Neo-Transitional Economics: Volume 16

Cover of Neo-Transitional Economics

Table of contents

(22 chapters)
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Part I: General Transition

Abstract

This paper introduces the readers to Neo-Transitional Economics – a volume which aspires to reinvigorate scholarly interest in transition economics research. The classical transition storyline is briefly revisited, and new directions for empirical and policy-relevant research that target post-transition economies in the post-crisis paradigm are highlighted.

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Abstract

This is an exploratory paper of personal reflections on economic system issues, based on half a century of wide-ranging professional experiences, summarized in the section “Professional Background.”

The following broad generalizations are elaborated: (1) For a country’s sustained good economic performance, there is no alternative to a predominantly market-driven economy, supported by appropriate institutions. (2) In societies at all levels of development, it is essential to have mutually supporting cooperation between the private sector and the state (section “An Economic System with Universal Features?”). (3) The quarter-century transformation progress of the 29 former centrally planned economies of the USSR and Eastern Europe has been most uneven, as documented in the section “Relationship between Economic and Political System Transformation.” (4) Regarding China, it is NOT the country’s authoritarian political system but the skillful transformation of its economy into a market-driven one that has been principally responsible for the country’s impressive, long-term economic performance (section “China’s Economic Growth and Development Model”). The paper concludes by suggesting that the most fundamental determinants of a country’s long-term economic success are some combination of its geography, institutions, culture, and momentous historical events.

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Abstract

The study deals with key questions of Serbia’s economic development, including the regularities of transforming self-managed socialism to a standard capitalist system. It is based on the concept of endogenous growth and the general theory of market transition. In the empirical part of investigation, the main directions of economic development and transition in Serbia are analysed. Crucial issues of economic policy are also considered with a particular emphasis on the latest phase of transition. Concerning the problems of economic efficiency, an attempt is made to quantify the various types of technical progress and determine their contribution to its overall rate. The macroeconomic role of external factors is quantitatively shown through a globalisation effect related to inflows of FDI. The author believes that the Serbian economy, despite all its problems and difficulties, in principle has the potential necessary for finding adequate answers to the challenges of ‘neo-transition’. Of these challenges, he regards as most serious Serbia’s ability to comply with the standards of accession to the European Union, which, among others, requires closer regional cooperation.

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Part II: Institutions and Governance

Abstract

While the liberalization of economies within the transition paradigm is viewed to take place primarily on a macroeconomic (primary) level, this paper switches emphasis to the secondary and tertiary level of post-transition. While macroeconomic reforms may provide the playing field, secondary reforms level the playing field and tertiary reforms develop the capabilities necessary for firms and individuals within firms to compete in the landscape of liberalized economies. It is necessary to examine the transformations on three levels. First, the development of public policy and institutions aimed at regulating certain industries or firms. Second, the explicit market strategies of firms operating in the industries that shape market structure and inform public policy. Third, the nonmarket strategies of firms aimed at influencing the form and substance of public policy. Drawing on research in three related areas: institutional voids (IVs), the role of market and nonmarket strategies of firms, respectively, this paper examines the current state of transition in CEE/FSU countries. The main conclusions of the paper are first, transition and post-transition has been and continues to be profoundly impacted by the liberalizing influences of multinational firms. Second, this causation from the strategies and tactics of multinational firms to the extent of transition also helps to explain the degree of modernization of economies in a given transition economy. Third, it is important to distinguish between local and foreign firms on the transition process. Foreign firms are more likely to pursue liberalization agendas when it strengthens their competitive advantage over local firms. Conversely, local firms – especially those who rely on the capacity to navigate institutional voids – may be opposed to liberalization, as liberalization would threaten their sources of competitive advantage.

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Abstract

In this paper we show that the neo-transitional economies are less neoliberal than could be expected given their 25-years long transition towards building market environment, supporting entrepreneurship and restoring capitalism in general. According to factor analysis results based on a cross-sectional sample of 134 countries during the period of 2010–2012 we find that the neo-transitional economies are characterised by relatively restrictive trade and capital regulations, average level of labour protection and low activity of state in terms of tax-based redistribution and social cohesion support. We briefly review several theoretical frameworks, such as the World System Theory, Commodity Chain and Global Capital theory, and Varieties of Capitalism framework, and point towards their limitations in explaining these transitional outcomes. We conclude that these frameworks are not capable of providing the explanations mainly because of their limited or no concern for labour and capital, and their interactions with the national institutions. We conclude that the history of industrialisation and path dependence provides a more plausible framework for explaining the neo-transitional outcomes. Furthermore, the consideration of the ‘resource curse’ and authoritarian regimes in many CIS countries can explain their neglect for tax-based redistribution and the high degree of government interventions in trade and capital regulations.

