Corruption, Tax Evasion and Institutions

The conference was initially planned to take place on October 1-2, 2020. However, due to the current uncertainty related to the Covid-19 pandemics and travel restrictions that may still prevail in autumn, the organizers have made a decision to postpone the conference to May 27-28, 2021. As previously planned, the conference will take place at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (SSE Riga). The updated key dates are:

Deadline for paper submission – January 31, 2021

Notifications of acceptance by February 15, 2021

Registration deadline – April 30, 2021

BEA online research seminar – Merike Kukk

We are delighted to invite you to the next BEA’s Online Research Seminars and are pleased to welcome Merike Kukk (Tallinn University of Technology, Bank of Estonia). Dr. Merike Kukk is Associate Professor at Tallinn University of Technology (Taltech), head of the master program in Applied Economics, and a part-time researcher at the central bank of Estonia. Her research topics cover household borrowing, saving, consumption and tax behaviour, gender inequality and intra-household resource allocation, as well as interactions between financial markets and the real economy. She has published her research in the Review of Economics of the Household, in the Review of Income and Wealth, in Public Finance Review, in International Tax and Public Finance, in Journal of Comparative Economics. She is teaching master seminar, microeconomics and public economics in the master program.

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Speaker: Merike Kukk (Tallinn University of Technology, Bank of Estonia)

Title: Joint and individual savings within families: evidence from bank accounts

Co-author: W. Fred van Raaij (Tilburg University)

Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the ownership of financial assets within families and how pooling affects the individual savings of the partners. We use anonymised monthly transactional data from ING Bank to observe the financial data of Dutch couples for 2014–2016. We find that savings are quite equally allocated in almost half of households but in one-fifth of households there is only one partner who owns an individual account. The estimations show that joint savings contribute to a more equal division of savings since they are held equally. However, we find larger differences in individual savings among partners who pool, suggesting that the use of joint savings does not lead to individual savings being more evenly distributed, but rather to the opposite. The pattern is more apparent for households in their 20s and for saving accounts. The results of the study highlight the need to understand how families make decisions about applying the sharing rule to joint and individual savings.

Date: Wednesday, December 16

Time: 15:00 Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 812 2454 5047
Passcode: 046509

Passcode: 341510

BEA online research seminar – Audinga Baltrunaite

We are delighted to invite you to the next BEA’s Online Research Seminars and are pleased to welcome Audinga Baltrunaite (Bank of Italy). Audinga is an economist at the research department of the Bank of Italy, Economics and Law Division. She is also affiliated to the Dondena Gender Initiative, Bocconi University. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES), Stockholm University, and published in journals such as the Journal of the European Economic Association, the Journal of Public Economics and the Journal of Law, Economics and Organization. Her main research areas are public economics, corporate governance and gender economics.

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Speaker: Audinga Baltrunaite (Bank of Italy)

Title: Board composition and performance of state-owned enterprises: Evidence from a natural experiment

Co-author: Mario Cannella (Northwestern University), Sauro Mocetti (Bank of Italy) and Giacomo Roma (Bank of Italy)

Abstract: Quality of governance crucially affects corporate outcomes, and may be particularly important for state-owned enterprises (SOEs) not disciplined by market competition forces. We identify companies with stock ownership by the public sector and examine the impact of board composition on their performance. For this purpose, we exploit the gradual introduction of a board gender quota in Italy, which was binding for SOEs, but not for companies with a minority share of public ownership.  The difference-in-differences analysis shows that the reform was effective in increasing female presence on the boards of directors of SOEs. The new female directors have mostly replaced older and less talented men, thereby rejuvenating and improving the quality of the boards. To assess the effects of the law on firm performance, we rely on companies’ balance sheets and on survey information on citizens’ satisfaction with the provision of local public services. Although we do not detect significant changes in economic performance, the evidence of higher satisfaction with public services signals the improved quality of SOEs’ output.

