nep-tra New Economics Papers
on Transition Economics
Issue of 2021‒05‒03
eleven papers chosen by
Maksym Obrizan
Kyiv School of Economics

  1. Working Beyond the Normal Retirement Age in Urban China and Urban Russia By Gustafsson, Björn Anders; Nivorozhkina, Ludmila; Wan, Haiyuan
  2. Distressed Acquisitions: Evidence from European Emerging Markets By Ichiro Iwasaki; Evžen Kocenda; Yoshisada Shida
  3. What Explains Vietnam's Exceptional Performance in Education Relative to Other Countries? Analysis of the 2012 and 2015 PISA Data By Dang, Hai-Anh; Glewwe, Paul; Vu, Khoa; Lee, Jongwook
  4. Greening Lithuania’s growth By Hansjörg Blöchliger; Sigita Strumskyte
  5. From Friends to Foes: National Identity and Collaboration in Diverse Teams By Laurentsyeva, Nadzeya
  6. Product Variety, the Cost of Living and Welfare Across Countries By Alberto Cavallo; Robert C. Feenstra; Robert Inklaar
  7. Export and firms' performance in North Macedonia: self selection or learning by doing? By Biljana Jovanovic
  8. Sick Pay and Absence from Work: Evidence from Flu Exposure By Jakub Grossmann
  9. Measuring of Concentration and Competition: Serbian Banking Sector By Bukvić, Rajko
  10. The Ruble Collapse in an Online Marketplace: Some Lessons for Market Designers By John J. Horton
  11. Regional poverty in Bulgaria in the period 2008-2019 By Iva Raycheva

  1. By: Gustafsson, Björn Anders (University of Gothenburg); Nivorozhkina, Ludmila (Rostov State Economic University); Wan, Haiyuan (Beijing Normal University)
    Abstract: The incidence of working for earnings beyond the normal pension age of 55 for females and 60 for males in urban China and Russia is investigated using micro-data for 2002, 2013, and 2018. Estimated logit models show that, in both countries, the probability of working after normal retirement age is positively related to living with a spouse only, being healthy, and having a higher education level but is negatively associated with age, the scale of pension and, in urban China, being female. We find that seniors in urban Russia are more likely to work for earnings than their counterparts in China. Two possible reasons for this difference are ruled out: cross-country differences in health status and the age distribution among elderly people. We also show that working beyond the normal retirement age has a much stronger negative association with earnings in urban China than in urban Russia. This is consistent with the facts that the normal retirement age is strictly enforced in urban China and seniors attempting to work face intensive competition from younger migrant workers. We conclude that China can learn from Russia that it has a substantial potential for increasing employment among healthy people under 70.
    Keywords: retirement, older people, employment, China, Russia, labour market
    JEL: E24 J14 J J3 P52
    Date: 2021–04
  2. By: Ichiro Iwasaki; Evžen Kocenda; Yoshisada Shida
    Abstract: We analyze factors behind 23,213 distressed acquisitions in European emerging markets from 2007–2019. Besides the impact of financial ratios, legal form, ownership structure, firm size, and age, we emphasize the role of institutions and channels of their propagation. We show that the quality and enforcement of insolvency laws are linked with the lower probability of distressed acquisitions, followed by corruption control and progress in banking reforms. The impact of institutions is larger in less-advanced countries as compared to economically stronger ones. The effect of institutions increased after the financial crisis but declined as the economic situation improved.
    Keywords: distressed acquisitions, mergers, European emerging markets
    JEL: C35 D02 D22 E02 G34 K20 L22
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Dang, Hai-Anh; Glewwe, Paul; Vu, Khoa; Lee, Jongwook
    Abstract: Despite being the poorest or second poorest participant, Vietnam performed much better than all other developing countries, and even ahead of wealthier countries such as the U.S. and the U.K., on the 2012 and 2015 PISA assessments. We provide a rigorous investigation of Vietnam's strong performance. After making various parametric and non-parametric corrections for potentially non-representative PISA samples, including bias due to Vietnam's large out-of-school population, Vietnam still remains a large positive outlier conditional on its income. Possible higher motivation of, and coaching given to, Vietnamese students only partly explains Vietnam's performance, and this is also the case for various observed household- and school-level variables. Finally, Blinder-Oaxaca decompositions indicate that the gap in average test scores between Vietnam and the other participating countries is due not to differences in students' and schools' observed characteristics, but instead to Vietnam's greater "productivity" of those characteristics.
