Economics of Transition

Published by Wiley
Online ISSN: 1468-0351
Print ISSN: 0967-0750
This study examines the impact of trade on Cuban growth during different commercial policy regimes spanning the period from 1960 up to 2004, encompassing two essential economic structural transformations: the Cuban revolution and the fall of the Berlin Wall. For this purpose, the Granger causality is used by means of the modified Wald test for augmented-level vector autoregressive model with integrated and cointegrated processes introduced by Toda and Yamamoto (1995) and Dolado and Lutekepohl (1996). We show an import-led growth hypothesis during the Soviet-oriented pattern that is rejected after 1998 when exports are not only responsive to growth expansion but also to imports behaviour.
This paper tries to document the increased flexibility in employment relations in Chinese SOEs until 1994, as well as the effects this had on productivity and on the allocation of workers. A number of measures were introduced to enhance such flexibility, such as autonomy in the decision to hire and fire workers, and a new contract status which could at least in theory be terminated. This was aimed at improving the motivation as well as the allocation of workers across firms. Both should have improved the productivity of SOEs. The evidence found, however, indicates that these measures had few effects. This conclusion is based first on turnover data where hardly any change is found. Estimates of productivity and allocative efficiency gains lead to the same conclusion. This confirms the view that the Chinese state sector reforms regarding employment decisions remained very limited in scope until 1994.
Rural industrialization has been a dominant factor responsible for China's rapid economic growth over the last 18 years, but it has been accompanied by increased inter-regional income inequality. Using the most recent rural income data and two alternative Gini coefficient decomposition methods, this study finds that income inequality, especially inter-regional income inequality increased significantly in the period 1986-92. More than half of national income inequality was due to its inter-provincial component, and three quarters of inter-provincial inequality was due to its inter-zonal component. Uneven development of township and village enterprises has been a major cause of increased regional income inequality. Copyright The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 1997.
This paper follows through an aspect of microeconomic restructuring in Hungary during the transition period. This restructuring brought about substantial changes in the behaviour of all economic agents. Our study combines labour market and corporate financial information to explore the effect of the quality of labour employed on the profitability of the firm. The quality of labour is measured as that portion of wage differentials that cannot be explained by a standard human capital model. The profitability of Hungarian exporting firms can be explained by economic factors during transition. In addition the quality of labour, export share, wage and bank costs, payables, receivables, foreign ownership, inventories, amortization and equity are all significant explanatory variables. Copyright The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 1998.
This study monitors the effects of economic transition on wages and employment in a former Soviet Republic. Estonia's case is of particular interest because of its early adoption of relatively free labour market policies. Relative wages for the highest educated groups rose for all age groups. There were also rapid increases in returns to job experience, particularly at young ages. Increasing wage dispersion across human capital groups was accompanied by narrowing wage dispersion within human capital groups. Relative wages rose in sectors which gained relative employment, while they fell in shrinking sectors. In addition, there were large flows of labour between shrinking and growing sectors, suggesting that labour market equilibrating mechanisms developed very rapidly in Estonia. Copyright The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 1998.
The study investigates the size of the hidden economy and related features, in post-socialist countries. After dealing critically with the approach of Kaufmann and Kaliberda, a method based on household electricity consumption is used to estimate the ratio of the hidden economy to the official GDP in 20 countries. Following a uniform growth in the size of the hidden economy in all the countries at the beginning of their transition, stagnation or further increase was experienced in the CIS countries, while an explicit declining tendency could be seen in the remaining economies. Comparisons show that the ratio of the hidden economy in post-socialist countries is significantly larger than in developed market economies. The paper analyses the relationships between the visible private economy, the advancement of reforms, corruption, and the size of the hidden economy.
This paper provides non-parametric estimates of the relation between nutrient intake and age for Czechoslovak individuals, as a function of both the characteristics of the individual and of their household, on the basis of household purchases. Results show no significant difference between the age-energy intake profiles of men and women. The decomposition of this intake between carbohydrates, lipids (i.e., fats) and proteins shows a lack of balance in the diet in Czechoslovakia, but significant progress toward a more balanced diet has taken place over the period. Finally, household characteristics such as the woman's level of education, or household income, have at most a marginal impact on these profiles.
