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Acta Oeconomica
Authors:
Adrienn Boldizsár
,
Ferenc Mészáros
, and
Tibor Sipos

Abstract

The relationship between economic growth and transport sector is an important and popular topic for researchers, but it also has several untapped areas. To ensure continuous economic growth, it is necessary to answer how and to what extent economic sectors contribute to sustainability; what factors or sets of factors can determine freight performance in a country or region; and how it affects the global economy. This study aims to test the presence of spatial dependence. In this research, the authors looked for the spatial relationships between economic activity (GDP) and freight transport performance using spatial econometric models. The results showed that the spatial impact of freight transport performance and GDP significantly influence each other. The intensity calculation shows that the Baltic States have a high intensity in road freight transport, followed by the Central European region. Eastern Europe, including Russia and the Baltics, are prominent players in rail freight. Furthermore, the spatial econometric models have highlighted that a country with high GDP has some sort of "suction" effect on neighbouring countries with lower GDP along with the freight performance. This is especially true for rail freight. In the long run, the outlined results may even support strategic decision-makers in managing the economic impacts of both road and rail freight transport at the regional level.

Open access

Abstract

This paper examines the geographical distribution of regional state aid in Slovakia between 2004 and 2021, while focusing on projects realized in the least developed districts. The purpose is to answer the following research question: how much investment support is provided to areas with high rates of long-term unemployment to promote local economic activity? The investigation was conducted using a spatial distribution analysis and descriptive statistical methods. The findings demonstrate that the level of support in less developed districts is below the level of aid directed into more developed regions not only in terms of the number of supported projects, but also regarding the total amount of aid and the number of created jobs. Out of the 20 least developed districts we monitored, only the results for Košice-okolie significantly outperformed the results of the other districts. This article provides possible explanations for these findings and contributes to the literature by providing insights into the practical application of state aid in Slovakia.

Open access

Abstract

While decarbonization and hydrogen energy are at the top of European policymakers' agenda, research and innovation (R&I) management of energy companies must focus on clean technologies (cleantech) which could decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the sector. The Central European energy sector, however, might face a decarbonization challenge because of the specific geopolitical situation, so aligning R&I directions with regional policy and conditions seem to be crucial to accelerate sectoral and corporate adaptation. This study focuses on the decarbonization progress and strategies of the Visegrád 4 (V4) countries, concerning some of the most promising hydrogen-driven cleantech R&I directions which might induce strategic changes in Central European energy companies. Besides promoting renewable energy sources, results show that V4 strategies usually include the development of nuclear energy capacities to reduce GHG emissions and using the extended natural gas infrastructure for renewable energy storage. The analysed cleantech innovations are included but usually not central in these strategies. Strategic changes in energy companies, however, could be driven by these promising R&I directions, e.g., the hydrogen economy development by power-to-X (P2X) technologies, industrial decarbonization by carbon capture, utilization or storage (CCUS) technologies in the mid-term, and cross-sectoral integration and optimization by smart energy system (SES) development in the long-term.

Open access

Abstract

The development of the hydrogen economy (HE) has become the main direction of climate-focused economic progress. Although the gap between the potential impact of energy companies and their actual willingness or ability needs to be bridged by corporate governance and economic policy, these dynamics are underrepresented in the literature. As environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) considerations could foster adaptation and developing hydrogen technologies, the goal of this systematic literature review is to explore the specific environmental and energy aspects of ESG and the adaptation opportunities which could contribute to HE development. Findings suggest that ESG as a new institution in the economy might be in line with national and international policies, but corporate efforts at improving environmental performance could be further oriented directly or indirectly toward hydrogen technologies, for example, through cost reduction initiatives, favourable taxation, or specific requirements for sustainability reporting. On the corporate level, external and internal change drivers could lead to strategic and governance adaptation measures in line with HE development policy. The study contributes to the literature through the intersection analysis of the global ESG trend and the development policy of the HE, which has been overlooked to date, especially from a corporate governance perspective.

Open access

Abstract

While international value chains have been present in planned economies for several decades, their integration into global value chains (GVCs) began in the 1990s. In this study, we investigated the evolution of downstream value chains in Eastern Europe (including the Balkan countries, Moldova, and Ukraine) from 1995, by applying Wang's UIBE methodology and the Eora database. The results of this study suggest that European Union (EU) membership indisputably has a positive impact on GVC embeddedness, whereas non-EU economies are still integrated in their own local downstream value chains. We further investigated the automotive sector in the Central and Eastern European countries and demonstrate how deeper integration into GVCs prompted the emergence of assembly activities.

