nep-tra New Economics Papers
on Transition Economics
Issue of 2018‒10‒22
nineteen papers chosen by
J. David Brown
United States Census Bureau

  1. Russian Federation; 2018 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report By International Monetary Fund
  2. Fiscal Incentives and Local Tax Competition: Evidence from China By Yongzheng Liu; Bingyang Lv; Hang Tai; Chenping Yang
  3. Постижения и предизвикателства на устойчивото аграрно развитие в България и Китай By Bachev, Hrabrin
  4. Republic of Kazakhstan; 2018 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; and Staff Report By International Monetary Fund
  5. A regression discontinuity evaluation of reducing early retirement eligibility in Poland By Oliwia Komada; Pawel Strzelecki; Joanna Tyrowicz
  6. Job market outcomes of IDPs: the case of Georgia By Karine Torosyan; Norberto Pignatti; Maksym Obrizan
  7. Agricultural Land and Rural-Urban Migration in China: A New Pattern By Xiao, Wei; Zhao, Guochang
  8. Republic of Latvia; 2018 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for the Republic of Latvia By International Monetary Fund
  9. High-speed rail and inventory reduction: Firm-level evidence from China By Li, Leona Shao-Zhi; Cui, Chuantao
  10. Non-Labor Income and the Age of Marriage: Evidence from China's Heating Policy By Chu, Junhong; Liu, Haoming; Png, I. P. L.
  11. An Empirical Analysis of Pre-Determined Food Demand in Russia By Hovhannisyan, Vardges; Shanoyan, Aleksan
  12. China’s Progress Towards Green Growth: An International Perspective By Myriam Linster; Chan Yang
  13. Changes in diversity of farm income in Member States of the European Union By Chmielewska, Barbara
  14. Development of Housing Policy: Ulaanbaatar (UB) city, Mongolia Case By Burmaa Jamiyansuren
  15. Social Preferences, Public Good Provision, Social Capital and Positional Concerns: Empirical Evidence from the South Caucasus By Armenak Antinyan; Vardan Baghdasaryan; Aleksandr Grigoryan
  16. Real estate investment funds in Poland - current situation and development prospects By Christopher Kowalke
  17. Leverage-Induced Fire Sales and Stock Market Crashes By Jiangze Bian; Zhiguo He; Kelly Shue; Hao Zhou
  18. Fiscal Decentralization and Government Size: The Role of Democracy By Junxue Jia; Siying Ding; Yongzheng Liu
  19. Demand and Supply Shock Symmetry across Polish Voievodships By Gajewski Pawe³

  1. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: The Russian economy is recovering from the 2015–16 recession. Over the past few years, the authorities have put in place a strong macroeconomic policy framework that has reduced uncertainty and helped weather external shocks. However, Russia’s convergence to advanced economy income levels has stalled and its weight in the global economy is shrinking.
    Date: 2018–09–12
  2. By: Yongzheng Liu (Renmin University of China); Bingyang Lv (Renmin University of China); Hang Tai (People’s Bank of China); Chenping Yang (Renmin University of China)
    Abstract: This paper explores how fiscal incentives affect capital tax decisions by local governments in the Chinese context. We develop a model in which local governments, facing different fiscal incentives, compete for mobile capital over corporate taxes. The key prediction of the model, borne out in data from Chinese cities over the years 20042013, is that an increase in the local corporate income tax-sharing ratio, proxying local fiscal incentives, makes city governments’ horizontal tax reactions stronger. Our results contribute to the fiscal federalism literature by providing evidence in support of the argument that fiscal incentives faced by local governments significantly shape their policy choices. Additionally, we provide explicit evidence on local tax competition within provinces in China, which has long been regarded as one of the driving forces of China’s rapid economic growth.
