Sunday, October 15, 2017

Text of the EU Comprehensive and Extended Partnership Agreement with Armenia

The text of the EU Comprehensive and Extended Partnership Agreement with Armenia was released. The Armenian ministry of foreign affairs released a non-official translation which is available here.



Monday, October 09, 2017

Armenia 2015 Demographic and Health Survey released

Armenia's 2015-16 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) was released recently.
The DHS program surveys are nationally-representative household surveys that provide data for a wide range of indicators in the areas of population, health, and nutrition.

The DHS program surveys over 90 countries. Surveys for Armenia are available for 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2015-16. These can be downloaded (registration is required) from here. Armenia country report, in pdf, using the latest data is available here.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Modeling international reserves composition: Armenian Economic Association workshop

International reserves composition: central banks, exchange rate targets and gold. Central Bank of Armenia, Dilijan, 11AM-1PM, August 2, 2017

Abstract:
This paper explores the composition of international reserves under an exchange rate target. The model allows for numerically calculating the shadow price – interpreted as the central bank’s sacrifice of policy precision given one more unit of portfolio variance – of the target exchange rate. The simulations indicate a two-regime demand for gold. The multiple equilibria results indicate that increasing the demand for gold from 0 to 21 percent shares of international reserves leads to a lower but unstable policy sacrifice. The next minimum sacrifice occurs approximately at around 40 to 60 percent of gold in the reserve portfolio. These results, therefore, indicate a wide range of possibilities for a central bank targeting the exchange rate to vary its demand for gold. Moreover, the results suggest that the ability to target the exchange rate is unaffected by the higher volatility of monthly returns on gold.

Location:  Central Bank of Armenia, Dilijan, Armenia

Duration: 1
1AM-1PM

Registration is required for non-CBA staff per security. Please register at the following link and indicate whether you like to carpool to Dilijan:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfxLCdvPScCTB0V6hQCBdui5A62_x_OAqrNos7oDXUj--Q5HQ/viewform

About presenter: Aleksandr V. Gevorkyan is assistant professor at St. John’s University, NY. His recent book (co-editor with Otaviano Canuto) Financial Deepening and Post-Crisis Development in Emerging Markets was published by Palgrave MacMillan in 2016.This research is co-authored with Tarron Khemraj of New College of Florida and Central Bank of Barbados.


Visit: http://www.aea.am/Workshops.html
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Modeling Wealth Distributions: Armenian Economic Association workshop

Modeling Wealth Distributions, Central Bank of Armenia, Dilijan, 2-4PM, August 3, 2017

Abstract:
Today there are six people in the world who have as much combined wealth as half the human population.  In 2010, that figure was 388, so we live in a world where wealth is rapidly concentrating. Understanding how and why this is happening, and what if anything needs to be done about it is an interdisciplinary problem that will ultimately involve mathematicians, economists, physicists, political scientists, and specialists in ethics, justice, and public policy.

In the 1990s, a number of physicists began to apply methods of statistical physics to the study of wealth and income distributions.  Particular progress was made with a class of agent-based models called "asset-exchange models."  These models represent an economy by a collection of economic agents who exchange wealth in pairwise transactions according to idealized rules.

In this talk, I shall describe recent results obtained using a very simple asset-exchange model with only three free parameters, all of which are motivated by particular features of the society's microeconomics.  The first feature is a measure of the level of redistribution present.  The second is the degree to which the society confers an advantage to wealthier agents.  The third is a measure of the extent to which there are negative-wealth or "underwater" agents in the economy.

In spite of the simplicity of this model -- no advanced mathematics will be used for its description in this presentation -- we will see that it has a number of interesting features:

  • It is capable of explaining the actual wealth distribution of the United States between 1989 and the present with remarkable accuracy.
  • It provides a natural explanation of the phenomenon of oligarchy, in which a finite fraction of a society's wealth is held by a vanishingly small fraction of its population.
  • It relates useful economic metrics, such as "upward mobility," to the underlying transactional model.

Finally, I shall relate the asset-exchange model described above to transactions between agents based on a stochastic version of General Equilibrium theory.  In doing so, I will explain the origin of the widespread belief that free-market economies are inherently stable, even in the absence of imposed redistribution.  I will also explain why this model strongly suggests that this belief is wrong.

Location: Central Bank of Armenia, Dilijan

Duration: 2-4PM

Registration is required for non-CBA staff per security. Please register at the following link and indicate whether you like to carpool to Dilijan:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd9Fr8PJdDg92UhTdJ5Bb-6uOv9B5aj6DhB_Baffm20Cmjgtw/viewform

About the presenter: Bruce Boghosian is a professor of mathematics at Tufts University, and President Emeritus of the American University of Armenia.  His research on wealth distributions has appeared in, inter alia, Physical Review E, the Journal of Statistical Physics, and Physica A.  For the convenience of CBA and AEA members, the most recent of these papers can be temporarily downloaded from the  following address https://tufts.box.com/s/qx6a0bi3pv8y7xx955c18wk0j22ch9oq.


