nep-tra New Economics Papers
on Transition Economics
Issue of 2019‒01‒28
24 papers chosen by
J. David Brown
United States Census Bureau

  1. Can a Tiger Change Its Stripes? Reform of Chinese State-Owned Enterprises in the Penumbra of the State By Ann Harrison; Marshall Meyer; Peichun Wang; Linda Zhao; Minyuan Zhao
  2. Prevention and Combating Corruption in the States of the World. Republic of China By Alexandru Peicea
  3. Effect of employment tax incentives: the case of disability quota in Hungary By Judit Kreko
  4. Parental Migration Decisions and Child Health Outcomes: Evidence from China By Lin, Carl; van der Meulen Rodgers, Yana
  5. Do Innovation Subsidies Make Chinese Firms More Innovative? Evidence from the China Employer Employee Survey By Hong Cheng; Hanbing Fan; Takeo Hoshi; Dezhuang Hu
  6. Creating and Developing Competition in the Banking Sector of the Republic of Serbia By Ivana Marinovic Matovic
  7. Transport Infrastructure, City Productivity Growth and Sectoral Reallocation: Evidence from China By Yang Yang
  8. Transmission of foreign monetary shocks to a small open economy under structural instability: the case of Russia By Anna Kruglova; Konstantin Styrin; Yulia Ushakova
  9. “Another Look at Causes and Consequences of Pension Privatization Reform Reversals in Eastern Europe" By Nikola Altiparmakov
  10. Why Has China Overinvested in Coal Power? By Mengjia Ren; Lee G. Branstetter; Brian K. Kovak; Daniel E. Armanios; Jiahai Yuan
  11. Herding behaviour in an emerging market: Evidence from the Moscow Exchange By Indars, Edgars Rihards; Savin, Aliaksei; Lublóy, Ágnes
  12. The Long-Run Trend of Residential Investment in China By Ding Ding; Weicheng Lian
  13. Decoding the Chinese puzzle: Rapid economic growth and social development despite a high level of corruption By Heberer, Thomas
  14. “Land Ownership and Informal Credit in Rural Vietnam" By Matteo Migheli
  15. China's Bond Market and Global Financial Markets By Eugenio M Cerutti; Maurice Obstfeld
  17. Untapped Potential: Intra-Regional Trade in the Western Balkans By Plamen Kaloyanchev; Ivan Kusen; Alexandros Mouzakitis
  18. Economical potential of unutilised agricultural area in Poland. Scenario of crop production resumption, the first approximate evaluation By Pudełko, Rafał; Kozak, Małgorzata; Jędrejek, Anna; Gałczyńska, Małgorzata
  19. Migrants and Firms: Evidence from China By Clement Imbert; Marlon Seror; Yifan Zhang; Yanos Zylberberg
  20. Main forms of interaction between Russian regions and ASEAN countries By Pakhomov, Alexander (Пахомов, Александр)
  21. Do female managers help to lower within-firm gender pay gaps? Public institutions vs. private enterprises By Iga Magda; Ewa Cukrowska-Torzewska
  22. Forecasting inflation in Russia by Dynamic Model Averaging By Konstantin Styrin
  23. Are labor unions important for business cycle fluctuations: lessons from Bulgaria (1999-2016) By Vasilev, Aleksandar
  24. Structural Quarterly Projection Model for Belarus By Karel Musil; Mikhail Pranovich; Jan Vlcek

  1. By: Ann Harrison; Marshall Meyer; Peichun Wang; Linda Zhao; Minyuan Zhao
    Abstract: The majority of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in China were privatized through ownership reforms over the last two decades. Using a comprehensive dataset of all medium and large enterprises in China between 1998 and 2013, we show that privatized SOEs continue to benefit from government support relative to private enterprises. Compared to private firms that were never state-owned, privatized SOEs are favored by low interest loans and government subsidies. These differences are more salient with the Chinese government’s trillion-dollar stimulus package introduced after the 2008 global financial crisis. Moreover, both SOEs and privatized SOEs significantly under-perform in profitability compared to private firms. Nevertheless there are clear improvements in performance post-privatization. The tiger can change its stripes; however, the government’s behavior seems to be sticky.