    Date: 2018–09
  3. By: Bachev, Hrabrin
    Abstract: This paper summarizes the main achievements and most important challenges of agrarian sustainable development in Bulgaria and China at current stage. The study has found out that, in the last several decades in Bulgaria and China took place unprecedented modernization of institutional structure in agriculture as legislation and regulation framework has been innovated along with the extent and modes of public intervention/and support to the sector, the importance and diversity of provide and collective structure of production, marketing, food security, eco-management, etc. Simultaneously in Bulgaria and China and in the individual regions of each country exists a considerable specificity of socio-economic conditions, natural resources, institutional structure, cultural and historical development, efficiency of public governance and multiple challenges. The contemporary agrarian development in both countries is characterized with a number of similar socio-economic and ecological challenges most important of which are: low comparative productivity and competitiveness of a great portion of agricultural production; unequal public support to different type of farms, subsectors of production and regions of the country; increasing discrepancies in income and living standards of population in different regions, sectors of economy and type of economic organizations; insufficient involvement of all interested parties at all levels of decision making, control, sustainability assessment, etc.; aging of population in rural areas and lack if young and qualified labors in farms; existence of large informal sector with uncontrolled products for quality, safety, intellectual property, ecology, etc. and with dominating informal (including illegal) structures; significant adverse impact of agrarian development on agricultural lands, waters, air, biodiversity, etc.; serious risks for food security in the future in accordance with the trends in production and consumption, etc. Having in mind the importance of such comparative studies they have to continue and deepen with the employment of micro economic and other data, in-depth and case studies, etc.
    Keywords: sustainable development, agriculture, Bulgaria, China, achievements, challenges
    JEL: Q10 Q14 Q15 Q17 Q18 Q5
    Date: 2018–01–15
  4. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: Recovery is gaining strength, while inflation has been declining and the tenge has continued to float. Export growth—driven by oil, metals, and mining—has reduced the current account deficit. State support to banks led to a higher fiscal deficit in 2017, although there was underlying adjustment. The 2018 budget foresees further adjustment and ambitious spending reforms. Consolidation is set to continue over the medium term to rebuild buffers. The authorities have taken major steps to secure financial sector stability, but actions have been costly financially and risks remain. More work is needed, especially to overhaul bank business models and address gaps in supervision. Progress is being made on flagship structural reforms (business climate, governance), although, in practice, the measures taken have yet to prove their effectiveness in full. Efforts should continue to support greater productivity, inclusivity, connectivity, and diversification. Risks relate to oil prices and slower growth in key trading partners (Russia, China, EU).
    Date: 2018–09–14
  5. By: Oliwia Komada (Group for Research in Applied Economics (GRAPE)); Pawel Strzelecki (Narodowy Bank Polski; Instytut Statystyki i Demografii); Joanna Tyrowicz (Group for Research in Applied Economics (GRAPE); University of Warsaw; Institut für Arbeitsrecht und Arbeitsbeziehungen in der Europäischen Union (IAAEU); Institute of Labor Economics (IZA))
    Abstract: The reform introduced in Poland in 2009 substantially and abruptly reduced the number of workers eligible for early retirement. This paper evaluates the causal effects of this reform on labor force participation and exit to retirement. We use rich rotating panel from the Polish Labor Force Survey and exploit the discontinuity imposed by this reform. We find a statistically significant, but economically small discontinuity at the timing of the reform. The placebo test shows no similar effects in earlier or later quarters, but in a vast majority of specifications the discontinuity is not larger for the treated individuals, i.e. those whose occupation lost eligibility. We interpret these results as follows: the changes in the eligibility criteria were not instrumental in fostering the participation rates among the affected cohort, i.e. the immediate contribution to increased labor force participation of these cohorts is not economically large.
    Keywords: privatization, rushed privatization, efficiency, firm size, employment, performance
    JEL: P45 P52 C14 O16
    Date: 2018
  6. By: Karine Torosyan (International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University, Tbilisi); Norberto Pignatti (International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University, Tbilisi; IZA, Bonn); Maksym Obrizan (Kyiv School of Economics, Kyiv)
    Abstract: Internally displaced people (IDPs) constitute a serious economic, social and cultural problem for many countries, including countries in transition. Despite the importance of the problem, there are only a handful of previous studies investigating the issue of labor market outcomes of IDPs. We aim to fill this gap in the literature using 13 years of Integrated Household Surveys over 2004-2016 from Georgia, which experienced large flows of internal migrants from the early 1990s until now. Our analyses indicate that the labor market outcomes of IDPs are much worse than those of local residents. Specifically, IDPs are 3.9 to 11.2 percentage points less likely to be in the labor force, depending on the period and duration of IDP status. IDPs are also up to 11.6 percentage points more likely to be unemployed, sometimes even after 20 years of forced displacement. Finally, IDPs residing in a locality for more than 5 years receive persistently lower wages than local residents with similar characteristics, with the gap widening over time, reaching some 16 percentage points in the last period under analysis.
