Research Seminars




Narva 18 - 1024,





One More Document: The Effects of Non-Tariff Barriers on Trade

With tariffs at historically low levels, current trade policy is very much centered around reducing non-tariff barriers (NTBs), yet quantifying their effects remains challenging. This paper uses Brexit as a policy shock to estimate the effect of NTBs on trade. We compile new product-level data on the universe of regulatory measures that a UK firm must fulfill at the border when exporting a product to the EU in response to Brexit. The structure of the event and the data allow us to account for the endogeneity of trade policy, and demand- and supply shocks and isolate one channel through which NTBs affect trade - the documentary compliance costs. Our findings indicate that one additional requirement at the EU border decreases trade on both margins. This negative effect is magnified in small and new EU member states and heterogeneous across sectors. We categorize NTBs by type and show that the costs of Brexit are substantially influenced by the characteristics of NTBs and the extent of regulatory leeway, resulting in a tariff equivalent that ranges between 3.4 % and 16.9 %.






 (Maastricht University)


Savings goals matter - Cognitive constraints, retirement planning, and downstream economic behaviors

We study how cognitive constraints relate to each distinct step of the planning and execution process for retirement, that is, individuals’ propensity to plan, savings goals set, and economic outcomes (wealth accumulation and portfolio choice). We find that different cognitive constraints play distinct roles: Higher advanced financial literacy (and quantitative reasoning ability) predicts a greater propensity to plan, while higher basic financial literacy and verbal cognition predict setting higher savings goals. Math-related abilities are not associated with savings goals in a systematic way. Furthermore, our evidence shows that the economic consequences of retirement planning depend on the earlier set savings goals. In comparison to non-planners, only planners with a higher savings goal (above the median) accumulate more wealth and are more likely to hold risky assets and private annuities. Our findings suggest that when crafting public policy to develop individuals’ retirement readiness, next to improving financial literacy, other targets could be to enhance cognitive skills and to support setting concrete savings goals by, for example, providing better access to planning relevant information and tools. 




(Hungarian Academy of Science)

Measurement of innovation: selection of indicators and (mis)use of scoreboards

The choice of indicators to measure innovation processes and assess performance is of vital significance. This paper argues that those economic theories give a more accurate, more reliable account of innovation activities that follow a broad approach of innovation, that is, consider all knowledge-intensive activities leading to new products (goods or services), processes, business models, as well as new organisational and managerial solutions, and thus take into account various types, forms and sources of knowledge exploited for innovation by all sorts of actors in all economic sectors. In contrast, the narrow approach to innovation focuses on the so-called high-tech goods and sectors. The broad approach is needed to collect data and other types of information, on which sound theories can be built and reliable and comprehensive analyses of innovation activities can be offered to decision-makers to underpin public policies and company strategies. Analysts and policy-makers need to avoid the trap of paying too much attention to simplifying ranking exercises. Instead, it is of utmost importance to conduct detailed, thorough comparative analyses, identifying the reasons for a disappointing performance, as well as the sources of – opportunities for – balanced, and sustainable, socio-economic development.




(University of Guelph)

How Canadian Whisky’s 9.09% Rule Has Transformed Its Brand Image: From Weakness to a Strength

A number of countries have geographically identified food and drink. One of the most well-known distilled products around the world is Scotch, or more accurately Scottish Whisky. Other countries such as the United States and Bourbon, Irish Whiskey, and Japanese Whisky also have defined whisky categories. Canadian Whisky also falls within this group. Like the others there are specific requirements for making whisky. For Canadian whisky, it must be made from grains, distilled, aged, and bottled in Canada, for a minimum of three years. Where Canadian whisky differs, is that it also has a 9.09% rule, which means that in a bottle of Canadian whisky, the distillery is allowed to add up to 9.09% (1/11) of something else.

From a positive perspective it provides Canadian distillers greater opportunities to shape the taste of the final product, as well as increasing development of different Canadian whiskies. For competitors of Canadian whisky, the 9.09% rule has been used to denigrate or criticize the product. This study provides an overview of the history of the Canadian whisky and how companies that are making Canadian whisky today are using the 9.09% rule as a way to position their product through transparency and communication of its use.

