Friday, October 16, 2020

Armenia and its Turkic neighbors

Armenia is much smaller than its Turkic neighbors Turkey and Azerbaijan.  It has a population of 2.9 million compared to Turkey's 82.3 million and Azerbaijan's 9.9 million. In 2019, Armenia's GDP was about $14 billion compared to Turkey's $754 billion and Azerbaijan's $48 billion.

But Armenia is far more democratic with greater freedom of the press. Azerbaijan is near the bottom of the 2020 world ranking of press freedom (168), with NATO member Turkey slightly above it (154); North Korea=180. In contrast, Armenia is ranked at 61; USA=45. Also Erdogan of Turkey has been president since 2003. And Azerbaijan's Aliyev has been the president since 2003, a position he inherited from his father who ruled from 1993 through 2003. Being less autocratic, Armenia's prime minister was elected to office in 2018.

Even without bringing up past exterminations of Armenians, why would anyone expect Armenians to be safe and live under Turkic rule? 







Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Turkey and Israel

Turkey + Germany in 1915: 1.5 million Armenians dead.

Turkey + Israel in 2020: in progress.

The cluster bombs, missiles, and drones killing Armenians today have the markings made in Israel and Turkey. Turkey instigated and oversees these killings, including the deployment of Syrian jihadists. And Israel armed and continues to re-arm Azerbaijan with the latest weapons it has developed. While they may not see eye to eye on many things, Turkey and Israel are partners in the killing fields of Karabakh. The killing of Armenians fills Erdogan's heart with joy, regardless of the economic costs to Turkey. Whereas Netanyahu runs to the bank with billions of dollars in military sales, and the gains are viewed to outweigh the cost (i.e. grief over killing Armenians) of Israel's actions. Erdogan and Netanyahu make the perfect couple. But Israel is different from Turkey, and the cry for "Never Again" should have resonated much louder as noted by Yossi Melman writing for Haaretz,


Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Women in Economics Workshop

The Armenian Economic Association Second Women in Economics Workshop will be held online on November 5, 2020.

Research by women in all areas of economics and finance, both work in progress and completed works, are welcome. 

Submissions: Submit abstracts of less than 500 words by October 15th at https://forms.gle/E2gLJ1Pse3gL88R4A; decisions by October 20th. Submissions are free.

Details of 2019 Workshop available at http://aea.am/women-in-economics-workshop/


Sunday, August 02, 2020

Workshop on Asset Management and Pension Economics

The Armenian Economic Association, in collaboration with C-Quadrat Ampega Armenia, invites students and recent graduates to submit their works on Asset Management and Pension Economics to be considered for the virtual workshop to be held on August 28, 2020.

The best paper will be awarded the prestigious C-Quadrat Award that comes with a prize of 500 Euros.

Eligibility criteria

The workshop and the award are open to anyone (of any nationality, residency, and socio-demographic characteristics) who:
is a student or a recent graduate (no earlier than April 2019)
has conducted research on the topics of asset management and pension economics (e.g., pension funds, pension reforms, economics of ageing, principal-agent issues, risk management, investment strategies, laws and regulations, asset quality, maturity management, stress tests)
is available for the virtual workshop in English on August 28, 2020, 11:00-17:00 (Armenian time)

Submit at: http://aea.am/pension-workshop2020/
Submission Deadline: August 12, 2020

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Best paper awards: Armenian Economic Association 2020 Meetings

The Armenian Economic Association 2020 Annual Meetings concluded June 27th with the presentation of awards for best papers.

The winner of the IMF Best Paper award is a team of economists at the Central Bank of Armenia  (Ani Asoyan, Vahagn Davtyan, Haykaz Igityan, Hasmik Kartashyan, and Hovhannes Manukyan). Their paper is entitled “Modeling the Effects of Health Shock on Economy: Standard NK DSGE Framework.”

The winner of the Armen Alchian Award, AEA’s highest award, is Vladimir Asriyan of the Centre de Recerca en Economia Internacional, Barcelona GSE and CEPR, co-authored with Luc Laeven and Alberto Martin.  The paper is entitled “Collateral Booms and Information Depletion.”

And last, the winner of Grigor Artsruni Award, granted to young economists, typically students, is Roberto Sarkisian, a PhD student at the Toulouse School of Economics, France. His paper is entitled “Screening Teams of Moral and Altruistic Agents.”