"United Kingdom (UK) demand for carnations by exporting country was estimated using a production version of the Rotterdam model, and model estimates were used to assess the effects of EU preferential trade agreements on import demand. Of particular importance was how these agreements affected Colombian and Kenyan carnation exports to the UK, the second largest market for Colombian carnations and the largest market for Kenyan carnations. Results showed that Colombia benefited from preferential access to the UK more so than Kenya: the benefit to Colombia was due to both trade creation and diversion, whereas the benefit to Kenya was mostly due to trade diversion. Results further showed that the competition between Colombian and Kenyan carnations was insignificant, and there was no evidence that the preferences given to Colombia harmed Kenya or vice versa." from authors' abstract
Few developments are more significant in transitional economics than the development of organized commodity and financial markets. Working from a transaction costs framework, this paper analyses a set of these markets, the Russian commodity exchanges, and their attempts to order trade in commodities in the period 1990-96. These exchanges have incurred high transaction costs both in defining the property rights involved in trading and in overcoming the problems of agent search and 'immediacy'. Parallels between Russian commodity exchanges and other organized markets in Eastern Europe are drawn and remedies for the problems encountered are suggested. Copyright The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 1998.
This paper investigates the impact of international migration on technical efficiency, resource allocation and income from agricultural production of family farming in Albania. The results suggest that migration is used by rural households as a pathway out of agriculture: migration is negatively associated with both labour and non-labour input allocation in agriculture, while no significant differences can be detected in terms of farm technical efficiency or agricultural income. Whether the rapid demographic changes in rural areas triggered by massive migration, possibly combined with propitious land and rural development policies, will ultimately produce the conditions for a more viable, high-return agriculture attracting larger investments remains to be seen.
We estimate a small structural model for inflation, the output gap, the domestic interest rate and the exchange rate for Hungary during the period of the transition (1991-99). The transmission of monetary policy impulses to macro variables is characterized in a similar fashion to that of advanced open industrial countries. In particular, in the context of our rational expectations, forward-looking model, the interest rate channel on aggregate demand and the exchange rate channel work together as parts of the same disinflation policy. We draw several conclusions on understanding and modeling the effects of monetary policy, and also on the desirable design of policy rules during the process of disinflation. JEL classification: E17, E52, P24.
This paper compares the annual average of inflation in Ukraine, from 1992 to 1996, with its steady-state tendency each year. The steady-state tendency is, in turn, computed from data on monetary velocity and on the proportion of the total public deficit financed by domestic monetary emissions. Velocity is that of the base of the inflation tax in the steady-state, namely household M2 plus a fraction of enterprise M2. The use of this concept rather than high-powered money corresponds to the public and quasi-public nature of most commercial banks and many large and medium-sized enterprises until 1996. The demonstrated rough correspondence between actual inflation and calculated, steady-state inflation confirms the validity of the underlying monetary model. Copyright The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 1997.
This paper reports an investigation into the changes in the wage distribution in Poland in the first half of the 1990s. We concentrate on the effects of privatization and international trade. We show that the tendency towards increased dispersion in wages halted between 1992 and 1996, despite a rapid expansion in private-sector work. We also show that, during the same period, private-sector workers typically earned less than their state-sector counterparts on an hourly basis, and this gap widened. However, if one controls for experience, tenure and size of workplace, then there existed a small positive private-sector premium. On the effects of international trade, we find suggestive circumstantial evidence that the increase in trade with Western Europe raised wages and employment in manufacturing. Copyright The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 1998.
The 1992–93 recession in the western states of Germany has been attributed, in substantial measure, to the macroeconomic consequences of policies to finance unification. Studies of the costs of unification have not attempted to measure the burden of the recession. We estimate a dynamic, panel model of household incomes using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) and use it to forecast what these incomes would have been in 1992–94 without a recession. Using a ratio of actual to forecast incomes, we compare the relative burden of the recession across households. Our findings suggest that western households below the median income bore the brunt of the combined impact of unification and the recession of 1992–93. JEL classification: P3, D3, E3.
