Institutional transition, social capital mix and local ties – Does Communist legacy explain low labour mobility?
Der Artikel geht der Frage nach, wieso Ostdeutsche trotz schlechter Arbeitsmarktbedingungen eine vergleichsweise geringe räumliche Mobilität aufweisen. Auf Basis des GSOEP wird ein simultanes Drei-Gleichungs-Modell (Geordnetes Probit) geschätzt, welches belegt, dass informelles Sozialkapital die regionale Mobilität verringert, während es formales Sozialkapital unterstützt. Ostdeutsche, welche im Kommunismus aufgewachsen sind, sind stärker im lokal gebundenen informalen Kapital investiert als im formalen Typ. Die geringere Mobilität ist somit zu einem erheblichen Teil dem systemspezifischen Sozialkapital-Mix geschuldet
Investment (FDI) Policy for Azerbaijan, Final report
The report has been prepared on behalf of the Association for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) as integral part of the “Private Sector Development Program” run by the GTZ in Azerbaijan. A comprehensive investment policy is outlined with particular focus on the possibilities to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) in Azerbaijan’s manufacturing industry (non-oil sector). The report makes particular reference to the experiences with investment policy development in Central and East European transition economies. It touches legal and institutional framework conditions in Azerbaijan as well as possible investment incentives schemes including investment promotion. Major recommendations refer to trade integration within the region, introduction of tax incentives as well as further improvements in business climate. Furthermore, the importance of complementary policies, such as competition and education policy, is stressed.
The relationship between unemployment and output in post-communist countries
Unemployment is still disappointingly high in most Central and East European countries, and might be a reflection of the ongoing adjustment to institutional shocks resulting from systemic transition, or it may be caused by high labour market rigidity, or aggregate demand that is too weak. In this paper we have investigated the dynamics of unemployment and output in those eight post-communist countries, which entered the EU in 2004. We used a model related to Okun’s Law; i.e. the first differences in unemployment rates were regressed on GDP growth rates. We estimated country and panel regressions with instrument variables (TSLS) and applied a few tests to the data and regression results. We assume transition of labour markets to be accomplished when a robust relationship exists between unemployment rate changes and GDP growth. Moreover, the estimated coefficients contain information about labour market rigidity and unemployment thresholds of output growth. Our results suggest that the transition of labour markets can be regarded as completed since unemployment responds to output changes and not to a changing institutional environment that destroys jobs in the state sector. The regression coefficients have demonstrated that a high trend rate of productivity and a high unemployment intensity of output growth have been occurring since 1998. Therefore, we conclude that labour market rigidities do not play an important role in explaining high unemployment rates. However, GDP growth is dominated by productivity progress and the employment-relevant component of aggregate demand is too low to reduce the high level of unemployment substantially.
The unemployment-growth relationship in transition countries
Does the disappointingly high unemployment in Central and East European countries reflect non-completed adjustment to institutional shocks from transition to a market economy, or is it the result of high labour market rigidities, or rather a syndrome of too weak aggregate demand and output? In the case of transitional causes, unemployment is expected to decline over time. Otherwise, it would pose a challenge to the European Union, particular in case of accession countries, for it jeopardizes the ambitious integration plans of, and may trigger excessive migration to the Union. In order to find out which hypothesis holds 15 years after transition has started, we analyze the unemploymentgrowth dynamics in the eight new member countries from Central-Eastern Europe. The study is based on country and panel regressions with instrument variables (TSLS). The results suggest to declare the transition of labour markets as completed; unemployment responds to output and not to a changing institutional environment for job creation. The regression coefficients report a high trend rate of productivity and a high unemployment intensity of output growth since 1998. The conclusion is that labour market rigidities do not to play an important role in explaining high unemployment rates. Rather, GDP growth is dominated by productivity progress, while the employment relevant component of aggregate demand is too low to reduce substantially the high level of unemployment.
Non-market Allocation in Transport: A Reassessment of its Justification and the Challenge of Institutional Transition
50 Years of Transport Research: Experiences Gained and Major Challenges Ahead,
Economic theory knows two systems of coordination: through public choice or through the market principle. If the market is chosen, then it may either be regulated, or it may be fully competitive (or be in between these two extremes). This paper first inquires into the reasons for regulation, it analyses the reasons for the important role of government in the transportation sector, especially in the procurement of infrastructure. Historical reasons are seen as important reasons for bureaucratic objections to deregulation. Fundamental economic concepts are forwarded that suggest market failure and justify a regulatory environment. The reasons for regulation cited above, however, may be challenged; we forward theoretical concepts from industrial organization theory and from institutional economics which suggest that competition is even possible on the level of infrastructure. The transition from a strongly regulated to a competitive environment poses problems that have given lieu to numerous failures in privatization and deregulation. Structural inertia plays an important role, and the incentive-compatible management of infrastructure is seen as the key element of any liberal transportation policy. It requires that the setting of rules on the meta level satisfies both local and global efficiency ends. We conclude that, in market economies, competition and regulation should not be substitutes but complements. General rules, an "ethic of competition" have to be set that guarantee a level playing field to agents; it is complimented by institutions that provide arbitration in case of misconduct.
Pension Reform in Hungaryie
In Hungary social policy reforms in general and the pension reform in particular followed the introduction of the institutions of market economy with a considerable time lag, if at all. Although it was clear from the outset that the communist welfare state could not be sustained, comprehensive institutional reforms in the pension or health care systems were not introduced in the first six years of the postsocialist transition. This uneasiness to reform the social security systems has to do with the contradicting constraints decision makers have to face in the process of systemic change.
The Role of Real Exchange Rates in the Central European Transformation
The study eamines the interactions between real exchange rates, current accounts and capital account balances in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. The empirical investigation leads to a strong endorsement of more flexible exchange rates in the present stage of the economic transformation process of the former socialist countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Exchange rate flexibility allows more independent monetary policies that focus on financing structural adjustments and institutional changes in transition economies. However, the integration process with the European Union and more remote considerations of possible accession to the European Monetary Union will require a gradual move to fixed exchange rates and to an exchangerate-based monetary policy.