VoxUkraine Blog

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Security of Property Rights and Transition in Land Use

The case of Ukraine shows that privatization of assets is not enough, by itself, to improve the market performance. Institutional reforms that reduce uncertainty and improve protection of rights are also a pre-condition for economic productivity gains. Adoption of law proposals that simplify and lower the cost of registration of rental rights, resolving issues with legal status of land parcels, consolidation of land ownership to the level of cultivated field and, ultimately, lifting the Moratorium could finally provide certainty and security to the rights of owners, tenants, state and investors.

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Milovanov’s Lecture: World Education on the Threshold of Revolution

On 29 October, Timofey Milovanov, professor of economics at the University of Pittsburgh and co-founder of VoxUkraine, delivered a lecture on The Future of Education in FEDORIV Hub. Milovanov told the audience what’s going on in the western education system, what are the differences between good and the bad higher educational institutions, what to study now in order to have sustainable employment, and how Ukrainian universities can compete with the best Western higher educational institutions.

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Index for Monitoring Reforms (iMoRe). Release 22

Index for Monitoring Reforms (iMoRe) from VoxUkraine aims to provide a comprehensive assessment of reform efforts by Ukraine’s authorities. The Index is based on expert assessments of changes in the regulatory environment in five areas. The iMoRe value for the 22nd monitoring period (October 26 – November 08, 2015) was +0.6 point out of the possible range from -5.0 to +5.0 points. Political developments and ongoing local elections do not contribute to reform progress. Only sectoral changes with a limited impact were recorded in the monitoring period, while index value has not exceeded the +1.0 point threshold for the third time in a row.

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The Blockade of Crimea: Is it Working?

Yuriy Gorodnichenko and Oleksandr Talavera are sure that the blockade is working in sense that it increased prices of grocery products in Crimea: prices appear to have increased by approximately 10 percent more in Crimea than in mainland Ukraine. There is a likely further increase in prices in Crimea. However, the effect appears to be modest and thus unlikely to overturn policies in the occupied Crimea. Tatars announced that they plan to cut supply of electricity from mainland Ukraine to Crimea. This additional blockade, in authors’ opinion, may be more damaging to occupants than the truck blockade.

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The Economics of Rebellion in Eastern Ukraine

Yuri M. Zhukov is sure that Donbas conflict has the economic roots. And from a policy standpoint, it should be seen as good news. Despite the ethnocentric media coverage of this war in Russia and the West, the data show that attempts to divide Ukraine along ethnic or linguistic lines are likely to fail.

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Tax Reform in the Light of Macroeconomic Stability: the NBU Perspective

If Ukraine opts for populism in the tax reform issue, this can prevent it from achieving a more important objective: the balanced state budget. Ukraine should ensure that the state budget deficit in 2016 does not exceed 3.75% of its GDP to continue its cooperation with the IMF and other foreign donors. The tax reform options proposed today need to be more clearly prioritized. First of all, the emphasis should be put on improving the quality of tax administration and implementing structural reforms aimed at improving the business climate.

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When Discrimination Is Good: A Comment on Ukrzaliznytsia’s New Tariff Policy

Currently the debate in Ukraine concerns legislation in parliament that would reorganize Ukrzaliznytsia along European lines: the opening up of the infrastructure to multiple train operating companies, competing with each other for the business of freight shippers, a model of railways organization sometimes called “vertical separation.” Under these circumstances, the tariffs charged for rail service by the train operating companies would likely be set freely, but the tariffs for use of the infrastructure – the “access price” – would likely be regulated.

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A More Inclusive Democracy for Ukraine

Representative democracy is not the sole possible form of democracy. It can and should be complemented by other elements, such as direct democracy and participatory democracy. These two components are especially relevant for the latest constitutional amendment debate. These should be implemented through a bottom-up deliberation, in which every citizen participates, followed by a referendum.

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Index for Monitoring Reforms (iMoRe). Release 21

Index for Monitoring Reforms (iMoRe) from VoxUkraine aims to provide a comprehensive assessment of reform efforts by Ukraine’s authorities. The Index is based on expert assessments of changes in the regulatory environment in five areas. The iMoRe value for the 21st monitoring period (October 12 – 25, 2015) was +1.0 point out of the possible range from -5.0 to +5.0 points. The index is slightly higher compared to the minimum reached in the previous period (+0.4 points), but the pace of reform remains low. Reforms in Governance and Anti-Corruption sector made an exception this period, receiving high grades from the experts.

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Did The Leaderless Revolution Bring New Leadership

The president, the prime minister, some of the high ranked members of the government, some of the governors in the regions, and many of the MPs in the parliament had belonged to the ruling elite long before the revolution of 2013-2014. But there are many new faces in among the new leaders of the country: 65% of people in the new parliament have not served there under the previous president. The reforms conducted in Ukraine under the guidance of the semi-new elites and international community can break the old connections and open the way for the new leaders, not captured by the ghosts from the past. This article provides an overview of staff changes in the executive branch of the national government. Authors look at two statistics: the downsizing rate (net % of staff laid off) and the renewal rate (% of staff who has not served under the previous government).