This research highlights how the 9.09% Rule, and other examples of arguably negatively oriented restrictions, can be shifted in terms of brand focus, and brand identity. Further contributions focus on the value of clarity in terminology as an important variable in terms of brand understanding and by extension brand trust.



(University of Coimbra)


The challenges of the research on Greenwashing field: the impacts on the different stakeholders

Misleading information regarding environmental issues may bring damaging impacts to the company and its various stakeholders. We will identify the challenges of investigating the impacts on customers, employees, and B2B partners, as well as develop new strategies to approach data collection.




(University of Lodz)


Gold Renaissance among Central Banks: Can Gold Reserves Reduce Countries’ Sovereign Credit Risk?

The main objective of the chapter is to fill the research gap by theoretically and empirically investigating the motives behind the gold renaissance among central bank in light of the recent increase in their purchases, which peaked in 2022. The reasons for gold purchases are intertwined, having both geopolitical and economic origin, and one of the drivers of gold accumulation may be the need to reduce countries’ sovereign credit risk especially of emerging markets. Higher central bank gold reserves, may be perceived as a symbol of conservatism due to safe-haven property of gold and its inflation hedge attributes. Motivated by theoretical considerations, we empirically analyze whether higher central bank gold holdings are found to reduce sovereign risk as measured by 10-year government bond yields in countries that accumulated the highest amount of gold. This study was carried out during the nineteen-year period 2004–2022, which encompassed the global financial crisis, COVID-19 pandemic, and Russian invasion of Ukraine. The results suggest that central bank gold reserves can reduce sovereign credit risk. This effect was stronger during 2022, when central bank gold purchases hit record high amid soaring inflation and increased geopolitical tensions.




(University of Tartu)


Estimating Production Function and Productivity Impact of Export Persistence using Revenue Data

As has been established, estimating a revenue production function in the presence of market imperfections is unlikely to identify the output elasticities of inputs or recover the 'true' total factor productivity (TFP). We present a novel method for estimating output elasticities and the productivity impact of endogenous decisions, such as the decision to export, for revenue and expenditures data. Without specifying a demand system, the method uses a transformation of the first order condition (FOC) for choosing the optimal amount of flexible input to transform the revenue growth function into output growth function. The resultant transformation, which uses growth rates of inputs, and the transformed FOC help estimate the output elasticities and the productivity impact of endogenous decisions in a simple one-step estimation of two equations. Using administrative and customs data from Estonia and Latvia, we find that the productivity impact of an additional year of exporting, reflecting the temporal pattern of the amount— in physical units—​ of the "core" product exported per employee, generally increases with export persistence. However, demand shocks, which affect firms' exporting behaviour, affect the productivity impact of persistence. Finally, while exporters charge lower markups than the non-exporters, the rate with which exporters increase their markups mirrors the productivity impact of number of years of exporting.

Co-authors: Nicolas Gavoille, Jaan Masso



(Politecnico di Milano)

The surge of remote working and coworking spaces. Exploring the case of Italy through mixed methods

The rescheduling of working methods due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a surge in remote working (RW) and demand for collaborative spaces, like coworking spaces (CSs), adopting hybrid working models. Within this context, the paper analyses the growth and location of Italian CSs in the period before and after the COVID-19 pandemic (2018-2023) by merging new data sources, and explores its determinants. Applying a mixed methods approach (quantitative and qualitative analysis) we show that Italian CSs are located and grow in large urban areas and medium-sized cities. This growth is triggered by the market demand and market potential. Interestingly, the spatial analysis (Moran’s I) and the interviews show a lower demand for CSs in suburban areas around large cities probably because remote workers and hybrid workers prefer to commute to nearby cities to exploit urbanisation economies. Moreover, a higher concentration of innovation and a stronger broadband endowment trigger CS growth.

