nep-tra New Economics Papers
on Transition Economics
Issue of 2021‒01‒04
nine papers chosen by
Maksym Obrizan
Kyiv School of Economics

  1. Economic efficiency versus social equity: the productivity challenge for rice production in a `greying' rural Vietnam? By Hoa-Thi-Minh Nguyen; Huong Do; Tom Kompas
  2. Reverse Party Favoritism in Times of Pandemics: Evidence from Poland By Kantorowicz, Jaroslaw
  3. Social Assimilation and Labor Market Outcomes of Migrants in China By Cai, Shu; Zimmermann, Klaus F.
  6. Does inter-municipal cooperation help improve local economic performance – evidence from Poland By Monika Banaszewska; Ivo Bischoff; Aneta Kaczyńska; Eva Wolfschütz
  7. To What Extent does Convergence Explain the Slowdown in Potential Growth of the CEE Countries Following the Global Financial Crisis? By Maciej Stefański
  8. How Do The Characteristics Of The Environment Influence University Efficiency? Evidence From A Conditional Efficiency Approach By Tommaso Agasisti; Aleksei Egorov; Pavel Serebrennikov
  9. Separating Left from Right in Eastern Europe: Re-examining Attitudes Towards Inequality By Jesper Lindqvist

  1. By: Hoa-Thi-Minh Nguyen; Huong Do; Tom Kompas
    Abstract: Increasing productivity in agriculture is often deemed necessary to enhance rural in come and ultimately narrow the urban-rural disparity in transitional economies. However, the objectives of social equity and economic e?ciency can contradict each other, especially in the context of ?erce competition for resources between agriculture and non-agricultural sectors and given the inherently redundant and unskilled aging rural population that of ten occurs during the economic transition to a market economy. We investigate the case of Vietnam during its high economic growth period (2000-2016), over which the country introduced policies to increase e?ciency in rice production and income for farmers. Con trary to expectations, we ?nd a steadily decreasing trend in the terms of trade for rice, indicating regression in farm income. At the same time, the Malmquist productivity in dex has been falling in most regions due to a decline in technical change, along with little improvement in technical e?ciency. We further examine the causes of ine?ciency using data from two household surveys in 2004 and 2014 (with plot-level information) along with semi-structured interviews with farmers in 2016-2017. The high ratio of aging farm workers who are unable to ?nd alternative employment during the transition emerges as an essential impediment to rice productivity, in addition to previously documented land use related issues. This demographic feature, along with government equity-targeting measures, hinders the farm amalgamation progress, further limiting e?orts to enhance productivity. Thus, the goals of economic e?ciency and social equity appear contradictory features of Vietnam’s rice policies, posing a signi?cant development challenge for the country’s current and likely future development.
    Keywords: greying agriculture, productivity, rice, Vietnam, Data Envelopment
    JEL: O12 O13 Q12 Q15
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Kantorowicz, Jaroslaw
    Abstract: There is an abundant empirical literature demonstrating party favoritism whereby the central government is prone to disburse financial transfers to favor aligned local governments. This contrasts with much scarcer evidence on reverse party favoritism, i.e. aligned local governments offering non-pecuniary support to the central government in times of elections. In this paper I show that such reverse party favoritism exists. To demonstrate it, I exploit the fact that during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic crisis, the Polish government was keen to launch postal voting in the presidential elections scheduled for May 2020. The organization of these elections hinged on the Polish Post getting access to the lists of voters, which were in the possession of heads of the municipal executive (mayors). Since the relevant legislation on postal voting had not been enacted on time, the vast majority of local executives refused to share their lists of voters. Nonetheless, numerous mayors did transfer the lists to the Post. By employing a set of standard (linear probability and logistic) regression models and regression discontinuity design, I show that the political alignment of mayors with the central government leads to approximately 20-25 percentage points greater likelihood of transferring the lists of voters to the Polish Post. This difference in probabilities tends to be smaller in cases of divided governments but not in cases of higher political contestability.
    Date: 2020–12–15
  3. By: Cai, Shu; Zimmermann, Klaus F.
    Abstract: Previous research has found identity to be relevant for international migration, but has neglected internal mobility as in the case of the Great Chinese Migration. However, the context of the identities of migrants and their adaption in the migration process is likely to be quite different. The gap is closed by examining social assimilation and the effect on the labor market outcomes of migrants in China, the country with the largest record of internal mobility. Using instrumental variable estimation, the study finds that identifying as local residents significantly increases migrants’ hourly wages and reduces hours worked, although their monthly earnings remained barely changed. Further findings suggest that migrants with strong local identity are more likely to use local networks in job search, and to obtain jobs with higher average wages and lower average hours worked per day.
    Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Labor and Human Capital
    Date: 2020–12–14
  4. By: Jaanika Meriküll; Maryna Tverdostup