This paper examines the changes in relative earnings of workers with different education levels in Vietnam. Using a simple demand-and-supply framework developed by Katz and Murphy (1992), it was found that an increase in the relative demand for better-educated male workers in particular appears to play an important role in explaining the earnings differentials between workers of different education groups. Education reform to better suit the needs of the post-reform emerging market, on-the-job training for workers and equal access to education are some policy options that hold the key to reducing wage inequality between different education groups. Copyright (c) 2006 The Author Journal compilation (c) 2006 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development..
We document the changing labour force participation patterns of women with young children in Russia during 1992-2004. In this period maternity leave benefits became less generous, and childcare was privatized and became increasingly scarce. Using nationally representative household survey data it is shown that in 1992, there was essentially no association between the probability of a woman being a labour force participant and her having a child under age 3. However, by 2004, having children under age 3 had become associated with significantly reduced participation and employment probabilities, conditional on other observable characteristics of women and their households, and local factors. Several potential explanations for these findings are discussed. Copyright (c) 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation (c) 2010 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
In this paper, foreign direct investment (FDI) into Russia's regions during the period 1993-95 is analysed using recently available regional data. Russia's regions are shown to be much richer than China's, but much poorer than US states, though with far less FDI than either country. FDI into the regions is also low compared to both Western and Eastern European countries, but has grown substantially from very low levels. Relatively higher FDI is found to occur when crime is lower, market size is bigger and risk is less. Surprisingly, the education of the workforce is found to be important only in the two major cities of St. Petersburg and Moscow, suggesting FDI into Russia's regions is not drawn by cheap labour. Unlike other countries, no evidence for either infrastructure or privatization influencing FDI could be found. The use of tax breaks and exemptions to attract FDI may be short-sighted as the consequent cut in budget revenues hampers the ability of the region to fight crime and to lower business risk, resulting in an implicit marginal tax increase for future foreign investors that exceeds any benefits from shortterm tax breaks. Copyright The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 1998.
Poland has been encouraging foreign direct investment, including the purchase of company shares, but has been attempting to limit the inflow of speculative short-term capital. The policy so far has been effective without the use of any capital controls. The paper explains the policy and the reasons for its apparent success. The paper also discusses the evolving threats to macroeconomic stability of the Polish economy and policy responses to these threats. Copyright The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 1998.
We compare welfare indicators for a nationally-representative sample of Russians interviewed shortly after the 1998 financial crisis with data on the same people two years earlier. Both objective and subjective measures reveal a widespread, though not universal, deterioration in welfare. Current expenditures generally contracted more than incomes. Inequality fell. There were both gainers and losers at all levels. The safety net's response fell far short of what was needed to protect living standards, but it did help prevent even greater poverty. Even without better targeting, a modest expansion of the safety net could have prevented an increase in income poverty in the aftermath of the crisis.
In the Commission's proposals for reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and enlargement of the EU (Agenda 2000), the agriculture of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) is denied future access to compensatory payments for cuts in support prices in the EU15. To offset this, the acceding countries are promised a similar net amount of structural aid for their economy and society at large. This dual treatment aims at preventing agricultural surpluses and intersectoral distortion after accession. However, the actual situation and dynamics of agriculture in Central Europe (CE) compared to that in the EU does not support the surplus assumption globally, but only for certain products, chiefly grains. So far overlooked, but nevertheless, a key obstacle opposing competitive recovery, is the tendency of the dual, post-communist agrarian structures, faced with high rural unemployment, to protect long-term underproductive farm labour to the detriment of capital and land remuneration, mainly in livestock production. This configuration is supported by specific trade and land protections, and loose qualittative regulations that will be challenged by the EU enlargement. So, after accession under the Agenda 2000 schedule, it seems likely that CEE countries will achieve European competitiveness only at the cost of some recession, further deterioration of trade balances with the EU 15 and sharp decreases in farm employment levels. These factors would chiefly affect livestock production which, combined with crop intensification, is likely to result in a substantial increase in grain surpluses. Later on, the enlarged EU will have to bear the inevitable social consequences that transitional periods after accession might otherwise have postponed. Copyright The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 1998.
