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Acta Oeconomica
Authors: José Augusto Lopes Da Veiga, Alexandra Ferreira-Lopes, Tiago Neves Sequeira, and Marcelo Serra Santos

In this paper we analyse the role of the traditional determinants of economic growth in the African countries in the period between 1950 and 2012. Due to the specificity and the single nature of each one of these countries, methods that take into account observed and unobserved heterogeneity are used. Results highlight the relevance of the growth rate of the capital stock to growth in the short-run, which is significant in all regressions. The growth rate of the government to GDP ratio is also important in all but one of the regressions in which it appears, and its growth is harmful for the growth of GDP per capita in the short-run. The variables related to public debt do not present any relationship with economic growth. Human capital has a positive relationship with economic growth in regressions that do not include public debt. The growth rate of real GDP per capita also depends (negatively) on its past value, i.e., the lower the real GDP per capita the higher will be its growth rate.

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We compare the pre- and post-2010 Hungarian political regimes through the lens of pension policies. We label the pre-2010 regime as democratic populist because it was characterized by fiscally irresponsible policies, yet it maintained the system of checks and balances and the rule of law. In contrast, we call the post-2010 regime authoritarian populist as it has employed authoritarian political techniques while maintained popular legitimation through regular elections. To substantiate the difference between the two periods from an economic viewpoint, we compare pre- and post-2010 pension policies to find important differences as well as surprising similarities. In particular, we analysed the following five policy aspects: (a) reform and partial privatization of the government-run pension system, (b) policies on the statutory (normal) and the effective (average) pension age, (c) indexation, (d) progression in benefits calculations and progressivity in the personal income tax, and (e) contribution rates. Based on ideological preferences, we argue that one would expect the pension system to become financially more sustainable but less redistributive after 2010 in comparison to the preceding period. Yet, we find that although pro-poor redistribution through the pension system has indeed been curtailed, fiscal sustainability has not improved due to the erratic policies.

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In this study, we challenge the problem of inadequate voluntary pension savings by exploring the micro-dataset of the Luxembourg Wealth Study (LWS) for three countries: Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States. The existing empirical literature usually focuses on the role of socio-demographic factors to understand this phenomenon, and theoretical studies additionally highlight the role of behavioural factors. However, empirical studies in this field are extremely scarce. The use of the LWS data enables us to fill this research gap. Separately for each country, we verify the role of individuals' risk attitudes and intertemporal choices in the demand for voluntary pension savings. To make the results more robust, we add a set of socio-demographic control variables to our regressions. Our findings clearly reveal that being more risk averse and being less forward looking negatively affect people's propensity to save for retirement. Furthermore, we confirm that age, gender and education are significant predictors of pension demand in each of the analysed countries. We argue that these conclusions have practical meaning to improve regulatory frameworks.

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While recent research on family business succession has focused on examining the importance of individual and family characteristics, the role of macroeconomic conditions has been often neglected. This paper investigates the impacts of macroeconomic conditions on family business heir's career choice intention using individual level cross-country data of 18 European countries for the year 2013. We find that the level of economic development measured by GDP per capita, growth of GDP per capita, and youth rate of unemployment influence a family business heir's career choice intention. We also demonstrate that beyond the cross-country differences in macroeconomic conditions, individual characteristics of siblings, age, gender, work experience in family business, and start-up time play an important role. To mitigate succession failures, policies towards business succession with related firm survival should be specifically designed depending on different macroeconomic and youth labour market conditions.

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For political and economic theory in general, libertarianism in particular, property rights are a pillar of central importance. One might describe the schools of political and economic thought solely by their approach to property rights, for example libertarianism as expansive and communism as constrained, with a fair degree of accuracy on the system as a whole.

Despite centuries of property rights philosophy, a fundamental weakness persists that can be most easily seen from a natural science perspective. Property classifications, such as between one's physical body, personal property, and other types of so-called private property, underlie much of the property rights theory, yet these classes are more of a result of technological limitations than philosophical or real economic distinctions.