    JEL: L3 L33 O31 O32 O33 P31
    Date: 2019–01
  2. By: Alexandru Peicea (Bucharest Bar Association, The Police Academy Alexandru Ioan Cuza, Bucharest, Romania)
    Abstract: In China, one of the world's largest powers, anti-corruption legislation is well defined. In this sense, a number of normative acts contain provisions regarding the fight against this harmful phenomenon, capable of shaking the economy and the rule of law at world level. Provisions related to the prevention and combating of corruption in the People's Republic of China are also found in other secondary legislation, judicial practice and the Code of Criminal Procedure of that state. In order to repress corruption, the Supreme Court of China and the Prosecutor General's Office in China have published a series of prior recommendations on the prevention, detection and sanctioning of these reprehensible acts committed by civil servants or by senior officials high. Also, such collaborations have also been carried out to prevent and combat corruption in the private sector. In order to meet this goal, China has ratified the provisions of several conventions on corruption. This paper aims to highlight the legislative framework on preventing and combating corruption in the People's Republic of China and the steps taken or to be taken by Beijing leaders for this purpose. Also, in the present paper will be listed the main normative acts related to the prevention and fight against corruption, existing at present in this state.
    Keywords: bribery, corruption, fight, measures, prevention
    Date: 2018–11
  3. By: Judit Kreko
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the effect of the Hungarian disability quota - levy system on disabled employment and firm behavior, and also aims to shed light on factors influencing the effectiveness of employment tax incentives. According to the quota rule, firms above a certain size threshold have to employ at least five percent disabled employees or pay a levy in case of non-compliance. The special feature of the Hungarian quota system is the uniquely high levy, which is accompanied by poor labor market integration of the disabled. The estimation exploits two significant policy changes: the drastic raise of the levy in 2010 and the increase of the firm size threshold from 20 to 25 employees in 2012. The policy effect on disabled employment is estimated on firm level data with regression discontinuity design. The baseline RDD results are adjusted to account for the potential bias arising from non-random firm selection, as many firms adjust their size to avoid the quota. The estimated disabled employment effect is high in international comparison, however, almost three-quarter of the quota is not fulfilled. I find evidence that the ratio of disabled population influences the disabled employment effect of the quota. This suggests that low effective labor supply and high (perceived) non-wage costs of hiring disabled are factors behind low quota fulfillment.
    Date: 2019–01–11
  4. By: Lin, Carl (Bucknell University); van der Meulen Rodgers, Yana (Rutgers University)
    Abstract: This study uses migrant household survey data from 2008 and 2009 to examine how parental migration decisions are associated with the nutritional status of children in rural and urban China. Results from instrumental variables regressions show a substantial adverse effect of children's exposure to parental migration on height-for-age Z-scores of left-behind children relative to children who migrate with their parents. Additional results from a standard Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition, a quantile decomposition, and a counterfactual distribution analysis all confirm that children who are left behind in rural villages – usually because of the oppressive hukou system – have poorer nutritional status than children who migrate with their parents, and the gaps are biggest at lower portions of the distribution.
    Keywords: migration, China, children, health, nutrition
    JEL: I10 J61
    Date: 2018–11
  5. By: Hong Cheng; Hanbing Fan; Takeo Hoshi; Dezhuang Hu
    Abstract: The Chinese government has been using various subsidies to encourage innovations by Chinese firms. This paper examines the allocation and impacts of innovation subsidies, using the data from the China Employer Employee Survey (CEES). We find that the innovation subsidies are preferentially allocated to state owned firms and politically connected firms. Of these two (state ownership and political connection), political connection is more important in determining the allocation. We also find that the firms that receive innovation subsidies file and receive more patents, are more likely to introduce new products, but do not necessarily file and receive more patents abroad. Finally, the firms that receive innovation subsidies do not have higher productivity, more profits, or larger market shares. Overall, the results point to inefficiency of allocation of innovation subsidies and show that the subsidies encourage only incremental innovations and not radical ones.