Date: Thursday, December 3

Time: 16:00 Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn

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Meeting ID: 897 3073 5655

Passcode: 341510

Facilitator: Linas Tarasonis (Vilnius University, Bank of Lithuania)

BEA online research seminar – Rudolfs Bems

We are delighted to invite you to the next BEA’s Online Research Seminars, and are pleased to welcome Rudolfs Bems (IMF). Rudolfs Bems is an Economist at the Research Department of the IMF. His research interests fall in the general field of international macroeconomics with a focus on applied work. He has published in leading academic journals such as the American Economic Review and the Journal of International Economics. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Stockholm School of Economics and an MA in Economics from New York University. Prior to the IMF, he was an Economist at the Research Department of the ECB and has held positions at the University of Tokyo and Bank of Latvia.

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Speaker: Rudolfs Bems (IMF)

Title: Measuring trade in value added with Firm-Level Data

Co-author: Ken Kikkawa (UBC Sauder School of Business)

Abstract: Global Value Chains have proliferated economic policy debates. Yet a key concept—trade in value added—is likely mismeasured because of sectoral aggregation bias stemming from reliance on input-output tables. This paper uses comprehensive firm-level data on both domestic and international transactions to study this bias. We find that sectoral aggregation leads to overstated trade in value added and, correspondingly, understated import content of gross exports. The economic magnitude of the estimated bias varies from moderate to large—at 2-5 pp of gross exports for Belgium and 17 pp for China. We study how the interplay between within-sector heterogeneities in firm import and export intensities and firm size determine the magnitude of the sectoral aggregation bias.

Date: Thursday, November 19

Time: 17:00 Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn

Zoom Dial-In Details:

Topic: BEA seminar

Time: Nov 19, 2020 05:00 PM Riga/Tallinn/Vilnius

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Meeting ID: 867 3764 0159

Passcode: 114649

Facilitator: Konstantins Benkovskis (Bank of Latvia, Stockholm School of Economics in Riga)

BEA online research seminar – Marit Hinnosaar

Following the success of the first two BEA seminars back in May/June, we would like to transform these trials into a regular seminar series.

We are pleased to invite you to the first BEA’s Online Research Seminar of this new academic year, and are delighted to welcome Marit Hinnosaar (University of Nottingham and Collegio Carlo Alberto). Marit has published articles in journals such as the European Economic Review, the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization and the Journal of Economics & Management Strategy (forthcoming). After studying at the University of Tartu, she pursued her studies in the USA where she earned a PhD from Northwestern University. Since 2016, Marit is also a CEPR Research Affiliate.

Seminars are scheduled to take place once a month with the purpose of developing personal contacts and promoting joint scholarly research and intellectual exchange between economists of the Baltic region.

Speaker: Marit Hinnosaar (University of Nottingham and Collegio Carlo Alberto, CEPR)

Title: Persistence in alcohol consumption: Evidence from migrants

Co-author: Elaine M. Liu (University of Houston)

Date: Thursday, October 1

Time: 16:00 Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn

Facilitator: Karsten Staehr (Bank of Estonia, Tallinn University of Technology)

Abstract: How malleable is alcohol consumption? Specifically, how much is alcohol consumption driven by the current environment versus individual characteristics? To answer this question, we analyze changes in alcohol purchases when consumers move from one state to another in the United States. Right after moving, movers’ alcohol purchases converge sharply toward the average level in their destination state, implying that the current environment explains about two-thirds of the differences in alcohol purchases. The adjustment takes place both on the extensive and intensive margin.

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Zoom Dial-In Details:

Topic: BEA seminar

Time: Oct 1, 2020 04:00 PM Riga/Tallinn/Vilnius

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Online conference – SMEs, Families and Capital Markets

The Stockholm School of Economics in Riga and the European Corporate Governance Institute are pleased to invite you to the conference SMEs, Families and Capital Markets, which will be held on Zoom.

