Saturday, December 29, 2007

Updating...some older paper

I have started to update my previous paper analyzing patenting activities and determinants of national innovation systems in the transitional Eastern European space. Well, as always..the good the bad and the ugly features and issues are there. After all it is not like writing the whole paper again...but it takes a lot of time (too much) as well. So...I keep my fingers crossed

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Forced Break from my Research

This week I cannot work almost anything since I have to attend and pass the course in Monetary Policy by Mr. Eichenbaum from NorthWestern, which is a funny/smart/etc teachers...but there is a problem: these huge macro models especially monetary ones are not my thing. at all. so, hopefully it will not be too painful.
Eviews 6 - Small is Beautiful

When I first ran anything on Eviews this Autumn I was quite skeptic about its true power. But when you think about it, this program knows an amazing amount of stuff for its size. And now with version 6 it gets even better (than Stata? - in some issues yes).

Not so small after its latest makeover it features some amazing new things, some of which are not available in Stata not even via the ssc channel.
See for yourself.

The things that got me jabbering was panel cointegration tests: of Pedroni (1999) up till now was the RATS's turf or Kao (2000) requiring Matlab or Gauss platforms.
Seems I was right about Stata10

Unfortunately, it looks like indeed Stata10 has some serious bugs. The thing that I hate the most is running a do file with multiple specs regressions and get an error in the middle of the program because one of the variables has magically dissapeared. Sometimes is a transformation var only which can be re-done manually from the command line, but when the base variable is gone...not much one can do but clear and reload the data. Perhaps a 9.2 downgrade is not that bad after all.
Other people had the same problems.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

It takes a Genius to Read (some) blogs

At least, it seems so. More details here.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Adding control variables

The stock of domestic R&D is a hard to get and valuable variable in the case of developing nations. On top of that I have to collect some data, measures of human capital…of which I opted for the world wide known Barro and Lee 2000 dataset and perhaps some other schooling stuff from UIS Unesco and the WID 20007.
I already used the BL 2000 and the tertiary enrollment and they seem to impact significantly the TFP spillovers, which is good. :)
Finishing the business

YES, I am extremely happy to say that I have finished the FDI spillovers…sometime Sunday night before the meeting with my advisors. It wasn’t a must after all but the numbers proved to be significant despite their inherent deficiencies. However, I have to look closer at some countries that are not represented anymore in my FDI restricted sample…but again, how much and who is investing in Uzbekistan or Tajikistan? So far I don’t know but it’s on my wish list to cross-check it with the UNCTAD data.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

FDI related spillovers - The hard way

There aren’t many choices when you want to have flows and stocks of FDI (bilateral) among many countries. Usually people go for the OECD International Investment data which to my humble opinion is quite lame. I mean, I would expect at least to have flows among all OECD countries starting the 1990s but I guess it is to much to ask. So, just imagine how many observations can you get for, Armenia, par example. Well, usually 10-20 out of the 25 OECD times 16 years…well out of 400 let’s say. Is that workable? 
So, I decided to go with UNCTAD and their statistics. Not so inspired here either. Why? Well, they have it all at the aggregated level (total flows, stocks) but bilaterally it’s a bit better than OECD but the coverage and breakdown for developing countries is even worse (up to the national statistics office who collect the data). Moreover, the time varies 1990-2003, 04 or 05 and NATURALLY, the numbers do not match OECD ones .
The cherry on top: they are only available in PDF form!!! Not even excel… which is just great. Now I have to spend at least half an hour for each country migrating the data from PDF to Excel (which is not that easy in itself) then clean it, structure it and finally compute flows, shares, and fdi related spillovers. I just hope at the end of the day it wasn’t ALL in vain…since the data is quite scarce.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The never ending story

Naturally, the flows of FDI even from the OECD nations among themselves is highly “volatile”, quality wise with a decent amount of missing observations. Not to go deeper into the problem when you look at the Eastern European ones. After computing all these stocks and flows of capital, R&D or trade I really do not feel like spending my entire life searching for bits, pieces and approximations of all the incoming FDI to my 27 transitional countries in the sample. So I guess I will probably stick (in the 1st phase at least) to trade related spillovers, since, I will also probably have to invest some time and energy into econometrics…testing for unit roots and applying panel co-integration techniques.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Finished part 1 and 2

I just finished part 2, let’s say of my paper, which is computing the trade related spillovers from 25 OECD countries towards another 20 Western plus 27 Eastern and Central Asian (former Soviet Union) states using bilateral trade data from DOTS 2007 from IMF. The data looks good, it would be marvelous if one could get the same accuracy with FDI data but that’s definitely not the case . The struggle begins now…

Monday, November 19, 2007

November 19, 2007

Doing all that spreadsheet tedious work

Today I continued to process all the import-export data for the OECD countries and I reached Mexico. Ten more countries to go. I have 50 receipients some of which are a bit problematic since one needs to aggregate (Belgium-Luxembourg union) or take out countries like former Czechoslovakia, URSS and very new entities without any values (Serbia on its own, Montenegro, Kosovo, etc).

Saturday, November 17, 2007

November 17, 2007

R&D Stocks, TFP and Labor Shares

Today I started to work on my ASP/dissertation essay on tech transfer in Eastern Europe through various diffusion channels. Basically, before I left for Italy I already have computed the R&D stocks for the countries that are spreading technology (basically OECD nations) using the perpertual inventory method with a 10 percent annual depreciation and the initial stock computation given by Griliches (1979). Yesterday and again today I took it further: first computing the TFP as a Solow residual with the usual assumed shares for labor and capital in the production function (0.65 and 0.35)—which needs to be improved over time once I find out new sources for these figures—It is a bit complicated and tedious to computed all this and I have to do it in Excell since I have a lot of problems with missing observations or countries that have started later (in Eastern Europe etc). Capital is derived from the investment data available through WPenn Tables 6.2 and GDP at PPP US $ dollars. Lots of fun  as I already mentioned
Time: At least 20 to 30 hours of work. Coverage: very good for the whole sample.
Hard to Start

Finally I decided to write on this blog as well..just like a research journal..perhaps useful for others as well in the future.

Finally I decided to write on this blog as well..just like a research journal..perhaps useful for others as well in the future.
I am starting now to write a paper on "Technological diffusion in transition via trade and FDI. A comparative study between Eastern and Western Europe". I hope it will be something nice and publishable. Also, I hope that when I will be looking back this blog will seem such a neat & nice idea.:)