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  • Author: Boyan Boyanov
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: After Pyongyang conducted its fourth nuclear test on the 5th of January 2016 and declared it a successful experiment with a hydrogen bomb, the international community resumed its appeals for finding a definitive solution to the issue with North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. What impresses is the routine of the international response following the North Korean habitual act of defying the nuclear nonproliferation system: diplomatic condemnation mostly coming from the United States, South Korea, Japan, and, in a far more restrained manner – from China. When Pyongyang launched a satellite in space two days later, Seoul responded by shutting down the Kaesong industrial complex – a mutually beneficial industrial zone where South Korean companies employ North Korean labor1 . Even this seemingly harsh action does not constitute a precedent. At that time it was not very demanding to foretell the execution of consequential U.S. – South Korea military drills to display the U.S. resolution to be constantly involved in whatever is happening on the Korean Peninsula and to dismay the latest great leader of the North.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: North Korea
  • Author: Ulaş Bayraktar
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: The idea of sustainable development has been transformed into a concrete program under 17 headings within the United Nations Global Goals. According to the Sustainable Development Goals Index (SDG) prepared within this framework, Turkey ranks 48th among 149 countries with a score of 66.1. In the fulfillment of sustainable development goals, participatory city governments play a major role and new opportunities have emerged. Citizen participation can be achieved through a range of methods and scopes, such as information, consultation, inclusion, cooperation, and empowerment, and Internet technologies open up considerable opportunities for these, although preexisting structural and cultural problems that precede these mechanisms endure. This report argues that the participatory practices inspired by the idea of the commons could make a significant contribution to making these participatory practices more functional.
  • Topic: Development, Governance, Sustainable Development Goals, Urban
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, United Nations
  • Author: Hasan Kirmanoğlu, K. İpek Miscioğlu
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: Assessing public perceptions on corruption proves to be an important indicator and tool for corruption monitoring. In this report, results of public perception surveys on corruption in Turkey, conducted by Infakto for TESEV first in 2014 (February-March) and later in 2016 (February), are analyzed shedding light onto the current state of mind of the society.
  • Topic: Corruption, Government, Accountability, Transparency
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Hasan Kirmanoğlu, K. İpek Miscioğlu
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: SELDI network have proposed to prepare a hidden economy overview to contribute to understanding the hidden economy and tracing its links with corruption that are significant for both anti-corruption practices and increasing welfare in Southeastern Europe (SEE) countries. Anti-corruption policies alone are unlikely to produce wide societal support, unless they are imbedded in economic reform and increase in prosperity. Therefore, a broadening of the anti-corruption debate from sheer law enforcement towards more economic grounded rationale, such as addressing the nexus between corruption and hidden economy, is needed.
  • Topic: Corruption, Law Enforcement, Economy, Business , Tax Systems
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Esra Gürakar, H. Ceren Zeytinoğlu, K. İpek Miscioğlu, R. Evren Aydoğan
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: The insights gained from the research and advocacy efforts of the first phase of SELDI put forward that energy is one of the most susceptible sectors to corruption in all nine SELDI partner countries. Turkey differs from the rest of the SELDI countries in terms of energy sector and state-owned enterprise (SOE) sizes, dynamics, and recent debates.
  • Topic: Corruption, Energy Policy, Natural Resources, State, Accountability, Transparency
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Grzegorz Poniatowski, Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovsky, Misha V. Belkindas
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The analysis serves as the Final Report for the DG TAXUD Project 2015/CC/131, “Study and Reports on the VAT Gap in the EU-28 Member States”, which is a follow up to the reports published in 2013, 2014, and 2015. In this report, estimates of the VAT Gap and the Policy Gap for the year 2014 are presented, as well as revised estimates for the years 2010–2013 “due to the transmission” of Eurostat national accounts from the ESA95 to the ESA10. This update covers Croatia, which was not included in the previous updates. While it was hoped that the update would also cover Cyprus, it has not been possible due to incomplete national accounts data. The VAT Gap is a measure of VAT compliance and enforcement that provides an estimate of revenue loss due to fraud and evasion, tax avoidance, bankruptcies, financial insolvencies, as well as miscalculations. It is defined as the difference between the amount of VAT collected and the VAT Total Tax Liability (VTTL), which is expressed in the report in bothabsolute and relative terms. The VTTL is the theoretical tax liability according to tax law, and is estimated using a “top-down” approach.