We model an accession country facing a Maastricht-type inflation criterion that specifies an inflation ceiling. In addition to deciding whether or not to satisfy this criterion, the country must decide how much costly economic reform to undertake. If the country puts enough weight on the future that it can credibly meet the inflation criterion no matter what the ceiling is, then the inflation criterion benefits the country but lowers reform. If the country puts less weight on the future, then a criterion with a properly chosen inflation ceiling can increase reform. We derive the inflation ceilings that maximize the country's welfare and its reform. Copyright (c) The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 2004..
The paper presents a model in which the exogenous money supply causes changes in the inflation rate and the output growth rate. While inflation and growth rate changes occur simultaneously, the inflation acts as a tax on the return to human capital and in this sense induces the growth rate decrease. Shifts in the model's credit sector productivity cause shifts in the income velocity of money that can break the otherwise stable relationship between money, inflation, and output growth. Applied to two accession countries, Hungary and Poland, a VAR system is estimated for each that incorporates endogenously determined multiple structural breaks. Results indicate Granger causality positively from money to inflation and negatively from inflation to growth for both Hungary and Poland, as suggested by the model, although there is some feedback to money for Poland. Three structural breaks are found for each country that are linked to changes in velocity trends, and to the breaks found in the other country. Copyright (c) The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 2004..
The paper examines the institutional channels through which Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) in the European Union (EU) can affect the transition countries of Central and Eastern Europe and three Mediterranean countries that aspire to join the EU.After describing the current institutional framework for relations between the EU and these countries, the paper considers two categories of institutional implications of EMU. The first stems from the need to satisfy the Maastricht convergence criteria before joining the euro area. Although the Maastricht criteria are not accession criteria, many of the countries reviewed are already formulating their macroeconomic policies in a way that will facilitate convergence toward the Maastricht targets. The second implication stems from the need to adopt the EU’s institutional and legal provisions in the area of EMU, such as those referring to the establishment of independent central banks, the prohibition of central bank financing of the government and the liberalization of capital movements. Finally, the paper discusses some of the key policy issues that EMU raises for the countries reviewed, in particular regarding exchange rate policy, capital account liberalization and the possible conflict between growth-enhancing measures and the Maastricht criteria.
International trade has featured prominently in Hungary’s rapid transition to a market economy. This paper reports some relatively simple summary and complementary indicators for tariffs and non-tariff barriers (NTBs) to trade, which are designed to reflect the level and structure of tariffs and the scope of NTBs in Hungary. The existence of tariff ‘spikes’ and highly pervasive NTBs in certain sectors constitutes prima facie evidence that the domestic dead-weight efficiency and net welfare losses caused by tariff and non-tariff protection as well as the costs to consumers could be high. The indicators are used to highlight several key developments associated with Hungary’s transition to a market economy, implementation of the Uruguay Round (UR) agreements and possible accession to the EU.
This note looks at the correlation of short-term business cycles in the euro area and the EU accession countries. The issue is assessed with the help of vector autoregressive models. There are clear differences in the degree of correlation between accession countries. For Hungary and Slovenia, euro area shocks can explain a large share of variation in industrial production, while for some countries this influence is much smaller. For the latter countries, the results imply that joining the monetary union could entail reasonably large costs, unless their business cycles converge closer to the euro area cycle. Generally, for smaller countries the relative influence of the euro area business cycle is larger. Also, it is found that the most advanced accession countries are at least as integrated with the euro area business cycle as some small present member countries of the monetary union. JEL classification: E32, F15, F42.