Visit: http://www.aea.am/Workshops.html
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Friday, March 17, 2017

Trade Facilitation Agreement and Armenia

The World Trade Organization, the successor of GATT, has finally achieved a major milestone since its formation 22 years ago. The Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), the first multilateral deal, entered into force on February 22, 2017 after two-thirds of its members ratified it. The TFA negotiations were concluded at the WTO Bali Ministerial Conference in December of 2013 and the WTO has been accepting notifications of ratification from its members since November of 2014. The primary goals of TFA are to expedite the movement, release and clearance of goods across borders, and implement trade facilitation reforms across all countries through harmonization of customs procedures and elimination of red tape. These factors were found to be the most important component of trade costs, especially in developing countries. Developing countries were also given more time to implement the TFA depending on their capacities. A TFA Facility was established to provide assistance to developing countries in assessing their needs for implementing TFA in the form of training and grants.

In addition to ratifying the agreement, the countries need to submit a list of provisions they designate as Category A, B or C commitments, with Category A commitments being immediately applied upon TFA’s entry into force. For the other provisions of the Agreement, developing countries need to indicate when these will be implemented and what capacity building support is needed to help them implement.

Given the direct benefits from TFA to developing countries, it comes as a surprise why Armenia,  a WTO member since 2002, has not yet ratified the agreement. There are some indications that the discussions of the TFA ratification in the Armenian parliament had begun in February of 2017, more than three years after the negotiations have been concluded.

Armenia’s major trading partners, the European Union and Russia, have already ratified the TFA, so did five other former Soviet republics (Georgia, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, and Ukraine). The table below shows the various provisions the latter group of countries designated as “Category A” commitments:

Provision
Heading/Description
Georgia
Kyrgyz Republic
Kazakhstan
Moldova
Ukraine
Article 1.1
Publication
A
A
A
Article 1.2
Information Available through Internet
A
A
Article 1.3
Enquiry points
A
Article 1.4
Notification
A
A
Article 2.1
Opportunity to Comment and Information Before Entry into Force
A
A
Article 2.2
Consultations
A
Article 3
Advance Rulings
A
A
Article 4
Procedures for Appeal or Review
A
A
A
A
Article 5.1
Notification for Enhanced Controls or Inspections
A
A
Article 5.2
Detention
A
A
A
A
Article 5.3
Test Procedures
A
A
Article 6.1
General Disciplines on Fees and Charges Imposed on or in Connection with Importation and Exportation
A
A
Article 6.2
Specific Disciplines on Fees and Charges for Customs Processing Imposed on or in Connection with Importation and Exportation
A
A
Article 6.3
Penalty Disciplines
A
A
Article 7.1
Pre-arrival Processing
A
A
A
Article 7.2
Electronic Payment
A
A
Article 7.3
Separation of Release from Final Determination of Customs Duties, Taxes, Fees and Charges
A
A
Article 7.4
Risk Management
A
A
A
A*
Article 7.5
Post-Clearance Audit
A
A
A
Article 7.6
Establishment and Publication of Average Release Times
A
Article 7.7
Trade Facilitation Measures for Authorized Operators
A
Article 7.8
Expedited Shipments
A
A
Article 7.9
Perishable Goods
A
A
A*
Article 8
Border Agency Cooperation
A
A
A
A
Article 9
Movement of Goods Intended for import under Customs Control
A
A
A
A
A
Article 10.1
Formalities and Documentation Requirements
A
A
Article 10.2
Acceptance of Copies
A
A
Article 10.3
Use of International Standards
A
A
Article 10.4
Single Window
A
Article 10.5
Pre-shipment Inspection
A
A
A
A
Article 10.6
Use of Customs Brokers
A
A
A
Article 10.7
Common Border Procedures and Uniform Documentation Requirements
A
A
A
Article 10.8
Rejected Goods
A
A
A
A*
Article 10.9
Temporary Admission of Goods and Inward and Outward Processing
A
A
A
A
Art. 11.1-11.2
Freedom of Transit
A
A
A
A
Art. 11.3-11.4
Freedom of Transit
A
A
A
Art. 11.5
Freedom of Transit
A
Art. 11.6-11.8
Freedom of Transit
A
A
Article 11.9
Freedom of Transit
A
A
Art. 11.10
Freedom of Transit
A
A
Art. 11.11-11.12
Freedom of Transit
A
A
A
Art. 11.13
Freedom of Transit
A
A
Art. 11.14-11.16
Freedom of Transit
A
A
A
Art. 11.17
Freedom of Transit
A
A
Article 12
Customs cooperation
A
A
* except for Art.7.4.1, Art.7.4.2, Art.7.4.3, Art.7.9.1, Art.7.9.2, Art.10.8.2
Source: compiled from www.tfafacility.org/notifications