Institutional Features (institutional + feature)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Business, Economics, Finance and Accounting

Selected Abstracts

Old age protection in India: Problems and prognosis

Ranadev Goswami
This paper reviews the current state of the Indian pension system. The Indian experience could potentially influence policy decisions in other developing countries, especially those with similar reliance on the national provident fund system. Institutional features of various retirement benefit schemes are highlighted and their deficiencies are discussed. It is argued that low coverage level, underperformance of provident fund schemes due to investment restrictions, and financial difficulties in administering unfunded public pension programmes have rendered the current system ineffective and unsustainable. The failed experiments with ad hoc reform initiatives in the recent past further emphasize the need for a structural and lasting change. The paper concludes with some policy directions for reforming the Indian pension system. [source]


Exploiting a unique institutional feature of early Romanian privatization, when a group of firms was explicitly barred from privatization and another was partially privatized by management,employee buyouts, we test how politicians select firms into privatization programs. Using comprehensive firm data, we estimate the relation between preprivatization firm characteristics , the information known to politicians at the time of decision-making , and the effect of privatization on employment, efficiency, and wages. With the estimated coefficients we simulate the effect of privatization on non-privatizable and privatizable firms. We find that politicians expected privatization to increase employment in the privatizable group by 7%,10%, while to decrease it in the non-privatizable group by 10%,30%, depending on the first-stage estimation method, ordinary least squares with or without matching. We do not find such discrepancies in the expected change in firm efficiency; the simulated efficiency effect of privatization is large and positive for both groups of firms, and it is 52%,65% for non-privatizable and 41%,43% for privatizable firms. The analysis does not support the hypothesis that wages played an important role in privatization decisions. Our study suggests that employment concerns played the key role in selecting firms for privatization, even if efficiency gains had to be sacrificed. [source]

A Structural Model of Government Formation

ECONOMETRICA, Issue 1 2003
Daniel Diermeier
In this paper we estimate a bargaining model of government formation in parliamentary democracies. We use the estimated structural model to conduct constitutional experiments aimed at evaluating the impact of institutional features of the political environment on the duration of the government formation process, the type of coalitions that form, and their relative stability. [source]

Ageing and the tax implied in public pension schemes: simulations for selected OECD countries

FISCAL STUDIES, Issue 2 2004
Robert Fenge
Abstract A key figure suited to measuring intergenerational imbalances in unfunded public pension schemes is given by the ,implicit tax rate' imposed on each generation's lifetime income. The implicit tax arises from the fact that, quite generally, pension benefits fall short of actuarial returns to contributions paid to these systems while actively working. Under current pension policies, implicit tax rates will increase sharply for younger generations in most industrialised countries. In this paper, this is illustrated for the cases of France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden, the UK and the USA. Nevertheless, there are remarkable differences across countries regarding both the level of implicit taxes and their development over successive age cohorts, which can be attributed to differences in ageing processes and in the institutional features of national pension systems. In addition, we can demonstrate how effective different approaches to pension reform are in smoothing the intergenerational profile of implicit tax rates. [source]

Governing in the Media Age: The Impact of the Mass Media on Executive Leadership in Contemporary Democracies1

Ludger Helms
The effects of old and new media on governing and executive leadership have remained curiously under-studied. In the available literature, assessments prevail that consider the media to have developed a strongly power-enhancing effect on incumbent chief executives. A careful reconsideration of mass media effects on the conditions and manifestations of political leadership by presidents and prime ministers in different contemporary democracies suggests that the media more often function as effective constraints on leaders and leadership. Overall, the constraining effects of the traditional media have been more substantial than those generated by the new media. While there are obvious cross-national trends in the development of government,mass media relations, important differences between countries persist, which can be explained to some considerable extent by the different institutional features of contemporary democracies. [source]

Wage policy in the health care sector: a panel data analysis of nurses' labour supply

Jan Erik Askildsen
Abstract Shortage of nurses is a problem in several countries. It is an unsettled question whether increasing wages constitute a viable policy for extracting more labour supply from nurses. In this paper we use a unique matched panel data set of Norwegian nurses covering the period 1993,1998 to estimate wage elasticities. The data set includes detailed information on 19 638 individuals over 6 years totalling 69 122 observations. The estimated wage elasticity after controlling for individual heterogeneity, sample selection and instrumenting for possible endogeneity is 0.21. Individual and institutional features are statistically significant and important for working hours. Contractual arrangements as represented by shift work are also important for hours of work, and omitting information about this common phenomenon will underestimate the wage effect. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

