March 30, 2015

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Export Costs of Visa Restrictions

Authors: Natalia Kapelko and Natalya Volchkova, CEFIR. We study the role of visa restrictions in determining export flows between firms and countries, and find a significant negative impact of visa restrictions. Our results indicate that visa costs not only diminish the value of export, but also the probability of new firms to enter visa restricted […]

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March 23, 2015

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Did the Fertilizer Cartel Cause the Food Crisis?

Authors: Hinnerk Gnutzmann, Catholic University of Milan, and Piotr Spiewanowski, Polish Academy of Sciences. Food prices escalated during the 2007/2008-food crisis and have remained at historically high levels since. We show that an international export cartel for fertilizers was an important driver of the crisis, explaining up to 60% of the price increase. While biofuel […]

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March 16, 2015

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Who Cheats on a Cartel Agreement?

Author: Catarina Marvão, SITE. Leniency policies, widely used by antitrust authorities, aim to deter and dissolve cartels by granting a fine reduction (up to immunity) to reporting cartel members. What are the characteristics of the reporting cartel members? Marvão (2014) addresses this question by developing and testing a model where cartel members are heterogeneous in […]

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March 9, 2015

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Education for the Poor

Authors: Lasha Lanchava and Zurab Abramishvili, ISET and CERGE-EI. This brief summarizes the results of a study by Lanchava and Abramishvili (2015), which investigates the impact on university enrollment of an unconditional cash transfer in Georgia, designed to help households living below the subsistence level. The program, introduced in 2005, selects recipients based on a […]

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March 2, 2015

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What Ukrainians Expect From Reforms

Author: Tom Coupé, KSE. Ukraine needs reforms badly. However, there is a huge difference in how the government, the expert community, and the general public understand reforms. According to a recent survey conducted by a prominent Ukrainian newspaper, people expect that reforms should, in the first place, improve their personal wellbeing. However, research findings beware […]

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February 23, 2015

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Fiscal Decentralization and Budget Discipline in Russian Regions

Authors: Michael Alexeev, Indiana University, Nikolay Avxentyev and Arseniy Mamedov, Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. We use panel data from the Russian regions for 2005-2013 to estimate the link between intraregional fiscal decentralization and regional budget deficits. Although Russian regions are not as autonomous in their fiscal policies as regions in other […]

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February 16, 2015

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The Aid Effectiveness Literature: Is It Over Yet?

Author: Maria Perrotta Berlin, SITE. After several decades of studies, the academic community still does not have an answer to whether foreign aid affects growth, and in which direction. Part of the reason for such an outcome may lie in a wide variety of models, techniques and data used. However, the main reason is probably […]

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February 9, 2015

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On Leniency, Damages and Deterrence

Authors: Catarina Marvão and Giancarlo Spagnolo, SITE. On November 26th of 2014, an EU Directive on antitrust damage actions was signed into law. The Directive is to praise as it does a lot to facilitate private antitrust actions in the EU. However, the Directive also tries to address a possible conflict between public and private […]

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February 2, 2015

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The Political Economy of the Latvian State Since 1991: Some Reflections on the Role of External Anchors

Author: Alf Vanags, BICEPS. This brief discusses the role of external anchors or goals such as WTO accession, NATO and EU accession in Latvia’s development strategy since 1991. On the one hand the external goals ‘depoliticised’ many potentially contentious areas of Latvian life. On the other hand, some developments would not have happened or would […]

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January 26, 2015

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Crisis and Trust

Authors: Maxim Ananyev and Sergei Guriev, CEFIR Our research uses the 2008-2009-crisis experience in Russia to identify the relationship between income and trust. In 2009, Russian GDP fell an 8-percent drop in 2009. The impact of the crisis was very uneven among Russian regions because of their differences in industrial structure inherited from the Soviet […]

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