Before the Coronavirus pandemic, the fitness industry was a growing sector globally, both in terms of the number of members and clubs; even prior to the global pandemic there were online workouts and technological innovations. With COVID-19, revenues plummeted, and many gyms went out of business. Consumers bought equipment for home use and switched to different types of online or outdoor workouts. This paper aims to investigate how the pandemic affected the fitness sector, and the consumer behavior of former gym members. Our assumption was that the preferences of gym-members had changed, and gyms would have prospered if they had changed their business models and moved to a hybrid model. We conducted in depth-interviews with Hungarian club owners and used an online questionnaire survey to collect data from members of gyms in Hungary. We asked them about exercise habits, home exercise methods, planned future exercise locations, the expectations of customers, safety measures, and service quality. Our assumptions were confirmed. The results may represent useful input for Hungarian fitness centers.
This study explored the impact of the COVID-19 career shock to career capital among sports clubs personnel. With this aim, an explanatory mixed-method research was undertaken based on data gathered via a survey among the personnel of sports clubs in Poland (N = 226). The quantitative stage of data analysis (a multivariate analysis of covariance) determined the scale of the changes in career capital and its elements (knowing-how, knowing-why, knowing-whom) across different respondent groups, while the subsequent thematic analysis of the data gathered through open questions explored the sources of these changes. The results show that the shock had a positive impact mainly on knowing-how, and a lesser one on knowing-why, while it was neutral for knowing-whom. Nevertheless, there is an important heterogeneity of the experiences among sports club personnel, even when accounting for the differences in the way that COVID-19 impacted their clubs. By exploring the consequences of a career shock to career capital, this study contributes to career construction theory.
The Central and Eastern European countries have made considerable economic progress since the capitalist transformation. This paper investigates whether there is a co-movement between two factors of well-being, improvement of economic and health status between 1995 and 2018 compared to the six founding European Union (EU) member states. Applying the Pedroni- and Fisher-type cointegration test and a panel vector error correction model, our estimations suggest that there is a mutual causal relationship between economic convergence measured in GDP per capita and health status convergence measured by life expectancy. The long-term bi-directional effects are also proved by impulse response functions. Using the same econometric methods, the examination of the relationship between government health expenditure and life expectancy indicates that governmental health expenditure promotes the health status convergence. This study concludes that the FDI-based, low-wage growth model of the Central and Eastern European countries has not impeded the convergence in both factors of well-being to the founding EU member states. The results demonstrate that the improvement of the healthcare system may be a channel for the acceleration of convergence.
The authors’ aim is to create a conceptual framework from the academic literature dealing with the success factors of crowdfunding campaigns. The authors reviewed high-quality empirical articles written in English between 2013 and 2018, gathered from five relevant databases and Q1–Q4 journals. The results and conclusions sections of the selected articles were coded and analyzed using the rules of the qualitative content analysis methodology. The authors found success factors analyzed by top researchers and grouped them into categories and themes. This paper provides a typology of the factors contributing to the success of crowdfunding campaigns which can be used as a framework for further research. The conclusions can help project initiators in the planning and execution phases of crowdfunding campaigns while creating a new perspective about crowdfunding campaign success forecasting.
The paper presents the application of a non-parametric data envelopment analysis (DEA) technique for measuring the macroeconomic performance of the Balkan countries. In this context, for the period of 2006–2018, a dynamic DEA Window model was applied based on selected macroeconomic indicators as input and output variables. For a more comprehensive and objective analysis, the DEA Window analysis is complemented by a Malmquist productivity index that provides a more complete picture of the observed entities' performance and shows a trend of change from period to period. The results showed that in the observed period, Albania and to a large extent Montenegro, especially after the end of the global financial crisis, had the highest average efficiency, that is, they used the available resources effectively to increase the GDP growth rates. The EU Member States, Greece and Croatia, in particular, achieved the highest growth in overall productivity over the observed period, and this growth was largely due to a change in technical efficiency.
Using cointegration approach and Augmented Phillips Curve framework, this study examines the effects of changes in the global oil prices on the inflation rate for five CEE countries between 1994 and 2018. Our research indicates the existence of cointegration for Czechia, Poland and Slovakia. We find a positive relationship between changes of oil prices and the inflation rate in Poland in the long run. Additionally, it seems that the changes in oil prices impact the inflation rate in the long run for Czechia, Hungary and Poland. In a non-linear model framework cointegration is found in Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia. Our findings suggest that changes in oil prices significantly affect the inflation rate in Czechia, Hungary and Poland in the long-run and in all countries in the short-run. More importantly, we demonstrate that the short- and long-run asymmetries play a significant role in explaining the dynamics of the inflation rate.
This study focuses on the influence of institution quality on foreign direct investment (FDI) outflows. For empirical estimation, we use a dataset covering 102 home and 67 host countries from 2001 to 2016. We use the gravity approach and apply the Poisson pseudo maximum likelihood method to derive unbiased estimates. A set of institutional variables in a country is integrated into a single institutional index using principal component analysis. Our main findings are the following. First, we only identify a positive influence of the level of institutional development on FDI outflows for the institutionally developed countries. Second, we have not found evidence for crowding out national investment in the countries with weak institutions. Third, increases in the level of institutions stimulate horizontal rather than vertical outward FDI in an economy. Finally, institutional distance negatively affects the level of outward FDI only when the institutional distance between the two countries is large. The policy implications of this research are strongly in favour of further developing institutions.
The financial industry has undergone several changes in recent years. One of these changes is the emergence of financial technology (FinTech) companies that are radically transforming the industry, posing a significant challenge to traditional commercial banks. In this study, we examined the responses of the Hungarian banks to the emergence of innovative FinTech startups and explored the benefits and barriers of the FinTech accelerator programs launched by banks. We conducted 27 semi-structured interviews with top executives of banks, FinTech startups and scaleups, investors and regulators to identify the potential benefits and barriers during the cooperation between banks and FinTechs. The most important results of our research show that during the partnership, several advantages can be gained by both parties. Still, the realization of these benefits is significantly hindered by the excessive exploitation focus of banks. Ambidextrous internal champions or suppliers of the banks are needed for successful cooperation between FinTechs and banks.
The paper relates to the paradigm of the middle income trap (MIT) and covers mid-run challenges to the Polish economic development. Our theoretical background is based on the concepts of comparative advantage and intra-industry trade, while the empirical analysis concentrates on a sample of 14 product clusters. Obtained results reveal the competitive position of the Polish goods leading in the global mid- and high-tech exports. These findings may serve for the evidence-based smart industry and trade policy-making in Poland, as well as of other emerging economies. The fundamental question is which industries could serve as the engines of international expansion and become likely winners.
The present study utilises an autoethnographic research methodology for introducing, from a handball player's point of view, the culture in which her career unfolded (from the beginnings to the first few years after her retirement), and the most important characteristics that shaped her professional years in the Hungarian first league. This topic was chosen not only as sports economics considerations are important with regard to the career of a handballer, but also to highlight how an individual athlete experiences the processes occurring in such a sports culture. Moreover, this study addresses the gap in scientific literature on career management in handball. Utilising autoethnography in the field of sports is somewhat unique, therefore this study can also pave the way for future research work in this domain. The following five pillars in career management were identified as a result of the research: Significant Others, Local Grassroots, Star Position, Roller Coaster and Rebirth. This study can be valuable for future researchers in the area of career management, and it can also provide practical information for athletes, sports federations and sports businesses.