Congratulations to these economists.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Expanded 2018 Household Survey released

The full 2018 Integrated Living Conditions Survey was recently released. An earlier version was released by Armstat that contained select variables. The new release, aka World Bank version, contains the full information on household members and all available variables. There are 5,184 households in the survey.

Sunday, March 01, 2020

2018 Armenian Household and Labor Force Surveys Released

Armstat released the 2018 Household Integrated Living Conditions Survey as well as the 2018 Labor Force Survey. 

Call for Papers: Armenian Economic Association 2020 Annual Meetings

The Armenian Economic Association 2020 annual meetings will he held in Yerevan on June 25-27, 2020.

Keynote Speaker: Finn E. Kydland, winner of 2004 Nobel Prize in Economics.

Papers in all areas of economics, finance, and business/marketing, both theoretical and applied, are welcome. Topics may include, but not limited to, growth and development issues in Armenia and the South-Caucasus, integration with the Eurasian Union and the EU, trade patterns, trends in labor markets and migration, tax policy, income inequality, regulatory reforms, health, environment, or other topics on current advances in economics and finance.

Submissions: Submit abstracts of less than 500 words here by May 10th ; decisions by May 15th. Submissions are free with no cost to present and participate.

Best Paper Awards: Submission of completed papers in advance is required to be considered for International Monetary Fund best paper award as well as AEA's Armen Alchian and Grigor Artzruni (students) awards, and C-Quadrat award for best student paper in pension economics and portfolio management (200,000 Drams).

For further updates, visit www.aea.am

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Winter 2020 Workshop: Armenian Economic Association


The Armenian Economic Association Winter 2020 Workshop will be held on January 9, 2020, at 10:30-15:15, and is hosted by the Economics Department of Yerevan State University (Sev Shenk). Registration is free here.

Program
Opening Remarks: 10:30-10:45

Session 1: 10:45-12:15
Gayane Barseghyan (American University of Armenia)
The effects of sanctions and counter-sanctions: evidence from macro aggregates and micro data (discussant: Sevak Alaverdyan, Bielefeld University, Germany)

David Gomtsyan (Higher School of Economics, Russia)
Multiproduct Shipments (discussant: Vahagn Jerbashian, University of Barcelona, Spain)

Coffee break: 12:15-12:45

Session 2: 12:45-14:15
Vahagn Jerbashian (University of Barcelona, Spain)
Trade in Information Technologies and Changes in the Demand for Occupations (discussant: David Gomtsyan, Higher School of Economics, Russia)

Sevak Alaverdyan (Bielefeld University, Germany)
Search Channels of Workers and Firms over the Business Cycle (discussant: Gayane Barseghyan, American University of Armenia)

Coffee break: 14:15-14:30

Session 3: 14:30-15:15
Armenak Antinyan (Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, China)
You've Got Mail. Increasing the Uptake of a Cervical Cancer Screening Program in the Republic of Armenia (discussant: Vardan Baghdasaryan, American University of Armenia)

Հայկական Տնտեսագիտական Միության Ձմեձային Գիտաժողով
Ամսաթիվ: Հունվար 9, 2020

Ժամ: 10.30-15.15
Հանդիպման վայր: ԵՊՀ, Տնտեսագիտության Ֆակուլտետ
Բացման Խոսք: 10.30-10.45
Հայկ Սարգսյան: Բացման Խոսք

Սեսսիա 1: 10:45-12:15
Գայանե Բարսեղյան (Հայաստանի Ամերիկյան Համալսարան)
Պատժամիջոցների ազդեցության գնահատում մակրո և միկրո տվյալների օգտագործմամբ (Ընդդիմախոս: Սևակ Ալավերդյան)

Դավիթ Գոմցյան (Տնտեսագիտության Ավագ Դպրոց)
Բազմարպրանք Փոխադրումներ (Ընդդիմախոս: Վահագն Ջրբաշյան)

Ընդմիջում: 12:15-12:45

Սեսսիա 2: 12:45-14:15
Վահագն Ջրբաշյան (Բարսելոնայի Համալսարան)
Միջազգային առևտուրը տեղեկատվական տեխնոլոգիաներում և դրա ազդեցույթունը մասնագիտությունների պահանջարկի վրա (Ընդդիմախոս: Դավիթ Գոմցյան)

