Social allowances: pilot projects in Europe

blog_olga-300x278Recently, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (KELA) has offered to pay all the adult citizens of the country €800 per month regardless of income level. In future perspective, these payments will replace all other allowances and privileges. In March 2016, the Government will be offered a couple of models to choose from, and it will make a decision by November 2016 to launch a pilot phase in 2017.

On 5 June 2016 the Swiss Federal Government will hold a referendum for discussing the act on unconditional income. If the initiative is approved, every adult citizen of the country will get a right for unconditional income of €2250 per month, regardless of the presence or absence of income, non-adults – €560. However, the exact amount of money that is necessary for a good living in Switzerland will be decided by democratic vote. Continue reading

Anti-corruption expertise now in action

antikorMinistry of Justice has released a document, according to which all regulations and laws in Uzbekistan have to pass the anti-corruption assessment. The new regulation, approved by the Ministry of Justice, provides the procedures for assessment of all regulations and laws for any corruption component.

In 2004, CER experts had hot and active debates regarding impossibility of writing about corruption directly and approving the paper on this topic. So, CER found the solution: if writing about corruption was not possible, the experts tried to write the research on anti-corruption.

A new methodology of anti-corruption assessment of legal acts was developed. In couple years CER prepared a number of policy briefs on this topic. Continue reading

Autonomous infrastructure – possible or not?

ag_infrastructureThe Center for Economic Research has recently issued the Paper on “Housing policy of Uzbekistan”. The key message of the research is to step aside from the existing practice of current “spot” construction of urban high-rise apartment buildings and to make transition to a system of complex construction – that means a construction of a complex with 25-30 apartment buildings.

The estimates has shown that using complex construction can help reduce the net cost of apartment square meter up to 20% that makes the dwellings more affordable. At the same time, complex construction provides for the lower costs to developers for engineering and utilities infrastructure. But it seems that the research has missed one issue.

The system of centralized infrastructure, inherited from the Soviet Union, has its pros and cons. The main minus is its scarcity of service and keeping it in working order.

At the time when municipal engineering and utilities infrastructure is experiencing huge overload, one of the outputs could be the construction of residential complexes of apartment houses with autonomous infrastructure. What does that mean? Continue reading

Regulation VS Self-regulation?

regulationIn recent years, due to the crisis in the global economy, international debates about the role of government in the economy do not focus much on the discussion of the importance of this role, but on issues related to improving the effectiveness of regulation. There are many researches on this subject. And here, one of the most interesting ways to improve government mechanisms of management of the economy is the creation of self-regulatory organizations (SROs). These are non-profit organizations uniting entrepreneurs of individual industries or the subjects of a certain professional activity. Many SROs are the members of similar international organizations, so their activity brings together the established national standards with relevant international standards in a particular field that promotes the growth of business competitiveness.

Why such organizations are called self-regulatory? Continue reading

Global market of electronic payments: challenges and prospects

mastercardAnalysis by McKinsey shows that global market of e-payments is on the threshold of sweeping changes. Market of payments will be influenced by the ongoing digital revolution and the emergence of new technologies. Digital technologies are rapidly developing and changing the format of the behavior and interaction of people and business. Also, technological progress will impact greatly on the financial services market, particularly on the payments market.

According to McKinsey, one of the trends that will change the industry in the coming years is the emergence of non-bank players on financial market which provide services for electronic payments. In the next 5 years it is expected to increase in competition of large non-financial companies (e.g., Facebook, Samsung, Apple, etc.), which have started offering electronic payment services. The consequences of this trend are accelerated growth in electronic payments and reducing the use of cash and checks. Continue reading

Chemical industry as a driver of intersectoral cooperation

himprom2Chemical industry of Uzbekistan, concentrated on the production of fertilizers and products used in the mining industries, allowed to create effective conditions for sustainable growth in the agricultural sector, the maintenance of food security of the country and at the same time contributed to the development of basic industries of economy. Today, the provision of agrarian sector with mineral fertilizers is 97%; during 1990-2014 more than 30 types of goods used in mining industries were localized. Selected direction of development corresponded to the tasks of industrial policy in transition period of reforms and contributed to their solution.

The challenges, which the country faces in the long-term, are radically different from the challenges of the transition period. To move to the upper segment of middle-income countries by 2030 and to ensure annual growth rate of 7-8%, it is important to implement structural transformation of the economy with increase of the share of processing industry from 9% to 22%. Continue reading

The benefits of e-commerce in Uzbekistan

etorgovlyzExpansion of the number of participants and increasing the speed of transactions are important conditions for growth of competitiveness. In this sense, the main channel of increased economic activity is e-commerce.

Uzbekistan has already established a legislative framework for e-commerce. However, the potential of electronic commerce is to take place. To date, the number of Internet users in Uzbekistan, who are potential consumers in the network, is 10.2 million people. First of all, activation of e-commerce implies the availability of financial instruments for remote payment.

Creating easy-to-use online payment mechanisms for all segments of the population will stimulate the growth of electronic commerce, which will bring a number of positive effects for the economy, including: Continue reading

Effectiveness of public investment management

investiciiThe experience of developed and developing countries indicates high effect of public investments on economic growth and improving living standards of population. World practice shows that the share of public investments varies from 1 to 36% of GDP.

In Uzbekistan, the volume of investments from central sources (state budget, funds, government debt) has risen sharply and is set to rise further. At the same time, management mechanism of these types of investments remains the same that doesn’t stimulate the growth of their more effective use.

The existing mechanism of public investments does not allow regulating the effectiveness of their use for the following reasons: Continue reading

Improving tariff policy for increasing energy efficiency of buildings

20131223-164718-36According to the results of inquiry that was held within the research on green buildings, the existing tariff policy doesn’t create enough stimuli for increasing energy efficiency in buildings. Even if the gas price rises for 15-20%, only 33% of the households will invest in energy efficiency. 34% of the population is not going to decrease gas consumption despite the price.

On this basis, it is advisable to form economically justified tariffs for reaching the balance of the interests of society, customers and suppliers. Continue reading

Does the revenue transparency exacerbate the inequalities in society?

neravenstvoThe group of sociologists, psychologists and economists from Yale University has recently published the results of an experiment. They showed that one of the factors contributing to the perpetuation and aggravation of inequality in modern society is the awareness of people about somebody’s wealth. Judging by the behavior of people in this game experiment, the transparency of incomes reduces the tendency of people to cooperate, that, in turn, not only increases inequality, but also inhibits the growth of social welfare.

80 groups of volunteers participated in the experiment. Each group consisted of 13-25 participants. They played together an economic game, where they could: Continue reading