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Huizar: Surviving privatization in the era of neo-liberalism – A case study of Mexico’s oil company

Offshore-Oil-Rig-570x393

ABSTRACT: Mexico’s oil company (PEMEX) is a particularly interesting deviant case study in the context of the privatization literature. The literature on the causes of privatization indicates that PEMEX should have been privatized a long time ago since it is suffering from: declining levels of

Lachowska & Myck: The Effect of Public Pension Wealth on Saving and Expenditure

pension

ABSTRACT: In order to study whether public pension systems displace private saving, we use the quasiexperimental variation in pension wealth created by Poland’s 1999 pension reform. Using the 1997–2003 Polish Household Budget Surveys, we begin by estimating “difference-indifferences” regressions, where we compare household saving and

Rabinowitz & Prizzon: Financing for development

seed

ABSTRACT: With a new and more ambitious set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) being negotiated in 2015, understanding how financial resources and mechanisms can help achieve them and how development can be financed more effectively becomes more crucial than ever before. However, evidence on the

Elyakova, Morozov & Fedorova: The Mechanisms of Effective Use of State Sovereign Funds for the Purpose of Investment Development of Regions

225px-Flag_of_Russia_svg

ABSTRACT: The relevance of development and improvement of sovereign wealth funds of a state consists in the necessity of defining strategy and development of mechanisms of effective increase and application of money of National Wealth Fund aimed not only at maintenance of capital and achievement of long-term

Ijeoma & Nwufo: Sustainability of the Contributory Pension Scheme in Nigeria

nigeria

ABSTRACT: This study examined the stability of the contributory pension scheme (CPS) in Nigeria. The objectives of this study includes; to examine whether the CPS has significantly impacted on the economic development of Nigeria; to examine the extent to which CPS has impacted on the development of

Huizar: Surviving privatization in the era of neo-liberalism – A case study of Mexico’s oil company

Offshore-Oil-Rig-570x393

ABSTRACT:

Mexico’s oil company (PEMEX) is a particularly interesting deviant case study in the context of the privatization literature. The literature on the causes of privatization indicates that PEMEX should have been privatized a long time ago since it is suffering from: declining levels of competitiveness, low productivity, and corruption. Economic variables alone do not explain the lack of privatization of the state-owned oil company. Why was the Mexican oil company, PEMEX, not privatized? I maintain that dependence on oil revenues, economic nationalism, labor union strength, and the role of international actors (the International Monetary Fund, and the United States government) explain why Mexico’s oil company remains state-owned.

 

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Lachowska & Myck: The Effect of Public Pension Wealth on Saving and Expenditure

pension

ABSTRACT:

In order to study whether public pension systems displace private saving, we use the quasiexperimental variation in pension wealth created by Poland’s 1999 pension reform. Using the 1997–2003 Polish Household Budget Surveys, we begin by estimating “difference-indifferences” regressions, where we compare household saving and expenditure across time and between cohorts affected and unaffected by the reform. Next, we estimate the extent of crowdout by using two-stage least squares. We identify the effect of pension wealth on private saving by using the cohort-by-time variation in pension wealth that is explained by the reform. We find that one additional Polish zloty, or PLN, of pension wealth crowds out about 0.24 PLN in household saving. We also find heterogeneity in responses. For the middle-aged cohorts, we find a large public pension crowd-out of private saving (about 0.54 PLN of private saving for each 1 PLN of public pension wealth), while the crowd-out for younger cohorts equals about 0.30 PLN of private saving per 1 PLN. Finally, we find a close-to-complete crowd-out among highlyeducated households.

 

Available for download here.

Rabinowitz & Prizzon: Financing for development

seed

ABSTRACT:

With a new and more ambitious set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) being negotiated in 2015, understanding how financial resources and mechanisms can help achieve them and how development can be financed more effectively becomes more crucial than ever before. However, evidence on the contribution and effectiveness of development financing to large-scale interventions is scant in some sectors and, where available, ambiguous. This synthesis paper attempts to partially fill this gap by drawing on the large body of evidence and lessons from the country case studies of the ‘Development Progress’ (DP) project. This project aimed to explain how progress has happened in 50 developing countries in the past two decades across eight dimensions of well-being. Finance features as one of the main factors contributing to development progress across these countries, and is addressed in detail in 20 of the DP project case studies. This working paper therefore predominantly draws on evidence from these case studies. Assessing a direct causal link between financial resources and development outcomes and outputs is challenging, especially across the very diverse sectors reviewed in the DP project. Nonetheless, we identified some common patterns across several case studies.

