nep-tra New Economics Papers
on Transition Economics
Issue of 2021‒12‒13
nine papers chosen by
Maksym Obrizan
Kyiv School of Economics

  1. Evolution Of Sex Gap In Life Expectancy Across High-Income Countries: Universal Patterns And Country-Specific Attributes By Marina Vergeles
  2. A Study on Private Enterprises and Entrepreneurs in Transition Economies: Focusing on Russia and Vietnam By Kim, Seok Hwan; Min, Jiyoung; Pek, Jong Hun; Le, Sang-Xuan
  3. Flexibility of Working Time Arrangements and Female Labor Market Outcome By Magda, Iga; Lipowska, Katarzyna
  4. Avoiding a Trap and Embracing the Megatrends: Proposals for a New Growth Model in EU-CEE By Alexandra Bykova; Richard Grieveson; Doris Hanzl-Weiss; Gabor Hunya; Niko Korpar; Leon Podkaminer; Robert Stehrer; Roman Stöllinger
  5. Assessing the Macroeconomic Impact of Structural Reforms in Ukraine By Mr. Anil Ari; Gabor Pula
  6. Alcohol Consumption among Adults in Vietnam: Prevalence, Patterns, and Its Determinants By Kumar, Santosh; Gundi, Mukta; Atre, Sagar; Ngoc, Luu Bich; Thieng, Nguyen Thi; Rammohan, Anu
  7. Monetary Policy Spillover to Small Open Economies: Is the Transmission Different under Low Interest Rates? By Jin Cao; Valeriya Dinger; Tomás Gómez; Zuzana Gric; Martin Hodula; Alejandro Jara; Ragnar Juelsrud; Karolis Liaudinskas; Simona Malovaná; Yaz Terajima
  8. Economic Sanctions and Agricultural Trade By Mario Larch; Jeff Luckstead; Yoto V. Yotov
  9. Statistical footprints of corruption:“Vanity Fair” of automobile license plates in Russia By Tom Eeckhout; Timur Natkhov; Leonid Polishchuk; Koen Schoors; Kevin Hoefman

  1. By: Marina Vergeles (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The sex gap in life expectancy (LE) at birth is currently narrowing in all high-income countries. Previous research on Western European and English-speaking (WE&ES) countries suggested that smoking-related mortality at ages 50+ was largely responsible for both widening and subsequent narrowing of the gap. However, countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) have had particularly high excess male mortality at young and middle ages that couldn`t be fully attributed to the smoking-related causes. We use the Human Mortality Database to examine the patterns and time trends in male/female differences in LE across 41 high-income countries and 7 country groups from 1959 until the latest available year. Contour decomposition is applied to estimate the contribution of different ages to the maximum sex gap and its change ever since. While the UK was the first country to reach the peak in the sex gap in 1969, Greece did it half a century later, in 2009. The largest male disadvantage in LE was observed in Russia in 2005 (13.7 years), Israel had a peak in 1999 with just 4.4 years. There is a persistent difference between countries and particularly country groups in the age-specific contribution to the maximum sex gap. In WE&ES countries ages older than 50 play the major role in determining the sex gap while CEE countries have high excess male mortality in young and middle ages (20-50). The narrowing of the sex gap in CEE countries hasn`t substantially changed the age contribution. Mortality at ages younger than 50 still plays an important role in determining the sex gap in LE in these countries. Differences in the sex gap between countries add a new dimension to a previously established East-West mortality divide. Country specifics must be taken into account to develop public health policies aimed at reducing sex mortality inequalities
    Keywords: sex gap in life expectancy, gender differences in health, mortality, decomposition.