    Abstract: This paper looks at the gender wage gap throughout the transition from communism to capitalism and throughout fast economic convergence. The case of Estonia is used, and the labour force survey micro data is employed from 1989 to 2020. The communist regimes were characterized by highly regulated wage determination and the high educational attainment and labour market participation of women. Despite a formally egalitarian regime, the raw gender wage gap was as large as 41% in 1989. The large gender wage gap under communist rule diminished quickly during the transition to a capitalism, mainly due to the erosion of distortions in the labour market, such as low returns to education. The paper has two main messages, first, the position of women in the labour market has improved over the last three decades. The mechanism behind their gains is similar to those in other formerly centrally planned economies, the education of women is even better now, they are employed in better occupations and their returns to education are higher. Second, the gender wage gap was large already three decades ago and the unexplained part has been resistant to decline. This points to strong inertia in the gender wage gap and to the importance of longer-term factors in it. The decline in the gap is related to the overall decline in wage inequality, minimum wages have also contributed to this process. While gender attitudes have become much more egalitarian, it is difficult to prove their role.
    Keywords: gender gap, pension, gender equality, gender attitudes
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Alexandra Koroleva (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Viktoria Kobzeva (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The paper investigates interviews from the archive of Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities (IGITI) which were conducted in 2010s with Russian scholars and professors. The data from these interviews is used to study transnational academic mobility experience in the post-Soviet years (2000s–2010s) by young Russian scholars – the respondents of the interviews who entered higher education institutions in the post-Soviet period. The paper examines how they described academic mobility experience, its impact on their idea of university, concept of excellence, and the significance of academic mobility itself
    Keywords: academic mobility, ‘brain drain’, international academia, young Russian scholars, academic excellence.
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Monika Banaszewska (Poznań University of Economics and Business); Ivo Bischoff (University of Kassel); Aneta Kaczyńska (Poznań University of Economics and Business); Eva Wolfschütz (University of Kassel)
    Abstract: This paper aims at testing whether inter-municipal cooperation (IMC) in the field of economic development has a positive impact on local economic performance. We apply marginal structural models to a panel data set covering all Polish municipalities between 2003 and 2013. We use the unemployment rate and own revenues per capita as a proxy for local economic performance. Our results are mixed suggesting, on average, no significant effect of an additional year of IMC on local revenue per capita. At the same time, we observe a positive effect on the unemployment rate.
    Keywords: Inter-municipal cooperation, Poland, economic development, marginal structural models
    JEL: D72 H77 H80 O10
    Date: 2019–02
  7. By: Maciej Stefański
    Abstract: The paper estimates a simple growth model with time-varying cross-country fixed effects on a panel of high-income countries and decomposes changes in potential growth into convergence, movements in the steady state determinants, global TFP growth and labor force growth in order to investigate the sources of potential growth slowdown in CEE following the global financial crisis. Convergence is found to explain about 40% of the slowdown, the other main drivers being falling investment to GDP ratio and the TFP component. Further decomposition of investment and TFP demonstrates that domestic and external factors each account for 25-30% of the slowdown.
    Keywords: convergence, potential growth, decomposition, TFP, investment, CEE.
    JEL: O43 O47
    Date: 2020–12
  8. By: Tommaso Agasisti (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Aleksei Egorov (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Pavel Serebrennikov (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper explores the black box behind efficiency measurements in higher education and defines the determinants of university efficiency. Particularly, it investigates how the efficiency of universities is affected by the characteristics of the territory in which they operate. We propose an analysis that combines two perspectives: 1) the resource dependence theory, suggesting that the location of university can determine the amount of resources available to it; 2) institutional isomorphism, according to which the characteristics of other higher education institutions located in the same area may shape the university production function and the efficiency of its operations. In order to test this framework we use the data on Russian universities and non-parametric conditional order-m efficiency estimator with two categories of exogenous variables. The first group includes the social, economic and cultural characteristics of the region where the university is located. The second set includes the characteristics of other higher educationinstitutions located in the same region. Our findings highlight that the managerial efficiency of universities is strongly associated with the characteristics of the environment in which they operate.
    Keywords: Universities, conditional eciency, order-m, DEA, exogenous variables.
    JEL: C44 I23
    Date: 2020
  9. By: Jesper Lindqvist (School of Politics and International Relations, University College)
    Abstract: A number of scholars have suggested that the left-right dimension can be simplified to a conflict over how much inequality should be accepted in society. Yet previous research has found that while acceptance of inequality may correlate with right-wing self-placements in Western Europe, the same does not apply in Eastern Europe. This paper revisits this by examining inequality in relation to class, gender, sexuality and ethnicity (/immigration), taking into account that different inequalities are politicised in different countries and have differing levels of importance for the left-right dimension depending on the context. Results of multilevel regression models demonstrate that attitudes favourable to change in an egalitarian direction correlate with left-wing self-placements in both Eastern and Western Europe. This critical break from previous research is especially important for future studies on Eastern Europe, where the left-right dimension has previously been understood to function very differently compared to Western Europe.
    Keywords: Left-right dimension, equality, inequality, ideology, public opinion
    Date: 2020–11–12

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