Friday, 19 June 2020 | 10:45 EEST | 09:45 CEST | 08:45 BST

The programme is available on the event page. A printable copy of the programme can also be downloaded here. You are welcome to attend for the whole day or any part thereof. The Zoom link will work throughout the day.

Participation is free of charge. To register, send an email to anete.pajuste(at)
About the conference

There is increasing evidence of the positive role played by family firms, including both publicly listed and privately owned entities. However, one of the main challenges for family businesses is succession. It is becoming more complex due to changes in family, management and governance systems. Sound governance reduces conflicts of interest, maintains family harmony, and creates value for all stakeholders.

Business transfer is a critical milestone in the life of many family businesses that with the ageing of the population of entrepreneurs becomes even more acute. Additionally, in the Central and Eastern European markets, the first generation of entrepreneurs is nearing retirement, which means that for many firms in these countries the transfer of family business stock happens for the first time.

To address these issues, one of the priorities mentioned in the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan of the European Commission is “easing business transfers”, for example, through reducing cross-border inheritance tax obstacles, improving information and advice services, and other initiatives. Likewise, stock exchanges are attempting to ease obstacles for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are predominantly family-owned, to raise capital through public markets.  The conference will examine these tendencies.


BEA online research seminar – Janis Skrastins

Following the success of the inaugural seminar (thanks to the 55 participants!), we would like to invite you to the second Online Research Seminar of the Baltic Economic Association. The seminar series is scheduled to take place once a month with the purpose of developing personal contacts and promoting joint scholarly research and intellectual exchange between economists of the Baltic States.

We are pleased to welcome Jānis Skrastiņš (Washington University in St. Louis, Olin Business Schoolfor this second session. Jānis’ research focuses on labor economics, financial intermediation, and organizational economics. His current work on labor economics analyzes the incentive effects of unemployment insurance, worker mobility, and risk sharing between firms and employees. His work also provides empirical insights on the trade-offs of organizational design and their broader implications for the real economy. His current research explores organizational hierarchy and delegation of decision-making, and how lenders adapt their organizational design to mitigate credit market imperfections. He also investigates the role of courts in the transmission of shocks in the supply chains. His work has received several best paper awards and has been published in such outlets as Journal of Political Economy. Jānis received his PhD in finance from London Business School, MSc in corporate finance from University of Amsterdam, and BSc in business economics from Stockholm School of Economics in Riga.

Speaker: Jānis Skrastiņš (Washington University in St. Louis, Olin Business School)

Title: Unemployment Insurance as a Subsidy to Risky Firms

Co-authors: Bernardus van Doornik (Banco Central do Brasil), Dimas Fazio (London Business School), and David Schoenherr (Princeton)

Date: Thursday, June 18

Time: 16:00 Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn 

To register and obtain the Zoom dial-in details, send an email to

Facilitator: Nicolas Gavoille (SSE Riga)

Abstract: We document that a more generous unemployment insurance (UI) system shifts labor supply from safer to riskier firms and reduces compensating wage differentials risky firms need to pay. Consequently, a more generous UI system increases risky firms’ value and fosters entrepreneurship by reducing new firms’ labor costs. Exploiting a UI reform in Brazil that affects only part of the workforce allows us to compare labor supply for workers with different degrees of UI protection within the same firm, sharpening identification of the results. Altogether, our results suggest that UI provides a transfer system from safe to risky firms.

Online research seminar

We would like to invite you to the Inaugural Online Research Seminar of the Baltic Economics Association. The seminar series is scheduled to take place once a month with the purpose of developing personal contacts and promoting joint scholarly research and intellectual exchange between economists of the Baltic States.