While China’s trade policies in most areas have been transformed in the reform era, trade in many agricultural goods remains under relatively non-transparent state trading arrangements. Accession to the WTO will be a critical turning point, increasing transparency and introducing disciplines on protection even for the commodities remaining under state trading. While China’s tariff bindings for the most sensitive products seem unlikely to require substantial short-term reductions in protection, they rule out substantial increases in the future, provide the opportunity to develop an efficient agricultural sector, and highlight the need for effective policies to reduce rural poverty. WTO membership provides an opportunity for China to improve market access opportunities for its agricultural exports, which face much higher barriers than its exports of industrial products. JEL classification: D58, F13, O13, O56, P33, Q17.
The paper discusses the measurement and interpretation of real GDP in transition economies. It argues that the statistical offices in Eastern Europe, the Baltics and the CIS should place emphasis in the years ahead on improving the mechanism by which estimates of output, consumption, investment and foreign trade are balanced to ensure compliance with standard accounting identities. Improvements to this 'balancing mechanism'may substantially strengthen the reliability of national accounts data and would not necessarily require a major further financial outlay for the statistical offices. In its discussion of the interpretation of real GDP data, the paper demonstrates that the use of the measured change in output at constant prices as a proxy for the evolution of 'social welfare'may be particularly problematic in the context of transition economies. Copyright The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 1997.
Anthropologists estimate that 70 percent of human societies are patrilocal, meaning that adult sons reside with their parents, and that wives go to live with their husbands' families upon marriage. Yet very little is known about how this widespread social norm influences intrahousehold resource allocation and, through this, economic development. This paper examines the effects of patrilocality on schooling and household educational expenditures in Tajikistan. To identify the causal effect of living in a three versus two generation household on these outcomes, exogenous variation in housing availability across communities is exploited. It is shown that the impacts of living in a three generation household are important for both school enrolment and for educational spending. The results suggest that one reason why patrilocal societies remain poorer than those with nuclear household norms is that three generation households make relatively few human capital investments in the youngest generation. Patrilocality, which probably evolved to solve coordination problems in agrarian societies, may thus be a cause rather than simply a correlate of low educational attainment in developing countries. Copyright (c) 2007 The Author Journal compilation (c) 2007 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development .
One feature common to many post-socialist transition economies is a relatively compressed wage structure in the state-owned sector. We conjecture that this compressed wage structure creates weak incentives for work effort and worker skill acquisition and thus presents adverse consequences for the entire transition economy if a substantial portion of the labour force works in the state sector. We explore firm wage incentives and worker training, as well as other labour practices and outcomes, in a transition setting with matched firm and worker data collected in one of the largest provinces of Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh City. The Vietnamese state sector exhibits a compressed wage distribution in relation to privately owned firms with foreign ownership. State wage practices stress tenure over worker productivity and their wage policies result in flatter wage-experience profiles and lower returns to education. The state work force is in greater need of formal training, a need that is in part met through direct government financing. In spite of the opportunities for government financed training and at least partly due to inefficient worker incentives, state firms, by certain measures, exhibit lower levels of labour productivity. The private sector comparison group to state firms for all of these findings is foreign owned firms. The internal labour practices of foreign firms are more consistent with a view of profit-maximizing firms operating with no political constraints. This is not the case for Vietnamese "de novo" private firms that exhibit much more idiosyncratic behaviour and whose labour practices are often indistinguishable from state firms. The exact reasons for this remain a topic of on-going research yet we conjecture that various private sector constraints, including limited access to formal capital, play an important role. Copyright (c) The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 2004.
We document that a persistent inflation differential has opened across different groups of transition economies since 2001, with the CIS-West seeing particularly high outcomes. We consider a range of non-monetary explanations discussed in the literature (economic structure, policy and institutions), and controlling for economic shocks, we find a role for political stability, as emphasized in previous cross-country work. However, our results suggest that lagging internal and external liberalization have been the key disincentives to disinflation. Consequently, lower inflation targets would not be credible in the absence of stronger structural and monetary policy frameworks. Copyright (c) 2009 International Monetary Fund. Journal compilation (c) 2009 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
The ability to cooperate in collective action problems - such as those relating to the use of common property resources or the provision of local public goods - is a key determinant of economic performance. In this paper we discuss two aspects of collective action problems in developing countries. First, which institutions discourage opportunistic behaviour and promote cooperation? Second, what are the characteristics of the individuals involved that determine the degree to which they cooperate? We first review the evidence from field studies, laboratory experiments, and cross community studies. We then present new results from an individual level panel dataset of rural workers. Copyright (c) The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 2005.