    JEL: O25 O38 P48
    Date: 2019–01
  6. By: Ivana Marinovic Matovic (University of Nis)
    Abstract: The significance of the banking sector in the Republic of Serbia has grown over the last 20 years, as a result of a huge increase of market importance and, consequently, deregulation in this and other sectors. Deregulation and liberalization processes are followed by the processes of integration (mergers and acquisitions) of banks. The banking sector in the Republic of Serbia is characterized by a relatively large number of banks. Competition in general, and especially in the banking sector, is complicated and difficult to measure, for which there are no generally accepted and best indicators. Using the Concentration Ratio index (CR) and Herfindahl-Hirschman index (HHI), the author tries to determine the degree of concentration, for the purpose of evaluation the competition in the banking sector of the Republic of Serbia. The degree of concentration was checked on the basis of the financial statements of banks in the Republic of Serbia in the period 2008-2017. The results of the research will point to the current state and the best perspectives for creating and developing competitive conditions in the banking sector of the Republic of Serbia.
    Keywords: Banking sector, Republic of Serbia, concentration, competition, CR index, HHI index
    Date: 2018–11
  7. By: Yang Yang
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of highway expansion on aggregate productivity growth and sectoral reallocation between cities in China. To do so, I construct a unique dataset of bilateral transportation costs between Chinese cities, digitized highway network maps, and firm-level census. I first derive and estimate a market access measure that summarizes all direct and indirect impact of trade costs on city productivity. I then construct an instrumental variable to examine the causal impact of highways on economic outcomes and the underlying channels. The results suggest that highways promoted aggregate productivity growth by facilitating firm entry, exit and reallocation. I also find evidence that the national highway system led to a sectoral reallocation between cities in China.
    Date: 2018–12–11
  8. By: Anna Kruglova (University of Washington (Bank of Russia at the time of participating in this study)); Konstantin Styrin (Bank of Russia, Russian Federation); Yulia Ushakova (Bank of Russia, Russian Federation)
    Abstract: This paper studies the transmission of monetary policy shocks in the U.S. to a small open economy by estimating their effect on lending based on bank-level balance sheet data of Russian banks for 2000-2018. To identify the causal effect at the bank level we exploit heterogeneity across banks in terms of their reliance on cross-border funding. We find evidence that the effect of U.S. monetary policy shocks has been statistically and economically significant. Surprisingly, the magnitude of the effect remained roughly the same even after the monetary policy in Russia transited from exchange rate to inflation targeting. This finding suggests that a free floating regime does not attenuate the effect of foreign monetary policy shocks on domestic lending.
    Keywords: monetary policy, international spillovers, cross-border transmission
    JEL: E52 F34 G21
    Date: 2018–12
  9. By: Nikola Altiparmakov (Fiscal Council, Serbia)
    Abstract: In order for ‘carve-out’ pension privatization to improve long-term sustainability the transition should not be predominantly debt-financed, and private pension funds should deliver (net) rates of return tangibly higher than GDP growth. We show that none of the reforming countries in Eastern Europe was successful in fulfilling these two preconditions, even before the emergence of the global financial crisis. While existing literature mostly describes a recent wave of reform reversals as politically driven short-sighted policies that deteriorate long-term sustainability, we argue the contrary: that pension privatization structural deficiencies and disappointing performance allow reversals to improve the short-term stance without necessarily undermining long-term pension sustainability. We conclude that unless political consensus exists to support the multi-decade fiscal austerity required to finance pension privatization, reform adjustments and reversals can be a rational alternative to maintaining economically suboptimal or politically unstable pension systems in some Eastern European countries.
    Date: 2018–06
  10. By: Mengjia Ren; Lee G. Branstetter; Brian K. Kovak; Daniel E. Armanios; Jiahai Yuan
    Abstract: Since 2005, the Chinese government has engaged in an ambitious effort to move China’s energy system away from coal and towards more environmentally friendly sources of energy. However, China’s investment in coal power has accelerated sharply in recent years, raising concerns of massive overcapacity and undermining the central policy goal of promoting cleaner energy. In this paper, we ask why China engaged in such a pronounced investment boom in coal power in the mid-2010s. We find the protective rules under which China’s coal power industry has historically operated have made excessive investment extremely likely unless the central government serves as a “gatekeeper,” slowing and limiting investment in the face of incentives for socially excessive entry. When coal-power project approval authority was decentralized from the central government to local governments at the end of 2014, the gate was lifted and approval time considerably shortened, allowing investment to flood into the market. We construct a simple economic model that elucidates the effects of key policies on coal power investment, and examine the model’s predictions using coal-power project approval records from 2013 to 2016. We find the approval rate of coal power is about 3 times higher when the approval authority is decentralized, and provinces with larger coal industries tend to approve more coal power. We estimate that local coal production accounts for an additional 54GW of approved coal power in 2015 (other things equal), which is about 1/4 of total approved capacity in that year.