    Keywords: conflict, internally displaced people, IDPs, labor market outcomes, transition countries
    Date: 2018
  7. By: Xiao, Wei (Research Institute of Economics and Management, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics); Zhao, Guochang (Research Institute of Economics and Management, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of agricultural land on rural-urban migration and the labor market outcomes in the context of China. We employ the rural sample of the 2009 RUMiC data, which cover approximately 8000 rural households in 82 counties of China. We find that an increase in the agricultural land of a household tends to increase the household members’ propensity for migration for working in cities. We also find that an increase in land significantly decreases the number of days of migration, increases the number of days of farming work, and decreases the number of days of local non-farming work. More interestingly, the negative effect on time for local non-farming work is much larger than that for non-local non-farming work. The increase in the amount of agricultural land also pushes household members to move further. These results show us a new pattern different from the literature. To explain such a difference, we compare the effect of land among different age-groups and find that the positive link between agricultural land and rural-urban migration only exists for young people. Therefore, our results may reflect the change of the role of agricultural land over time. Our finding that less agricultural land hinders rural-urban migration suggests that, to help rural residents access opportunities in cities, governments should implement policies targeting households with less agricultural land.
    Keywords: Agricultural land, rural-urban migration, time allocation, China; Transport infrastructure; high-speed rail; firm performance; inventory; China
    Date: 2018–10–04
  8. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: The economy has gained momentum amidst sound fundamentals. Growth in 2017 surprised with a strong and broad-based upswing driven by a recovery in investment and a supportive external environment, and the outlook is favorable. Fiscal and current account deficits remain at prudent levels, as does the public debt burden. The financial system remains stable.
    Keywords: Europe;Latvia;
    Date: 2018–09–05
  9. By: Li, Leona Shao-Zhi (Faculty of Business Administration, University of Macau); Cui, Chuantao (School of Economics, Sichuan University)
    Abstract: Using a balanced panel of manufacturing firms from China between 2007 and 2013, we estimate that being connected to a high-speed rail system leads to 9.5% reduction in local firms' input inventory spending. The e ect is stronger for downstream industries and private enterprises. A back-of-envelope calculation suggests that each dollar of HSR investment reduces input inventory stock by 12 cents, which is significantly larger than the e ects found in previous studies based on highway or road investment. Declines in transportation and communication cost, as well as agglomeration e ect are identified as plausible mechanisms. Our findings reveal a micro channel through which improved transport infrastructure brings about economic gains, and contribute to the cost-benefit assessment of high-speed rail investment.
    Keywords: Transport infrastructure; high-speed rail; firm performance; inventory; China
    JEL: D21 H54 O18 R4
    Date: 2018–10–04
  10. By: Chu, Junhong (National University of Singapore); Liu, Haoming (National University of Singapore); Png, I. P. L. (National University of Singapore)
    Abstract: We exploit China's heating policy to investigate how non-labor income affects marriage. From the mid-1950s, the policy gave substantial subsidies to urban residents north of the Huai River. Applying geographic regression discontinuity, we find that, with the policy, urban men in the north married 15 months earlier than southerners. The difference is substantial compared with the average age of first marriage of 24.9 years for urban men in the south. The effect is larger for later birth cohorts, which is consistent with the progressive implementation of the policy. The effect is smaller among women, consistent with women having less power in the household than men. There is no effect among rural people, who did not benefit from the heating policy.