    Keywords: education,student learning,test scores,enrollment,PISA,Vietnam
    JEL: H0 I2 O1 P3
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Hansjörg Blöchliger; Sigita Strumskyte
    Abstract: This paper provides an overview on Lithuania’s environment and environmental policy. Environmental performance has improved since the mid-2000s. Greenhouse gas emissions declined and decoupled from growth over the past decade, yet per capita emissions increased. Transport and energy are the main sources of emissions and pollution, followed by agriculture and industry. There was much improvement in waste management practices, with a significant reduction of landfills. Yet Lithuania has the highest mortality rate from exposure to air pollution in the OECD. Energy efficiency is a concern, particularly in the housing sector. Pricing of environmentally damaging activities is low. Lithuania sets no CO2 tax, has one of the lowest excise duties on motor fuel, petrol and diesel in the OECD, and has one of the largest ‘diesel differentials’, the gap in the price of diesel versus gasoline. It also provides among the highest subsidies to fossil fuels. In 2020, the country introduced a purchase tax for passenger vehicles which takes into account emissions. Against this background, the country has scope for increasing fossil fuel taxes and removing subsidies, to reach its ambitious environmental and climate management objectives and the net-zero carbon emission target by 2050.
    Keywords: carbon tax, climate change, energy, environmental policy, greenhouse gas emissions, Lithuania, pollution, transport
    JEL: Q20 Q28 Q58
    Date: 2021–04–26
  5. By: Laurentsyeva, Nadzeya (LMU Munich)
    Abstract: This project studies collaboration in highly skilled, nationally diverse teams. An unexpected international political conflict makes national diversity more salient among existing and potential team members. I exploit this natural experiment to quantify the role of social, identity-driven, costs for performance and formation of diverse teams. Using microdata from GitHub, the world’s largest hosting platform for software projects, I estimate the causal impacts of a political conflict that burst out between Russia and Ukraine in 2014. I find that the conflict strongly reduced online cooperation between Russian and Ukrainian programmers. The conflict lowered the likelihood that Ukrainian and Russian programmers work in the same team and led to the performance decline of existing joint projects. I provide evidence that the observed effects were not driven by economic considerations. Rather, the conflict activated national identities and shifted programmers’ taste for teammates and projects. My results highlight the role of identity-driven concerns that can distort existing and prevent future collaborations, otherwise profitable from an economic perspective.
    Keywords: teams; diversity; conflict; national identity; open source;
    JEL: D22 D74 F23 F51 J71
    Date: 2019–12–18
  6. By: Alberto Cavallo; Robert C. Feenstra; Robert Inklaar
    Abstract: We use the structure of the Melitz (2003) model to compare the cost of living and welfare across countries, while incorporating product variety measured by the count of barcodes or firms. For 47 countries, we compare welfare relative to the United States to conventional measures of real consumption. Relative welfare is similar to or higher than that indicated by real consumption for a select group of nations in Europe and some large countries like China and Russia, but lower in most other countries. This qualitative pattern has some similarities to that found in Jones and Klenow (2016), but for very different reasons.
    JEL: E01 F12
    Date: 2021–04
  7. By: Biljana Jovanovic (National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia)
    Abstract: Export is an important contributor to growth with numerous direct and indirect macroeconomic benefits. Moreover, firms engaged in exporting activity tend to have superior characteristics compared to their non-exporting peers. The paper is focused on identifying reasons behind this superiority of exporters by testing two hypothesis – self-selection and learning by doing hypothesis. The analysis is done on a sample of over 1,900 manufacturing firms annually, for the period 2013-2017. In line with previous empirical research, we found evidence in favor of the self-selection hypothesis. This means that more successful and more productive firms become exporters as a result of their performance i.e. they self-select themselves in the international market. In addition, our results suggest that, complementary to the self-selection process, there are some evidence of the validity of learning by doing hypothesis.