    JEL: Q40 Q48
    Date: 2019–01
  11. By: Indars, Edgars Rihards; Savin, Aliaksei; Lublóy, Ágnes
    Abstract: This study investigates the extent to which herding towards the market consensus for Russian stocks is driven by fundamental and non-fundamental factors. We find evidence that investors on the Moscow Exchange herd without any reference to fundamentals during unanticipated financial crises coupled with high uncertainty, in falling markets, and during days with extreme upward oil price movements. The results indicate that companies with less transparent information environment, proxied by company size and the number of analysts following the company, are more prone to herding driven by non-fundamental factors. This herding behaviour temporarily impedes the incorporation of all relevant fundamental information into stock prices and diverts the market from its efficient state. In contrast, in periods of high liquidity and on days of international sanction announcements during the Ukrainian crisis herding behaviour is merely driven by fundamentals. In Russia, macroeconomic news releases induce both information-related herding and herding without any reference to fundamentals. These results suggest that motives of investors herding behaviour vary under specific market conditions and share characteristics.
    Keywords: herding, emerging markets, fundamental information
    JEL: G01 G14
    Date: 2019–01–14
  12. By: Ding Ding; Weicheng Lian
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze the fundamental drivers of China’s residential investment as a share of its GDP. Our analysis indicates that the economic structural changes that led to rebalancing toward consumption were the key driver of the rising residential investment to GDP ratio in China. We project that residential investment would moderate from the current level of 9 percent of GDP to around 6 percent by 2024, and its contribution to real GDP growth would decline gradually from currently about half percent of GDP to slightly negative over this period, barring policy intervention. The decline in the growth contribution of residential investment reflects the projected somewhat slower pace of rebalancing going forward and the envisaged increases in labor costs due to demographic changes.
    Keywords: Asia and Pacific;China, People's Republic of;Central banks and their policies;China housing market, residential investment, rebalancing, Bayesian Analysis, Time-Series Models, Monetary Policy (Targets, Instruments, and Effects)
    Date: 2018–12–07
  13. By: Heberer, Thomas
    Abstract: This paper examines why despite increasing corruption since the 1980s, China's development has advanced so rapidly. The author argues that a strong developmental state, the prevalence of "developmental corruption" over "predatory corruption" and a temporary and relative acceptance of leading local cadres' corrupt practices by the Chinese leadership contributed to a high level of economic development. The development model of purely quantitative growth has meanwhile been replaced by one in favor of more sustainable development. However, social groups benefitting from corrupt practices or having invested heavily in social relationships are opposing such a step. Therefore, the central political leadership resorts to a combination of fighting at the same time both political corruption and political opposition of individuals and organizations against its new development policies and anti-corruption drive. Thus, combating corruption is also a mechanism to enforce the new reform and development program.
    Keywords: developmental corruption,predatory corruption,developmental state,strong state,anti-corruption drive
    Date: 2019
  14. By: Matteo Migheli (University of Turin and CeRP-Collegio Carlo Alberto)
    Abstract: Access to credit and its cost is a major challenge for farmers in developing countries. Several studies show that land serves as collateral for accessing formal credit, but they often do not find any significant effect of land size on access to informal credit. I study the effects of land ownership on both the demand and the cost of informal credit in the Mekong Delta. The results show that as land ownership increases, both the demand and the cost of informal loans decrease. Design and implementation of appropriate land redistributions seems a fundamental way to fight the informal credit market.
    Date: 2018–06
  15. By: Eugenio M Cerutti; Maurice Obstfeld
    Abstract: A cross-country comparative analysis shows that there is substantial room for further integration of China into global financial markets, especially in the case of the international bond market. A further successful liberalization of the Chinese bond market would encompass not only loosening bond market regulations, but also further developing of other markets, notably the foreign exchange market. Even though the increased integration of China into international capital markets would increase its exposure to the global financial cycle, the costs in terms of monetary autonomy would not be large given China’s size and especially under a well-articulated macroeconomic framework.