Սևակ Ալավերդյան (Բիլեֆելդի Համալսարան)
Աշխատողների և ֆիրմաների որոնման միջոցները բիզնես ցիկլի ընթացքում (Ընդդիմախոս: Գայանե Բարսեղյան)

Ընդմիջում: 14:15-14:30

Սեսսիա 3: 14:30-15:15
Արմենակ Անտինյան (Ժոգնանի Տնտեսագիտության և Իրավունքի Համալսարան)
Դուք Նամակ Ունեք. Արգանդի վզիկի քաղցկեղի մասնակցության խթանումը Հայաստանի Հանրապետությունում (Ընդդիմախոս: Վարդան Բաղդասարյան)

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Call for Papers: Armenian Economic Association 2019 Annual Meetings

The Armenian Economic Association 2019 annual meetings will be hosted by the Armenian State University of Economics, the Armenian National Agrarian University, and the American University of Armenia on June 27-29, 2019.

Papers in all areas of economics, finance, and business/marketing, both theoretical and applied, are welcome. Topics may include, but not limited to, growth and development issues in Armenia and the South-Caucasus, integration with the Eurasian Union and the EU, trade patterns, trends in labor markets and migration, tax policy, income inequality, regulatory reforms, health, environment, or other topics on current advances in economics and finance.

Submit abstract of less than 500 words by April 30th with decisions by May 10th. Submissions are free with no cost to present and participate.

Best Paper Awards: Submission of completed papers in advance is required to be considered for International Monetary Fund best paper award as well as AEA's Armen Alchian and Grigor Artzruni (student) awards, C-Quadrat award for best student paper in pension economics and portfolio management, Voskeni Wines Award for Agricultural and Environmental Economics.

For more information, visit http://www.aea.am/conferences.html.

Friday, March 08, 2019

2017 Armenian Household Survey released

The 2017 Household Integrated Living Conditions Survey was recently released by Armstat. There are 7776 households in the survey, which is available both as xls and sav (spss) files.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Call for Papers: Armenian Economic Association 2018 Annual Meetings

The Armenian Economic Association 2018 annual meetings are hosted by the Tumo Center for Creative  Technologies on June 15th, and by the American University of Armenia on the 16th.

Scholars, researchers, and graduate students, are invited to present their research in all areas of economics and finance. Papers may address growth and development issues in Armenia and the South-Caucasus, integration with the Eurasian Union and the EU, regional trade patterns, trends in labor markets and migration, tax policy, income inequality, regulatory reforms, or other topic on current advances in economics and finance. Both theoretical and empirical works are welcome.

Sessions will be organized by language and JEL fields:
- Microeconomics; Industry Studies
- Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics
- International Economics; Trade
- Financial Economics; Finance
- Public Economics, Political Economy
- Labor and Demographic Economics
- Growth, Development, and Transition Economics
- Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics
- Marketing and Business Administration

Submissions: If interested 
submit an abstract (of less than 500 words) by April 30th, decision by May 10th. There is no submission fee, nor any cost to present and participate. 

Best paper awards: 
Submission of completed papers in advance is required to be considered for International Monetary Fund best paper award as well as AEA's Armen Alchian and Grigor Artzruni (students) awards, and C-quadrat award of 200000 Drams for best student paper in pension economics and portfolio management. 

Travel: 
Limited travel subsidy subject to funding availabilityDonations through CERGE-EI Foundation and Paros Foundation are welcome to help with funding.

For more information, visit http://www.aea.am/conferences.html.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Happy Easter

Christ is risen from the dead. Blessed is the resurrection of Christ.

Քրիստոս յարեաւ ի մեռելոց՜ Օրհնեալ է Յարութիւնն Քրիստոսի՜
Kristos haryav ee merelots. Orhnial e Harutiunn Kristosi.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2016 Armenian Household Survey Released

The 2016 Household Integrated Living Conditions Survey was just released by Armstat. It is released in sav (SPSS) format only. I presume an xls version, perhaps an oversight, will follow soon.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Happy Holidays

Շնորհավոր Նոր Տարի եւ Սուրբ Ծնունդ
Happy New Year and Merry Christmas

This being the season for giving, please consider sponsoring an Armenian student.

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