  • Topic: Economic growth, Tax Systems, Macroeconomics, Fiscal Policy, Innovation, VAT, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, Croatia, European Union
  • Author: Elena Jarocinska, Anna Ruzik-Sierdzińska
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the distributional effects of the Polish old-age pension reform introduced in 1999. Following a benchmark Mincer earnings equation, and using a newly developed microsimulation model we project future pension benefits for males born in years 1969–1979. We find that inequality of predicted first pension benefits measured by the Gini coefficient increases from 0.119 to 0.165 for cohorts of men retiring between 2036 and 2046. The observed increased inequality of pension benefits is due to the decreasing share of initial capital that is based on a more generous DB formula in the total accumulated pension capital. At the same time, inequality in replacements rates decreases due to a stronger link between contributions paid through the entire working life and pension benefits.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Labor Issues, Inequality, Social Policy, Public Policy, Innovation, Aging
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Marek Dabrowski
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The European Central Bank (ECB) recently became engaged in macro-prudential policies and the micro-prudential supervision of the largest Euro area banks. These new tasks should help complete financial integration, and make the Euro area more resilient to financial instability risks. However, the multiplicity of mandates and instruments involves a risk of their inconsistency which could compromise the ECB’s core price-stability mandate as well as its independence. The experience of central banks during the recent global financial crisis confirms that such risks are not purely hypothetical.
  • Topic: Monetary Policy, Economic growth, Banks, Macroeconomics, Innovation, Trade, European Central Bank
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Aleksander Łaszek, Andrzej Rzońca, Andrzej Halesiak
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Growth in the European Union since the outbreak of the global financial crisis is slower (1) than before the crisis, (2) than the trend would indicate, (3) than forecast and (4) than in the United States. The factors driving its weakness lie more on the supply side than the demand side. The loss of potential output after the crisis was exacerbated by inequalities from before the crisis; fiscal stimulus from 2007-2009, increasing public expenditure despite the lack of fiscal space; excessive liquidity support for banks; and inflexibility of the market for goods at the moment the crisis broke out. The problems with growth may deepen and become permanent if social support for anti-market parties continues to grow. Extremist parties are supported by divergence among the countries of the “old” EU and the slowdown of convergence in the new member states, as well as tendencies related to inequality, in particular the reduction of households’ mobility between income groups. The 144th mBank - CASE Seminar Proceedings consist of the main paper "On Economic Growth in Europe, or, The Uncertain Growth Prospects of Western Countries" by Andrzej Rzońca and Aleksander Łaszek and the commentary "Economic Growth in Western Europe: The Investment Perspective" by Andrzej Halesiak.
  • Topic: Economic growth, Investment, Economic Policy, Macroeconomics, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Western Europe, European Union
  • Author: Gábor Oblath
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The publication "Economic policy and macroeconomic developments in Hungary, 2010–2015" discusses the factors responsible for Hungary’s growth performance. In the 143rd mBank - CASE Seminar Proceedings Gábor Oblath argues that that the factors essentially responsible for Hungary’s growth performance over the last five or six years were mainly exogenous to Hungarian government policy. The acceleration of economic growth observed in 2014 was due to, in particular, exceptionally large transfers from EU funds, which have nothing to do with the government’s so called “unorthodox” economic policy. By contrast, the decline in the quality of the institutional environment of the economy is a direct consequence of both the spirit and the methods of the economic policy pursued.
  • Topic: Government, Economic growth, Economic Policy, Macroeconomics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Hungary, European Union