Published: 17.06.2022

Today at the award ceremony held at Latvijas Banka, prizes were awarded to the winners of the 20th Competition of Student Scientific Research Papers.

The first prize was awarded to

Evelīna Valtere, Diāna Zariņa (SSE Riga)

Greenwashing: when Climate Talk Does not Meet the Climate Walk

The content of the paper:

The growing public concern over environmental sustainability obliges businesses to respond accordingly by signalling their commitment to the green economy issues. However, not all businesses engage in genuine efforts to combat climate change: some of them only imitate their serious intentions by engaging in something commonly referred to as greenwashing. This study investigates the question of whether investors can identify those firms and penalise them, where appropriate. The authors, using STOXX 600 Europe companies, find that the portfolios of greenwashing firms yield consistently lower abnormal returns than non-greenwashing companies. This suggests that investors have been able to distinguish between non- and greenwashers and reward the firms that honestly report their commitment to ecological thinking.

The second prize

Ieva Vitaitytė (ISM University of Management and Economics)

Financial Literacy Impact on Investment Decisions in Lithuania

The content of the paper:

The paper investigates how households’ financial literacy drives decisions to invest their savings and how it affects the choice of an investment instrument. The study employs data from the Survey of Households conducted by the Central Bank of Lithuania and carries out different assessments of both the financial literacy of households and its impact on the decision to invest. It is concluded that financial literacy plays an important role in deciding to invest in stocks. At the same time, it has been found that a significant proportion of Lithuanian households do not invest their savings and that financial literacy has no impact on investing in real estate assets in Lithuania.


The second prize

Artis Veldre, Elvis Ancāns (SSE Riga)

Family versus Non-Family Enterprises – Evidence from Latvia

The content of the paper:

This paper analyses family firms in Latvia and compares their performance to non-family firms. The authors mainly focus on large Latvian firms. The results show that family firms constitute more than 30% of all the firms, and they are associated with significantly higher performance than non-family firms. However, the hypothesis that the more family is involved in the management, the greater the profitability, was rejected. The authors also conducted interviews during a discussion about the impact of family-related events on business performance. In the authors' opinion, the main reason why family firms perform better than non-family firms is the differences in remuneration and incentives of the management.

The third prize

Ēriks Kristsons, Toms Osis (SSE Riga)

How Good are Multinational EU Companies at Escaping from Paying Taxes?

The content of the paper:

The authors examine the tendency of multinational companies to engage in profit shifting activities by reporting profits in low-tax countries. The topicality of the issue is underlined by the estimate that due to these processes Latvia loses around one fifth of corporate tax revenue.

The paper focuses on multinational companies in the European Union during 2012–2020 by using the company level data from the Orbis database. The authors calculate a composite tax variable as a proxy for the incentive to shift profits and with regression capture semi-elasticity showing that 75% of companies engage in such practice and the larger the company, the more it shifts its profits. The authors conclude that companies are more likely to shift their profits in euro area countries, but that the overall scope of profit shifting has decreased over a longer time period.


The third prize 

Evita Prindule (Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies)

Analysis of the Economic and Financial Performance of and an Assessment of the Risk Management Processes at Milk Processing Companies


The content of the paper:

The paper focuses on an important part of Latvia's economy – the dairy sector. It analyses financial performance of companies in the dairy sector and assesses the risk management process. Conclusions are based on expert interviews and a consumer survey. The author pays close attention to institutional and legal aspects of the dairy sector and analyses its economic performance, later taking deeper insight into economic and financial performance indicators in two milk processing companies in Latvia. To enable the industry to develop, the author suggests favourable taxation mechanisms, regular financial analysis and emphasizes the need for development of e-commerce and new technological solutions.

The third prize

Darja Golosuja (University of Latvia)

The Impact of Social Media Posts on Digital Asset Pricing: an Econometric Analysis

The content of the paper:

The author assesses whether social media sentiment has a statistically significant effect on the value of digital assets. The author focuses on the analysis of non-fungible tokens which provide an opportunity to invest money in various digital assets – works of art, music, games, thus allowing for the creation of a simpler and more transparent patenting system. The author uses the VADER algorithm that distinguishes between abbreviations and slang, which are characteristic of the social media culture space. The paper concludes that sentiment helps to predict the end-of-day price of these digital assets for a short time period, but sentiment makes it impossible to predict major price changes.


Honourable mention

Ilona Chaiko, Catalina Popescu (SSE Riga)

Monetary Policy in the EMU and Volatility Spillovers to the Four Non-EMU Countries

The content of the paper:

This paper investigates the effect of different ECB monetary policy instruments on macroeconomic indicators in four Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania) such as GDP growth, exchange rates, interest rates, inflation, and equity prices. The study distinguishes between the four following monetary policy shocks: Forward Guidance, Quantitative Easing as well as Target and Timing shocks. The results suggest that the reaction of the macroeconomic variables in question varies depending on the policy shock both in terms of direction and magnitude as well as the timing of the response.

Mārtiņš Kazāks, Governor of Latvijas Banka, extended a warm welcome to the participants of the event. The authors of the papers winning awards received money prizes.

In academic year 2021/2022, Latvijas Banka organised its annual 20th Competition of Student Scientific Research Papers, inviting the participation of students from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia who at the time of the competition were registered as students of bachelor or master programmes of higher educational institutions accredited in the Baltic States as well as inhabitants of the Baltic States studying abroad.

15 papers were submitted to the competition this year from 7 higher educational institutions of Latvia and foreign countries (the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, Rīga Stradiņš University, the BA School of Business and Finance, the University of Latvia, Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, the "RISEBA" University of Business, Arts and Technology, ISM University of Management and Economics (Vilnius)).

More detailed information on the competition.

The competition materials will be published on the websites of Latvijas Banka at and

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