• Progress is often associated with sustained economic growth performance and with shifting financial burdens for accessing services from households to governments and/or to bilateral and multilateral donors.

• Improvements in well-being indicators were correlated both with policy advice and a rise in external assistance from bilateral and multilateral donors in the lowincome and lower-middle-income countries reviewed in the project.

• In those middle-income countries whose aid volumes were small in proportion to the size of their economy, technical assistance was usually targeted to areas where the government had low capacity and effectiveness, making a substantial contribution to improvements in well-being.In those middle-income countries whose aid volumes were small in proportion to the size of their economies, technical assistance was usually targeted to areas where the government had low capacity and effectiveness, making a substantial contribution to improvements in well-being.

Elyakova, Morozov & Fedorova: The Mechanisms of Effective Use of State Sovereign Funds for the Purpose of Investment Development of Regions

225px-Flag_of_Russia_svg

ABSTRACT:

The relevance of development and improvement of sovereign wealth funds of a state consists in the necessity of defining strategy and development of mechanisms of effective increase and application of money of National Wealth Fund aimed not only at maintenance of capital and achievement of long-term profitability, but also at provision of steady growth of economy of the Russian Federation. The goal of improvement of Wealth Fund of Russia is development of strategy and mechanisms for effective increase and use of its funds. The present study suggests the author’s mechanisms for increase and application of National Wealth Fund of Russia with use of experience of leading sovereign investment funds of foreign states and with due consideration of current Russian economic conditions. The realization of mechanism of suggested strategy for effective increase and use of money of National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation implies gradual transition from today’s conservative strategy characterized with the “below average” level of risk to average- and high-risk strategy with expansion of areas of using funds.

 

Available for download here.

Ijeoma & Nwufo: Sustainability of the Contributory Pension Scheme in Nigeria

nigeria

ABSTRACT:

This study examined the stability of the contributory pension scheme (CPS) in Nigeria. The objectives of this study includes; to examine whether the CPS has significantly impacted on the economic development of Nigeria; to examine the extent to which CPS has impacted on the development of the Nigerian capital market; and to examine whether there is a sound risk management and effective investment strategy in existence capable of ensuring sustainability of the new scheme. The source of data for this study include primary and secondary source of data collection. The statistical tools employed in the data analysis include the simple regression analysis, the Kruskal-Wallis test and the Cronbach Alpha reliability. The result of this study found there exist a strong positive linear relationship between the contributory pension expenditure and the GDP (gross domestic product) in Nigeria. Also found was that the contributory pension Scheme has significantly
impacted the development of the Nigeria Capital market. In addition, the findings revealed significant evidence of sound risk management and investment strategies in existence to ensure sustainability of the contributory pension scheme in Nigeria. The result of reliability test of the responses obtained using the research instrument obtained a Cronbach alpha value of 89.1%. This result implies that the response obtained possess 89.1% internal reliability and consistent.

 

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Cieślik: African Sovereign Wealth Funds – Facts and Figures

africa

ABSTRACT:

This article discusses the features of sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) created from accumulated foreign reserves in African countries that export commodities. The author describes the investment targets of African SWFs, using empirical data and a research method based on a detailed analysis of available information on the investment activities of SWFs in the last 20 years.

Conclusions from the analysis indicate that, due to the poor transparency of African SWFs,
gathering the necessary statistics, general information and literature on the institutional arrangements and business strategies involved still remains a challenge.

The study uses press articles and reports that are compared against other sources of information in order to increase credibility. Due to the small size of African SWFs, their role in stimulating the economic development of the continent is limited by many institutional, economic and political factors.

African SWFs are not a homogeneous group. They can be beneficial for nations if they are used and structured properly in order to take advantage of their full potential. This implies that most of the African SWFs would have to expand their stabilization goals and move gradually to instruments intended for achieving economic development, intergenerational transfers of resources, financial sector stabilization, and promotion of regional integration.

 

Available for download here.

