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Business and Economics

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Abstract

Economic freedom is crucial in determining policies for economic performance of nations and monitoring changes in the international economic order. Evaluating economic freedom requires the use of multiple indicators related to each other. Traditional statistical analyses used as an evaluation tool are often constrained by the probability distribution of indicators or sample size. To overcome these shortcomings, this paper uses grey factor analysis (GFA) to evaluate the economic freedom of countries. GFA can be used with multiple interrelated indicators without requirements about the probability distributions or sample size. The absolute degree of grey incidence matrix is used instead of the correlation matrix in factor analysis and GFA integrates the advantages of grey system theory into factor analysis. The analysis covers data for 2010 and 2020 about 20 economic freedom indicators in 36 selected countries. Two factors explain a significant part of the variance for both years. The scores for countries were obtained using the explained variance ratio as a weight. Our results show that GFA provides more accurate results than traditional statistical analyses.

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This paper aims to evaluate the influence of investment and R&D expenditures on the performance of large companies that are headquartered in the Europe using regression analysis of the generalized method of moments. The independent control variables are GDP per capita and the interest rate represented by the yield of 10-year state bonds. The sample period is 2010–2018. Our result shows that the growth of R&D expenditures and investments negatively affected the profitability ratios of the firms in the year of implementation. While concentrating on the macroeconomic control variables, the results support an assumption about the positive effects of GDP on the majority of the net income, ROA and ROE estimates. On the other hand, negative effects of interest rates were found.

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Abstract

Tax evasion is reducing the revenues of public budgets of many European Union (EU) Member States (MS). To improve the effectiveness of tax collection, during the last decade authorities in several MS have taken measures to reduce the value added tax (VAT) gap (i.e., revenue received as a percentage of theoretical liability). In the Central and Eastern European region, VAT gap reduction measures have been implemented effectively in Hungary and Poland, whereas in Romania the effectiveness of these measures is very low: Romania has been the worst-performing EU MS in collecting VAT for more than 10 years. Our study analyses the factors influencing this VAT gap. Our analysis relied mainly on a fixed effects panel regression model, using for a balanced panel an individual and time fixed-effects with cluster-robust standard errors model, and for the unbalanced panel the fixed-effects regression with individual-specific slopes. Our results show that the size of the VAT gap is primarily influenced by five variables: the transparency index, the tax collection ratio, the law enforcement index, the VAT revenues ratio and the digitisation index.

Open access

Abstract

Real estate crowdfunding is a relatively new alternative financing and investing method. This research aims to identify factors which might increase investors' willingness to participate in real estate crowdfunding campaigns. We analyse 195 lending-based real estate crowdfunding campaigns from four Spanish platforms. Project success is measured by duration, i.e. the time required to reach the funding target. We assess the impact of the funding target, the annual return, the loan duration, several risk-related metrics and the minimum investment amount. We find that the higher the funding target and the minimum investment amount, the longer it takes to reach the target. We document that investors prefer projects where the maturity of the loan is shorter. We also find that construction-type projects reach the funding target faster than other type of fundraising goals. At the same time, we do not find any association between the annual return or risk-related metrics and project success. To assure successful fundraising, real estate crowdfunding platforms should prioritize those real estate projects which are highly popular among investors (i.e. construction-type projects with short maturity). Real estate developers, in turn, should crowdfund projects which are demanded by the crowdinvestors and use their traditional financing methods for the remaining projects.

Open access

Abstract

Significant parts of the work of the great economist and economic visionary János Kornai function as a magnifying glass in economic theory, philosophy and history. Kornai examined economic systems and system-mixes with substantial details, for then being able to focus his audiences' attention on the most relevant and critical aspects of them. One of Kornai's masterpieces, The Socialist System – a book which recently passed its 30-year publishing anniversary – is such a political economy lens on communism. I am attempting a concise conversion of this magnifying glass, to apply a Galileian metaphor, into an economic telescope. In other words, I am adding another economic lens – that of moral economics – to the Kornaian viewpoints. In a short analysis going through various dimensions of The Socialist System, I am coupling Kornai's thoughts with moral economic ideas, both from the classical and the contemporary moral economy streams. The goal with this exercise of respectfully refreshing a toolkit and style of economic analysis is to then gaze into, and partially describe a potential multitude, or spectra of economic systems, which may manifest in econodiversity.

Open access

Abstract

Kornai challenged not only the dominant economic views of the socialist system, but also those of market economies. The former brought him fame, and the latter remained, so to speak, his scientific testament. He studied the systemic properties of different economic systems through the analytical grid of the sign of aggregate excess supply, which defined three categories: shortage economies, equilibrium economies and surplus economies. In this paper, we show that business plans postulated with the aim of realizing strictly positive net retained profits in nominal terms exclude equilibrium economies; these business plans imply a surplus economy. This definition of the business plan makes it possible to combine seemingly disparate results from different parts of the economic literature. An economy in which business plans are the rule and no economic agent can run a permanent negative budget is a surplus economy, which manifests itself in the phenomena of both growth imperative and realization problem. In short, all these phenomena are the manifestations of the same essence: the working of the business plans.

Open access

Abstract

Contemporary economic thought does not deal suitably with the tasks it faces. Neither does it provide a satisfactory explanation of the socio-economic reality, nor does it propose effective methods of solving the mounting problems, especially at the macroeconomic level, in the national economy, and in the mega-economic level, in the world economy. The beyond-GDP reality requires a beyond-GDP economic theory on which a triple balanced – economically, socially and ecologically – beyond-GDP development strategy must be based. It is necessary to formulate anew the goal of economic activity, which cannot be a simple maximization of profit and a quantitative increase in production. The short-term interests of private capital should be subordinated to the long-term public interests, which is to be fostered by appropriate reinstitutionalization of the market economy. The economics has to be more oriented towards addressing the future challenges, and not mainly be inspired by conclusions drawn from observations of past events, which is often of little use in economic policy and development strategy. The new pragmatism is needed.

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Abstract

A key observation of the endogenous money theory is that banks create deposits (money) by lending. This means that banks apparently face soft budget constraint in responding to demand for credit. However, there are several limiting factors, which can make the banks' money creation somewhat constrained, and can thus harden their budget constraint. Such factors include the need to preserve banks' profitability and the bank regulations (the capital and liquidity requirements). Previous literature on soft budget constraint (SBC) in banking mentioned government bailouts, central banks lender-of-last-resort policies, or the poorly informed depositors who over-finance banks, as reasons for the SBC for banks. Taking the endogenous money theory as a starting point, we use a different approach. We analyze whether the tools that aimed to keep the bank's budget constrain hard are appropriate for this purpose. Our analysis, as well as lessons from several recent bank crisis episodes suggest, that under current banking regulation SBC is an inherent feature of banking.

Open access

Abstract

This paper discusses the contributions of János Kornai to the “language reform” of socialism and post-socialism, meaning the creation of new conceptual frameworks to replace the mainstream interpretation of the system with a more realistic, critical description. We show that, in the three waves of language reform under the Kádár regime – economics, sociology, and law – Kornai was a trailblazer by introducing concepts like “soft budget constraint,” “plan bargaining,” and “shortage,” which became key concepts for reform economists and dissident intellectuals in Eastern Europe. We discuss Kornai's work on post-socialism as well, particularly his paper “The System Paradigm Revisited,” and point out its merits and shortcomings in the description of the regimes of the region. Presenting our offer for a new language reform, based on Kornai, we underline the importance of proper words for understanding “actually existing post-socialism,” and the task of political economists to revise the current mainstream and analyse the phenomena of post-communist “relational economies.”

Open access