nep-tra New Economics Papers
on Transition Economics
Issue of 2018‒10‒29
twenty-two papers chosen by
J. David Brown
United States Census Bureau

  1. Non-farm employment trends and policy in rural areas of Samarkand region (Uzbekistan) By Hasanov, Shavkat; Sanaev, Golib
  2. Productivity analysis by using firm-level data: the case of Macedonia By Biljana Jovanovic
  3. Optimal fiscal policy with Epstein-Zin preferences and utility-enhancing government services: lessons from Bulgaria (1999-2016) By Vasilev, Aleksandar
  4. Unexplained native-immigrant wage gap in Poland in 2015-2016. Insights from the surveys in Warsaw and in Lublin By Pawel Strzelecki
  5. China’s Capacity Reduction Reform and Its Impact on Producer Prices By Linxi Chen; Ding Ding; Rui Mano
  6. China's Local Government Bond Market By W. Raphael Lam; Jingsen Wang
  7. Diabetes, Employment and Behavioural Risk Factors in China: Marginal Structural Models versus Fixed Effects Models By Seuring, Till; Serneels, Pieter; Suhrcke, Marc; Bachmann, Max
  8. Green transformations in Vietnam's energy sector By Frauke Urban, Giuseppina Siciliano, Linda Wallbott, Markus Lederer and Anh Dang Nguyen
  9. Sectoral Booms and Misallocation of Managerial Talent: Evidence from the Chinese Real Estate Boom By Yu Shi
  10. Reform Reversal in Former Transition Economies (FTEs) of the European Union: Areas, Circumstances and Motivations By Székely, István P.; Ward-Warmedinger, Melanie E.
  11. Republic of Moldova; Technical Assistance Report-Public Sector Debt Statistics By International Monetary Fund
  12. Income Mobility of Farm Households with Land-expropriated in the Process of Industrialization and Urbanization in China By Ding, S.; Yang, J.; Chen, Y.
  13. An Index for Transparency for Inflation-Targeting Central Banks: Application to the Czech National Bank By Rania A. Al-Mashat; Ales Bulir; N. Nergiz Dinçer; Tibor Hlédik; Tomás Holub; Asya Kostanyan; Douglas Laxton; Armen Nurbekyan; Rafael A Portillo; Hou Wang
  14. Using generalized estimating equations to estimate nonlinear models with spatial data By Cuicui Lu; Weining Wang; Jeffrey M. Wooldridge
  15. Pension Strategies of Workers in a Country Getting Old before Getting Rich By Buchholtz, Sonia; Gaska, Jan; Góra, Marek
  16. Georgia; Technical Assistance Report-Report on the Producer Price Index and Residential Property Price Index Mission By International Monetary Fund
  17. Impact of public management theory on municipal real estate management in Netherlands and Poland By Bartlomiej Marona; Annette van den Beemt
  18. Les relations commerciales agroalimentaires de la Russie avec l’Union européenne, l’embargo russe et les productions animales By Vincent Chatellier; Thierry Pouch; Cecile Le Roy; Quentin Mathieu
  19. Housing prices, business cycle, TOM and energy efficiency in Bucharest By Paloma Taltavull de La Paz; Ion Anghel; Stanley McGreal; Costin Ciora
  20. A Victim-Oriented Justice Dispute in the context of the Judicial System Reform in Albania By Romina Beqiri
  21. Private Sector Policymaking By David Szakonyi
  22. BRATISLAVA and VIENNA: Twin Cities with big Development Potentials By Doris Hanzl-Weiss; Mario Holzner; Roman Römisch

  1. By: Hasanov, Shavkat; Sanaev, Golib
    Abstract: Nonfarm employment plays an important role in absorbing unemployment in rural areas of developing countries. The agricultural transition in Uzbekistan followed by structural transformations in the economy changed the rural economy. Although farm restructuring and farm optimization policies led to agricultural growth, they had a negative impact on rural employment. The government of Uzbekistan promoted many policies to create jobs within the country. A presidential decree launched the State Program on Rural Development and Well-being in 2009, which played a crucial role in developing the economic and social infrastructure of rural areas. Small business and private entrepreneurship were given priority to absorb the rising unemployment, especially in rural areas. Against this background, the paper studies non-farm employment trends in rural areas of Samarkand region. In particular, we explore the main drivers of non-farm business development and its impact on rural employment in the Samarkand region. The main employment trends in rural areas of Samarkand region are described using statistical data. We also explore migration trends in Uzbekistan and Samarkand regions. A survey was conducted with 34 mahallas’ (community) chairpersons and representatives to better analyze the intersectoral and international migration of the agricultural workforce. Although remittances are crucial in poverty alleviation of Central Asian countries, including Uzbekistan, the economic crisis in 2008–2009 in Russia cast a shadow on the further prospects of migration. We show how the development of non-agricultural business in the Samarkand region increased the incomes of the rural population. The agro-processing sector plays a vital role in creating clusters based on the agro-industrial complex, which in turn will create more opportunities for employment in rural areas of the country.
    Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development, Labor and Human Capital
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Biljana Jovanovic (National Bank of Republic of Macedonia)
    Abstract: Productivity, the efficiency by which firms convert inputs into output is central concept in growth related discussions. This research is focused on analyzing productivity on a sample of Macedonian firms. The goal is twofold – first, to construct productivity indicators by using firm-level data, with special focus to construction of total factor productivity (TFP), and, second to identify productivity determinants specific for Macedonian firms. Results are in line with the global productivity trends –there is significant slowdown in productivity growth in 2016. This is true for labour productivity, as well as for the TFP measure. However, the period is relatively short to conclude that this shift is of permanent, structural nature, especially having in mind the trend of reducing unemployment in the economy. As productivity determinants are concerned, econometric research confirms the importance of financial health, human capital and firms’ size as significant factors that affect the productivity of Macedonian firms.
    Keywords: micro data, productivity, total factor productivity
    JEL: D22 D24
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Vasilev, Aleksandar
    Abstract: This paper explores the effects of fiscal policy in an economy with Epstein-Zin (1989, 1991) preferences, with indirect (consumption) taxes, and all (labor and capital) in- come being taxed at the same rate. To this end, a dynamic general-equilibrium model, calibrated to Bulgarian data (1999-2016), is augmented with a government sector. Two regimes are compared and contrasted - the exogenous (observed) vs. optimal policy (Ramsey) case. The focus of the paper is on the relative importance of consumption vs. income taxation, as well as on the provision of utility-enhancing public services. The main findings from the computational experiments performed in the paper are: (i) The optimal steady-state income tax rate is zero; (ii) The benevolent Ramsey planner provides the optimal amount of the utility-enhancing public services, which are now 25% higher; (iii) The optimal steady-state consumption tax needed to finance the optimal level of government spending is more than fifty percent higher, as compared to the exogenous policy case.
    Keywords: Epstein-Zin preferences,consumption tax,income tax,general equilibrium,optimal (Ramsey) fiscal policy,Bulgaria
    JEL: D58
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Pawel Strzelecki
    Abstract: In the modern history, Poland has never experienced large wave of labour immigration comparable to observed since 2014. Massive immigration provoked a public discussion about the consequences of immigration for the Polish labour market. In this paper we shed some light on that problem by analysing the level of the native-immigrant wage gap in two cities in Poland using two popular methods of filtering off the impact of differences between immigrant and native workers in composition of their individual characteristics and their workplaces. These methods are: Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition and non-parametric decomposition proposed by Nopo (2008). In order to compare native and immigrant workers we use the Polish Labour Force Survey (PLFS) data and the special survey of immigrants ordered by National Bank of Poland and conducted using respondent driven sampling (RDS) method. The results of the decompositions show that the difference in average wages of immigrant and native workers until 2016 is explained mostly by the differences in the composition of features of persons and workplaces. Unexplained wage gap concerned only hourly wages in Warsaw (and amounted to between 4-15% depending on method of decomposition and weighting of the results) but was not significant in Lublin. However unexplained wage gap was significant for occupations with higher wages in both cities. In some cases migrants achieved on average higher wages than native workers. Most immigrants lived in Poland for relatively short period of time and in this early stage of immigration process there were also no signs of narrowing the unexplained wage gap for immigrants who stayed longer than others.