Open access

Abstract

Central and Eastern European countries, including Czechia and Hungary, have become parts of the integrated periphery in the automotive industry. Through input-output analysis, company data and interviews, the article reveals the determining role of the industry in both economies and their deep integration in global value chains (GVCs). In addition to these similarities, the analysis reveals that domestic, simple and complex global value chain performances, ownership structures, the scale and types of upgrading tendencies as well as the consequences of the appearance of newcomers in the industry show different patterns of GVC structures over time. Due to these, the development paths of the two countries widely differ.

Open access
Acta Oeconomica
Authors:
Judit Krekó
,
Hanna Erős
,
Bori Greskovics
,
Áron Hajnal
, and
Ágota Scharle

Abstract

The study examines the income redistribution effects of the Hungarian flat-tax and the recently introduced family allowance scheme. They were done on the basis of people's individual data for 2007, 2011 and 2020, which yields more accurate estimates than the previous studies based on aggregate or survey data. Between 2011 and 2013, progressive taxation was abolished, and a flat income tax was introduced, along with a substantial widening of pre-existing family tax allowances. We find that the tax reform has favoured high-income earners and taxpayers with children, while the main losers were low-income and/or childless workers. While the share of family tax allowances is somewhat lower for the high-income deciles, this effect is in practice negligible, therefore the income tax system can still be considered flat. The family tax allowance scheme favours wealthy families with many children over low-income families with fewer or no children. The biggest winners of the scheme are the taxpayers in the top income decile with three or more children: these 22,000 taxpayers (that is, 2% of all recipients) receive 10% of the total amount of the family tax allowance, and almost a third of the credit allocated to families with three or more children.

Open access

Abstract

Processes in the past decades have resulted in the segmentation of European industries into ‘headquarter’ and ‘factory’ economies, though these categories are not fully distinct. ‘Headquarter’ economies typically host the higher value added activities and service units while ‘factory’ economies are popular locations for lower segments of the value chains. This setup has implications for EU level industrial policy strategies. In the current times of accelerating technological development and the ever growing servitisation of industries, ‘headquarter’ economies genuinely have better capabilities and resources to gain more share of the value added, and can actually steer the course of events in the sector. In the EU peripheries, new investment often covers relocation of previous technologies and retired assets of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The ‘factory’ economies are in a disadvantage in several aspects, while the headquarters optimise according to their own set of strategic preferences, which further compromises the opportunities of industrial actors in the peripheries to shape their own future. Industrial policies, however smart and well designed, have limited chances to influence the character and speed of changes. We review reported cases through which we test literature and contrast realities with aspirations regarding smart and sustainable industrial development across the EU.

Open access

Abstract

Fluctuating prices can cause unintended redistribution of income and wealth, which may be particularly painful to lower income households. Our study examines the indirect effects of this redistribution in an empirical way: it focuses on the capital market distortions of inflation and the disparities in wealth and income. Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures average inflation. However, households feel different inflation rates because their expenditure patterns are different from the ‘average’ patterns. We used the Kruskal – Wallis H test to determine if there are statistically significant differences between low- and high-income households. We calculated alternative inflation rates based on income deciles' different consumption basket. The study finds that households with low income often feel higher inflation than in the actual price indices published by the statistical offices. As our research shows, individuals in different wealth deciles perceive significantly different inflation. Our results also provide important information for economic policymakers, because if social groups perceive different inflation, it modifies the expected behaviour of the population, thereby weakening the economic policy effectiveness of different decisions.

Open access

Abstract

Far the most acknowledged and influential author in the economics of Eastern Europe has been János Kornai, the theorist of economic systems and a prolific writer on a variety of subjects in the seventy years of his academic career. His output appeared in more than a dozen of languages. He was criticized and appreciated, especially on the occasion of his 90th birthday, commemorated by – yet another – Festschrift, special issues of academic journals, later followed up by countless obituaries paying the due tribute to someone who has never made to the Nobel Prize, but whose influence definitely exceeded that of many recipients. In this essay we avoid the usual chronological description and highlight certain major themes and try to establish his place in the history of global economic thought. We are aware of our constraints, since it would perhaps take a monograph rather than an article to serve justice to this exceptional academic output of his.

Open access