    Keywords: Globalization;Asia and Pacific;China;International financial markets;Bond Market, Market Integration, Financial Aspects of Economic Integration, International Business Cycles
    Date: 2018–12–07
  16. By: Xie, Zhuang
    Abstract: With the development of science and technology and economy, more and more financial intermediaries are appearing in the financial market to ensure more efficient and stable processes in the financial system. As the main part of financial intermediary, the bank plays a vital role in the whole financial market system. In recent years, China's banking industry has been developing rapidly, but there are many potential problems, such as the operational risk management. At the present stage, the operational risk management authority of China's commercial banks is overly centralized, there is no clear loan risk responsibility system, and no effective long-term credit mechanism has been established, and the problem of non-performing loans still exists. This paper takes Hua Xia Bank as the objective of study and its analysis of the data based on its annual report between 2013 to 2017. The result of analysis shows that the ratio of firm-specific factor which can influence operating ratio mostly is leverage. Moreover, for the macroeconomic part, the significant influential factor is GDP. Therefore, this study suggest the bank should manage the leverage ratio effectively and efficiently for preforming well in the operational risk management.
    Keywords: operating ratio,leverage,GDP
    JEL: G21
    Date: 2018–12–16
  17. By: Plamen Kaloyanchev; Ivan Kusen; Alexandros Mouzakitis
    Abstract: Strengthening regional economic integration has been set as a priority by the leaders in the Western Balkans. In this context, the paper examines merchandise trade patterns in the region and tries to identify the main drivers of and obstacles to intra-regional trade. Although intra-regional trade comes second in importance, after trade with the EU, it underperformed and was in a relative decline in the last decade. The structure of intra-regional trade has been rather stable and remained concentrated in goods with low value added. The trade of the region with Russia, China and Turkey is less pronounced and is systematically skewed towards imports from them. The results of a gravity model of trade show that intra-regional trade has been positively driven by the level of economic activity and to some degree by cultural factors, like language similarity, while non-tariff barriers significantly reduce trade exchanges between the countries in the region. Contrary to expectations, geographical proximity did not come out as a statistically significant factor impacting trade dynamics in the examined period. Nonetheless, the poor connectivity in the region, attested by a number of indicators and other studies, is a major obstacle to economic development. Therefore, recent initiatives to support regional economic development by reducing non-tariff barriers and improving regional transport corridors seem to be well-placed.
    JEL: F14
    Date: 2018–04
  18. By: Pudełko, Rafał; Kozak, Małgorzata; Jędrejek, Anna; Gałczyńska, Małgorzata
    Abstract: The study presents assessment of economic benefits possible to be obtained thanks to restoring agricultural production on fallowed/abandoned land located on arable parcels of medium-good and medium quality classes of land in Poland. Unused agricultural areas appeared in the 90s of XX century, after the political transformation. Currently, 1.3 million ha of arable land, 281 thousand ha of pastures and 39 thousand ha of orchards still remain uncultivated, which is 14.6% of total agricultural area. Modelling of potential benefits after restoring agricultural production was conducted by using spatial analysis in the scale of parcels. The main conclusions: (a) in Poland there are over 442.8 thousand ha of arable land which can be effectively restored to crop production, (b) after land use change of the mentioned area, a potential increase in cereal production by 5.94% is expected, which can be equivalent to 1.77 million tonnes of triticale, (c) besides, 1.59 million tonnes of straw can be produced for soil conservation, animal production and bioenergy purposes.
    Keywords: Crop Production/Industries, Land Economics/Use, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy
    Date: 2019–01–21
  19. By: Clement Imbert; Marlon Seror; Yifan Zhang; Yanos Zylberberg
    Abstract: This paper estimates the causal effect of rural-urban migration on urban production in China. We use longitudinal data on manufacturing firms between 2001 and 2006 and exploit exogenous variation in rural-urban migration due to agricultural price shocks. Following a migrant inflow, labor costs decline and employment expands. Labor productivity decreases sharply and remains low in the medium run. A quantitative framework suggests that destinations become too labor-abundant and migration mostly benefits low- productivity firms within locations. As migrants select into high-productivity destinations, migration however strongly contributes to the equalization of factor productivity across locations.