    Keywords: age at marriage, regression discontinuity, non-labor income, China
    JEL: J12
    Date: 2018–08
  11. By: Hovhannisyan, Vardges; Shanoyan, Aleksan
    Abstract: The Exact Affine Stone Index (EASI) model of Lewbel and Pendakur (2009) offers distinct advantages over its predecessor models, however it does not account for a widely observed phenomenon of pre-committed demand. This may lead to biased elasticity estimates when such pre-commitments are present. This study offers a methodological solution by deriving the generalized EASI (GEASI) model, which incorporates pre-committed quantities into the consumer demand structure. The empirical advantage of the GEASI model is illustrated through its application to the analysis of food demand structure in Russia based on novel provincial-level panel data on household food expenditures over 2007-2014. The results provide strong empirical evidence for the presence of pre-committed demand for key food commodities such as cereals, eggs, and fats/oils. Further comparative analysis highlights the significance of pre-commitment bias in the context of food demand in Russia and illustrates the effectiveness of the GEASI approach in addressing it. The findings extend the empirical literature on food demand in Russia by presenting estimated elasticities that account for potential pre-commitments as well as for unobserved provincial heterogeneity.
    Keywords: Demand and Price Analysis
    Date: 2018–01–16
  12. By: Myriam Linster (OECD); Chan Yang (OECD)
    Abstract: This report illustrates China’s progress towards green growth from an international perspective, with focus on industry and the interplay between industrial development and environment. It starts with depicting the structural shifts that the Chinese economy, in particular its industry, has undergone since the early 1990s. It briefly discusses the driving forces behind China’s emergence as global manufacturing powerhouse, and the environmental implications of this rapid phase of industrialisation. It also assesses China’s position vis-à-vis green growth using the OECD green growth measurement framework and indicators. The findings suggest that China has made great strides towards improving the environmental and resource productivity of its economy, but more opportunities can be exploited for greater efficiency gains that are vital to the shift to a low carbon, resource efficient and competitive economy. They also indicate that the policies in place, though showing first results, remain insufficient to cope with increasing environmental pressures and with historical and cumulated pollution loads. Further progress will largely depend on the country’s capacity to integrate environmental aspects into decision-making in all policies and sectors, and at all levels, and ensure that industrial and environmental policy objectives and measures are well aligned and mutually supportive.
    Date: 2018–10–19
  13. By: Chmielewska, Barbara
    Abstract: Following enlargement of the European Union (EU) in 2004 and in the subsequent years, 13 new members, including Poland (EU-13), were covered with the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The introduced reforms contributed to improvement of the agrarian structure and a drop in the labour inputs in agriculture. Consequently, countries from the group of the EU-13 were characterised by higher farm income growth dynamics than countries that have been members of the EU for a much longer time (EU-15). The paper aims at assessment of whether the period following the accession was marked by real convergences (in 2010 prices) of farm incomes per labour input unit expressed in AWU or whether the process was reversed – there occurred divergence between the EU Member States, especially between the group of the EU-13 and the EU-15. To this end, comparative analysis method was used relying on measure of diversity of distribution used in statistics. The study was mainly based on the Economic Accounts for Agriculture (EAA, Eurostat). The study covers the years between 2004 and 2016.
    Keywords: Farm Management, International Development, International Relations/Trade
    Date: 2018
  14. By: Burmaa Jamiyansuren
    Abstract: We have learned many practices of how other leading countries develop and implement their housing policies, especially in China and Malaysia. The essential parts of a multi-faceted housing policy is to provide housing for low-income areas and to determine housing policy by assessing supply, demand and mortgage rates. At the initial stage of housing market, the price is unstable, is in turmoil and is not regulated. At the second stage, a price stabilization program and supply of low-income area housing programs are implemented. In UB city of Mongolia, we are in greatest need of housing policy development as the majority of the cities population live in ""ger district"", these ""gers"", a traditional yurt, are not supplied with heating, plumbing or hot water. In order to stay warm in one of the coldest cities in the world, those people have to use coal extensively for home heat and cooking, causing extremely dangerous levels of air pollution in the city. It shows that we are in need of excellent housing policy to be developed and implemented immediately. The first part of the paper will discuss about applying the study of Chinese housing policy in Mongolia and reveal that our housing market is frozen, but has excess supply and is in high need of housing price and regulation. The second part of the paper will discuss about how bench marking from the housing policies of European countries were not suitable for Mongolia
    Keywords: housing bubble and dip; housing market segmentation; housing policy for heating and cooling down; housing price stabilization; multi-faceted housing policy
    JEL: R3
    Date: 2018–01–01
  15. By: Armenak Antinyan; Vardan Baghdasaryan; Aleksandr Grigoryan
    Abstract: This paper aims to study the impact of positional concerns on an understudied set of policy-relevant variables: social preferences, public good provision, and social capital. We utilize data from the “Caucasus Barometer” survey administered in three post-Soviet transition economies: Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Controlling for absolute income and other individual and household characteristics, we find that the relative deprivation of a household has negative impacts on its members’ social preferences, public good provision, and social capital. In contrast, relative advantage has only positive influences on the variables of interest (if any).
