Saint Petersburg, Kantemirovskaya 3 A.
Despite several rounds of institutional reform starting from 2005, the public procurement process in Russia remains marred by low competitiveness and inefficiency. In the years 2014–2018, almost half of the studied auctions failed to attract more than a single-bidder. But are single-bidder auctions necessarily uncompetitive? The auction format we study is a sealed-bid auction, where a bidder is unaware of who else is participating. If they were to submit a bid with the expectation of competition that fails to materialise, for all means and purposes the auction can be said to be competitive. More importantly, the presence of many bidders does not guarantee competition – we could be facing a cartel, or the restriction of competition via a corrupt procurer, such as the case of bid-leakage. We assume that bids in multi-bidder auctions are predominantly competitive while bids in single-bidder auctions are not, and apply generalized confident learning, a method for classification in the presence of noisy labels, to attempt to separate competitive and uncompetitive bids. This allows us to identify behaviour patterns resembling monopolists and cartels.
This paper studies a model for cooperative congestion games. There is an array of cooperative games V and a player’s strategy is to choose a subset of the set V. The player gets a certain payoff from each chosen game. The paper demonstrates that if a payoff is the Shapley or the Banzhaf value, then the corresponding cooperative congestion game has a Nash equilibrium in pure strategies. The case is examined where each game in V has a coalition partition. The stability of the vector of coalition structures is determined, taking into account the transitions of players within a game and their migrations to other games. The potential function is defined for coalition partitions, and is used as a means of proving the existence of a stable vector of coalition structures for a certain class of cooperative game values.
For successful anti-corruption policies, it is crucial to understand the basic social contract governing the interaction between people. Social norms are a key element of the social contract, but may vary across cultures. We investigate how descriptive social norms af- fect the development of corruption over time. In a laboratory experiment implemented in the Netherlands, Russia, Italy, and China we study a corruption game that is based on a real-effort t ask. To induce natural variation in descriptive norms, we vary the type of infor- mation about others’ choices. Such information may lead to ‘contagion’ -where corruption increases in response to observing high corruption by others- or ‘conformism’ -where it decreases when low corruption by others is observed. Our results show evidence of con- tagion.
In existing models of endogenous innovation cycles, market size alters the amplitude of fluctuations without changing the nature of fluctuations. This is due to the ubiquitous assumption of CES homothetic demand system, implying that monopolistically competitive firms sell their products at an exogenous markup rate in spite of the empirical evidence for the procompetitive effect of entry and market size. We extend the Judd model of endogenous innovation cycles to allow for the procompetitive effect, using a more general ho-mothetic demand system. We show that a larger market size/innovation cost ratio, by reducing the markup rate through the procompetitive effect, has destabilizing effects on the dynamics of innovation under two complementary sets of sufficient conditions; i) when the price elasticity is “not too convex” in price; and ii) when the demand system belongs to the two parametric families, “generalized translog” and “constant pass-through,” each of which features the choke price and yet contains CES as a limit case. Interestingly, the destabilizing effects become amplifiedas the demand system approaches to the CES limit within each family. We also discuss some cross-sectional implications in a multi-market extension. Because innovation/entry activities fluctuate more in larger markets, they are not always higher in larger markets than smaller markets. Furthermore, the sale of each product is more volatile in larger markets.
The EQ–5D survey instrument is routinely applied to general and patient specific populations in many countries, as a means of measuring Health Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) and/or informing Health Technology Assessment. The instrument is the subject of growing interest in the Russian Federation, as too is Health Technology Assessment. This research is the first to systematically present the EQ–5D–3L nationally representative population norms and to examine the socioeconomic and socio-demographic characteristics of the instrument among a representative sample of the Russian population.
Based on a nationally representative health and well-being survey of the Russian population, conducted in November 2017, we establish the descriptive results, including the EQ-VAS and the EQ-5D Index, by age and gender, examine the correspondence between the EQ–5D health classifications and the separate EQ-VAS scores, and draw on a set of augmented logistic regressions to evaluate the association between the presence of problems in each dimension and various socio-economic and health-related characteristics.