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Abstract

Vietnam started significant transition policy since 1986 with the introduction of extensive policy of Doi Moi process. The transition from a centrally planned economy toward market-oriented economy has brought some significant results; however Vietnam has until recently stood out as a success story among the transitional economies from a developmental perspective. This requires further investigation of other factors relating to the viability assumption of neoclassical economics. This paper aims to investigate the relationship between corporate governance and firm value in Vietnam, a small and open neo-transitional economy. The result suggests a positive relationship of board size and the value of a firm, but it is not significant. The result also shows a lack of significant negative relationship of other two independent corporate governance variables (shareholder concentration and CEO duality) and the value of a firm. However, to some extent, too high shareholder concentration and CEO duality tend to have negative impacts to the firm value. Other control variables such as price-to-book value ratio and return on total assets have significant and positive impacts on the value of a firm, while the market capitalization has a negative relationship with the value of a firm.

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Abstract

The post-Soviet space, consisting of the countries of the former USSR and the Warsaw Pact, is a good testing ground for the dynamics of growth. Motivated by the mixed evidence on economic convergence in the region, this paper explores why countries have performed differently, focusing on institutional strength and its determinants. It proposes the hypothesis that, in the region, Russian influence plays a negative role in institutional development, both through opaque business practices that come with it, and through the isolation from European Union influence it entails. The paper uses recent panel data to test this hypothesis, concluding that there is some evidence supporting a negative effect of Russian influence on post-Soviet states’ institutions, but that more rigorous analysis is needed to confirm this link.

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Part III: Financial Sector Development

Abstract

I contribute to the ongoing policy discourse on the challenges of monetary policy transmission in environments with consolidated financial sectors and high credit rates. I empirically investigate the lending rate pass-through in Azerbaijan – a small resource-rich economy in transition – by taking advantage of a unique set of high-frequency bank-level data. My bottom-line policy message is the following. First, lending rates are considerably irresponsive to monetary policy shocks, and the interest rate channel ought to be somehow improved. Second, macroeconomic fundamentals and the concentrated bank sector are surprisingly not among the reasons behind the policy-market disconnect. Third, domestic commercial banks are able to exert substantial monopolistic pricing capacities and keep credit rates high, particularly when the central bank loosens its policy stance. Fourth, the underlying cause of both monetary policy inefficacy and high interest rate stickiness appears to be structural excess liquidity. In fact, empirical results show that pass-through is substantially higher for less liquid banks. Extraction of excess liquidity from the system should mitigate the banks’ monopolistic pricing powers, improve the efficiency of the interest rate channel, and ultimately bring the credit rates down.

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Abstract

Banking sectors in central, eastern and southeastern European (CESEE) countries have gone through a transformation from state-ownership and central planning to private ownership and market-oriented decision making during the first decade of the 21st century. However, financial markets in these countries are still developing and the private sector is highly exposed to changes in exchange rates, especially in terms of the balance sheet channel. The fact that these banking sectors are predominantly owned by eurozone banks makes them vulnerable to macroeconomic tensions in the European union. This analysis investigates macroeconomic determinants of the realisation of credit risk in the loan portfolio of banks in Serbia using a panel data set covering the period from 2008Q3 to 2012Q2. Three different panel methods were applied separately for loans to households and loans to enterprises. The results indicate that a deteriorating business cycle and exchange rate depreciation led to the worsening of the quality of banks’ loan portfolio in Serbia in the period under review. In addition, statistical evidence indicates that the CPI inflation additionally affected the quality of loans. Furthermore, we find that household loan portfolios are also sensitive to changes in the short-run interest rates. As for policy implications, the importance of international cooperation between regulators is rising. A very important topic for such cooperation should be the risk-taking channel between countries with significant differences in interest rates and degree of riskiness. The interrelationship between the exchange rate and credit risk should be a major focus of both domestic macro- and micro-prudential policy – banks should be motivated to pay more attention to the possible negative spillovers when making credit decisions. Also, further development of the domestic primary and secondary T-bills market would help reducing unhedged FX risks.

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This paper provides evidence on the impact of regulatory environment on financial reporting quality of transitional economies. This study compares the financial reporting quality of Hong Kong firms which are cross-listed in mainland China with those of Hong Kong firms cross-listed in China using specific earnings management metrics (earnings smoothing, timely loss recognition, value relevance and managing towards earnings targets) under pre- and post-IFRS regimes.

