reform growth from 1981 to 2012. In the absence of a direct measure of ICT assets, we group Chinese industries into ICT-specific groups following the criteria used in the U.S. case (Jorgenson et al. 2005a), and apply the APPF industry origin of productivity framework, incorporating Domar weights for industry aggregation, to the grouped CIP industry data. This allows us to decompose China's productivity growth into the contribution of the ICT-specific groups and the factor reallocation effect across the groups. Our preliminary results show that Chinese ICT-producing and ICT-using manufacturing industries appear to be the most important driver of China's productivity growth over the entire period in question. While sharing 29% of China's 9.38% annual value added growth, these industries contributed 149% to China's 0.83% annual aggregate total factor productivity (TFP) growth. This, together with a strong gain from the labor reallocation effect across industries, has enabled the economy to compensate for its heavy productivity losses by non-ICT services and the economy-wide misallocation of capital resources.
    Date: 2017–08
  4. By: Raushan Bokusheva (OECD); Lukáš Čechura
    Abstract: This report measures and evaluates total factor productivity (TFP) of crop farms in the European Union (EU) in the period after the implementation of a series of important reforms of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The analysis covers six EU Member states: the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland and the United Kingdom. The data used in the analysis are based on the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) data provided by the European Commission. To investigate sources of productivity growth, TFP is decomposed into three components – technical change, scale effect and technical efficiency. Technical change was found to be major source of productivity growth for most country samples for the two analysed periods. Technologies currently applied on crop farms were estimated to exhibit substantial economies of scale and therefore favour large-scale operations. However, economies of scale are not fully exploited which suggests the presence of some institutional constraints on farm growth. Large farms appear to be in a better position to exploit economies of scale; for West European countries covered in the report they were also found to exhibit larger persistent technical inefficiencies. Farm support payments were found to negatively influence crop farm productivity and efficiency of input use. More decoupled payments appear to be less distorting than other forms of support. A meta-level analysis of allocative efficiency shows that farms tend to be overcapitalised but to show relatively low allocative inefficiencies in their variable input use decisions. Substantial allocative inefficiencies appear also to exist in land and labour use. No significant economies of scope were found for the analysed crop production systems and levels of output aggregation. Farm flexibility was revealed to be determined mainly by the scale and convexity effects enabling cost efficient adjustments in the size of farm operations.
    Keywords: agriculture, economies of scope, European Union, farm flexibility, Total Factor Productivity
    JEL: D24 Q12 Q18
    Date: 2017–09–05
  5. By: Florin Mihai ("Alexandru Ioan Cuza " University)
    Abstract: The paper aims to examine the changes in the rural waste management sector at regional scale since the Romania adhesion to the EU in 2007. Traditional waste management based on the mixed waste collection and waste disposal often on improper sites prevailed in municipal waste management options of transitional economies across the globe. The lack of formal waste collection services in rural areas has encouraged the open dumping or backyard burning. The paper analyses the improvements and challenges of local authorities in order to fulfill the new EU requirements in this sector supported by data analysis at local administrative unit levels and field observations. Geographical analysis is compulsory in order to reveal the local disparities. The paper performs an assessment of waste collection issues across 78 rural municipalities within Neamt County. This sector is emerging in rural areas of Eastern Europe, but is far from an efficient municipal waste management system based on the waste hierarchy concept.
    Keywords: waste collection,waste management,municipal waste,rural areas,EU
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Long Chu; Hoa-Thi-Minh Nguyen; Tom Kompas; Khoi Dang; Trinh Bui
    Abstract: Agricultural land protection (ALP) is a standard policy response to growing food security concerns driven by urbanisation, population growth and uncertainty over climate change. However, if not supported by rigorous analysis, at least in terms of the correct scale of protection, ALP may result in a misallocation of resources, hampering economic efficiency and prosperity. Examining rice land policy in Vietnam, this paper aims to determine the optimal level of rice land protected against other crops and evaluates the impact of adopting the optimal policy. With a stochastic optimization model built on top of a computable general equilibrium framework and microsimulation techniques, applied to Vietnam's social accounting matrix and household survey data, we find that converting part of protected rice land into other crops enhances economic efficiency. While the efficiency gain could amount to billions of dollars, income inequality only improves slightly. Overall, the policy is relatively pro-rich, implying a trade-off between poverty reduction and economic efficiency for Vietnam, making some households in already poor areas worse off. Though calibrated to a specific case, our approach can be applied in land-use planning generally, highlighting the relevant tradeoffs and the search for needed optimal land-use policies.
    Keywords: farmland preservation; general equilibrium; inequality; rice; Vietnam; welfare
    JEL: Q18 Q15 Q24
    Date: 2017–08
  7. By: Efendic, Adnan; Pugh, Geoffrey T.
    Abstract: This empirical study is based on nationally representative cross-sectional survey data gathered to investigate the effect of ethnic diversity on individual and household economic performance in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The complexity of this relationship in the context of this post-conflict country is addressed and investigated by estimating models in which ethnic diversity affects personal and family incomes. The 1992-1995 conflict was ethnically characterized, and harmful for ethnic diversity. Yet, two decades later, we find positive economic consequences of ethnic diversity for individuals and households. After controlling for other influences, the authors estimate that both personal and family incomes are around 10% higher in ethnically diverse than in ethnically homogenous areas. A corollary is that policy makers in this post-conflict country, and in similar environments elsewhere, should take into consideration the economic costs of policies supporting ethnic homogeneity over diversity.
