Monetary Policy, Trade and Convergence. The Case of Transition Economies
The historical changes in Central and Eastern Europe demanded suitable paths for the transition from centrally planned to market based economies. The lack of relevant experience added to the challenge, giving rise to the incalculable risks of implementing untested policies. By focusing on monetary policy, trade, and convergence, this volume addresses some of the most urgent economic policy issues in the transition economies of Central and Eastern Europe and beyond.
The problem of optimal monetary policy is extremely relevant for Russia. Although the monetary authority claims that inflation targeting is the main goal of the monetary policy, empirical finding suggest that the real exchange rate targeting is of major importance (see Vdovichenko / Voronina 2004). Due to the rising flow of petrodollars, the rouble is currently experiencing a significant real appreciation. The fear to harm exports causes the monetary authority to respond by accumulating dollar reserves and increasing the money supply, thus preventing a nominal appreciation. Such policy leads to high inflation which benefits of some groups at the expense of others. That is why the optimal degree of intervention is in the centre of the current political and economic debate.
The present book is the result of the project International Comparative Study on Education, Career and Migrant Strategies of School Students from Rural Areas in Transition Countries initiated by UNESCO International Research and Training Centre for Rural Education (INRULED) and the Center for Applied Economic Research, National Research University Higher School of Economic (HSE) of Russia in 2010.
Despite the impressive economic growth in Russia between 1999 and 2007, there is a fear that Russia may suffer the Dutch disease, which predicts that a country with large natural resource rents may experience a de-industrialisation and a lower long term economic growth. In this paper we study if there are any symptoms of the Dutch disease in Russia. Using a variety of Rosstat publications and the CHELEM database, we analyse the trends in production, wages and employment in the Russian manufacturing industries, and we study the behaviour of Russian imports and exports. We find that, while Russia exhibits some symptoms of the Dutch disease, e.g. the real appreciation of the rouble, the rise in real wages, the decrease in employment in manufacturing industries and the development of the services sector, the manufacturing production nonetheless increased, contradicting the theory of the Dutch disease. These trends can be explained by the gains in productivity and the recovery after the disorganisation in the 1990s, by new market opportunities for Russian products in the European Union and in CIS countries, by a growing Chinese demand for some products and by a booming internal market. Finally, investments in many manufacturing industries were largely encouraged, whereas those in the energy sector were strongly regulated, which contributed to the economic diversification.
In this paper we study convergence among Russian regions. We find that while there was no convergence in 1990s, the situation changed dramatically in 2000s. While interregional GDP per capita gaps still persist, the differentials in incomes and wages decreased substantially. We show that fiscal redistribution did not play a major role in convergence. We therefore try to understand the phenomenon of recent convergence using panel data on the interregional reallocation of capital and labor. We find that capital market in Russian regions is integrated in a sense that local investment does not depend on local savings. We also show that economic growth and financial development has substantially decreased the barriers to labor mobility. We find that in 1990s many poor Russian regions were in a poverty trap: potential workers wanted to leave those regions but could not afford to finance the move. In 2000s (especially in late 2000s), these barriers were no longer binding. Overall economic development allowed even poorest Russian regions to grow out of the poverty traps. This resulted in convergence in Russian labor market; the interregional gaps in incomes, wages and unemployment rates are now below those in Europe. The results imply that economic growth and development of financial and real estate markets eventually result in interregional convergence.
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The author traces the analysis evolution of the monetary shocks effects on the economy, exploring the key approaches to modeling of the monetary transmission mechanism. The article emphasizes the necessity of the monetary transmission mechanism modification in the conditions of current financial crisis: the active role reflection of the financial intermediaries, accounting of the development degrees of institutional capacity in the economy.
This paper analyzes a stylized model of an export-oriented economy. It investigates the impact of macroeconomic policies on the dynamics of the exchange rate, inflation, output and stabilization fund and consider different forms of strategic interaction between the government and the central bank. It is shown that the effective interaction of fiscal and monetary policies is possible under Stackelberg interaction with the government as leader and under cooperation.
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.