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The MCP team periodically analyzes topics of interest both within and outside the team. Below are the most recent working papers produced by the MCP team. There is an upcoming paper covering demography in Europe and Eurasia.
Peace and Security in Europe and Eurasia
The Peace and Security (P&S) Index has been developed as part of the Europe & Eurasia (E&E) Bureau’s Monitoring Country Progress (MCP) system. The components of this index are drawn closely from the U.S. government’s foreign assistance strategic framework of peace and security with a focus on measuring foreign assistance program-related areas, albeit at a relatively “high” (country progress) level. The P&S index is made up of six components, each of which is an index in itself: (1) counterterrorism; (2) combating weapons of mass destruction; (3) stabilization operations and security sector reform; (4) counternarcotics; (5) combating transnational crime; and (6) conflict mitigation. The data are drawn from global datasets, enabling comparison on peace and security in the E&E region with comparator countries outside the region. For now, peace and security measures for twenty-five non-E&E countries, in addition to the 29 E&E countries, have been calculated.
A number of salient observations emerge from a comparison of peace and security in the E&E region. As in the other MCP indices, all eight of the Northern Tier CEE countries are out front on peace and security followed by the three recent graduates from USAID assistance: Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania. The rest of Southern Tier CEE follows, which in turn, is followed by Eurasia. The worst performing of all the E&E countries are Tajikistan, Russia, and Georgia. In general, the correlations between the P&S index and the other MCP indices are quite high, supporting the observation that those countries which are the most peaceful and secure are also the countries with the most progress in economic and democratic reforms, and the most advanced in macroeconomic performance and human capital.
No. 10 Peace and Security in Europe and Eurasia (Adobe Acrobat PDF, 484kb)
Democracy and Governance in Eurasia: A Global Comparison
An analysis of country progress in Eastern Europe & Eurasia in a global context reveals that Eurasia (defined as the former Soviet Union less the three Baltic States) lags behind all other major regions of the world in three of six democratization dimensions: in media; rule of law; and government effectiveness. From 1991 to the present, the overall Eurasian regional trend has been an erosion of democratic freedoms and, in fact, all twelve Eurasian countries have shown deterioration in democratic freedoms since the early 1990s. Moreover, according to a more recent transition region-specific dataset from Freedom House, democratization in Eurasia has deteriorated across all six dimensions (public governance, anti-corruption, rule of law, electoral process, independent media, and civil society) since 1999. In contrast, since the early 1990s, democratic freedoms have either increased or have been stable in all other major regions of the world.
No. 9 Democracy and Governance in Eurasia: A Global Comparison (Adobe Acrobat PDF, 2.10mb)
Divergence and Convergence in Eastern Europe and Eurasia: One Transition Path Or Two?
This paper attempts to assess the transition “divide” between Eastern Europe and Eurasia by examining and updating trends across the economic, political, and social transition dimensions. Is there evidence that the transition to market-oriented democracies between the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) countries and Eurasia is diverging along these dimensions? To what extent are the CEE countries taking one transition path and the Eurasian countries an alternative one?
On some economic dimensions, the CEE-Eurasian gap is narrowing. However, Eurasia’s global economic integration path is notably different than that followed by CEE. In addition, CEE-Eurasia divergences continue in democracy and health. The results are more mixed in terms trends in labor markets and in domestic disparities.
No. 8 Divergence and Convergence in Eastern Europe and Eurasia: One Transition Path Or Two? (Adobe Acrobat PDF, 1.47mb)
Labor Markets in Eastern Europe and Eurasia
This research attempts to look systematically at the available data regarding labor market characteristics of the transition in Eastern Europe and Eurasia. A primary focus is the examination of the data in light of a World Bank working hypothesis that “there are signs of an emerging divide between labor markets in the transition economies of Eastern Europe and those of low-income Eurasian countries.” We find significant labor market gaps and differences between the CEE countries (particularly the Northern Tier CEE) and Eurasia but mixed evidence at best that these gaps are growing. We also find that there remain some key challenges and adverse trends in labor markets even among the Northern Tier CEE countries.