    Keywords: self selection, learning by doing, export, matching
    JEL: D24 D22 F14
    Date: 2020
  8. By: Jakub Grossmann
    Abstract: The system of sick-pay is critical for balancing the economic and health costs of infectious diseases. Surprisingly, most research on sick-pay reforms does not rely on variation in worker exposure to diseases when investigating absences from work. This paper studies the effects on absences from work of changes in health-insurance coverage of the first three days of sickness. We explore geographic variation in the prevalence of infectious diseases, primarily the seasonal flu, to provide variation in the need for sickness insurance. Estimates based on the Czech Structure of Earnings Survey imply that when sickness insurance is not available, total hours of work missed are not affected, but employees rely on paid and unpaid leave instead of sick-leave to stay home. The substitution effects are heterogenous across occupations and socio-demographic characteristics of employees, and suggest that workers do not spread infectious diseases at the workplace as a result of the absence of sickness insurance coverage in the first three days of sickness.
    Keywords: sickness insurance; exposure to sickness; policy reforms; Czech Republic;
    JEL: I13 I18 J3
    Date: 2021–03
  9. By: Bukvić, Rajko
    Abstract: The author in this paper considers the question of the use of indices of concentration and competition in the banking market. As example he chose the Serbian banking sector during the second half of the 2010s. The analyses are based on the data of bank financial statements for relevant years, as well as the results of other researchers. Тhe traditional concentration indicators (CRn and HH indices) are used, as well as the Gini coefficients and Rosenbluth and Tideman-Hall index and coefficient of entropy. At the end author calculated Linda Indices, the rarely used indicators not only in Serbia, and new Svetunkov’s approach and coefficients of the model based on Gauss exponential curve. The concentration degree in all cases is calculated based on five variables: total assets, deposits, capital, bank operating income and loans. Although these variables are highly correlated, the results show relatively important differences of its use. In the case of such variable as capital, the Linda indices suggested the existence of an oligopoly structure. In conclusion, it was demonstrated that in the case of the relatively large number of banks in Serbia, the existing concentration degree is generally moderately low, which provides suitable conditions for the development of healthy competition among them. At the end, there is necessary to emphasize different capability of information respective indicators and its different discriminative power. In future research this is fact that is it undoubtedly necessary particularly not to ignore.
    Keywords: concentration, competition, banking sector, SCP paradigm, Serbia, Linda indices, Gini coefficient, Herfindahl-Hirschman index, Rosenbluth index, Tideman-Hall index, entropy index, concentration ratio, oligopoly
    JEL: C38 G21 L10
    Date: 2020
  10. By: John J. Horton
    Abstract: The sharp devaluation of the ruble in 2014 increased the real returns to Russians from working in a global online labor marketplace, as contracts in this market are dollar-denominated. Russians clearly noticed the opportunity, with Russian hours-worked increasing substantially, primarily on the extensive margin—incumbent Russians already active were fairly inelastic. Contrary to the predictions of bargaining models, there was little to no pass-through of the ruble price changes in to wages. There was also no evidence of a demand-side response, with buyers not posting more "Russian friendly" jobs, suggesting limited cross-side externalities. The key findings—a high extensive margin elasticity but low intensive margin elasticity; little pass-through into wages; and little evidence of a cross-side externality—have implications for market designers with respect to pricing and supply acquisition.
    JEL: J01
    Date: 2021–04
  11. By: Iva Raycheva
    Abstract: Background: Poverty among the population of a country is one of the most disputable topics in social studies. Many researchers devote their work to identifying the factors that influence it most. Bulgaria is one of the EU member states with the highest poverty levels. Regional facets of social exclusion and risks of poverty among the population are a key priority of the National Development Strategy for the third decade of 21st century. In order to mitigate the regional poverty levels it is necessary for the social policy makers to pay more attention to the various factors expected to influence these levels. Results: Poverty reduction is observed in most areas of the country. The regions with obviously favorable developments are Sofia district, Pernik, Pleven, Lovech, Gabrovo, Veliko Tarnovo, Silistra, Shumen, Stara Zagora, Smolyan, Kyustendil and others. Increased levels of poverty are found for Razgrad and Montana districts. It was fond that the reduction in the risk of poverty is associated to the increase in employment, investment, and housing. Conclusion: The social policy making needs to be aware of the fact that the degree of exposition to risk of poverty and social exclusion significantly relates to the levels of regional employment, investment and housing.
    Date: 2021–04

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