We find strong evidence that the EQ-5D instrument is sensitive to underlying observed and latent health experiences, that it mirrors many of the characteristics familiar from other settings but that there are Russian specificities which merit further research, particularly with respect to the anxiety/depression dimension of the instrument.
This research represents an important landmark for HRQOL studies in Russia as well as for the prospects of continuing to develop the scholarly and practical infrastructure necessary for Russian Health Technology Assessment to advance.
Gifts to government might provide warm glow to some citizens, especially if they can be earmarked toward specifc government activities. We develop a model in which such gifts may be privately worthwhile, even for those people who evade taxes, and describe the conditions under which this will be the case. The latter can occur when the warm glow of transferring money to the government via gifts is higher than the warm glow from transferring the money via paying taxes, and additionally, the marginal rate of substitution of warm glow from “donating” to the public good for private good is sufciently high. We then conduct empirical analyses of explicit gifts to the US federal government over the last century. Although small compared to either federal taxes and expenditures or donations to charitable organizations, we show that they are systematically, although fairly weakly, related to measures of government fscal activity. The war years and their immediate aftermath dominate the systematic relationships we uncover. This suggests that these gifts are not simply the random, and randomly timed, behavior of an unrepresentative sample of Americans and that this behavior might warrant further empirical analysis.
Global value chains (GVCs) generate significant effects on participating firms. But can GVCs affect other companies in the host economies? We propose a conceptual framework for GVC spillovers and test it using data for Russian manufacturing firms in 2009–2015. Using a panel estimation technique with random and fixed effects, we find that firms in industries that are intensively integrated into GVCs, on average, have higher total factor productivity (TFP), controlling for firm heterogeneity, industry and region fixed effects. TFP gains in GVCs are unequally distributed and depend on (i) the industry’s position in the GVC, (ii) the industry’s technological intensity and (iii) the firm’s TFP level. We relate the findings to the evidence of the “optimal” technological gap that maximizes productivity spillovers for national companies. The results are highly relevant for policymakers as they prove that trade policy and foreign direct investment attraction policy should not go hand in hand but should be incorporated into GVC-oriented policy to encourage the full range of TFP improvements in local (non-GVC-included) firms. To fully benefit from GVC-oriented policy, State policy should encourage the development of inter-firm links. In addition, our results support the importance of evolutionary structural changes in economic upgrading in GVCs and the strength of the role of policies oriented towards medium-technology industries as drivers of technological development.
We study ex-post fairness and efficiency in the object allocation problem. A matching is individually
fair if it minimizes the number of envying agents, we call it minimal envy matching, and conditional
on being minimal envy also minimizes the number of envying agents in a reduced problem, we call it
minimal envy-2 matching. A matching is socially fair if supported by the majority of agents against any
other matching – popular matching. We observe that when a popular matching exists it is equivalent to a
minimal envy-2 matching.
We show the equivalence between global and local popularity: a matching is popular if and only if
in no group of size up to 3 agents a majority can benefit by exchanging objects, keeping the remaining matching fixed. We algorithmically show that an arbitrary matching is path-connected with a popular matching by locally-popular exchanges in small groups. Thus a corresponding market converges to a
Popular matchings often do not exist. We define most popular matching as a matching that is popular
among the largest (by cardinality) subset of agents. We show that a matching is minimal envy-2 if and
only if it is minimal envy and most popular, and propose a polynomial-time algorithm to find a Pareto
efficient minimal envy-2 matching.
Following World War I, rent control became a standard policy response to the housing shortage and the resulting rent increases. Typically, economists blame it for creating inefficiencies in the housing market and beyond. We investigate whether rental market regulations (including rent control, protection of tenants from eviction, and housing rationing) had any effects in a middle-income Latin American economy, such as Argentina. To answer this question, we take advantage of a wide range of housing market indicators and restrictive rental regulation indices covering almost one century. Using a standard OLS model and MARS, a nonlinear estimation technique, we find that rental market regulations have exerted a statistically significant negative impact on the growth rates of the real housing rents. However, they were only effective for short periods following both World Wars, when regulations were novel and particularly strong.
