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Abstract

We investigate whether the European Union can be considered as a convergence machine after the 2008/2009 financial crisis. To do so, we econometrically test the relationship between the per capita GDP growth rate and macroeconomic variables in the period of 2004–2018, further subdivided into three periods: 2004–2008, 2009–2013 and 2014–2018. We hypothesize that the 2008/2009 financial crisis had a negative effect on the σ and β-convergence process. Our results support the convergence hypothesis, namely that the poor countries tend to grow faster than the rich countries. The convergence rates ranged between 1.71% and 4.51%. The negative effects of the crisis on convergence have been identified only for the absolute convergence. Our findings demonstrate that economic openness, inflation and government integrity have a positive impact on growth. The effects of unemployment have not been identified.

Open access

Abstract

The self-fulfilling prophecy is a ubiquitous concept with a large amount of research to date, characterised by disciplinary diversity and thus a potential plurality in its narrative. A meta-narrative review was implemented to analyse the narratives of self-fulfilling prophecy in the different research areas. It identified 10 research areas, 22 themes and 7 subthemes where the phenomenon was adopted to describe and explain phenomena/events/outcomes. It revealed the self-fulfilling prophecy’s meta-narrative in the separate areas and in overall, compared to the original notion, and with regard to the critics. And it set up methodological and research area-related boundaries to implementation. Finally, the paper provided suggestions to future researches on internal validity and on the configuration of trending topics as the self-fulfilling prophecy.

Open access
Society and Economy
Authors: Sandor Gyula Nagy and Katalin Lőrincz
Open access

Abstract

Sustainable practices aiming to reduce environmental impacts have become key guiding principles of events, but initiatives focusing on the economic impacts and on supporting the local economy and society are also gaining more emphasis in event planning and management. Music festivals attracting larger audiences are becoming especially aware of the importance of sustainability as well as of their role in the process of raising participants’ awareness of it. The paper aims to assess the initiatives of the Street Music Festival in Veszprém, Hungary, one of the flagship events of the city, from both the participants’ and the organisers’ perspective. For the investigation of participant attitudes, a questionnaire survey was conducted, while the organisers’ views on sustainability were sought through interviews. The findings show that although respondents rate the importance of sustainability as very high, their contribution to responsible consumption is far from what could be considered sustainable, therefore better communication of the initiatives or stricter rules need to be introduced. The interviewees revealed that organisers consider economic sustainability just as important as the environmental issues, and gave an insight into the rationale behind sustainability enhancing initiatives, some of which have a marketing function as well as protecting the environment.

Open access

Abstract

The phenomenon of weakness of will – not doing what we perceive as the best action – is not recognized by neoclassical economics due to the axiomatic assumptions of the revealed preference theory (RPT) that people do what is best for them. However, present bias shows that people have different preferences over time. As they cannot be compared by the utility measurements, economists need to normatively decide between selves (short- versus long-term preferences). A problem is that neoclassical economists perceive RPT as value-free and incorporate present bias within the economic framework. The axiomatic assumption that people do what is best for them leads to theoretical and practical dilemmas. This work examines weakness of will to resolve some shortcomings of RPT. The concept of intention is used to provide multiple self conception with the framework to decide between selves, which had not been done before. The paper concludes that individuals should not always follow their revealed preferences (desires) but the intentions (reason) because the latter indicates what people really want.

Open access

Abstract

Biometric technologies are increasingly used by governments and international organizations in the context of refugee protection and control. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the ‘double bind’ embedded in the collection and processing of biometric data by exploring the experiences of Syrian refugees residing in Jordan. While taking biometric data is part of the UNHCR-registration, it is also used for other purposes, such as providing assistance and tracking movement. The findings are based on desk research and empirical data collected in Jordan. While stakeholders with vested interests argue for the benefits of technology, critical research is more concerned with human rights, unintended consequences of humanitarian governance or surveillance humanitarianism. Refugees, upon registration, seem to be more concerned with smooth and uninterrupted access to aid. While due to their vulnerable position they cannot really afford considering the consequences of giving their biometric data when they are asked to do so, sharing their biometric data entails a double bind situation. On the one hand, international organizations (such as the UNHCR and the WFP) in cooperation with commercial actors use iris scans as a payment method promising better food security for Syrian refugees in Jordan. On the other hand, the very same biometric data can be used for controlling, if not blocking, their free movement. The double bind logic implies that refugees registered with their biometrics can enjoy care only if they tolerate sophisticated control too.

Open access

Abstract

The spread of digital culture is one of the biggest reprogramming of humanity, radically transforming our economic, social, and cultural models. One of the keys to success of this transformation, and to preventing the spread of digital divides, is the development of a variety of literacies. These literacies describe the success of society and business to thrive in the digital space. In this article, we introduce a new concept of action literacy (online trust literacy) and examine its functioning from both a social and a business perspective through two primary research studies. After defining the phenomenon, we examine it from two sides: the first part examines the dimensional structure of trust from the perspective of society (through a large, representative sample-based survey), while the second part analyses the building and operational mechanisms of trust from a business perspective (through a small sample of exploratory data collection). The main implications of this study are to demonstrate the Janus-faced nature of this new kind of literacy and the ambiguity of digital culture to better understand the toolset of information recipients and providers. The result of our research is the introduction of a new concept of action literacy and its operationalisation, resulting in an interpretation matrix.

Open access
Society and Economy
Authors: Dóra Horváth, Katalin Ásványi, Attila Cosovan, Tamás Csordás, Julianna Faludi, Daniella Galla, Zita Komár, Éva Markos-Kujbus, and Attila Endre Simay

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a widespread shift to online education around the world and in Hungary, too. Educational institutions from kindergartens to universities were forced to adapt rapidly to this new situation, when the space of education moved from classrooms to online video meetings; the regular methods and tools needed to be changed or modified. Nonetheless, we should keep in mind that online education itself was an already existing concept before the pandemic as part of digitalization as a current societal megatrend, however it was not widely used in educational institutions across different programs. By 2021, there are university students who have mostly or exclusively participated in higher education online. Online classes could be a new normal situation to these students instead of the pre-pandemic personal activities in physical classrooms, leading to altering the norms of participation. In our research, we collected answers to open-ended sentences from such students. As we wish to understand how students perceive the differences between online and offline education, we investigated the perceived advantages and disadvantages of online-only education, how this influenced their social networks, study efficiency and their whole experience in university education.

Open access