Co-authors: Marco Biagetti, Ilaria Mariotti, Sergio Scicchitano



(University of Cambridge)

Political Risk Insurance: The Role of Lobbying Meetings

The paper studies how the degree of firms' disclosed political risk varies with the intensity of lobbying activities. Beyond the traditional rent-seeking mechanism, lobbying can also overcome information asymmetry between firms and policymakers, enabling firms to mitigate their political risk exposure. The paper uses the information on lobbying meetings of UK-based publicly listed firms and their disclosed political risk through quarterly conference call reports and shows that lobbying reduces firm-level political risk. However, the effectiveness of lobbying as a risk-mitigating tool depends on the political risk and lobbying type. The largest effect of lobbying on political risk reduction is documented in the case of risk coming from institutions and political processes, tax policy, or environmental policy. The least effect is observed on trade policy uncertainty. The results also show that group lobbying is relatively more effective than individual lobbying as it is associated with better information transfers from policymakers and other meeting participants. Importantly, lobbying at the highest policy level does not contribute much to political risk reduction. However, targeting lobbying activities to specific government positions matters the most, such as the Economic Secretary and Parliamentary under-secretary. Lastly, the value of lobbying is larger during periods of high economic policy uncertainty when the demand for policy information is high.

08.02.2024MICHAEL FUNKE (Hamburg University)

Economic Knock-On Effects of Russia’s Geopolitical Risk on Advanced Economies: A Global VAR Approach

Using Russia as a case study and a global VAR model as methodological tool, we analyze how heightened geopolitical risk shocks propagate across the advanced economies and quantify the economic effects. The global VAR impulse response functions in response to the skyrocketing Russian geopolitical risk shock after Russia's invasion of Ukraine reveal a contraction of GDP and an increase of inflation. Eastern European neighboring countries are particularly affected by the Russian geopolitical risk shock. we also document a strong component of the Russian geopolitical risk shock which is not driven by fossil fuel prices.

Article is available here.

Co-authors: Boris Blagov and Maximilian Dirks



Previous Research Seminars:


06.12.2023. ALEXANDER PLEKHANOV (EBRD). Exorbitant privilege and  economic sanctions. Co-authors: Maxim Chupilkin, Beata Javorcik,  Aleksandra Peeva 

22.11.2023. TIIT TAMMARU (University of Tartu). A comparative study of residential attainment trajectories of migrants under different housing regimes: Evidence from three Nordic capital cities

15.11.2023. KRISTA FISCHER (University of Tartu). Disentangling causal relationships in epidemiology: some recent trends

01.11.2023. ANNELA ANGER-KRAAVI (University of  Cambridge, University of Tartu). Impacts of climate change mitigation measures on the Estonian economy 

25.10.2023. MATHIAS JUUST (University of Tartu), URMAS VARBLANE (University of Tartu). Firm resources and response to a negative export shock: 2014 Russian embargo on the Western food exporters

18.10.2023. FRANÇOIS VAILLANCOURT (Université de Montréal). Economics and language: framework , returns to skills  and policy relevant tools

20.09.2023. MIHAILS HAZANS (University of Latvia). Human values and supervisory responsibilities: A comparative evidence from the Baltic Sea region

06.09.2023. LIIS ROOSAAR (University of Tartu). Gender wage gap in the University of Tartu. Co-authors: Jaan Masso, Jaanika Meriküll, Liis Roosaar, Kärt Rõigas, Tiiu Paas)

21.06.2023. KARL MORASCH (University of Bundeswehr Munich). Global Trade Networks, Strategic Firm Behavior, and the Environment

17.05.2023. KALEV KUKK (Tallinna Ülikool). Otto Strandman majanduspoliitikuna

26.04.2023. JORGE F. S. GOMES (Lisbon School of Economics and Management). HRM in a strong context: Lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic

19.04.2023. TIIA VISSAK (University of Tartu). Exporters' success and failure in the VUCA world

05.04.2023. GAYGYSYZ ASHYROV (Estonian Business School). Mega events and institutional development

01.03.2023. LAUR KANGER (University of Sussex, University of Tartu), ANNA-KATI PAHKER (University of Tartu). Where is the Second Deep Transition most likely to emerge?