This paper examines the input and output additionality of public R&D subsidies in Western and Eastern Germany. We estimate the impact of public R&D grants on firms' R&D and innovation input. Based on the results of this first step we compare the impact of publicly funded private R&D on innovation output with the output effect of R&D funded out of firms' own pockets. We employ microeconometric evaluation methods using firm-level data derived from the Mannheim Innovation Panel. Our results point towards a large degree of additionality in public R&D grants with regard to innovation input measured as R&D expenditures and innovation expenditures, as well as with regard to innovation output measured by patent applications. Input additionality has been more pronounced in Eastern Germany during the transition period than in Western Germany. However, R&D productivity is still larger for the established Western German innovation system than for Eastern Germany. Hence, a regional redistribution of public R&D subsidies might improve the overall innovation output of the German economy. Copyright (c) The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 2006.
The main target of fiscal adjustment in a distorted market economy is associated with the elimination of inflationary pressure stemming from persistent fiscal deficits. Owing to unsustainable public debt, sooner or later such a deficit cannot be financed in a non inflationary way. The monetization of deficit and imposition of inflationary tax leads to the acceleration of inflation and further deterioration of the fiscal stance (Calvo 1988). Such developments turn against the allocative efficiency and ultimately against growth. In the case of transition economies the situation is quite similar, although there are some specific features, which have to be taken into account (Kopits 1991). The structure of revenue and expenditure in the centrally planned economy (CPE) had significantly contrasted with that of market economies (Chand and Lorie 1992). The main source for the budgetary revenue had been the state firms with only a minor position of direct taxes from the private sector and the households. The bulk of expenditure was linked to the heavy subsidies supporting real income of the population and to the subsidies provided to inefficient state enterprises, although the real burden of the latter is often overestimated.
We examine the capital structure dynamics of Central and Eastern European firms to get a better understanding of the quantitative and qualitative development of the financial systems in this region. The dynamic model used endogenizes the target leverage as well as the adjustment speed. It is applied to microeconomic data for ten countries. We find that during the transition process, firms generally increased their leverage, lowering the gap between the actual and the target leverage. Profitability and age are the most robust determinants of capital structure targets. Although banking system development has in general enabled firms to get closer to their leverage targets, information asymmetries between firms and banks are still relatively large. As a result, firms prefer internal finance above bank debt and adjust leverage only slowly. Copyright (c) The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 2006.
This paper deals with the Bulgarian experience with exchange rate policy and the related macroeconomic adjustment in the transition period. It is argued that in the context of the Bulgarian macroeconomic environment, the exchange rate regime and the exchange rate policy (or the lack of such) did play a crucial role in determining the patterns of macroeconomic adjustment in this period. A simple general equilibrium model is suggested that provides some insights into the stylized performance of an economy under certain assumptions, similar to those characterizing the transitional state of the Bulgarian economy. Finally, some aspects of Bulgarian macroeconomic performance in recent years are analysed on the basis of the available empirical information and using the framework of the theoretical model. The paper concludes with the policy lessons of this experience. Copyright 1996 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
We examine the capital structure dynamics of Central and Eastern European firms to get a better understanding of the quantitative and qualitative development of the financial systems in this region. The dynamic model used endogenizes the target leverage as well as the adjustment speed. It is applied to microeconomic data for ten countries. We find that during the transition process, firms generally increased their leverage, lowering the gap between the actual and the target leverage. Profitability and age are the most robust determinants of capital structure targets. Although banking system development has in general enabled firms to get closer to their leverage targets, information asymmetries between firms and banks are still relatively large. As a result, firms prefer internal finance above bank debt and adjust leverage only slowly.