No. 6 Labor Markets in Eastern Europe and Eurasia (Adobe Acrobat PDF, 1.48mb)
Monitoring Country Progress
This paper presents an abridged version of USAID/E&E’s 10th edition of its annual report which monitors country progress in the twenty-nine transition country region. The salient findings include: (1) 2005 progress in economic reforms in the transition region was comparable to the good pace of economic reforms in recent years. (2) 2005 data show a continuation of the growing democratization gap between CEE and Eurasia that has been evident since the early transition years. (3) The twenty nine transition countries generally fall into four fairly distinct reform groups: (a) Northern Tier CEE; (b) Southern Tier CEE; (c) Eurasian reformers; and (d) Eurasian non-reformers (Turkmenistan, Belarus, and Uzbekistan). (4) Economic growth rates in the region continue to exceed global norms, and within Eastern Europe and Eurasia, continue to be highest in Eurasia in large part due to favorable primary product trends. (5) Many social indicators continue to recover, apparently at least partly in response to improving economic conditions, including falling poverty and infant mortality rates, and rising real wages and education enrollment rates. (6) Yet many countries are (still) experiencing increasing unemployment rates and the life expectancy gap between CEE and Eurasia continues to grow. (7) And some of the transition countries have among the highest crude death rates worldwide along with among the lowest fertility rates (and birth rates) worldwide.
No. 4 Monitoring Country Progress in Eastern Europe and Eurasia (Adobe Acrobat PDF, 316kb)
Economic Reforms, Democracy and Growth in Eastern Europe and Eurasia
This research analyses the interaction between economic reforms, democratic reforms, and economic growth. One of the salient characteristics of the transition region has been two very distinct patterns between economic and democratic reforms: convergence of the two reform dimensions in the CEE countries and divergence in Eurasia. Nevertheless, results from econometric tests (which attempt to control for possible intervening influences) suggest that economic and democratic reforms are mutually reinforcing throughout the region, even in Eurasia. We also found evidence that: (1) economic reforms have a stronger impact on democratic reforms than the reverse; (2) economic reforms favorably affect economic growth; (3) democratic reforms favorably affect economic growth indirectly (via economic reforms) if not directly; and (4) while the feedback effects from economic growth to reforms are more ambiguous, there is some evidence that economic growth may actually stifle democratic reforms, and/or economic contraction may facilitate democratization.
No. 3 Economic Reforms, Democracy and Growth in Eastern Europe and Eurasia (Adobe Acrobat PDF, 305kb)
Education in Eastern Europe and Eurasia
Conventional wisdom has been that educational aspects of human capital in the former Communist countries were largely an asset going into the transition. However, it has also been widely perceived that the type of education in the Communist countries (with emphases on memorization at the expense of analytical and critical thinking, and perhaps premature specialization if not over-specialization) may be ill-suited for the needs of a market economy. This study analyzes trends in four cross-country surveys of education performance: the Trends in International Mathematics and Sciences Study (TIMSS); the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS); the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS); and the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). Salient “quantity” of education indicators (enrollment and expenditure trends) are also assessed and compared with the “quality” of education indicators from results of the cross-national performance surveys.
Finally, drawing from both sets of indicators, transition countries were rated and ranked according to overall (measurable) educational deficiencies or education gaps. From a limited sample of sixteen transition countries (for which data existed for a majority of the twelve indicators used to rate the deficiencies), four countries stand out as the most vulnerable: Albania; Armenia; Macedonia; and Romania.
No. 2 Education in Eastern Europe and Eurasia (Adobe Acrobat PDF, 427kb)
Demography and Health in Eastern Europe and Eurasia
Eastern Europe and Eurasia is the only region worldwide experiencing a contraction in population, which stems from both a natural decrease in the population (i.e., crude death rates exceeding crude birth rates) and emigration. The highest crude death rates in the world are found among the transition countries; so too the lowest fertility rates. This study analyzes these trends and attempts to assess some of the underlying health factors behind them. The report also examines the evidence regarding migration patterns, both political aspects (including trends in refugees and internally displaced persons) and economic aspects (including remittances, urbanization, and brain drain).
No. 1 Demography and Health in Eastern Europe and Eurasia (Adobe Acrobat PDF, 1.24mb)
Last updated: September 04, 2013