Wednesday, 4 October, 2017 | 14:00 | Defense - PhD

Iuliia Kuntsevych: “Essays on Remittances and Bribery”

Dissertation Committee:
Randall K. Filer (chair)
Jan Hanousek (local chair)
Anastasiya Shamshur


This dissertation deals with topics of remittances in Ukraine and corruption in the Czech Republic. Chapter 1 analyzes remittances sent by Ukrainian emigrants to their country of origin. It explores the dependence on remittances of a household's spending on human capital, savings and donations, against the backdrop of the political situation in Ukraine in 2004. The paper also explores the effect of the political instability in Ukraine on how the households receiving remittances used them. The results of a Ukrainian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (ULMS) are used to explore households' decision to spend on human capital development, save, or donate money; depending on their political views and future expectations. The main hypothesis tested is whether the individuals who supported and/or were involved with the Revolution (``pro-orange"), and who were optimistic about the future of Ukraine after the Orange Revolution, saved/donated more money than those who did not support the Revolution `(`pro-blue-white"). In addition, the level of influence of remittances received from relatives or friends outside Ukraine on decisions to save and donate money is analyzed. The results show that the political views of respondents do not have a significant effect on decisions to save and/or donate money. However, respondents' political orientations do have a significant effect on the probability of receiving remittances - those who voted for ``pro-orange" have a lower probability of receiving remittances from outside the household.

Chapter 2 deals with remittances sent by Ukrainian emigrants to their country of origin. It explores the main factors influencing the probability of obtaining remittances from abroad as well as the amount of remittances. We investigate how the planned future usage of remittances affects the likelihood of receiving them. The results of a survey of households in Ukraine were used to investigate the main defining factors for obtaining financial inflows from abroad, in addition to exploring the expenditures financed by remittances. Although the results of our analysis show that few factors have a significant influence on the probability of obtaining remittances and on their size, this topic warrants further investigation. The findings are important for policymakers as the Ukrainian government might design and implement policies that increase the development potential of remittances, while eliminating their negative side effects.

In the Chapter 3 corruption in the Czech Republic was analyzed. Corruption has become a common phenomenon in the CEE (Central and Eastern Europe) countries, including the Czech Republic. Even though corruption in the Czech Republic, especially at the government and enterprise level, is strongly criticized, the results of the following research show that the majority of firms have conducted some sort of corrupt behavior. Taking this into account, the research explores micro- and macro-level variables which might influence firms' decisions to bribe. For the purpose of the research, both BEEPS and Amadeus datasets for the Czech Republic are merged using a cluster methodology. The main question under consideration is why firms bribe and what the main factors are that influence their decisions to bribe. The research also explores the outcome of firms' decision-making processes regarding bribes based on firms' size, the industry in which they operate and the year. Estimated results show that firms' financial performance does not greatly depend on the level of corruption on the local market. In addition, firms' market share and level of bribery are found to have a negative dependence, meaning that a higher market share of the firm leads to a lower level of bribery. This research can be considered as guidance on which policies the Czech government could adopt in order to reduce the level of corruption and occurrences of bribery in the country.

Full Text: “Essays on Remittances and Bribery” by Iuliia Kuntsevych