nep-tra New Economics Papers
on Transition Economics
Issue of 2022‒09‒19
eight papers chosen by
Maksym Obrizan
Kyiv School of Economics

  1. Has the Russian Invasion of Ukraine Reinforced Anti-Globalization Sentiment in Austria? By Jerg Gutmann; Hans Pitlik; Andrea Fronaschütz
  2. Energy Poverty and Health Care Expenditures: Evidence from the China Family Panel Studies By Nie, Peng; Li, Qiaoge
  3. Quantifying the impact of the latest U.S. tariff sanctions on Russia - a sectoral analysis By Simon A. B. Schropp; Christian Lau; Olim Latipov; Kornel Mahlstein
  4. Characteristics of Public Workers By Lajos Tamas Szabo
  5. A war in a pandemic-The recent spike in economic uncertainty and the hedging abilities of Bitcoin By Refk Selmi
  6. Perspectives of Croatia's new Africa relations as impending member of the Eurozone By Kohnert, Dirk
  7. Income taxation and equity: new dominance criteria with a microsimulation application By Brunori, Paolo; Palmisano, Flaviana; Peragine, Vito
  8. Personality Traits, Remote Work and Productivity By Gavoille, Nicolas; Hazans, Mihails

  1. By: Jerg Gutmann; Hans Pitlik; Andrea Fronaschütz
    Abstract: The Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused disruptions in international trade and highlighted the dependency of small open economies in Europe on imports, especially of energy. These events may have changed Europeans' attitude towards globalization. We study two waves of representative population surveys conducted in Austria, one right before the Russian invasion and the other two months later. Our unique dataset allows us to assess changes in the Austrian public's attitudes towards globalization and import dependency as a short-term reaction to economic turbulences and geopolitical upheaval at the onset of war in Europe. We show that two months after the invasion, anti-globalization sentiment in general has not spread, but that people have become more concerned about strategic external dependencies, especially in energy imports, suggesting that citizens' attitudes regarding globalization are differentiated.
    Keywords: Austria, crisis, conflict, globalisation, attitudes, war
    Date: 2022–08–30
  2. By: Nie, Peng (Xi’an Jiaotong University); Li, Qiaoge (Xi’an Jiaotong University)
    Abstract: Using the 2012-2018 waves of the China Family Panel Studies (CFPS), we investigate the impact of energy poverty (EP) on health care expenditures among Chinese adults aged 18+. Employing a methodology combining a random effects two-part model and instrumental variable estimations, we show that EP leads to higher levels of total (305 yuan), out-of-pocket (199 yuan), inpatient (230 yuan) and other (113 yuan) health care expenditures, with more pronounced impacts among females and those living in urban areas and Central and Western China. These results are robust not only to alternative EP and health care expenditure measures but also to a series of estimation approaches that control for endogeneity. An additional structural equation modeling analysis of the underlying pathways further reveals that this EP-health care expenditure relationship is mediated by individual self-reported health as well as expenditures on food and other daily necessities.
    Keywords: energy poverty, health care expenditures, China
    JEL: I10 I11 I32 Q40 R21
    Date: 2022–08
  3. By: Simon A. B. Schropp (George Washington University); Christian Lau (Sidley Austin LLP); Olim Latipov (Sidley Austin LLP); Kornel Mahlstein (Sidley Austin LLP)
    Abstract: Following the recent G7 Summit in Germany, the United States announced a new sanction package that imposes significantly higher tariffs on products from Russia. These tariff increases concern 570 groups of products affecting more than $2 billion in imports from Russia. The declared objective of these tariff increases is to impose steep economic costs on Russia, while minimizing costs to U.S. consumers. The United States is also considering disbursement of revenues collected from these new tariffs to Ukraine. Using a sector-specific partial-equilibrium model and the most reliable data available, this paper quantifies the welfare impact that the U.S. tariff increases will have on the Russian and the U.S. economies, respectively. We find that the new U.S. tariff sanctions will affect $2.6 billion of U.S. imports from Russia (or 8.7% of total U.S. imports from Russia). Moreover, these new tariff measures may decrease Russian welfare by $181 million per year, while imposing annual costs of $90 million on U.S. consumers. The United States can hope to collect $241 million per year in tariff revenues that may then be used to financially support Ukraine. Our sectoral analysis shows that the U.S.' choice of target sectors produces mixed results. On one hand, the sanctions cover dozens of sectors whose inclusion produce particularly large welfare losses to Russia and/or high welfare gains to the United States. Yet, the sanctions package also raises serious questions about its effectiveness for other sectors. For example, higher tariffs for several selected sectors result in zero harm to Russia, and/or greater harm to the United States than to Russia. These and other insights may provide guidance for the design of future tariff sanctions by G7 Members and other Allies.