    Keywords: ethnic diversity,economic performance,Bosnia and Herzegovina
    JEL: D00 D10 D31
    Date: 2017
  8. By: Imanzade, Afgan; Zeynalov, Anar; Hasanov, Seymur
    Abstract: The main goal of the research is to study what financial inclusion is and analyse its current status in the Azerbaijani economy. To that end, the monography analyses infrastructural elements to be shaped to make financial resources and services available, and the potential to deepen financial inclusion, researches international practice with respect to elements of financial infrastructure affecting stronger financial inclusion and includes case studies. The study also analyses the status of financial inclusion in the Republic of Azerbaijan as part of measuring financial inclusion and issues proposals on the actions to be taken.
    Keywords: access to finance,financial inclusion
    JEL: K20 G21 G30
    Date: 2017
  9. By: Manolova, Hristina; Vasilev, Aleksandar
    Abstract: Motivated by recent debates on the possible role of wages as an income policy tool, in this study we examine the dynamic inter-relationship between wages in Bulgaria, mainly in the context of its EU accession. Relative to the WDN studies on the other EU member states, the novelty in this paper is the inclusion of the minimum wage as a possible conditional determinant of the other two wages. We demonstrate that minimum wage increases do not cause changes in average wages in either the government or the private sector. Using variety of econometric tests, we also demonstrate the leadership of private sector wage over public compensation and recommend the implementation of policy measures aimed at labor productivity growth.
    Keywords: private sector wages,public sector wages,minimum wages,causality
    JEL: J3 J4
    Date: 2017
  10. By: Möllers, Judith; Traikova, Diana; Herzfeld, Thomas; Bajrami, Egzon
    Abstract: [Objectives] The overall objective of the study is to address the causes of migration and its consequences for rural areas of Kosovo. More specifically, we focus on the motives of migrants, the impact of migration on households left behind and the socio-economic situation of returning migrants. In the first part of this study, we will discuss the motivation behind migration. A specific focus is on drivers of the recent out-migration wave which started in 2014. We will furthermore shed some light on (positive and negative) migration impacts in the second part of the study: for some households, remittances received from migrated family members may alleviate poverty, while for others migration is linked to significant psychological burdens or lack of labour force in family businesses. In the third part, the study will focus on the consequences of return migration by identifying important attributes of the recently returned migrants and their specific needs and potentials for successful reintegration. We will look at the skill sets (education and experience) of the returnees, as well as their personal well-being and intentions to stay. Vulnerable groups such as women and ethnic minorities will be analysed separately. The study will provide recommendations on how the needs of returnees can be addressed and how they may contribute to a positive rural development in their communities. It will furthermore be used as a source of information for other ongoing projects dealing with return migration. The study was closely coordinated with a number of stakeholders in the Republic of Kosovo. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) provided funds for this project in the framework of its project "Competitiveness of the Private Sector in Rural Areas". The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development (MAFRD) provided technical support. The study was carried out by the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO). Other programme partners include: municipalities, the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), the Ministry of Diaspora (MD), the Ministry of Finance (MF), the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST), the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MLSW), NGOs, farmers’ and forest owners’ associations, women’s groups and ethnic communities, the Kosovo Forestry Agency (KFA), and the Association of Municipalities in Kosovo (AMK).
    Date: 2017
  11. By: Wegmarshaus, Gert-Rüdiger
    Abstract: The objective of this study is to examine the conditions of higher education and the reform of doctoral graduation in Uzbekistan. The current system operates under strict government control. The President, the Supreme Attestation Commission at the Cabinet of Ministers regulating and monitoring academic graduation, and the relevant ministries fully determine the operation of the higher education and research institutions. State control leaves little room for academic selfrule or self-responsible university education. The teaching obligations of university staff fill the entire working day. This situation makes it almost impossible for university teachers to pursue an individual research agenda. The university system is chronically underfinanced. Technical equipment, library and information technology are not up to international standards, salary is comparably low providing few incentives for young researchers. The Uzbek Academy of Sciences serves as the main pillar of fundamental and applied research in the country. In 2013, doctoral graduation moved from a Soviet-style two-tier system including a PhD and a doctor of science degree to a more anglo-saxonian one-tier PhD system. The new President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev announced to return to a two-tier system by July 2017 and intends to notably raise the level of international cooperation of Uzbek academic institutions.
    Keywords: university education system,Academy of Sciences,PhD-graduation,Supreme Attestation Commission,international research cooperation,System der Hochschulbildung,Akademie der Wissenschaften,Promotionund Habilitation,Oberste Attestierungskommission,Internationale Forschungskooperation
    JEL: I20 I21 I23 I28
    Date: 2017
  12. By: Ganiev, Ibragim; Djanibekov, Nodir; Hasanov, Shavkat; Petrick, Martin
    Abstract: The present study assesses the state of doctoral research and postgraduate education in agricultural economics in higher education institutions (HEI) in Uzbekistan and outlines initiatives for change. To better understand the content, process, and outcomes of postgraduate education and doctoral research, a survey of 72 doctoral students in HEI was conducted. The survey data show that the respondents cooperate little with their peers outside of Uzbekistan, lack international peer-reviewed publications and training in relevant theories and methods, and are underrepresented in international scientific events and associations. Furthermore, the scarcity of research funds and individual research space, as well as an excessive teaching load were indicated as key factors affecting the quality of doctoral research. Almost all respondents were satisfied with their current supervision, but were interested in being co-supervised by foreign professors. Most PhD students wish to continue their professional career within academia. Future reforms should enhance the quality and relevance of structured education programmes for PhD students, raise the incentives for conducting high-quality research that is published internationally, and support national and international collaboration between researchers.
    Keywords: PhD survey,agricultural economics,postgraduate education system,student experience,Uzbekistan,Doktorandenbefragung,Agrarökonomie,Doktorandenausbildung,Studentenerfahrungen,Usbekistan
    JEL: I20 I21 I23 I28
    Date: 2017

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