    JEL: J10 J11 I14 N32 N34
    Date: 2021
    Abstract: Russia's privatization took place from small enterprises, apartments, family farms to mid- and large-sized firms. Although national assets and state-owned enterprises were sold to the private sector, the government's fiscal condition did not improve. Rather, the government revenue to GDP ratio decreased in general. Furthermore, the corporate income to GDP ratio shrank more drastically. One of the reasons behind this could be that the tax system was just formed. In addition, as privatization went on, a number of companies failed and the government provided tax off-sets or tax amnesty to businesses. In terms of productivity, privatization had a positive effect. According to J. David Brown, John. S. Earle, and Scott Gehlbah (2013), privatization by both foreigners and Russians increased productivity to different extents by period. However, privatization weakened the government's power, destroyed social order and exacerbated corruption. The opaque and monopolistic manner of privatization in Russia benefited only those who were in power. As a result, Russia became a phony capitalist economy and private companies and businessmen came to have a negative public image. The word "piratization" was also coined based on this. Vietnam's equitization, which began in the early 1990s, is still underway. Even though the government has announced privatization plans on several occasions, the process has been very slow with mediocre achievements. State-owned companies in Vietnam are struggling with debt issues and diseconomies of scale, which can be connected with the country's falling industrial competitiveness. The default of Vinashin Group (largest Vietnamese shipbuilder) in December 2010 was a representative instance that highlighted the need to reform state-run companies. The World Bank also recommended that in order for the Vietnamese economy to develop into a middle-income country by 2035, privatization of state-owned enterprises will have to be accelerated. (the rest omitted)
    Keywords: Russia; Vietnam; private enterprise; privatization
    Date: 2020–12–07
  3. By: Magda, Iga (Warsaw School of Economics); Lipowska, Katarzyna (Institute for Structural Research (IBS))
    Abstract: We use data from the 2019 EU Labor Force Survey to study gender and parenthood gaps in two dimensions of flexibility in working time arrangements in 25 European countries. We find that overall in Europe, there is no statistically significant gender difference in access to flexible work arrangements. However, women are less likely than men to have flexible working hours in the Central-Eastern and Southern European countries, whereas this gender gap is reversed in Continental Europe. At the same time, women are less likely than men to face demands from their employers that they work flexible hours. We also find that both mothers and fathers are more likely than their childless colleagues to have access to flexible working hours, but that fathers' workplaces are more likely than mothers' workplaces to demand temporal flexibility from employees. In addition, we find that working in a female-dominated occupation decreases the probability of having access to flexible work arrangements, and that this effect is stronger for women than for men. At the same time, we observe that both men and women who work in female-dominated occupations are less exposed to flexibility demands from employers than their counterparts who work in male-dominated or gender-neutral occupations. Finally, we find that compared to employers in other Europeans countries, employers in the Central and Eastern European countries are less likely to offer flexible working hours, especially to women, and with no additional flexibility being offered to parents; whereas employers in Continental and Nordic countries are more likely to offer flexible work arrangements, and with no gender gap.
    Keywords: working time flexibility, gender segregation, work life balance, parenthood
    JEL: J13 J22 J32
    Date: 2021–10
  4. By: Alexandra Bykova (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Richard Grieveson (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Doris Hanzl-Weiss (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Gabor Hunya (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Niko Korpar (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Leon Podkaminer (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Robert Stehrer (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Roman Stöllinger (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: It is now over three decades since the eleven EU member states in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe (EU-CEE) started their transition to market capitalism. All countries experienced deep recessions in the early 1990s, but since have achieved mostly sustained convergence with Western Europe. Many EU CEE countries have overtaken Southern EU member states in terms of economic development. However, growth rates have slowed since the 2008 crisis, and the level of economic and social development varies widely across the region. This study has three key components. First, it establishes that the existing EU-CEE growth model may be reaching its limit, especially for the region’s most developed countries. Second, it details the megatrends which will further impact the region’s growth model now and in the future, including demographic, environmental, and digital factors. Finally, it outlines a set of policy options to develop the region’s growth model in a way that would drive a more sustained and sustainable rate of convergence with Western Europe in the coming decades. We find that governments in the region need to a) provide an underlying infrastructure that can support the growth of internationally competitive companies, b) fully embrace and take advantage of the digital revolution, c) maximise all available resources to profit from the green transition, and d) use policy levers to stimulate the automation of low productivity jobs and ease the transition into new and higher value work for their populations. Behind this should stand two important supportive pillars accommodative fiscal and monetary policy at the national and EU levels and a more progressive tax system to fund an expanded welfare state.
    Keywords: EU-CEE, transition, convergence, functional specialisation, digitalisation, green transition, EU, demographics, FDI, industrial policy
    JEL: O40 O47 P27 F21 O44 L16
    Date: 2021–11
  5. By: Mr. Anil Ari; Gabor Pula
    Abstract: Ukraine’s economic performance has been anemic since the early 1990s. A major impediment to productivity growth has been low investment, held back by lack of strong and independent institutions. This paper aims to assess the major areas of institutional weakness in Ukraine and quantify the long-term growth impact of catching-up to Poland in terms of the quality of major economic institutions and market development. Our analysis identifies the legal system as the area where the institutional quality is weakest compared to Poland, followed distantly by market competition, openness to trade and financial depth. Using a methodology that accounts for positive spillovers between the structural reform areas, we estimate that even under the most optimistic scenario, where institutional gaps are fully addressed, Ukraine would need 15 years to catch up to Poland’s current income level.