    Keywords: wage distribution, wage differentials, immigrants, native workers, wage gap
    JEL: J31 J61 J71
    Date: 2018–10
  5. By: Linxi Chen; Ding Ding; Rui Mano
    Abstract: In late 2015, the Chinese authorities launched a policy to reduce capacity in the coal and steel industries under the wider effort of Supply-Side Structural Reforms. Around the same time, producer price inflation in China started to pick up strongly after being trapped in negative territory for more than fifty consecutive months. So what is behind this strong reflation—capacity cuts in coal and steel, or a strengthening of aggregate demand? Our empirical analyses indicate that a pickup in aggregate demand, possibly due to the government’s stimulus package in 2015-16, was the more important driver. Capacity cuts played a role in propping up coal and steel prices, explaining at most 40 percent of their price increase.
    Keywords: Fiscal reforms;Supply-side policy;Producer price indexes;Inflation;China, capacity reduction, supply-side structural reforms, producer price index
    Date: 2018–09–28
  6. By: W. Raphael Lam; Jingsen Wang
    Abstract: Local governments play a significant role in China’s public finance and fiscal operations. The size of local government debt has grown rapidly over the past years, exceeding the stock of sovereign debt in China. How does this development compare to other countries and what policies can foster the sound development of the bond markets? This paper finds that despite its rapid growth, the local government bond market is still underdeveloped. Severe impediments—low liquidity, weak credit discipline, structural fiscal deficit in local governments—have become more visible. Reforms to develop a sound local government bond market should harmonize tax and regulations, build liquidity, and advance fiscal reforms to tighten off-budget borrowing and address intergovernmental imbalances.
    Date: 2018–09–28
  7. By: Seuring, Till (Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology (BIPS)); Serneels, Pieter (University of East Anglia); Suhrcke, Marc (University of York); Bachmann, Max (University of East Anglia)
    Abstract: A diabetes diagnosis can motivate its recipients to reduce their health risks by changing lifestyles but can adversely affect their economic activity. We investigate the effect of a diabetes diagnosis on employment status and behavioural risk-factors taking into account their potentially intertwined relationships. Longitudinal data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey covering the years 1997 to 2011 are used to estimate the effect of a diabetes diagnosis on employment probabilities, alcohol consumption, smoking cessation, body mass index, physical activity and hypertension. To deal with potential confounding, two complementary statistical techniques - marginal structural and fixed effects models - are applied. The marginal structural and fixed effects models generate similar results despite their different underlying assumptions. Both strategies find patterns distinct for males and females, suggesting a decrease in employment probabilities after the diagnosis for women but not for men. Further, few improvements and even further deterioration of behavioural risk factors are found for women, while for men these risk factors either improve or remain the same. These results suggest differences in the impact of diabetes between sexes in China and highlight the potential of reducing behavioural risk factors for women to narrow these inequities.
    Keywords: China, diabetes, employment, behavioural risk factors, marginal structural model
    JEL: D83 E24 I12 I14 J24
    Date: 2018–09
  8. By: Frauke Urban, Giuseppina Siciliano, Linda Wallbott, Markus Lederer and Anh Dang Nguyen
    Abstract: Vietnam has experienced rapid economic growth over the past few decades, as well as growing environmental pressures. The country is therefore pursuing strategies for green transformations, which are the processes of restructuring to bring economies and societies within the planetary boundaries. This article addresses the opportunities, barriers, and trade†offs for green transformations in Vietnam's energy sector and examines them from an energy justice perspective. The article draws on in†depths expert interviews with representatives from government agencies, private firms, academic institutions, and multilateral institutions in Vietnam. The article finds that Vietnam is undergoing efforts to move away from business as usual by promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as aligning energy and climate plans with national development priorities such as energy security and economic growth. Yet there is a need for more coordinated, integrated approaches and policies that span across the 3 areas that address green transformations in Vietnam: green growth, sustainable development, and climate change. Finally, although key actors seem to be aware and may be critical of major trade†offs such as land grabs for energy projects, the impacts on affected people need to be better understood and mitigated.
    Keywords: climate, energy justice, hydro, solar, wind
    Date: 2018–10–05
  9. By: Yu Shi
    Abstract: This paper identifies a new mechanism leading to inefficiency in capital reallocation at the extensive margin when an economy experiences a sectoral boom. I argue that imperfections in the financial market and capital barriers to entry in the booming sector create a misallocation of managerial talent. Using comprehensive firm-level data from China, I first provide evidence that more productive firms reallocate capital to the booming real estate sector, and demonstrate that the pattern is likely driven by fewer financial constraints on these firms. I then use a structural estimation to verify the talent misallocation. Finally, I calibrate a dynamic model and find that the without the misallocation, the TFP growth in the manufacturing sector would have improved by 0.5% per year.