We demonstrate through a lens of molecular and developmental biology how distinctions between types of property are misguided or illusory. Using the developing human embryo as the most basic example of property acquisition, we show that all subsequent examples of greater property acquisition and its use are fundamentally the same. The point is further developed with other biological examples.

Foundational concepts are of primary importance as their mistake persists through even the most elegant deductions. In order to defend itself from the political and economic attacks, the property rights ethic must be consistent and logical. For this, any artificial or contradictory concepts must be shed.

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This study examines the effect of parental job loss on adolescents' school completion during the secondary school years and the moderating role of home environment in that effect. It uses rich survey data from Hungary on adolescents between 14 and 21 years of age, with detailed measures of parental employment and home environment. The study replicates the average negative effect found in the literature. No effect is found for families with a history of providing a cognitively stimulating home environment, but the negative effect is strong for other families. Home environment matters more than initial income in moderating the effect. The results highlight the protective nature of a cognitively stimulating home environment.

Open access

Many papers have analyzed the effects of foreign acquisition on firm productivity, articulating its positive impacts. However, an important issue remains: is there a general foreign acquisition effect, or is there any heterogeneity in the effects? This paper reports on the analysis of over 3,400 majority foreign acquisitions in Hungary. The main result (which exists in a propensity score matching sample as well) of the difference-in-differences analysis is that only acquirers from higher income countries foster labor productivity significantly — and this effect increases with the income gap between Hungary and the country of origin -, while acquirers from lower income countries do not induce statistically significant effects.

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This paper examines the impact of medium- and short-term financial constraints on the probability of export participation of SMEs in 28 post-communist countries. The regression analysis conducted over the cross-sectional sample of SMEs taken from the BEEPS III-IV-V shows that the medium- and short-term financial constraints produce a significantly negative effect on the probability of exporting. Although there exist arguments for why the effects of medium- and short-term financial constraints can differ from each other, both the medium- and short-term financial constraints appear to reduce the probability of exporting equally by 25%. The regression results also suggest that more productive, innovative, and larger SMEs, and also SMEs with international quality certificates are more likely to export. When the regressions are separately estimated for the first-time and continuous exporters, it appears that only the probability of exporting of continuous exporters is significantly sensitive to the financial constraints. Furthermore, the regressions separately run for the direct and indirect exporters show that the financial constraints have a larger effect on the probability of exporting of indirect exporters. The heterogeneity analysis shows that there is a significant heterogeneity in the effects of medium- and short-term financial constraints on the likelihood of exporting across regions, industries, periods, and firm types.

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Acta Oeconomica
Authors: Vladan Pavlović, Goranka Knežević, Marijana Joksimović, and Dušan Joksimović

Benford's Law is a useful tool for detecting fraud in financial statements. In this paper we test the financial item named ‘Work performed by the undertaking for its own purpose and capitalised’ applying this tool. The data are taken from the financial reports of all companies submitted to the Serbian Business Register Agency for the period of 2008–2013. Our conclusion shows that there is a very high probability that the frequency distribution of the second digit does not satisfy Benford's Law. In other words, it implies that certain manipulations have been usually done with the second digit of the aforementioned item in the financial statement. This research confirms our hypothesis that financial statement frauds are usually conducted using the second digit.

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The paper tests the impact of gender diversity and educational attainment of owners and company directors on the performance of private firms in the Slovak economy. The paper demonstrates that in retail trade the gender diversity both in owners and company directors within a company leads to higher total factor productivity and partially lower propensity to fail. However, in other industries the companies with higher proportion of females in the ownership structure or among company directors tend to be less efficient and grow less. Although there is evidence that higher proportion of females self-select into lower risk sectors and occupations, our main results hold after controlling for it. In terms of educational attainment, the companies with higher proportions of owners or company directors with university education are more productive and grow more in terms of turnover, but there is no evidence that default of companies is related to educational attainment. We suggest that education is unique and superior resource and it generally benefits the companies by having higher proportion of educated owners and/or directors.

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