Some aspects of the process of enterprise restructuring and adjustment in the Central and Eastern European countries are analysed on the basis of evideance from recent empirical research on microeconomic performance in these transition economies. The paper outlines a stylized picture of some types of enterprise behaviour which occur in this period and highlights a number of issues related to the process of enterprise restructuring and adjustment such as the problem of micro budget constraints, the motivation for enterprise restructuring, the issues of corporate governance. Some of the current impediments to enterprise restructuring as well as some of the determinants of enterprise performance in the transition periód are also featured in the paper. Copyright 1996 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
This paper uses panel data from Argentina and Mexico and a new measure of mobility - the Gini index of mobility - to answer three questions. First, is there a trend towards rising labour income mobility over time in these two countries? Second, is there a relationship between income mobility and growth common to both countries, or does that relationship depend on the institutional features of each country's labour markets? Third, do we observe more labour income mobility within some groups such as the young and the less educated than within other groups?
This study examines the path of adjustments of the exchange rate system in the transforming economy of Poland. It emphasizes the relative advantage of flexible exchange rates over the currency peg. It focuses on several aspects of the exchange rate policy that have not been adequately discussed. One of them is the rationale for returning to a currency peg to the leading currencies of the European Union (EU) and, in the future, to the Euro as a part of necessary preparations of the economy of Poland for accession to the Union. A return to a peg means the reversal from the path of the exchange rate system adjustments that has prevailed during the first five years, or in the first stage of the economic transformation. The study evaluates the rationale of applying a currency peg, thus “borrowing” monetary policy credibility from abroad, when the program of disinflation fails and the government loses a chance to stabilize the economy. High inflation that persists over a long time period is usually caused by automatic indexation, and adaptive expectations. Such chronic or inertial inflation continues long after the expiration of corrective inflation, or inflation stemming from price liberalization, cuts in subsidies and trade liberalization.
European Union objections to unilateral euroization by applicant countries are categorized as either a misunderstanding of what euroization entails or as justified concern, which should be alleviated by candidates wishing to euroize. Some ways in which candidates can alleviate concerns are discussed, as well as possible adjustments to the Maastricht criteria which might better protect both sides' interests. The paper concludes that the EU would benefit if it accepted unilateral euroization by applicants. JEL classification: E42, F33, F42, P24.
Across nine transition economies, it is the young, educated, English-speaking workers with the best access to local telecommunications infrastructures who work with computers. These workers earn about 25 percent more than do workers of comparable observable skills who do not use computers. Controlling for likely simultaneity between computer use at work and labour market earnings makes the apparent returns to computer use disappear. These results are corroborated using Russian longitudinal data on earnings and computer use on the job. High costs of computer use in transition economies suppress wages that firms can pay to their workers who use computers. Copyright (c) 2007 The Authors Journal compilation (c) 2007 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
This paper studies the determinants of Russian adult mortality controlling for both individual and household heterogeneity. We employ survival analysis and utilize 12 rounds of the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey spanning a 14-year period. Although confirming the crucial role of excessive alcohol consumption in shaping adult mortality risks in Russia, the results are original in several other respects. We find empirical support for the importance of relative status measured in non-income terms in shaping mortality hazards. We find evidence of the influence of labour market behaviour, and sectoral and occupational mobility in particular, on longevity. The detrimental role of smoking to health is found to be comparable with the role of excess alcohol consumption, which is novel in the Russian context where the influence of smoking is typically downplayed in comparison with alcoholism. Finally, we find no micro evidence in support of the political economy view based on a positive correlation between low alcohol prices and high mortality rates found in regional-level data. Copyright (c) 2010 The Author. Journal compilation (c) 2010 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
How does inward foreign direct investment (FDI) affect a transitional economy? This study attempts to analyze the role of FDI in China’s income growth and market-oriented transition. We first identify possible channels through which FDI may have positive or negative effects on the Chinese economy. Using a growth model and cross-section and panel data for the period 1984-98, we provide an empirical assessment, which suggests that FDI seems to help China’s transition and promote income growth, and that this positive growth effect seems to rise over time and to be stronger in the coastal than the inland regions. JEL classification: F21, F23, O53.
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