    Keywords: International trade; Russia; economic sanctions; import tariffs; economic impact; partial equilibrium; sectoral analysis; welfare analysis; pass-through
    JEL: F02 F13 F15 F52
    Date: 2022–08
  4. By: Lajos Tamas Szabo (Magyar Nemzeti Bank (the Central Bank of Hungary))
    Abstract: In our study, we set out to present the characteristics of public workers between 2011 and 2019 based on the comprehensive and anonymous administrative database of the Hungarian State Treasury (MÃ K). During the years under review, altogether 676 thousand people were involved in the programme. There are great differences in terms of the total time spent in the programme individually. While the national average is more than one and a half years, it is less than one year in the more developed districts of the country and more than three years in the most disadvantaged areas. The public work programme significantly facilitated the involvement of previously inactive people in the labour market, as roughly two thirds of public workers had been inactive prior to the public work. The ratio of public workers to the population is high in the districts where the ratio of those working in the primary labour market is low. Thus public work contributed to the reduction of employment disparities across the regions of the country. Chances of employment after public work increased with the passage of time, which may have been attributable to the dynamic economic growth of Hungary. While those who had been public workers in 2012 worked 15 per cent of their time in the primary labour market in the next year, in the case of those who were public workers in 2018 this ratio was close to 25 per cent. However, there are major differences between the developed and less developed areas of Hungary in terms of chances of employment as well. Public workers more often change jobs in the primary labour market, and work in a job for a shorter period of time than those who have not been public workers.
    Keywords: public work programme, job finding rate, regional differences
    JEL: J08 J45 J48
    Date: 2022
  5. By: Refk Selmi (ESC PAU - Ecole Supérieure de Commerce, Pau Business School)
    Abstract: The ongoing Russian/Ukrainian war, along with sanctions imposed on Russia, poses a major shock to the world economy, merely two years after the COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly, the global economic policy uncertainty has surged due to the resulting spiraling energy prices and economic disruptions. This paper uses a quantile-on-quantile approach to compare the ability of Bitcoin to hedge the economic policy uncertainty (EPU) of major global Bitcoin exchange markets (China, Japan, Korea and the United States) for the periods prior to and post-the COVID-19 and Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The results reveal that, prior to the pandemic, significant rises in EPU lead to high Bitcoin returns. After the COVID-19 and the recent war in Ukraine, the hedge effectiveness of Bitcoin is weakening due to the tight correlation with stocks in times of rising inflation expectations and the global central banks' hawkish response to it. Moreover, the Bitcoin hedging property is country-specific, and depends to different Bitcoin market conditions and various uncertainty levels. We explain this heterogeneity by differences across countries in terms of the recognition of Bitcoin as a legal tender, the Bitcoin trading volume, the exchange market maturity, and the investors' attitude towards risk.
