nep-tra New Economics Papers
on Transition Economics
Issue of 2022‒01‒10
ten papers chosen by
Maksym Obrizan
Kyiv School of Economics

  1. Roma and Bureaucrats: A Field Experiment in the Czech Republic By Štěpán Mikula; Josef Montag
  2. Enhancing regional convergence in the European Union By Álvaro Pina; Patrizio Sicari
  3. Geo-political conflicts, economic sanctions and international knowledge flows By Teemu Makkonen; Timo Mitze
  4. Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and Regional Persistence of High Growth Firms: A 'Broken Clock' Critique By Coad, Alex; Srhoj, Stjepan
  5. Do soda taxes affect the consumption and health of school-aged children? Evidence from France and Hungary By Selina Gangl
  6. Agricultural land market regulations in the EU Member States By Liesbet Vranken; Ewa Tabeau; Peter Roebeling; Pavel Ciaian
  8. A Real-Time Historical Database of Macroeconomic Indicators for Russia By Dmitry Gornostaev; Alexey Ponomarenko; Sergei Seleznev; Alexandra Sterkhova
  9. Charitable giving, social capital and positional concerns By Antinyan, Armenak; Baghdasaryan, Vardan; Grigoryan, Aleksandr
  10. Without liberty and justice, what extremes to expect? Two contemporary perspectives By Miller, Marcus; Ben Zissimos

