Albania

Hausmann, R. & Nedelkoska, L., 2017. Welcome Home in a Crisis: Effects of Return Migration on the Non-migrants' Wages and Employment.Abstract

The recent economic depression in Greece hit the population of Albanian migrants in Greece particularly hard, spurring a wave of return migration which increased the Albanian labor force by 5 percent in less than four years, between 2011 and 2014. We study how this return migration affected the employment chances and earnings of Albanians who never migrated. We find positive effects on the wages of low-skilled non-migrants and overall positive effects on employment. The gains partially offset the sharp drop in remittances in the observed period. An important part of the employment gains are concentrated in the agricultural sector, where most return migrants engage in self-employment and entrepreneurship. Businesses run by return migrants seem to pull Albanians from non-participation, unemployment and subsistence agriculture into commercial agriculture. 

Albania's Credit Market

By Duygu Guven and Mykola Miagkyi

Credit market activity in Albania has been sluggish in recent years in spite of low and declining interest rates. The economy lost its growth momentum after 2009. Investment and lending activity slowed down substantially despite low interest rates, relative macroeconomic resilience, and available capacity in the private sector to take on more debt. .This study analyzes the supply (lenders’) and demand (borrowers’) sides of the market.

The reason behind the credit market failure is a supply-demand mismatch. ...

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Q&A with Ditmir Bushati, Albania's Minister of Foreign Affairs

On Sunday, September 18, the Embassy of the Republic of Albania to the US and the Center for International Development at Harvard University hosted a panel discussion, "Albania and Diaspora: A New Communication" with the Honorable Ditmir Bushati, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania.

Following the panel, Minister Bushati sat down with CID Events and Outreach Manager Andrea Hayes and discussed the panel, the Albania diaspora, and other foreign policy topics.

What are your impressions from this panel?

We had the...

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Increasing Exports of Albania's Cultivated Fish

By Alejandra Jimenez

Albania is rich in water resources and both inland and marine aquaculture have potential for growth and development. In the past two decades European and Mediterranean countries have seen their freshwater aquaculture decrease while marine aquaculture, especially of European Seabass and Gilthead Seabream, has increased. In 2000, Albanian aquaculture producers started to turn their attention to seabass and seabream production and their cultivation in cages in the Ionian Sea increased dramatically. Albanian production, however, represents only 0...

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Jimenez, A., 2016. Increasing Exports of Albanian Cultivated Fish to the EU, Growth Lab at Harvard's Center for International Development.Abstract

This document explores Albanian aquaculture in the context of European aquaculture and compares it to neighboring countries, especially Greece. Using information from fieldwork, multiple reports by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and interviews with experts in government and non-government institutions, we analyze the production of European seabass and Gilthead seabream in Europe in general and in Albania in particular. Albanian cultivation of seabass and seabream has increased sevenfold since production started in the early 2000’s, but it represented only 0.38% of European aquaculture of these two species in 2013. Albania has significantly lower productivity than its neighbors, especially Greece, the dominant actor in the market. The analysis indicates that Albania’s lower productivity is caused by: (i) high costs of cages, fingerlings, and feed; which are all imported; (ii) lack of a formal fish market; and (iii) lack of clarity in the regulation. The document concludes by offering recommendations to get over these impediments for growth including reducing tariffs; encouraging national production of cages, fingerlings, and feed through investment in research; offering more and better financing options for cage acquisition; improving quality controls; establishing a national fish market; and passing the Aquaculture Law to bring clarity to the sector regulation.

Now Seeking Interns for 2016 Summer Program in Albania

The Summer Internship Program of the Economic Growth in Albania Project is now recruiting Master's level students to spend summer in Albania.

The Center for International Development (CID) under the direction of Professor Ricardo Hausmann is conducting a four-year project with the Government of Albania. CID helped the government develop an economic growth strategy, based on increasing economic productivity, fostering regional integration, and positioning the government on sound financial footing. Under the supervision of Professor Matt Andrews, CID has put in place government...