    Keywords: rural-urban migration, structural transformation, urban production
    JEL: D24 J23 J61 O15
    Date: 2018
  20. By: Pakhomov, Alexander (Пахомов, Александр) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration)
    Abstract: The article examines main directions of interregional cooperation in economic and social fields between the Russian federal subjects and ASEAN states. This cooperation has a growing trend and positive impact on the development of Russian federal subjects’ foreign economic activity and on the humanitarian sphere.
    Keywords: subjects of Federation, ASEAN States, international cooperation, foreign economic complex, social sphere.
    Date: 2018–12
  21. By: Iga Magda (Institute for Structural Research (IBS), Warsaw School of Economics); Ewa Cukrowska-Torzewska (Institute for Structural Research (IBS); University of Warsaw, Faculty of Economic Sciences)
    Abstract: We analyze the link between the presence of female managers and the size of the firm-level gender pay gap, looking separately at the private and public sector. Using a large linked employer-employee dataset for Poland and a non-parametric and parametric decompositions, we find that higher presence of female managers is associated with more pay advantage towards women in selected types of public sector units: the ones in which remunerations of women and men are already equal, and a large share of the workforce is tertiary-educated. The effects are, however, relatively small in size. In private establishments, lower gender wage inequality is associated with higher shares of female workers, but not female managers.
    Keywords: gender wage gap, wage inequalities, public sector, female managers, Ñopo decomposition, Oaxaca- Blinder decomposition
    JEL: J16 J31 J45
    Date: 2019
  22. By: Konstantin Styrin (Bank of Russia, Russian Federation)
    Abstract: In this study, I forecast CPI inflation in Russia by the method of Dynamic Model Averaging (Raftery et al., 2010; Koop and Korobilis, 2012) pseudo out-of-sample on historical data. This method can be viewed as an extension of the Bayesian Model Averaging where the identity of a model that generates data and model parameters are allowed to change over time. The DMA is shown not to produce forecasts superior to simpler benchmarks even if a subset of individual predictors is pre-selected “with the benefit of hindsight” on the full sample. The two groups of predictors that feature the highest average values of the posterior inclusion probability are loans to non-financial firms and individuals along with actual and anticipated wages.
    Keywords: Bayesian model averaging, model uncertainty, econometric modeling, high-dimension model, inflation forecast.
    JEL: C5 C53 E37
    Date: 2018–12
  23. By: Vasilev, Aleksandar
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate the quantitative importance of collective agreements in explaining uctuations in Bulgarian labor markets. Following Maffezzoli (2001), we introduce a monopoly union in a real-business-cycle model with government sector. We calibrate the model to Bulgarian data for the period following the introduction of the currency board arrangement (1999-2016), and compare and contrast it to a model with indivisible labor and no unions as in Rogerson and Wright (1988). We find that the sequential bargaining between unions and firms produces an important internal propagation mechanism, which fits data much better that the alternative framework with indivisible labor.
    Keywords: business cycles,general equilibrium,labor unions,indivisible labor,involuntary unemployment
    JEL: E32 E24 J23 J51
    Date: 2019
  24. By: Karel Musil; Mikhail Pranovich; Jan Vlcek
    Abstract: Belarusian authorities contemplate transiting to inflation targeting. The paper suggests a small structural model at the core of the forecasting and policy analysis system. A well-researched canonical structure of Berg, A., Karam, P. and D. Laxton (2006) is extended to capture specifics of Belarusian economy and macroeconomic policy. The modified model’s policy block reflects a monetary targeting regime and allows for transition from it to an interest-rate-based framework. Adding wages, directed lending and dollarization allow for studying implications of activist wage policy, state program lending, and dollarization for macroeconomic stability and the strength of the policy transmission mechanism.
    Keywords: Belarus;Dollarization;Europe;Monetary policy;Quarterly Projection Model, Nominal Wages, Fiscal Impulse, Forecasting and Simulation, Monetary Policy (Targets, Instruments, and Effects), Quantitative Policy Modeling
    Date: 2018–12–07

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