2016

Yaroslav Khomutenko: REMITTANCES AND HOUSEHOLDS’ INVESTMENTS IN UKRAINE

Remittances in developing countries are often considered one of the main sources of external finance. Ukraine is no exception – over the last ten years the inflow of remittances from Ukrainian migrants increased in five times. Apart from positive macroeconomic effects, the remittances influence households on the micro level, raising their income and, consequently, changing consumption patterns. The following research by using the Ukrainian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey and addressing the self-selection issue tries to determine whether Ukrainian households treat their remittances as transitory income and invest larger share in human and physical capital. The main findings of this research, are the following: irrespective of the source of the remittances, the households receiving them spend less on food and more on health; households receiving international remittances spend less on education, but significantly larger share on housing.

Lazutina Inna: THE DETERMINANTS OF TAX EVASION AMONG UKRAINIAN HOUSEHOLDS

From year to year Ukrainian government tries to unlock about 40 to 60 percent of the economy, which still remains under the shadow. Flourishing of tax evasion practice led to disappointing results: almost half of the salaries are paid in envelopes bypassing tax liabilities. Boundaries between lawful and illicit activity are blurred, in this study the definition ‘tax evasion’ will be considered as an attempt of an individual to hide his income without consideration of legality. Since tax evasion is difficult to observe directly, the paper attempts to construct accurate measures of tax evasion by evaluating the deviation between households’ consumption and income, following the theoretical framework suggested by Gorodnichenko (2008). Also paper examines three-dimensional set of characteristics of Ukrainian household  embers - individual and household characteristics, geographical position and job occupation of the agent, - which have a significant impact on evasion behaviour. The analysis is provided on the ULMS dataset of 2007 wave. Besides, it is defined a person’s profile of individual, which more likely be engaged in tax evasion. The results obtained might have a policy implication: tax authorities could increase accuracy of tax evasion detection techniques by paying close attention to a target group of concern.

Karim Lulu: HOW DOES NEWS RELATED TO WAR AFFECT THE EXCHANGE RATE IN UKRAINE?

This work is aimed to evaluate strength of the link between violence in Eastern Ukraine and the black market exchange rate’s movements. In order to estimate effect of the war we use new data on the black market, violence-related news and structural changes in the NBU’s policies. Classical regression analysis and Bayesian inference were applied and both approaches showed a pretty close results which indicates consistency of the findings. Firstly, we found that escalation of the conflict leads to the depreciation of the Ukrainian hryvnia at the black market while its economic impact is lower than the effect of the NBU’s decisions. Secondly, the black market suffers from inefficiencies since past dynamics is among the strongest predictors of the future movements and future volatility. Therefore, it implies that quick access to the black market data creates possibilities of the arbitrage.

Hanna Onyshchenko: WAGE PENALTY FOR OVEREDUCATION AMONG UKRAINIAN YOUTHS: DOES IT EXIST?

This thesis examines the existence of a wage penalty for overeducation among Ukrainian youths (from 15 to 29 years). Overeducation refers to those individuals who claim that their university degree was neither required by law, nor useful to access their current job. In order to conduct such a research, we follow the methodology suggested by Nieto (2014), who estimated the overeducation, skills and wage penalty in Spain. We use the mean-approach to estimate the required years of education for job occupations and compare the wages of the overeducated individuals with their matched peers. Our results obtained from the two-step Heckman specification model found out insignificant positive effect on wage associated with overeducation, however suggest the substantial negative effect of undereducation. This means that the undereducated individuals get a lower wage compared to the individuals with the same degree employed at the work with required years of education matching to attained years of education. We also found out that return on each required year of education is insignificant comparing to return on each attained year of education, this points out the existence of educational mismatch.

Mariia Panga: EFFECTS OF NON-TARIFF MEASURES ON PRODUCTIVITY IN THE FOOD-PROCESSING INDUSTRY

This thesis investigates the impact of NTMs on firm’s productivity for the sample of 9,983 firms located in Ukraine for the period of 2004-2009. NTMs were defined as measures in trade relations, which imply non-price or/and non-quantity barriers. Firm’s productivity was measured through the production function estimation with further collecting of TFPR and TFPQ. As additional measures of productivity, labor productivity was defined with labor productivity based on gross output and value added per worker. NTMs were presented through non-tariff barriers on input and output). Production function was estimated for each food-processing industry using Olley-Pakes methodology controlling for sub-industry specific demand and price shocks as suggested by De Loecker to calculate TFP of firms in food-processing industry. We detected that in the majority cases NTMs are associated with the negative impact on firm’s productivity. Moreover, NTMs on both output and input are associated with the negative impact on firm’s productivity if a firm is specialized in producing only one good and if it has employment more than ten. We find that NTMs on input are associated with the positive impact on labor productivity based on output.

Vitaliia Yaremko: UKRAINIAN HOUSEHOLDS’ CONSUMPTION PATTERNS IN THE CONTEXT OF ENERGY UTILITIES PRICE INCREASE

This thesis examines the response of Ukrainian households’ consumption to energy utilities price change. LA/AIDS (Deaton and Muellbauer) is applied to estimate the households’ consumption and energy choices. The energy utilities price indexes are constructed as weighted average of separate energy prices and the elasticity coefficients of budget shares and expenditures with respect to energy price indexes derived. Based on HBS data for 2008-2014 it is shown that in case of a moderate price increase of individual energy sources, households slightly rearrange their energy budgets to mitigate the price shocks in the short run. However, with dramatic price increase of a few energy utilities, as in 2015, the energy budget optimization does not allow to smooth consumption shocks much. In this case, increase of energy utilities price, uncompensated by subsidies, induces households to reallocate their budgets from relative luxuries (recreation, restaurants and hotels, transport) to necessities (clothing and footwear, health). If energy price increase is compensated by subsidies, households rearrange their budgets in favor of luxuries, which is undesirable from the social policy prospective. The policy implications of the study are that the energy utilities pricing should be thoroughly planned in terms of timing and social assistance, because otherwise it can lead to tangible economic imbalances and reduction of households’ welfare.