    Keywords: positional concern; social capital; social preferences; public good; reference group;
    JEL: D60 D63 P30 Z13
    Date: 2018–09
  16. By: Christopher Kowalke
    Abstract: Investing in real estate through investment funds in many highly developed countries is extremely profitable and is becoming a viable alternative to investment in stocks. Investment funds allocating capital to real estate are also present in Poland. However, the Polish market is relatively underdeveloped. There are only a few funds of this type available, and capitalisation of these funds does not exceed a few hundred million zlotys. There are no REIT type investment funds, in their traditional form, on the Polish market, because of the missing legislation. However, an act is being prepared, which aims at regulating the functioning of REITs in Poland and facilitating a dynamic development of this form of capital allocation for individual investors.The aim of the first part of the article will be to present the current state of the Polish investment fund market, with funds allocating capital to real estate. Capitalisation of these funds, rates of return and possible reasons for the poor development of the Polish real estate investment funds market will be presented. The second part of the article will present the main provisions of the act, which is being prepared and aims at regulating the functioning of REIT funds in Poland, and the act’s objectives according to its authors.
    Keywords: rate of return; Real Estate Investments; Real Estate Market; REIT
    JEL: R3
    Date: 2018–01–01
  17. By: Jiangze Bian; Zhiguo He; Kelly Shue; Hao Zhou
    Abstract: We provide direct evidence of leverage-induced fire sales contributing to a market crash using account-level trading data for brokerage- and shadow-financed margin accounts during the Chinese stock market crash of 2015. Margin investors heavily sell their holdings when their account-level leverage edges toward their maximum leverage limits, controlling for stock-date and account fixed effects. Stocks that are disproportionately held by accounts close to leverage limits experience high selling pressure and abnormal price declines which subsequently reverse. Unregulated shadow-financed margin accounts, facilitated by FinTech lending platforms, contributed more to the crash despite their smaller asset holdings relative to regulated brokerage accounts.
    JEL: G01 G11 G18 G23
    Date: 2018–09
  18. By: Junxue Jia (Renmin University of China); Siying Ding (Renmin University of China & Indiana University Bloomington); Yongzheng Liu (Renmin University of China)
    Abstract: China initiated a major decentralization reform in recent years to simultaneously improve tax autonomy and scal transfers toward county governments. We use an instrumental variables strategy and a county-level panel dataset for years 1995-2014 to examine the incentive eects of the reform. We nd that the reform signicantly reduced tax enforcement of the county governments, for which the result appears to be driven by the opposing incentive eects of the increased local tax autonomy and scal transfers. In particular, while the reform motivated county governments to improve tax enforcement by enhancing local tax autonomy, it dampened local tax enforcement because of the increased scal transfers. Our ndings provide support to the argument in the decentralization literature that improving local tax autonomy, compared to increasing scal transfers, is a more eective way to nance local governments while strengthening local scal discipline.
    Date: 2018–09
  19. By: Gajewski Pawe³ (Faculty of Economics and Sociology, University of Lodz)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to evaluate the symmetry of demand and supply shocks affecting Polish voievodships and to assess the risk of asymmetric shocks in the future. The study employs the SVAR-based Blanchard and Quah (1989) decomposition as modified by Bayoumi and Eichengreen (1992) and utilizes a new method of estimating quarterly GDP by voievodships. The results point to a relatively high symmetry of shocks and a rather low risk of their occurrence. Shock asymmetry does not appear to be strongly related to differences in production structures, which is claimed in most theoretical approaches, including the Optimum Currency Areas Theory.
    Keywords: demand shocks, supply shocks, voievodships, monetary policy
    JEL: E5
    Date: 2018–10–08

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