The cover of a transport, social, or communication network is a computationally complex problem. To deal with it, this paper introduces a special class of simple games in which the set of minimal winning coalitions coincides with the set of least covers. A distinctive feature of such a game is that it has a weighted form, in which weights and quota are sets rather than real numbers. This game class is termed set-weighted games. A real-life network has a large number of least covers, therefore this paper develops methods for analyzing set-weighted games in which the weighted form is taken into account. The necessary and sufficient conditions for a simple game to be a set-weighted game were found. The vertex cover game (Gusev, 2020) was shown to belong to the set-weighted game class, and its weighted form was found. The set-weighted game class has proven to be closed under operations of union and intersection, which is not the case for weighted games. The sample object is the transport network of a district in Petrozavodsk, Russia. A method is suggested for efficiently deploying surveillance cameras at crossroads so that all transport network covers are taken into account.
Purpose – Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world, which has a strong effect on primary energy use and depletion of natural resources. This paper considers energy intensity (EI) defined as a measure of the amount of energy it takes to produce a dollar’s worth of economic output. The purpose of the paper is to explore how different factors contributed to the decline in Indonesia’s EI. Design/methodology/approach – The cointegration regression methodology is applied to explore the long- term nexus between EI and its factors in Indonesia during 1990–2016.
Findings – Results show that domestic credit to the private sector, as well as the share of alternative energy, has a significant impact on the decline of EI in Indonesia.
Research limitations/implications – We do not try to rule out other possible determinants of EI. We consider the determinants of EI using time series data, while an ideal analysis would be based on panel-level data. Another limitation is that the study covers only the small-time period from 1990 to 2016.
Practical implications – Our findings serve to aid the government and policymakers in prioritizing improvements in the sphere of energy policy. An important policy implication, regarding Indonesia, that arises from our study is that, for the country to be able to decrease its EI, it must be able to develop its financial market and zero-carbon energy sources, mainly geothermal energy with its huge potential.
Originality/value – We show that energy prices, financial development and the share of alternative energy sources contribute to EI decrease. Policy recommendations include geothermal and solar energy development as one of the most prospective sources of alternative energy in Indonesia.
The paper analyzes the financial relations of non-financial private sector firms in Spain based on the financial instability hypothesis developed by Hyman Philip Minsky. We suppose that in the private sector of the Spanish economy after the 2008–2013 crisis there was an increase in the number of firms characterized by the hedge regime of financing. We test this hypothesis using the 2011–2017 data for 163 Spanish private non-financial companies from Thomson Reuters. Three indices were constructed according to three methodologies that distinguish firms as hedge, speculative and Ponzi, in order to determine the degree of financial fragility of the private sector of the Spanish economy. The results showed that the economy of Spain in 2011–2017 was in the process of escaping from financial fragility. This occurred despite austerity policies. Such policies diminish economic activity, in general, and the flow of business profits in particular. It makes it difficult to escape from a fragile financial position. Nevertheless, in the case of Spain, the negative consequences of austerity policies were offset by other government measures, tourism and export diversification.
We study the problem of fairly allocating indivisible goods and focus on the classic fairness notion of proportionality. The indivisibility of the goods is long known to pose highly non-trivial obstacles to achieving fairness, and a very vibrant line of research has aimed to circumvent them using appropriate notions of approximate fairness. Recent work has established that even approximate versions of proportionality (PROPx) may be impossible to achieve even for small instances, while the best known achievable approximations (PROP1) are much weaker. We introduce the notion of proportionality up to the maximin item (PROPm) and show how to reach an allocation satisfying this notion for any instance involving up to five agents with additive valuations. PROPm provides a well-motivated middle-ground between PROP1 and PROPx, while also capturing some elements of the well-studied maximin share (MMS) benchmark: another relaxation of proportionality that has attracted a lot of attention.