Kriz & Xiao: Benchmarking and Public Pension Investment Performance

public-pensions

ABSTRACT:

In this paper we examine the impact of active management of state and local defined benefit plans on investment performance. One of the advantages of state and local defined benefit pension plans is that they are able to achieve economies of scale by pooling and professionally investing and managing the funds, which helps to reduce the operating costs for jurisdictions. However, gains realized from economies of scale could be offset by inefficient management of pension investments. This could mean a range of decisions, but undoubtedly two of the most important are the asset allocation of the plan and whether to use active management or passive management. There has been little formal analysis of these choices and their effect on pension investment returns in the academic literature.

 

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Fretwell & Regan: Divided Lands – State vs. Federal Management in the West

Oregon_High_Desert

Introduction:

There is a great divide in the United States. Land in the East is mostly privately owned, while nearly half of the land in the West is owned by the federal government. In recent years, several western states have passed, introduced, or considered resolutions demanding that the federal government transfer much of this land to state ownership.1 These efforts are motivated by local concerns over federal land management, including restrictions on natural resource development, poor land stewardship, limitations on access, and low financial returns.

The resolutions reflect a sentiment in many western states that state control will result in better public land management. To date, however, there has been little research comparing the costs of state and federal land management. Most existing studies assume that the costs of federal land management would be the same under state management and do not consider the different management goals, regulatory requirements, and incentive structures that govern state and federal lands.

The purpose of this report is to compare state and federal land management in the West. In particular, we examine the revenues and expenditures associated with federal land management and compare them with state trust land management in four western states: Montana, Idaho, New Mexico, and Arizona. These states, which encompass a wide range of landscapes, natural resources, and land management agencies, allow for a robust comparison.

Our analysis will help explain why revenues and expenditures may differ between state and federal land agencies and explore some of the implications of transferring federal lands to the states. We find that state trust agencies produce far greater financial returns from land management than federal land agencies. In fact, the federal government often loses money managing valuable natural resources. States, on the other hand, consistently generate significant amounts of revenue from state trust lands. On average, states earn more revenue per dollar spent than the federal government for each of the natural resources we examined, including timber, grazing, minerals, and recreation.

 

Available for download here.

Hassler, Krusell, Shifa & Spiro: Sovereign wealth funds and spending constraints in resource rich developing countries – the case of Uganda

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ABSTRACT:

A large increase in government spending following resource discoveries often entails political risks, inefficient investments and increased volatility. Setting up a sovereign wealth fund with a clear spending constraint may decrease these risks. On the other hand, in a developing economy with limited access to international borrowing, such a spending constraint may lower welfare by reducing domestic capital accumulation and hindering consumption increases for the currently poor. These two contradicting considerations pose a dilemma for policy makers in deciding whether to set up a sovereign wealth fund. Using Uganda’s recent oil discovery as a case study, this paper presents a quantitative macroeconomic analysis and examines the potential loss of constraining spending through a sovereign wealth fund with a simple spending rule. We find that the loss is relatively low suggesting that such a spending structure seems well warranted.

 

Available for download here.

Jalil: Did globalisation stimulate increased inequality? A heterodox perspective

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From the Introduction:

Global income inequality has been steadily rising since the 1980s. The sensational success of Thomas Piketty’s “Capital” shows that the topic resonates well with the global population. Many have argued that this has been the result of “globalisation” (Palma, 2006), another concept which is widely discussed but rarely defined. Most divide globalisation into economic globalisation, focusing on international trade and foreign direct investments, and political globalisation, focusing on institutional arrangements. This division hinges on the existence of a conceptual separation between political logic from economic policy, which seems untenable. The contour of the global economy, the structure of the global market, who can participate in it and how they can engage in exchange are seldom apolitical choices.

This paper showcases four scenarios to show that the “political economy” aspect of globalisation is important, and posits that the “neoliberal version of globalisation” has contributed significantly towards increased inequality rather than just globalization. This detrimental and pervasive effect of neoliberalism has been carried out through dismantling the welfare state, reduced power of trade unions, massive industrial consolidation, deregulation of the economy, increased financialization of the international economy and the belief in the primacy of “self-regulating” market. The author believes it is critical to specify that a specific form of globalisation is at fault rather than the whole idea of globalisation; otherwise many may wrongly associate increasing inequality as a necessary consequence of engaging with the global economy and thereby decide to disengage their country and move towards autarky, which might be detrimental. Also unless we define the form of globalisation that is damaging, the debate wrongly focuses on merits and demerits of globalisation rather than what form of global engagement suits an individual country the best. The challenge is to take advantage of globalisation while limiting its offsetting costs.

 

Available for download here.

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