  1. By: Štěpán Mikula (Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Administration, Masaryk University); Josef Montag (Department of Economics, Faculty of Law, Charles University)
    Abstract: This paper tests for discriminatory treatment of the Roma minority by public officials in the Czech Republic. Our focus is on public servants at local job centers whose job is to advise unemployed individuals and process applications for unemployment benefit. Our experimental design facilitates testing for the presence of each of two key (but intertwined) drivers of discrimination: ethnic animus and socioeconomic status prejudice. We find substantial evidence for the presence of discrimination based on both of these sources. Since Roma tend to have lower socioeconomic status, the two sources of discrimination compound for them.
    Keywords: Discrimination, Roma, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, public services, social security, field experiment.
    JEL: J15 D73 H55
    Date: 2022–01
  2. By: Álvaro Pina; Patrizio Sicari
    Abstract: Progress in regional convergence in the EU has been uneven over the last two decades. While Central and Eastern Europe has been catching up, Southern Europe has often lost ground, especially after the global financial crisis. Furthermore, within most countries, gaps between large cities and rural areas have widened. Some challenges to convergence have stemmed from worldwide factors – such as globalisation, digitalisation, global warming, and, more recently, COVID19 – but others are European-specific, like incomplete financial integration, less effective fiscal governance and subpar innovation performance.This paper proposes policy action to reduce regional divergence by helping regions upgrade their productive specialisation. Building on new approaches to regional and industrial policies, Europe needs to exploit the full potential of cross-country cooperation in innovation and of urban agglomeration economies. Competition and trade policies need to ensure a level playing field to enhance the benefits of open and competitive markets while responding to new challenges, such as digitalisation or foreign subsidies. Finally, Cohesion Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy, the two largest EU budget instruments, need to become more effective at promoting productive upgrading.
    Keywords: Common Agricultural Policy, competition policy, EU cohesion policy, innovation policy, regional specialisation, territorial inequalities
    JEL: L40 O38 R11 R58
    Date: 2021–12–17
  3. By: Teemu Makkonen; Timo Mitze
    Abstract: We address the question how sensitive international knowledge flows respond to geo-political conflicts taking the politico-economic tensions between EU-Russia since the Ukraine crisis 2014 as case study. We base our econometric analysis on comprehensive data covering more than 500 million scientific publications and 8 million international co-publications between 1995 and 2018. Our findings indicate that the imposition of EU sanctions and Russian counter-sanctions from 2014 onwards has significant negative effects on bilateral international scientific co-publication rates between EU countries and Russia. Depending on the chosen control group and sectors considered, effect size ranges from 15% to 70%. Effects are also observed to grow over time.
    Date: 2021–12
  4. By: Coad, Alex; Srhoj, Stjepan
    Abstract: The Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (EE) approach makes specific predictions regarding how EE inputs are converted into high-growth firms (HGFs) as an output. A simulation model draws out our hypothesis of regional persistence in HGF shares. Based on intuitions that EEs are persistent, we investigate whether regional HGF shares are persistent, using census data for 2 European countries taken separately (Croatia for 2004-2019, and Slovenia for 2008-2014). Overall, there is no clear persistence in regional HGF shares - regions with large HGF shares in one period are not necessarily likely to have large HGF shares in the following period. This is a puzzle for EE theory. In fact, there seems to be more persistence in industry-level HGF shares than for regional HGF shares. We formulate a ‘broken clock’ critique - just as a broken clock is correct twice a day, EE recommendations may sometimes be correct, but are fundamentally flawed as long as time-changing outcomes (HGF shares) are predicted using time-invariant variables (such as local universities, institutions and infrastructure).
    Keywords: High-Growth Firms, Persistence, Regional Persistence; Entrepreneurial Ecosystems; Clusters; Sectoral Systems of Innovation
    JEL: L52 L78 M21 O38
    Date: 2021–12–07
  5. By: Selina Gangl
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of two different soda taxes on consumption behaviour and health of school-aged children in Europe: Hungary imposed a Public Health Product Tax (PHPT) on several unhealthy products in 2011. France introduced solely a soda tax, containing sugar or artificial sweeteners, in 2012. In order to exploit spatial variation, I use a semi-parametric Difference-in-Differences (DID) approach. Since the policies differ in Hungary and France, I analyse the effects separately by using a neighbouring country without a soda tax as a control group. The results suggest a counter-intuitive positive effect of the tax on soda consumption in Hungary. The reason for this finding could be the substitution of other unhealthy beverages, which are taxed at a higher rate, by sodas. The effect of the soda tax in France is as expected negative, but insignificant which might be caused by a low tax rate. The body mass index (BMI) is not affected by the tax in any country. Consequently, policy makers should think carefully about the design and the tax rate before implementing a soda tax.
    Date: 2021–11
  6. By: Liesbet Vranken (KU Leuven); Ewa Tabeau (Wageningen Economic Research (WEcR)); Peter Roebeling (Wageningen Economic Research (WEcR)); Pavel Ciaian (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: The objective of this report is to provide an overview of agricultural land market regulations in the EU Member States. This report builds upon the framework developed by Swinnen, Van Herck and Vranken (2014a) to provide a comprehensive and structured analyses of agricultural land market regulations in different MS. The report describes the situation of land market regulations as in place in 2020 in 22 different MS. The analyses of the report are based on information obtained from the MS country experts using the following three tools (i) structured questionnaires, (ii) semi-structured group interviews and (iii) country reports. Overall, 24 different measures regulating the land markets were identified in the 22 EU MS. The median number of all measures regulating land markets in all 22 MS is 7.88, and the average is about 7 measures. While some countries have heavily regulated markets (e.g. Croatia, Hungary, Poland and Romania), other countries have a very liberal approach to land markets (e.g. Czechia, Denmark, Ireland and Finland). Countries with heavily regulated land markets can mainly be found among the new MS. Countries with the relatively lower number of measurers exercised are mainly from old Member States.
    Keywords: Land market, regulations, rental market, sales market, Member States, EU
    JEL: Q15 Q18
    Date: 2021–11
  7. By: Gaygysyz Ashyrov; Helen Poltimäe
    Abstract: Energy efficiency is an important issue for developing countries like Vietnam, where the economy is thriving, but energy efficiency is still low. Firms should invest in energy efficiency measures, but the desired level is not reached. While the economic determinants of firms’ investments in energy efficiency have been researched, the role of the institutional setting has not gained so much attention. By employing data from Vietnamese small and medium-sized enterprises that has been administered in 2015, this article investigates how corruption, as a sign of institutional dysfunctionality, is associated with the energy efficiency in firms. Results of a bivariate binary probit estimation revealed that bribery increases the likelihood of energy efficiency environmentally friendly investments. However, findings from instrumental variable two stage least squares estimations demonstrate that bribery increases the cost of the investments. Hence, in the long run, corruption might have a deterring effect on energy efficiency investments by firms.
    Keywords: corruption, energy efficiency, institutional setting, Vietnam
    Date: 2022
  8. By: Dmitry Gornostaev (Bank of Russia, Russian Federation); Alexey Ponomarenko (Bank of Russia, Russian Federation); Sergei Seleznev (Bank of Russia, Russian Federation); Alexandra Sterkhova (Bank of Russia, Russian Federation)
    Abstract: We compile a database that contains data vintages of a large collection of short-term economic indicators. The main result of the work is a database which is available as an electronic annex to this working paper. The Research and Forecasting Department of the Bank of Russia plans to update this database in the future. We also perform an illustrative analysis of the properties of the revisions for a number of indicators. The preliminary results indicate that the magnitude of the revisions is in many cases substantial.
    Keywords: data revisions, data vintages, database, Russia
    JEL: E01 E2
    Date: 2021–07
  9. By: Antinyan, Armenak (Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University.); Baghdasaryan, Vardan (College of Business and Economics, American University of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia); Grigoryan, Aleksandr (College of Business and Economics, American University of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia)
    Abstract: Research on the effects of positional concerns on individuals' attitudes and behavior in certain policy-relevant areas is lacking. In this paper, we investigate the relationship between positional concerns, charitable giving and social capital. We use data from the "Caucasus Barometer" survey administered in three post-Soviet transition economies: Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Our analysis proceeds in two phases. First, controlling for absolute income and other individual and household characteristics, we show an association between positional concerns and charitable giving as well as between positional concerns and social capital. Second, we use an instrumental variable model that uses heteroskedasticity-based instruments generated through Lewbel's method to provide supporting evidence of the causal impact of positional concerns on the outcome variables of interest. We find that the relative deprivation of a household can have negative impacts on its members'charitable giving and social capital.
    Keywords: Positional Concern; Social Capital; Charitable Giving; Reference Group.
    JEL: D31 D63 D91 P30 Z13
    Date: 2021–12
  10. By: Miller, Marcus (University of Warwick); Ben Zissimos (Exeter University Business School)
    Abstract: From a wide-ranging historical survey, Acemoglu and Robinson conclude that the preservation of liberty depends on being in a ‘narrow corridor’ where there is a balance of power between the state and society. We first examine the support Binmore's game-theoretic treatment of Social Contracts provides for such a ‘narrow corridor’ of liberty and justice – and what extremes to expect without them. We also consider how the biological model of Competing Species helps to describe the dynamics of conflicting powers outside the narrow corridor– where, as in contemporary Russia and China, any Social Contracts that exist are neither free nor fair.
    Keywords: liberty, social contracts, repeated games, Competing Species, anarchy, Despotism, Neofeudalism JEL Classification: C70, C73, P00, Z13
    Date: 2021

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