    Keywords: Bitcoin,the COVID-19,the war in Ukraine,the economic policy uncertainty,hedge,country-specific analysis
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Kohnert, Dirk
    Abstract: In July 2020, the EU Parliament voted in favour of Croatia’s application to become the newest member of the eurozone from January 1, 2023. Despite the setback caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it met all the criteria for adopting the euro, high inflation, and the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Croatia’s accession to the euro will be the first significant positive step in the European integration process since Brexit. It may depict perspectives for a further enlargement of the eurozone in the Balkans. The admission will also impact the EU Africa relations. In addition to the close foreign ties with South Africa, Zagreb established diplomatic relations with South Sudan, Somalia, the Central African Republic in 2020. Yet, regarding Croatia’s long-established relations with Africa it is decisive to take account of the lessons learned from its multifaceted African relations history. Croatian explorers like Dragutin Lerman, mostly unknown outside their home-country, had been active in exploring Sub-Saharan African countries in the early 20th century. During the Cold War political and economic relations between Yugoslavia (including Croatia) and the African nonaligned countries improved significantly between 1973 and 1981. Mutual economic cooperation between nonaligned countries had been encouraged to fight ‘underdevelopment’ in Africa. Thus, in 1971, within the framework of industrial cooperation, Yugoslav-Ghanaian joint ventures were established, for example, for forest exploitation and wood processing and for a joint factory for motorcycles and pumps in Ghana. In addition, Yugoslavia was the only non-African country to help fund the Organization of African Unity's (OAU) Liberation Committee, although Zagreb favored bilateral relations with individual liberation movements. However, both Croatia and South Africa faced difficulties during the transition process with the illegal arms trade due to high levels of corruption within the judicial system and police. Also the citizens of both countries lack of trust in the states capacity to impose social control opened the way for organized crime to work with impunity. Criminal groups used patron-client relationships with the citizens of South Africa and Croatia to establish and maintain a level of popular legitimacy that the state lacked.
    Keywords: Croatia;Yugoslavia; Zagreb; Balkans; Balkan Studies; Western Balkans; Cold war; Non-aligned movement; EU; Euro-zone; Sub-Saharan Africa; OAU; economic development; informal sector; international trade; Ghana; South Africa; African Studies;
    JEL: D31 D62 E26 F13 F22 F35 F54 N17 N47 O15 O17 O19 O52 O55 P27 Z13
    Date: 2022–08–18
  7. By: Brunori, Paolo; Palmisano, Flaviana; Peragine, Vito
    Abstract: This paper addresses the problem of the normative evaluation of income tax systems and income tax reforms. While most of the existing criteria, framed in the utilitarian tradition, are uniquely based on information about individual incomes, this paper, building upon the opportunity egalitarian theory, proposes new equity criteria which take into account also the socio-economic characteristics of individuals. Suitable dominance conditions that can be used to rank alternative tax systems are derived by means of an axiomatic approach. Moreover, the theoretical results are used to assess the redistributive effects of an hypothetical tax reform in Romania through a microsimulation analysis.
    Keywords: income inequality; inequality of opportunity; tax reforms; microsimulation; progressivity; horizontal equity; Springer deal
    JEL: J1 E6
    Date: 2022–08–10
  8. By: Gavoille, Nicolas (Stockholm School of Economics, Riga); Hazans, Mihails (University of Latvia)
    Abstract: The future of teleworking ultimately depends on its impact on workers' productivity and wellbeing, yet the effect of remote working on productivity is not well understood. This paper investigates the link between personality traits and workers' productivity when working from home. We exploit a survey providing measures of the "Big Five" personality traits for more than 1700 recent teleworkers. We document strong links between personality, productivity, and willingness to work from home post-pandemic. Ceteris paribus, Conscientiousness and Openness to Experience are positively associated with a higher productivity from home, especially for females. On the other hand, the link between Extraversion and preference for teleworking is negative. These results suggest that a one-size-fits-all policy is unlikely to maximize neither firms' productivity nor workers' satisfaction.
    Keywords: personality traits, teleworking, work from home, productivity, COVID-19
    JEL: J24 J32 J81
    Date: 2022–08

This nep-tra issue is ©2022 by Maksym Obrizan. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.