In the face of rapidly aging population, decreasing regional inequalities in population composition is one of the regional cohesion goals of the European Union. To our knowledge, no explicit quantification of the changes in regional population aging differentiation exist. We investigate how regional differences in population aging developed over the last decade and how they are likely to evolve in the coming three decades, and we examine how demographic components of population growth contribute to the process. We use the beta-convergence approach to test whether regions are moving towards a common level of population aging. The change in population composition is decomposed into the separate effects of changes in the size of the non-working-age population and of the working-age population. The latter changes are further decomposed into the effects of cohort turnover, migration at working ages, and mortality at working ages. European Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS)-2 regions experienced notable convergence in population aging during the period 2003–2012 and are expected to experience further convergence in the coming three decades. Convergence in aging mainly depends on changes in the population structure of East-European regions. Cohort turnover plays the major role in promoting convergence. Differences in mortality at working ages, though quite moderate themselves, have a significant cumulative effect. The projections show that when it is assumed that net migration flows at working ages are converging across European regions, this will not contribute to convergence of population aging. The beta-convergence approach proves useful to examine regional variations in population aging across Europe.
Decreasing energy intensity of Russian economy provides large opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Integration of the state policy for reducing emissions and increasing energy efficiency on the base of market instruments (notably emissions trading system) and using the experience of other countries is necessary to harmonize the goals of climate policy and intensive economic growth.
The paper examines the structure, governance, and balance sheets of state-controlled banks in Russia, which accounted for over 55 percent of the total assets in the country's banking system in early 2012. The author offers a credible estimate of the size of the country's state banking sector by including banks that are indirectly owned by public organizations. Contrary to some predictions based on the theoretical literature on economic transition, he explains the relatively high profitability and efficiency of Russian state-controlled banks by pointing to their competitive position in such functions as acquisition and disposal of assets on behalf of the government. Also suggested in the paper is a different way of looking at market concentration in Russia (by consolidating the market shares of core state-controlled banks), which produces a picture of a more concentrated market than officially reported. Lastly, one of the author's interesting conclusions is that China provides a better benchmark than the formerly centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe by which to assess the viability of state ownership of banks in Russia and to evaluate the country's banking sector.
The paper examines the principles for the supervision of financial conglomerates proposed by BCBS in the consultative document published in December 2011. Moreover, the article proposes a number of suggestions worked out by the authors within the HSE research team.