The stabilization properties of fixed and floating exchange rate regimes

Keith Pilbeam
Abstract This paper investigates the price and output stabilization properties of fixed and floating exchange rates using a small open economy model. The performance of the two regimes is compared in the face of money demand, aggregate demand and aggregate supply shocks. It is shown that the ranking of the two regimes is extremely sensitive to the weighting of the objective function as between price and output stability, the type of shock impinging upon the economy, the values of structural parameters of the economy and institutional features such as the degree of wage indexation within the economy. The results obtained suggest that estimates of the income elasticity of money demand, the elasticity of aggregate demand to changes in both the real exchange rate and the real interest rate, and the degree of openness of the economy are likely to be important to policymakers when making the choice of exchange rate regime. Neither regime can be said to be dominant in all circumstances. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Industry Clustering in Nordic Initial Public Offering Markets

P. Joakim Westerholm
ABSTRACT We present institutional features of the Nordic initial public offering (IPO) markets and relate initial return, long-run performance and size of companies listed during 1991,2002 to industry clustering and level of listing requirements. High industry clustering is related to higher initial return and lower long-run performance supporting our prediction that information asymmetry has an impact on initial underpricing while temporary overvaluation affects long-run performance. The relatively high listing requirements and targeting of the main market have not protected the Nordic IPOs from poor long-run performance. On two markets, Norway and Denmark, IPOs outperform the all share market index. [source]

The Role of International Financial Reporting Standards in Accounting Quality: Evidence from the European Union

Huifa Chen
Previous studies on the effect of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) on accounting quality often have difficulties to control for confounding factors on accounting quality. As a result, the observed changes in accounting quality could not be attributed mainly to IFRS. We use a unique research setting to address this issue by comparing the accounting quality of publicly listed companies in 15 member states of the European Union (EU) before and after the full adoption of IFRS in 2005. We use five indicators as proxies for accounting quality. We find that the majority of accounting quality indicators improved after IFRS adoption in the EU. That is, there is less of managing earnings toward a target, a lower magnitude of absolute discretionary accruals, and higher accruals quality. But our results also show that firms engage in more earnings smoothing and recognize large losses in a less timely manner in post-IFRS periods. In addition, we examine the effects of institutional variables on financial reporting quality. Our contribution to the literature is that we show the improved accounting quality is attributable to IFRS, rather than changes in managerial incentives, institutional features of capital markets, and general business environment, etc. [source]

Social Security Wealth and Retirement Decisions in Italy

LABOUR, Issue 2003
Agar Brugiavini
Our analysis tries to assess the importance of the financial incentives built into the social security system. The basic idea is very simple: at any given age, and based on the available information, workers compare the expected present value of two alternatives: retiring today or working one more year, and then choose the best one. A key role in this kind of comparisons is played by social security wealth, whose level and changes reflect the expectations about the profile of future earnings and the institutional features of the social security system. The various incentive measures that we consider differ in the precise weight given to the social security wealth that workers accrue as they continue to work. Our model does not provide a structural representation of the retirement process. A worker's decision is modeled here following a ,quasi reduced-form' approach, with the incentive measures entering as predictors of the worker's choice in addition to standard variables. The estimated models are then used to predict retirement probabilities under alternative policies that change social security wealth and derived incentive measures. [source]

Explaining Domestic Violence Policy Outcomes in Chile and Argentina

Susan Franceschet
ABSTRACT This article explains why Chile has outperformed Argentina in policy responses to the problem of domestic violence. It argues that policy variation is due to both macro-level institutional features (state capacity and centralization) and to more contingent political factors that shape the structure, role, and resources of the women's policy agencies that coordinate and implement domestic violence policies. The initial design of Chile's National Women's Service has allowed it to act as a crucial "insider" ally to advocacy groups. In contrast, Argentina's National Women's Council has suffered repeated downgrading and loss of resources due to ideological conflicts and changes in government, rendering it unable to coordinate policy responses to domestic violence effectively or to act as an ally to advocates inside and outside the state seeking increased resources and more effective policy responses to violence against women. [source]

Macroeconomic Control in the Transforming Chinese Economy: An Analysis of the Long-Run Effect

Michael K. Y. Fung
This paper analyzes the issue of macroeconomic control in the Chinese economy where there is a dual structure (consisting of a state sector and a non-state sector) and the financial sector is still under tight control by the government. Given the dual structure and financial repression, when inflation is a severe problem, the authors investigate whether it is possible for the government to bring inflation under control without hampering long-term economic growth performance. The investigation is conducted within the context of an endogenous growth model that incorporates the two major institutional features of the transforming Chinese economy. The paper evaluates the long-run effects of changes in government monetary and fiscal policies on the major macroeconomic aggregates. The analysis suggests that increasing in the interest rate on government bonds will reduce inflation without affecting the growth rate of output; while increasing the nominal interest rate on bank deposits will exert a stagflationary effect on the economy: raising the inflation rate but reducing the growth rate of output. [source]