22.02.2023. JAANIKA MERIKÜLL (Eesti Pank, University of Tartu). The transmission of Covid-19 related trade shocks across countries: Comparative firm-level evidence

13.12.2022. MAAJA VADI, KRISTA JAAKSON (Tartu Ülikool). Mida avastasime Eesti juhtimisest ja juhtimise uurimisest? (Eesti juhtimisvaldkonna uuringu näitel)

30.11.2022. SALME NÄSI (University of Tampere, University of Tartu). Development of the CSR and Sustainability  Thinking in the Business Studies - Finnish/Nordic Approach

02.11.2022. ANU REALO (University of Warwick, University of Tartu). Why We Trust and Why It Matters?

12.10.2022. MARK F. PETERSON (Aarhus University, University of Tartu). Theorizing Cultural Regions of North America: Implications for Europe and the World.

28.09.2022. AMARESH K. TIWARI (University of Tartu). Automation in an Open, Catching-Up Economy: Aggregate and Microeconometric Evidence.

21.09.2022. MICHAEL MINKOV (Varna University of Management, University of Tartu). Do nations, in-country regions, religions, and ethnolinguistic groups have distinct cultures? Evidence from Europe, Asia, Africa, the US, and Russia.

14.09.2022. KARSTEN STAEHR (Tallinn University of Technology, Eesti Pank). Economic growth (regimes) and capital flows in the Baltic States.

15.06.2022. HAKAN ERATALAY (University of Tartu). On the impact of ESG ratings on asymmetric effects and leverage effects in volatility

01.06.2022. FRANCESCO MANARESI (OECD). Closing the Italian digital gap: The role of skills, intangibles and policies

25.05.2022. IRMA RYBNIKOVA (Hamm-Lippstadt University of Applied Sciences). Does organizational democracy have societal consequences? Dealing with the so-called "spillover hypothesis"

18.05.2022. OLIVER LUKASON (University of Tartu). How do scientific R&D ventures fail: European evidence based on financial failure processes

04.05.2022. LUCA ALFIERI (University of Tartu). The Effects of the ECB Communications on Financial Markets before and during COVID-19 Pandemic

27.04.2022. NEKTARIOS ASLANIDIS (Universitat Rovira i Virgili). Near-money in history: cryptocurrencies versus bills of exchange

13.04.2022. NIINA NUMMELA (University of Turku). Boosted by failure? Entrepreneurial internationalisation as a cyclical learning process

06.04.2022. GAYGYSYZ ASHYROV (University of Tartu). Cultural aspects of tax behaviour in transition economies

09.03.2022. DAMIAN BEBNOWSKI (University of Lodz). The first 'Treuhandanstalt' (UrTHA) in East Germany in 1990. Review of research

16.02.2022. JAAN VALSINER (University of Tartu, Tallinn University, Aalborg University). Methodology and methods in social sciences: Economics as a qualitative science

02.02.2022. MARK F. PETERSON (Aarhus University; University of Tartu). Experiences in Promoting Multilevel Methods

17.02.2021. ANNABEL HANA  CHRISTIE (Bedfordshire Business School). Why and How Middle Managers Use Autonomy in Strategy?

03.03.2021. LUCA ALFIERI (University of Tartu). The communication reaction function of the European Central Bank. An analysis using topic model indices

10.03.2021. NIINA NUMMELA (University of Turku). In-between worlds – liminal experiences of Finnish-born cosmopolitans

17.03.2021. BETTINA BECKER (Aston University). The effectiveness of regional, national and EU support for innovation in the UK and Spain

24.03.2021. MATTHIAS ROTTNER (European University Institute). Hitting the Elusive Inflation Target

31.03.2021. JAAN MASSO, PRIIT VAHTER (University of Tartu). Innovation as a firm-level factor of the gender wage gap

19.05.2021. MICHAEL MINKOV (University of Tartu; Varna University of Management). A Test of the Revised Minkov-Hofstede Model of Culture: Mirror Images of Subjective and Objective Culture across Nations and the 50 US States.

26.05.2021. MARI-LIIS TIKERPERI (University of Tartu). Estonian schools in the context of social acceleration and mediatization

27.10.2021. MAAJA VADI, PRIIT VAHTER (University of Tartu). Complementarities between technological and organizational innovation: dynamics and firm level outcomes.

03.11.2021. SONJA SACKMANN (University of St Gallen; University of Tartu). Analyzing “bad” / unethical organizational cultures.