The financial reporting quality of Chinese A-share companies and Hong Kong listed companies are examined using earnings management measures. Using 2007 as base year, the study used a cumulative of −5 and +5 years of convergence experience which provide a total of 3,000 firm-year observations. In addition to regression analyses, we used the difference-in-difference analysis to check for the impact of regulatory environments on earnings management.

Through the lens of contingency theory, our results indicate that the adoption of the new substantially IFRS-convergent accounting standards in China results in better financial reporting quality evidenced by less earning management. The empirical results further shows that accounting data are more value relevant for Hong Kong listed firms, and that firms listed in China are more likely to engage in accrual-based earnings management than in real earnings management activities. We established that different earnings management practices that are seemingly tolerable in one country may not be tolerable in another due to level of differences in the regulatory environments.

The findings show that Hong Kong listed companies’ exhibit higher level of financial reporting quality than Chinese listed companies, which implies that the financial reporting quality under IFRS can be significantly different in regions with different institutional, economic and regulatory environments. The results imply that contingent factors such as country’s institutional structures, its extent of regulation and the strength of its investor protection environments impact on financial reporting quality particularly in transitional and emerging economies. As such, these factors need to be given appropriate considerations by financial reporting regulators and policy-makers interested in controlling earnings management practices among their corporations.

This study is a high impact study considering that China plays a significant role in today’s globalised economy. This study is unique as it the first, that we are aware of, to compare real earnings activities against accrual-based earnings management in pre- and post-IFRS adoption periods within the Chinese and Hong Kong financial reporting environments, distinguishing between cross-listed and non-cross-listed firms.

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Part IV: Fiscal Policy and Debt Management

Abstract

In this paper, we derive debt sustainability conditions for emerging and developing countries. Since most of these countries have foreign debt, that is, they have the so-called original sin problem, our calculations take into account both domestic and foreign debt. Our setup can be used to evaluate the short-term fiscal stance of a government. Using this setup, we analyze the post crisis fiscal adjustment in transition countries, namely Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Our findings suggest that country performances are rather mixed and the pace of debt accumulation in some of these countries should be monitored closely.

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Deficits in fiscal and current account balances in a large number of countries reveal interesting implications of the causal relationship between internal and external imbalances. Empirical evidence about the occurrence of so-called twin deficits or twin surpluses provides crucial information about the validity of an intertemporal approach. However, most recent dynamic cyclical changes during the crisis period revealed many questions about the direct interconnection between macroeconomic performance and twin imbalances. In the paper we observe substantial features of twin imbalances in European transition economies. Event study (identification of large fiscal and current account changes and their parallel occurrence) and vector auto-regression methods will be employed to examine key aspects of twin imbalances. Our results suggest that current account deteriorations were predominately associated with negative public investment and savings balances (fiscal deficits), while current account improvements were predominately associated with positive private investment and savings balances, confirming empirical evidence about twin deficits in European transition economies.

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Part V: International Trade and Economic Integration

Abstract

Remittances in the former Soviet Union have increased rapidly over the past decade. In some countries of the former Soviet Union, remittances have reached staggering levels. For example, in Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan remittances now account for over 10% of GDP, with Tajikistan leading the pack with annual remittances of approximately 40% of GDP. Remittances in this group of economies now exceed foreign direct investment and foreign assistance. Because this rapid rise in remittances is a relatively recent trend and obtaining reliable data is difficult, this area of research has been underexplored.

The aim of this paper is to provide a comprehensive review of existing remittance measurement methodologies. Moreover, we propose practical methods to adjust the Central Bank of Russia data to derive more accurate remittances estimates in selected countries of the former Soviet Union. These selected economies are major recipients of remittances among transition economies and account for as much as 10% of remittances worldwide. There have been attempts to provide this type of estimation in individual countries; however, there have been no studies, to our knowledge, that propose a general methodology for the region.

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This paper looks at the convergence of CEE economies to North-western Europe (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Switzerland, simplified in this study as ‘Western Europe’) in terms of indicators other than GDP, which are more relevant reflections of the welfare level of everyday citizens. It finds that contrary to the results of studies concentrating solely on GDP, a multi indicator analysis reveals a slow but definite divergence rather than convergence.

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About the Authors

Pages 379-383
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Cover of Neo-Transitional Economics
DOI
10.1108/S1569-3767201516
Publication date
2015-03-04
Book series
International Finance Review
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78441-681-2
Book series ISSN
1569-3767