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Orozco, M., 2015. The Demand for and Supply of Nostalgic Products among the Albanian-Americans: A Survey, Growth Lab at Harvard's Center for International Development.Abstract

The U.S. is home to more than 200,000 ethnic Albanians, about half of whom are emigrants from the Republic of Albania. Despite the significant Albanian population in the U.S., official trade of Albanian goods in the U.S. almost does not exist.

We surveyed about 200 Albanian-Americans and several stores offering goods imported from the Balkan region of Europe in three U.S. metropolitan areas with large Albanian population in order to study their purchasing habits. We found that the willingness to purchase products from the region of origin is certainly not matched by an adequate supply. The stores which offer such products are few, often hard to reach and offer limited supplies of a small variety of commodities. In the study, we recommend steps to strengthen the market for nostalgic good through continued market research, trade-related technical assistance, diaspora-donor partnerships for nostalgic trade development and trade fairs.

Lawrence, R., Frasheri, E. & Qazi, M., 2014. Integration in the Balkans: Albania and Kosovo, Growth Lab at Harvard's Center for International Development.Abstract

Despite their historic and ethnic ties, trade and investment between Albania and Kosovo remains underdeveloped. To be sure, even if fully developed, Kosovo is unlikely to play a major role in Albanian external economic relations. Nonetheless, increased economic integration between the two countries can serve as the basis not only for enhancing the ties between the two countries, but also for spurring the measures that could act as a springboard for Albania’s integration with respect to other countries in the Balkans as well as with the EU.  

Integration in the Balkans: Albania and Kosovo

Despite their historic and ethnic ties, trade and investment between Albania and Kosovo remains underdeveloped. To be sure, even if fully developed, Kosovo is unlikely to play a major role in Albanian external economic relations. Nonetheless, increased economic integration between the two countries can serve as the basis not only for enhancing the ties between the two countries, but also for spurring the measures that could act as a springboard for Albania’s integration with respect to other countries in the Balkans as well as with the EU. 

In this report, we examine the...

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Ali, O., 2015. Revitalizing the Albanian Electricity Sector, Growth Lab at Harvard's Center for International Development.Abstract

In an attempt to recuperate its dysfunctional electricity distribution system, Albania privatized its sole electricity distribution company in 2009. Disappointed with the results of the privatization, just five years later, the State of Albania renationalized the company.

The case study “Revitalizing the Albanian Electricity Sector” analyzes the key sources of inefficiencies in the electricity distribution sector in Albania and the structural problems of the current state-owned company. It explains how the tariff setting and the failed infrastructural investments triggered a chain effect of financial instability which spilled beyond the limits of the electricity sector and discusses possible reforms to the sector.

New study on the challenges to developing nostalgic trade among the Albanians living in the U.S.

By Manuel Orozco

The U.S. is home to more than 200,000 ethnic Albanians, about half of whom are emigrants from the Republic of Albania. Despite the significant Albanian population in the U.S., official trade of Albanian goods in the U.S. almost does not exist.

We surveyed about 200 Albanian-Americans and several stores offering goods imported from the Balkan region of Europe in three U.S. metropolitan areas with large Albanian population in order to study their purchasing habits. We found that the willingness to purchase products from the region of...

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New Case Study: Revitalizing the Albanian Electricity Sector

By Ozair Ali

In an attempt to recuperate its dysfunctional electricity distribution system, Albania privatized its sole electricity distribution company in 2009. Disappointed with the results of the privatization, just four years later, the State of Albania renationalized the company.

The case study “Revitalizing the Albanian Electricity Sector” analyzes the key sources of inefficiencies in the electricity distribution sector in Albania and the structural problems of the current state-owned company. It explains how the tariff setting and the failed...

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Thank You, Interns - Now the Work Continues

By Tim O'Brien

The Center for International Development’s thirteen master’s level interns (Team Albania 2015) are returning to Cambridge this week to start the final year of their studies. In Tirana, they have left behind not only their reports and recommendations but living projects that are now tangible instruments for Albania’s economic transition. They take with them fond memories, lessons both large and small, and experiences in governance that will soon become learning tools for the larger community at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

...

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