24.11.2021. JAANIKA MERIKÜLL (Eesti Pank; University of Tartu). The gender wealth gap in Europe: Application of machine learning to predict individual-level wealth.

08.12.2021. JAAN MASSO, PRIIT VAHTER (University of Tartu). Joining and exiting the value chain of multinationals and performance of suppliers: evidence from inter-firm transaction data.

15.12.2021. MUSTAFA HAKAN ERATALAY (University of Tartu). The impact of ESG ratings on the systemic risk contribution and exposure of European blue-chip companies.

02.12.2020. JAANIKA MERIKÜLL (University of Tartu; Eesti Pank). The gap that survived the transition: 30 years of the gender wage gap in Estonia.

18.11.2020. LENNO UUSKÜLA (University of Tartu; Eesti Pank). Productivity and Firm Turnover.

4.11.2020. MARIA PTASHKINA (Pompeu Fabra University). Measuring Heterogeneity Across Preferential Trade Agreements.

14.10.2020. ASTA PUNDZIENE (Kaunas University of Technology, University of California). Value Traps for Benefiting from Platform-based new business line in MedTech Incumbent Companies. Dynamic Capabilities Perspective.

7.10.2020. JAMES H. LOVE (University of Leeds; University of Tartu). The Dynamics of Geographic Collaboration for Innovation.

16.09.2020. TIIA VISSAK (University of Tartu). A Reviewer’s Perspective: Which Mistakes Do Authors Often Make in Qualitative International Business Research?

02.09.2020. GOURANGA G. DAS (Hanyang University), co-author Ranajoy Bhattacharya. Contract Farming in Agriculture and Host Country Effects: Development Policy Insights from alternative models on Land Deal.

29.04.2020. KARSTEN STAEHR (Tallinn University of Technology; Eesti Pank). Export Performance and Capacity Pressures in Central and Eastern Europe.

22.04.2020. GAYGYSYZ ASHYROV, KRISTA JAAKSON (University of Tartu). Is supervisory responsibility a “demanding resource” depending on job context? Evidence from PIAAC Survey.

8.04.2020. NELE TABA (University of Tartu). Detecting causal effects of diet on health using the method of Mendelian randomization.

10.03.2020. ILONA BUCIUNIENE (ISM Unviversity of Management and Economics). The influence of industrial robots adoption on human capital and human resources architecture change.

04.03.2020. KAOURU NATSUDA (Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University).Transfer of Japanese-style management to the Czech Republic: the case of Japanese manufacturing firm.

26.02.2020. AMARESH TIWARI (University of Tartu). Impact Evaluation of Cohesion Fund, 2014-2020: The Case of Estonia.

12.02.2020. JAAN MASSO, JAANIKA MERIKÜLL, PRIIT VAHTER (University of Tartu). The role of firms in the gender wage gap.

18.12.2019. BORISS SILIVERSTOVS (Bank of Latvia). Employment Effect of Innovation.

02.12.2019. PATRIK TINGVALL  (Södertörn University),  JONAS KASTENG (Swedish National Board of Trade). Who Uses the EU’s Free Trade Agreements?

13.11.2019. VLADISLAV SOLOVIOV (University of Tartu). Does regional culture affect innovation in the EU?

05.11.2019. 1. ROMEO TURCAN (Aalborg University). Legitimation, newness and theory building. 2. ILAN ALON (University of Agder). Globalization of Chinese Enterprises. A Review of the Literature and Future Research Agenda.

23.10.2019. TIIA VISSAK (University of Tartu). Foreign market entries, exits and re-entries: The role of knowledge, network relationships and decision-making logic

11.09.2019. OLEGS TKACEVS (Bank of Latvia). Getting Old Is No Picnic? Sector-Specific Relationship Between Workers Age and Firm Productivity.

04.09.2019. GAZI SALAH UDDIN  (Linköping University). Demystifying the impact of GDP, energy, oil price, and trade openness on CO2 emissions in India: an NARDL approach

22.08.2019. LEONIDAS COSTA LEONIDOU (University of Cyprus). Antecedents, moderators, and outcomes of effective import strategy design and implementation.

29.05.2019. MICHAEL MINKOV (Varna University of Management, University of Tartu). Do nations have homogeneous cultures?