    Date: 2018–09–28
  10. By: Székely, István P. (European Commission); Ward-Warmedinger, Melanie E. (European Central Bank)
    Abstract: The rapid journey from central planning to EU (euro area) membership stress-tested the social learning processes of the Former Transition Economies (FTEs). The desire for a higher standard of living, to be anchored to the West, and to enter the EU, spurred major reform waves and led to the very rapid introduction of best-practice institutions. Although social learning accompanied this process, in many FTEs it was not fast enough to keep pace with the rapid reforms, leaving best-practice institutions with social norms that were not sufficiently strong to maintain them. As a result, wide-spread reform reversals emerged in the region. Such reform reversals appeared as formal reversals, which changed legislation (or formal rules), and behavioral reversals, which eroded the quality of an institution by materially changing the way it worked. It was frequently the interaction of reversals in different sectors that created a full-blown reform reversal episode, with the financial sector particularly prone to behavioral reversals, both in public and private institutions. External anchors such as the Washington institutions played a dominant role in shaping the transition process. Along with the EU accession process, the EU acted as a strong anchor that could prevent or reverse formal reform reversals in areas covered by EU law, but could play a much weaker role in the case of behavioral reversals. Our analysis naturally leads to the conclusion that the ultimate solution to prevent reform reversals is to accelerate social learning processes that strengthen the national ownership of reforms. It is also important to focus on the quality and internal coherence of reforms and newly created institutions.
    Keywords: reform reversals, social norms, institution building, European Union, transition economies
    JEL: E6 H5 G2 J48 O5 P2
    Date: 2018–10
  11. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: In response to a request from the European Department, a Public-Sector Debt Statistics (PSDS) technical assistance (TA) mission was conducted in Chisinau during April 2–6, 2018. With the objective of improving Moldovan public sector debt statistics, the mission conducted an evaluation of data comprehensiveness in terms of: (i) institutional coverage; (ii) instrument coverage, including maturity structures; (iii) valuation of debt liabilities; and; (iv) additional fiscal risks resulting from contingent liabilities (on-lending and guarantees). Like the recent article IV mission1 and Public Finance Management (PFM) assessment,2 the mission found that Moldova continues to improve their recording, compilation and dissemination of public sector debt statistics reflecting potential fiscal risks, but faces five main statistical challenges going forward.
  12. By: Ding, S.; Yang, J.; Chen, Y.
    Abstract: Purposes : To investigate income mobility of farm households with land-expropriated in the process of urbanization in China, and explore factors affecting income mobility. Methods: Data derives from a project financially supported by Natural Science Foundation of China in 2013. Using principles of stratified random sampling, 429 farm households are selected. Data: income; endowments; demographic; schemes in supporting land expropriation; risk factors. We use Income Transition Matrix to investigate income mobility, and Ordinal Logistic Regression to explore its determinants. Conclusions: 1) Income mobility has different changing patterns after land expropriation. 2) Working capitals, including land, level of labor force s education and social relations, are linked to income mobility changes. Capital accumulation is important. 3) Households in lower/medium income groups are more likely to flow downward when they have: lower level of education, or weak social capital, or larger land expropriation, or member suffering health risk, or not participate in government "Land for Social Security" scheme. 4) Types of risk are closely associated with income downward flow. Interventions should target at strengthening household working capitals, especially human capital, and at preventing them from suffering risks, and at reforming "Land for Social Security" scheme to support sustainable livelihoods. Key words: Income Mobility, Land expropriation, Farm Households, Capitals, Risks Acknowledgement : Funding for data collection has been provided by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant number:71173239). We thank Dr Wu Haitao for valuable comments.
    Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics
    Date: 2018–07
  13. By: Rania A. Al-Mashat; Ales Bulir; N. Nergiz Dinçer; Tibor Hlédik; Tomás Holub; Asya Kostanyan; Douglas Laxton; Armen Nurbekyan; Rafael A Portillo; Hou Wang
    Abstract: This paper develops a new central bank transparency index for inflation-targeting central banks (CBT-IT index). It applies the CBT-IT index to the Czech National Bank (CNB), one of the most transparent inflation-targeting central banks. The CNB has invested heavily in developing a Forecasting and Policy Analysis System (FPAS) to implement a full-fledged inflation-forecast-targeting (IFT) regime. The components of CBT-IT index include measures of transparency about monetary policy objectives, the FPAS designed to support IFT, and the monetary policymaking process. For the CNB, all three components have shown substantial improvements over time but a few gaps remain. The CNB is currently working on eliminating some of these gaps.
    Keywords: Central banks;Inflation targeting;Transparency;Monetary policy;monetary policy, inflation targeting, transparency, central banks.
    Date: 2018–09–28
  14. By: Cuicui Lu; Weining Wang; Jeffrey M. Wooldridge
    Abstract: In this paper, we study estimation of nonlinear models with cross sectional data using two-step generalized estimating equations (GEE) in the quasi-maximum likelihood estimation (QMLE) framework. In the interest of improving efficiency, we propose a grouping estimator to account for the potential spatial correlation in the underlying innovations. We use a Poisson model and a Negative Binomial II model for count data and a Probit model for binary response data to demonstrate the GEE procedure. Under mild weak dependency assumptions, results on estimation consistency and asymptotic normality are provided. Monte Carlo simulations show efficiency gain of our approach in comparison of different estimation methods for count data and binary response data. Finally we apply the GEE approach to study the determinants of the inflow foreign direct investment (FDI) to China.
    Date: 2018–10
  15. By: Buchholtz, Sonia (Warsaw School of Economics); Gaska, Jan (Warsaw School of Economics); Góra, Marek (Warsaw School of Economics)
    Abstract: The downward trend in replacement rate is going to affect the material wellbeing of Polish future retirees. The aim of this paper is to identify the pension strategies working Poles undertake to counteract future deterioration in material conditions, with particular interest in saving practices and labour market activity. We make use of the Pension awareness of Poles survey data (N=1006) and apply quantitative methods: binary logistic regressions and principal component analysis (PCA). We distinguish between first-best and second-best strategies. The former relates to accumulating pension wealth, while the latter to the range of actions aimed at making ends meet, provided insufficient benefit. The results show that there is a poor relationship between knowledge, plans and behaviour. Moreover, knowledge itself is limited. Even though the awareness of the worsening conditions of retirees-to-be is increasing, little is being done to counteract it. Among various demographic and socio-economic descriptors income and education play an important role in distinguishing patterns, as well as status of self-employed. Three second-best strategies have been distinguished: own responsibility, external support, rebellion. We conclude that information policy on the pension system should be improved, and the incentives for older workers to continue their careers should be strengthened.
    Keywords: pension system, population ageing, supplementary saving, labour force
    JEL: J26 D14 D91
    Date: 2018–09
  16. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: The purpose of the mission was to assist the National Statistics Office (Geostat) in developing a residential property price index (RPPI) and expanding coverage of the producer price index (PPI). The mission visited Tbilisi during April 25 to May 4, 2018. This was the first price statistics mission to Georgia conducted under the auspices of the three-year Project to Improve National Accounts and Price Statistics in Eastern and Southeastern Europe. This project is funded by the Government of The Netherlands.
    Date: 2018–10–03
  17. By: Bartlomiej Marona; Annette van den Beemt
    Abstract: Public real estate management (PREM) is a part of corporate real estate management (CREM) literature which deals with real estate management at the disposal of private and public organizations which are not primarily in the real estate business (Bon, 1992, pp. 13). However the CREM concept is based mostly on research made in the private sector and therefore not always fit for public sector specifics, public regulations and public values. In this context, very valuable and interesting is PREM research which are based not only on CREM theory but also on the public management approach.The main goal of this paper is to present a role of individual concepts of public management in the process of real estate management in Polish and Dutch municipalities. Special attention is given to New Public Management and Public Governance.
