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Business and Economics

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Abstract

The immediate effects of COVID-19 on the global flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) were devastating, resulting in a large drop. Flows to the Visegrad countries were also affected but less than the world average. The fall in FDI was the result of underlying trends that started before the pandemic but accentuated by the latter, creating a “perfect storm”. These secular trends include the digitalisation of production and the birth of Industry 4.0, resulting in more asset-light international production and reorganisations of company networks, the sustainability imperative, making the impact of FDI more relevant than its quantity, and a slowdown in the liberalisation of the policy framework for FDI both in individual countries and at the multilateral level. The recovery of FDI from the shock of 2020 is expected to be long and it will be impossible to return to the pre-pandemic structural and geographical patterns. Building resilience and diversification of production at the expense of the search for the lowest-cost locations will be the top priorities of investors, forcing the host countries to revise their investment promotion strategies focused on cost reduction. In the Visegrad countries, the model based on low labour costs will sooner or later reach its limits.

Open access

Abstract

Relying on the Labour Force Survey and the monthly revenue statistics of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, we assess the immediate economic impact of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the first two quarters of 2020. We first analyse the role of job loss, working time reduction, downtime, and telework in adjustment to the crisis. The findings reveal an even more serious setback and increase in inequality than in 2008–2009. School leavers, young workers and unskilled laborers were particularly severely affected. Graduates were less likely to lose their jobs, more likely to switch to telework, and their employers faced a smaller decrease in sales revenue. The revenues of foreign-owned exporters fell more than the average in March but recovered by June. The decline experienced by businesses in the Hungarian ownership was slower but more prolonged.

Free access

Abstract

This paper examines the factors which determine the impact of network communication and network connections on the likelihood of contracting the new coronavirus in the European and Latin American countries. The author presents several data sets to prove the following suggestions: 1) The generalized indicators of economic development and society’s globalization are not indicators of how vulnerable a country’s population may be in a pandemic; 2) Not the economy as such, but the conventional way of life of people, their daily behaviour and habits have a decisive influence on the disease spread; 3) Factors of prevention of illness and health promotion such as the habit of exercise, distance, and network communications use modern online services to become protective factors against the risk of infection only at a certain level of development of the country; 4) In the developed countries, a much broader set of factors than in the developing countries determine protection against disease risk; 5) The evolution of a networked society opens up significant opportunities for the developing countries to improve the quality of life, and the emergence of new, progressive traditions.

Free access

Abstract

The recent pandemic has raised fundamental questions about the traditional role of government. That role has stressed the pursuit of national interests and identified the tools that governments should use in the pursuit of those interests. While over the past century the desirable role of the state was amended to include new objectives (such as equity and stabilization) the focus had remained national interests. This paper argues that this national focus has become increasingly anachronistic and damaging.

Free access

Abstract

The paper analyses the differences of COVID-19 mortality rates (MR) in 24 European countries. We explain MRs on the available, reliable ex-ante economic, health and social indicators pertaining to the year 2019 – i.e., before the outbreak of the pandemic. Using simple regression equations, we received statistically significant results for 11 such variables out of 28 attempts. Our best model with two ex-ante independent variables explains 0.76 of the variability of our ex-post dependent variable, the logarithm of Cumulative COVID Deaths. The estimated coefficient for the variable Density of Nurses shows that having one more nurse per 1,000 of population decreases cumulative COVID deaths by almost 15%. Similarly, one more unit Consumption of Non-Prescribed Medicine decreases cumulative deaths by 5%. It seems that until now those European countries were successful in minimising the fatalities where the population had a high level of health literacy, people pursue healthier lifestyle and the healthcare systems worked with a relatively large nursing force already prior to the COVID pandemic.

Open access

Abstract

The crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has prompted governments and central banks to take unorthodox measures aimed at protecting the standard of living of people and sustaining the production and service activities of companies. The policy of aggressively increasing the supply of money has entailed a significant rise in the budget deficit and public debt. It is important to consider the extent of its impact on the escalation of inflation processes and to formulate suggestions regarding the economic policy. Inflation is already higher than the official indicators show it, because it is partly suppressed. The increase in the general price level does not fully reflect the actual inflation rate. We are dealing with shortageflation – the simultaneous occurrence of price inflation and repressed inflation accompanied by shortages. It is methodologically interesting to compare this current phenomenon, 3.0, with the suppression of inflation in the war economy, 1.0, and in the economies of state socialism, 2.0. Such comparisons highlight not only the similarities of these processes but also the differences resulting from the specificity of responses of households and businesses. This paper discusses five channels of unloading excessive savings, indicating the most beneficial ones from the point of view of sustainable economic development in the post-pandemic future. It is particularly important to prompt the conversion of compulsory savings into voluntary savings, and at the same time, to stimulate the transformation of the inflationary monetary reserves into the effective demand expanding the use of existing production capacities and investments creating new capacities.

Free access

Abstract

In order to mitigate the economic effects from the COVID-19 epidemic, a moratorium on loan repayments was introduced in several countries, including Hungary. Essentially, a loan moratorium provides additional finance for participants, allowing theories of both credit demand and consumption to be tested on debtors’ decisions as to whether or not they participate in the programme. In this paper, we use a linear probability model on the Hungarian survey data to examine the driving factors behind the households’ decision to participate in the scheme. Our results show that the younger debtors and those with more children are more likely to utilise the programme. Stretched financial situations, i.e., lower incomes, lower savings and higher payment-to-income ratios, increase the probability of continued participation as well. The chance of participating in the scheme also increases significantly when a household has faced borrowing constraints over the past two years, i.e., it has not been or only partially been able to satisfy its credit demand.

Free access
Society and Economy
Authors:
Kornél Németh
,
Nóra Hegedűsné Baranyai
,
András Vincze
,
Nikoletta Tóth-Kaszás
, and
Erzsébet Péter

Abstract

Although the issue of the coronavirus pandemic has temporarily overridden discussions on the impacts of climate change on tourism, they have not lost their relevance at all. The exposure of the tourism industry to these effects is indisputable. This study, conducted in 2019–2020, examined the perceptible impacts of climate change that generate further changes, and the issue of climate adaptation involving certain supply-side players in the tourism sector at the local and regional levels. In the questionnaire used to explore the topic, questions were asked about a number of perceptible phenomena and their effects on everyday life, recreational habits, and adaptation. The quantitative surveys involved 1,615 respondents from the Transdanubian region of Hungary (NUTS1/HU2). The results of the research clearly confirm that the problem of climate change is no longer a concern only for scientists, and although the different generations perceive and evaluate the phenomenon differently in many cases, it increasingly affects people’s everyday lives and recreational habits. The perceived effects experienced by the respondents clearly influence the enjoyment of certain tourism product groups (beach holidays, hiking, attending open-air events) and the comfort and satisfaction experienced by individuals.

Open access

Abstract

Fake news, deceptive information, and conspiracy theories are part of our everyday life. It is really hard to distinguish between false and valid information. As contemporary people receive the majority of information from electronic publications, in many cases fake information can seriously harm people’s health or economic status. This article will analyze the question of how up-to-date information technology can help detect false information. Our proposition is that today we do not have a perfect solution to identify fake news. There are quite a few methods employed for the discrimination of fake and valid information, but none of them is perfect. In our opinion, the reason is not in the weaknesses of the algorithms, but in the underlying human and social aspects.

Open access