This paper tries to estimate the impact of financialization on fixed investment in Russia. The work is carried out by using panel data based on reports of non-financial publicly listed companies for 1999–2019. The study finds that financial expenses aimed at paying interest on external financing and paying dividends — that is, focusing on shareholder value, and hence decreasing the internal funds of companies, reduce real investments. Financial incomes have shown the crowding-out effect for large companies. Financial incomes as additional “free” funds in large companies are not perceived as an opportunity to accumulate fixed assets. Managers prefer to increase financial investments instead of real ones. In small and medium-sized companies, financial incomes, however, drive the growth of physical investment. This is because small firms, at a particular stage in their lives, find it more profitable to invest in their own growth. The results from the general sample, without dividing by size, indicate that financialization in Russia clearly reduces real investment.
This paper conducts an empirical analysis of the financial instability hypothesis on Dutch data. The main literature on this topic has been reviewed, and various financial fragility indexes to determine whether Dutch firms are in a hedge, speculative, or Ponzi regime are discussed. To do empirical analysis, 340 publicly-listed private Dutch firms from various industries were selected, and these panel data include observations from 2005 to 2019. This period includes three cases of falling GDP of the Netherlands: 2008–2009, 2011, and 2014. We use for our empirical analysis three financial fragility indexes. After identifying the regime of firms according to these criteria, we chose an index developed by Nishi to make a logistic regression. We use the Nishi approach to determine what affects a firm’s probabilities of becoming a Ponzi and thereby confirm Minsky’s hypothesis on Dutch data. According to our analysis, significant factors of the probability that Dutch private non-financial companies will be a Ponzi firm are profitability, interest rate, industry output, and crisis. Both accumulation of financial fragility due to “destabilizing stability” and austerity policy were reasons for economic crises in the Netherlands in the last decades.
Recent reinforcement learning studies extensively explore the interplay between cooperative and competitive behaviour in mixed environments. Unlike cooperative environments where agents strive towards a common goal, mixed environments are notorious for the conflicts of selfish and social interests. As a consequence, purely rational agents often struggle to maintain cooperation. A prevalent approach to induce cooperative behaviour is to assign additional rewards based on other agents’ well-being. However, this approach suffers from the issue of multi-agent credit assignment, which can hinder performance. This issue is efficiently alleviated in cooperative setting with such state-of-the-art algorithms as QMIX and COMA. Still, when applied to mixed environments, these algorithms may result in unfair allocation of rewards. We propose BAROCCO, an extension of these algorithms capable to balance individual and social incentives. The mechanism behind BAROCCO is to train two distinct but interwoven components that jointly affect agents’ decisions. We experimentally confirm the advantages of BAROCCO.
Context: Pricing is an essential element of software business strategy and tactics. Informed pricing decision-making requires the involvement of different stakeholders and comprehensive data analysis. Achieving both appears to be challenging, and pricing remains one of the most under-managed processes in the software business. Simultaneously, a coherent SaaS pricing body of knowledge and verified solutions to assist SaaS providers while designing and implementing pricing are missing.
Objective: There is a lack of integration among different research areas focused on SaaS pricing and, more importantly, between academia and industry. The primary aim of this paper is to clarify this misconception by classifying, thematically analyzing, and putting in correspondent academic state-of-the-art and industrial state-of-the-practice of SaaS pricing.
Method: A multivocal literature review (MLR) approach was used for the study, exploring both “white” literature as well as “grey” literature. The body of literature of 387 bibliography items was collected using a formal protocol. Of these, 57 were white literature items, and 330 were grey. A multistage content analysis process was implemented to classify the rich literature body across multiple dimensions with further mapping, synthesis, and reporting.
Results: A taxonomy of pricing-related concepts was created. It classifies SaaS pricing aspects, affecting factors, and challenges facing SaaS providers. The findings and interpretations are summarized to emphasize the major research themes and practical challenges of SaaS pricing practices’ transformation and provide further research guidelines in this area.
Conclusion: SaaS pricing is a maturing and prominent area of research that requires further investigation. The conducted MLR formed a clear picture of SaaS pricing research and practice and identified different SaaS pricing aspects and affecting factors. The study will enable both scholars and practitioners to assess the current state-of-the-art in research and practice.