    Keywords: municipal real estate; public management; public real estate; Real Estate Management
    JEL: R3
    Date: 2018–01–01
  18. By: Vincent Chatellier (SMART - Structures et Marché Agricoles, Ressources et Territoires - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - AGROCAMPUS OUEST); Thierry Pouch (URCA - Université de Reims Champagne Ardenne, APCA - Assemblée Permanente des Chambres d'Agriculture); Cecile Le Roy (SMART - Structures et Marché Agricoles, Ressources et Territoires - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - AGROCAMPUS OUEST); Quentin Mathieu (APCA - Assemblée Permanente des Chambres d'Agriculture)
    Abstract: Russia has been for many years an important outlet for the European Union (EU) in the agrifood sector. Following the break-up of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1991, Russian agriculture, which until then had been dominated by sovkhozes and kolkhozes, had suffered a drastic fall in domestic production, in particular in animal production. Over the past fifteen years, and due to a policy encouraging investment in agriculture, especially in agro-industrial complexes where the integration model prevails, agricultural production progressed rapidly, at least in certain sectors, including cereals, poultry meat and pork. This development of domestic supply and the diversification of supplier countries (including the United States, Brazil, etc.) had, even before the embargo imposed since August 2014, led to a substantial loss of European exports to Russia. Since the embargo was effective, Russia is no longer a privileged partner for European animal productions. Thanks to the growth of imports in several Asian countries, especially in China, several European animal sectors have nevertheless managed, despite the closure of the Russian market, to increase their exports. This paper deals, first of all, with the main stages of the Russian agricultural and trade policy, the development of agricultural production in this country, and the implementation of the embargo. Using customs statistics data (from BACI and COMEXT databases) over the period 2000 to 2016, it then discusses the evolution of trade flows following the implementation of the embargo, with particular emphasis on Russia's bilateral relations with the EU in four animal sectors: milk and milk products, beef and veal, poultry meat, and pork.
    Abstract: La Russie fut pendant de nombreuses années un débouché important de l'Union européenne (UE) dans le domaine agroalimentaire. A la suite de l'éclatement de l'Union des Républiques Socialistes et Soviétiques (URSS) en 1991, l'agriculture russe jusqu'alors dominée par des sovkhozes et des kolkhozes, a en effet subi une baisse drastique de sa production intérieure, notamment en productions animales. Depuis une quinzaine d'années, et moyennant une politique favorable à l'investissement en agriculture, surtout dans des complexes agroindustriels où le modèle de l'intégration prévaut, la production agricole progresse rapidement, du moins dans certaines filières dont celles des céréales, de la viande de volailles et de la viande porcine. Ce développement de l'offre intérieure et la diversification des pays fournisseurs (dont les Etats-Unis, le Brésil, etc.) ont, avant même l'embargo appliqué depuis août 2014, entraîné une perte substantielle des exportations européennes vers la Russie. L'embargo ayant été efficace, la Russie ne constitue plus un partenaire privilégié pour les productions animales européennes. Grâce à la croissance des importations dans plusieurs pays asiatiques, surtout vers la Chine, plusieurs filières animales européennes sont néanmoins parvenues, en dépit de la fermeture de ce marché, à augmenter leurs exportations. Ce papier traite, tout d'abord, des principales étapes de la politique agricole et commerciale russe, du développement des productions agricoles dans ce pays et des conditions de la mise en oeuvre de l'embargo. Moyennant la valorisation des données statistiques des douanes (bases de données BACI et COMEXT) sur la période 2000 à 2016, il discute ensuite de l'évolution des courants d'échanges consécutive à la mise en oeuvre de l'embargo, en insistant surtout sur la relation bilatérale de la Russie avec l'UE pour quatre filières animales : le lait et les produits laitiers, la viande bovine, la viande de volailles et la viande porcine.
    Keywords: russia,import ban,competitiveness,trade,animal production,livestock farms,russie,embargo,échange commercial,production animale,compétitivité
    Date: 2018
  19. By: Paloma Taltavull de La Paz; Ion Anghel; Stanley McGreal; Costin Ciora
    Abstract: This paper analyses the role of business cycle to determine TOM in Bucharest housing market. It explores the relationship between TOM and the price levels in order to identify whether TOM varies depending on the housing quality (revealed by price level) and with the cyclical moment. The database covers 2013-2016 which includes the economic recovery after financial crisis. Data contains more than 32 thousand of microdata with housing transaction in Bucharest city including information about the energy efficiency level in the building.
