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.:)