    Keywords: growth impact; reform gap; reform scenario; scenario Ukraine; indicator value; Structural reforms; Total factor productivity; Commodity markets; International reserves; Corruption; Eastern Europe
    Date: 2021–04–23
  6. By: Kumar, Santosh (Sam Houston State University); Gundi, Mukta (Azim Premji University); Atre, Sagar (Intellecap Advisory Services); Ngoc, Luu Bich (National Economics University Vietnam); Thieng, Nguyen Thi (National Economics University Vietnam); Rammohan, Anu (University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: This study describes the prevalence and drinking patterns of alcohol consumption among adults (aged 15+ years) and explores the association between sociodemographic factors and alcohol consumption in Vietnam. A cross-sectional representative survey of 5,200 respondents from 12 provinces was conducted in 2015. Multivariate logistic regression models were fitted to analyze the association between sociodemographic factors (age, gender, education, marital status, income, religion) and alcohol consumption patterns. Nearly three-quarters of males (77%) and one-quarter of females (23%) were current alcohol drinkers. In the multivariate analyses, being male (aOR=10.9, 95%CI = 8.01-14.8, p
    Keywords: alcohol use, sociodemographic determinants, homemade alcohol, Vietnam
    JEL: A10 I1
    Date: 2021–10
  7. By: Jin Cao; Valeriya Dinger; Tomás Gómez; Zuzana Gric; Martin Hodula; Alejandro Jara; Ragnar Juelsrud; Karolis Liaudinskas; Simona Malovaná; Yaz Terajima
    Abstract: We explore the impact of low and negative monetary policy rates in core world economies on bank lending in four small open economies—Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic and Norway—using confidential bank-level data. Our results show that the impact on lending in these small open economies depends on the interest rate level in the core. When interest rates are high, monetary policy cuts in core economies can reduce credit supply in small open economies. In contrast, when interest rates in core economies are low, further expansionary monetary policy increases lending in small open economies, consistent with an international bank lending channel. These results have important policy implications, suggesting that central banks in small open economies should watch for the impact of potential regime switches in core economies’ monetary policy when rates shift to and from the very low end of the distribution.
    Keywords: Financial institutions; Monetary policy transmission; International topics
    JEL: E43 E58 F34 F42 G28
    Date: 2021–11
  8. By: Mario Larch; Jeff Luckstead; Yoto V. Yotov
    Abstract: Combining two new datasets on sanctions and agricultural trade and implementing step-by-step the latest developments in the empirical structural gravity literature, we investigate the effects of sanctions on international trade of agricultural products. We find that trade sanctions have been effective in impeding agricultural trade, while other sanctions do not show any significant effects. The complete trade sanctions in our sample have led to about a 73% decrease in the agricultural trade between the sanctioned and sanctioning countries, or a corresponding tariff equivalent of 38.8%, but we also obtain significant estimates for partial sanctions. At the industry level, we find substantial heterogeneity depending on the sanctioning and sanctioned countries, the type of sanctions used, and the direction of trade flows. Focusing on the sanctions on Russia, we find that these sanctions substantially decreased bilateral trade of Russia, mainly due to reduced trade with the EU.
    Keywords: structural gravity, sanctions, agriculture, Russia, heterogeneity
    JEL: F14 F51 Q17
    Date: 2021
  9. By: Tom Eeckhout; Timur Natkhov; Leonid Polishchuk; Koen Schoors; Kevin Hoefman (-)
    Abstract: We offer a novel big data approach to corruption detection and measurement by using statistical anomalies in publicly observable allocations which corruption affects in a predictable manner. While each individual incidence of corruption remains undetectable under the veil of secrecy, systemic corruption changes distributions of observable outcomes, and thus leaves measurable statistical footprints. We apply this approach to measuring corruption in Russian traffic police, which issues automobile license plates. Some of such plates serve as signs of status and prestige, and they are heavily concentrated among more expensive and especially luxury classes and brands, whereas if the official rules were followed, the distributions should have been close to uniform. Such discrepancies provide evidence-based measures of corruption in traffic police, which exhibit significant correlation with road accidents, injuries and fatalities.
    Keywords: Corruption, Police, Law Enforcement, Administrative data, Forensic Economics
    JEL: K13 K42 O17 P37
    Date: 2021–11

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