Der EU-Emissionshandel im Zielkonflikt zwischen Effizienz, Kompensation und Wettbewerbsneutralität

Christoph Böhringer
We show how institutional features set by the EU Commission and the required subsidiary decisions by the respective Member States are potentially in conflict with the objectives of efficiency, compensation and competition neutrality. Inefficiencies can emerge from the decisions on the number of emission allowances and the way in which they are allocated. These problems are intensified by pressure from political interest groups. We argue that costs from recurring political debates and decisions on the National Allocation Plans could be avoided by using truly lump-sum-free allocation rules or moving towards auctioning off emission allowances. [source]

Retrospective Voting in Presidential Primaries

Though retrospective performance evaluations are now widely appreciated as a major influence on voting in general elections, their influence in presidential primaries has rarely been noticed. Using exit polls conducted by major media organizations over the last nine election cycles, this article shows that retrospective voting is an important, indeed dominant, factor in two types of situations: when an incumbent president is running for reelection, and when an incumbent vice president is seeking to become his party's next presidential candidate. This finding, in turn, helps explain two significant institutional features of the contemporary presidential nomination process: why most recent presidents have been renominated without much difficulty, and why the vice presidency has become such a good launching pad for presidential candidacies. [source]

Change over Tenure: Voting, Variance, and Decision Making on the U.S. Courts of Appeals

Erin B. Kaheny
Existing scholarship on the voting behavior of U.S. Courts of Appeals judges finds that their decisions are best understood as a function of law, policy preferences, and factors relating to the institutional context of the circuit court. What previous studies have failed to consider, however, is that the ability to predict circuit judge decisions can vary in substantively important ways and that judges, in different stages of their careers, may behave distinctively. This article develops a theoretical framework which conceptualizes career stage to account for variability in voting by circuit judges and tests hypotheses by modeling the error variance in a vote choice model. The findings indicate that judges are more predictable in their voting during their early and late career stages. Case characteristics and institutional features of the circuit also affect voting consistency. [source]

Close Neighbours Matter: Neighbourhood Effects on Early Performance at School,

Dominique Goux
Children's outcomes are strongly correlated with those of their neighbours. The extent to which this is causal is the subject of an extensive literature. There is an identification problem because people with similar characteristics are observed to live in close proximity. Another major difficulty is that neighbourhoods measured in available data are often considerably larger than those which matter for outcomes (i.e. close neighbours). Several institutional features of France enable us to address these problems. We find that an adolescent's outcomes at the end of junior high-school are strongly influenced by the performance of other adolescents in the neighbourhood. [source]

"Developing Good Taste in Evidence": Facilitators of and Hindrances to Evidence-Informed Health Policymaking in State Government

Context: Policymaking is a highly complex process that is often difficult to predict or influence. Most of the scholarship examining the role of research evidence in policymaking has focused narrowly on characteristics of the evidence and the interactions between scientists and government officials. The real-life context in which policymakers are situated and make decisions also is crucial to the development of evidence-informed policy. Methods: This qualitative study expands on other studies of research utilization at the state level through interviews with twenty-eight state legislators and administrators about their real-life experiences incorporating evidence into policymaking. The interviews were coded inductively into the following categories: (1) the important or controversial issue or problem being addressed, (2) the information that was used, (3) facilitators, and (4) hindrances. Findings: Hindrances to evidence-informed policymaking included institutional features; characteristics of the evidence supply, such as research quantity, quality, accessibility, and usability; and competing sources of influence, such as interest groups. The policymakers identified a number of facilitators to the use of evidence, including linking research to concrete impacts, costs, and benefits; reframing policy issues to fit the research; training to use evidence-based skills; and developing research venues and collaborative relationships in order to generate relevant evidence. Conclusions: Certain hindrances to the incorporation of research into policy, like limited budgets, are systemic and not readily altered. However, some of the barriers and facilitators of evidence-informed health policymaking are amenable to change. Policymakers could benefit from evidence-based skills training to help them identify and evaluate high-quality information. Researchers and policymakers thus could collaborate to develop networks for generating and sharing relevant evidence for policy. [source]

Is Japan Facing a Public Debt Crisis?

Debt Financing, the Development of the JGB Market
This article explores the idiosyncratic institutional features of public debt financing in Japan that have enabled the government to finance increasing public debt at low costs. It examines the three key aspects that contributed to the Japanese government bond (JGB) market development: (1) the surplus financial balance of the household sector; (2) the strong tradition of public financing; and (3) home bias, that is, little dependence on external financing. It argues that Japan's financial institutions' capacity to absorb JGBs is reaching the limit and that the Japanese government needs to take bolder measures to reverse the flow of financial intermediation, from the public to the private sector. It also suggests that restoring people's trust in the government's competence and leadership is an essential element for successful fiscal consolidation. [source]