    Keywords: business cycle; Housing Prices
    JEL: R3
    Date: 2018–01–01
  20. By: Romina Beqiri (European University of Tirana)
    Abstract: The position and status of victims in the criminal justice process have been the subject of recent developments at the domestic, European and international levels in many aspects. The adoption of domestic legislations reflects the understanding of the challenges faced by victims and their commitment to a progressive judicial system. In this context, the recent amendments to its Code of Criminal Procedure in light of the recent Judicial System Reform by Albania seem to be a positive development towards the extensive participation of victims of crime in criminal proceedings. However, there are debates whether the right to participate is practically implemented and what is its impact on the criminal trial. This research shows the demand for the establishment of a neutral support mechanism to assist victims at all stages of the judicial process - from investigation to a final judgment. This paper addresses the perceptions and expectations of the judicial staff to address all the issues pertaining to victims? needs in and outside the criminal proceedings. This article aims: (1) to shed a light on the reasons behind the Judicial System Reform approach to amend the Code of Criminal Procedure rather than to adopt a comprehensive and comprehensible victim-oriented justice; (2) to reflect upon the role and rights of victims in the Albanian criminal justice system; and (3) to conclude with the recommendation to set up an effective long-term mechanism with the sole responsibility to provide the required support and assistance to the victims in Albania and in the context of the Kosovo Specialist Chamber.
    Keywords: victim participation, victim?s rights, psycho-social assistance and protection, financial compensation, mediation
    JEL: K14 K33 K49
    Date: 2018–07
  21. By: David Szakonyi (George Washington University)
    Abstract: Candidates often tout their private sector experience when running for public office. But do businessperson politicians actually govern differently? This paper argues that given their preferences and managerial expertise, businesspeople in office will adopt policies favorable to the business community and improve government efficiency. To test these claims, I collect data on over 33,000 Russian mayors and legislators and investigate policy outcomes using detailed municipal budgets and over a million procurement contracts. Using a regression discontinuity design, I find that businessperson politicians increase expenditures on roads and transport, while leaving health and education spending untouched. Prioritizing economic over social infrastructure brings immediate benefits to firms, while holding back long-term accumulation of human capital. However, businesspeople do not reduce budget deficits, but rather adopt less competitive methods for selecting contractors, particularly in corruption-ripe construction. In all, businessperson politicians do more to make government run for business, rather than like a business.
    Keywords: monocentric city model, price gradient, zoning, standard urban model
    JEL: P26 P25 H50 H11 H72
    Date: 2018–08
  22. By: Doris Hanzl-Weiss (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Mario Holzner (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Roman Römisch (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: The German version can be found here. The economies of Vienna and Bratislava have followed quite different development paths over the last decades. While Vienna’s population increased by about 20% within two decades, Bratislava’s population mostly stagnated. However, when measured in GDP per capita at purchasing power parties, average income in Bratislava has surpassed that of Vienna and is now among the top-10 leading regions in Europe. Massive foreign direct investment, particularly in the automotive sector, has created full employment in Bratislava. Nevertheless, Vienna, as one of the world’s most liveable cities, is still attracting more immigration and labour markets are in less favourable conditions. Transport infrastructure between the two close cities has only recently been improving, which has left considerable scope for further reductions in travel time. Regional cooperation is under way and should be reinforced in order to meet the challenges ahead. Mass-emigration of young Slovaks over the last decades will lead to a rapid ageing in Slovakia over the next decades and the working age population is expected to shrink by almost a third by the end of the century, while Austria’s will mostly stagnate. By creating a truly common labour market in the twin-city region, Bratislava could solve the problem of labour shortages and Vienna could solve its youth unemployment problem. Policy recommendations in this respect include inter alia a more substantial improvement of intercity public transport; common educational planning and training programmes; and, commuter allowances during the nominal wage-equalisation-transition. Other major long-run challenges are the ongoing processes of digitalisation and robotisation. Here, policy recommendations include projects of innovation cooperation; coordination of innovation oriented public procurement; and, improvement of transport infrastructure to connect the twin-city region with the rest of the world in order to reap potential future gains from increased economies of scale.
    Keywords: Bratislava, Vienna, urban development, regional labour markets, education, R&D, demographic trends, wage differentials, technological change
    JEL: O18 R23 I23 J11 J31 O33
    Date: 2018–10

This nep-tra issue is ©2018 by J. David Brown. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.