We are delighted that Alminas Žaldokas (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), the founding member of the Baltic Economic Association, has kindly agreed to serve as the speaker of the inaugural seminar. Ever since co-founding the Lithuanian Economics Network in 2012, Alminas had a vision of expanding the network to the Baltic region, which eventually took place in 2018. Alminas’ paper, co-authored with a fellow from Latvia, Jānis Bērziņš (BI Norwegian Business School), represents the very idea of the Baltic cooperation.

The seminar will take place on ZOOM. If you wish to attend, simply send an email to

Speaker: Alminas Žaldokas (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

Title: Conflicts in Private Family Firms

Co-author: Jānis Bērziņš (BI Norwegian Business School)


Date: 22 May 2020

Time: 10:30 AM Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn

Facilitator: Linas Tarasonis (Vilnius University)

Abstract: We use Norwegian household-level data and full structures of family relationships to understand how succession decisions are made when the family has multiple potential heirs. We argue that the decision on ownership distribution in family firms is related to the potential of future family conflicts, and that such within-family dynamics have implications for firm investment and growth. We identify the causal effect by looking at whether the founder has experienced a divorce or a separation in the distant past. We instrument founder’s divorce with the frequency of divorces in the extended family relationships outside of the nuclear family, which we argue makes founder’s divorce more socially acceptable. Since some family conflicts are inevitable and family heirs might not be able to trade their shares, founders should consider adjusting their inheritance to minimize the possibility of heir feuds and adverse effects on firm growth.


TalTech course Forecasting with DSGE Models

TalTech course Forecasting with DSGE Models

The course will be held at TalTech over three full days from Wednesday 10 to Friday 12 June 2020. The class starts at 10:00 and ends at 16:00.

The objective of the course is to teach student how to:

  • Estimate DSGE model: classical and Bayesian estimation
  • Foreast with DSGE models: mean, median, density forecast
  • Evaluate the accuracy of forecasts: ex-post forecasting competitions

The course, which is aimed at doctoral students and researchers, will use Matlab and Dynare. Basic knowledge of the three equation New Keynesian model and basic knowledge of  Matlab are appreciated.

Main Instructor: Michal Rubaszek (Warsaw School of Economics)

The course is organized as follows:

  1. Estimating DSGE models
  2. Forecasting with DSGE model
  3. Evaluation of forecasts


For more information, visit 

Please contact Ms Aneli Hallap (ecee(at) for registration or for any additional information.

1st Bank of Lithuania Invited Lecture Series, Klaus Adam (University of Oxford)

Bank of Lithuania and its Center for Excellence in Finance and Economic Research (CEFER) are pleased to announce the 1st Invited Lecture Series given by Professor Klaus Adam of the University of Oxford. The lecture’s topic is “Learning and Expectations Formation in Macroeconomics and Finance”. The lecture is intended for early stage researchers and PhD students at an advanced level. The lecture will be followed by a workshop where some of the attendees will get the opportunity to present their working paper.
Details of the lecture and the workshop are as follows:
· Duration of lecture: 12 hours
· Lecture dates: November 27 – 28, 2019
· Workshop date: November 29, 2019

To attend the lecture and the workshop please send your CV and working paper (if you wish to present) to by September 30, 2019. Decisions for acceptance or rejection will be emailed by October 6, 2019. There is no registration fee.

Lectures will cover following several broad topics:
· Deviating from the rational expectations hypothesis: why and how?
· Introduction to the mathematical toolkit for analyzing learning dynamics
· Learning in the real business cycle model
· Learning and stock price volatility
· Stock price volatility and real business cycles

Established in 2015 by the Bank of Lithuania, CEFER is the main research hub in economics and finance in Lithuania. CEFER is part of a network of National Economic Research Organizations along with the leading research institutes across the globe. CEFER is also pivotal in organizing major conferences (Baltic economic conference, joint conferences with CEBRA/CEPR and Bank of Poland, among others), co-establishing Baltic economic association, developing joint Ph.D. courses and administering Bank of Lithuania research awards named after Vladas Jurgutis. CEFER runs regular research seminars and workshops. Learn more at