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Business and Economics

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Abstract

Households supply the workforce for the modern economy, increasingly based on information and communication technology (IT). The access of households to e-devices and e-channels has been continuously growing in the last two decades. The aim of the study is to reflect these theoretical concepts with data-based, econometric causality analysis. Specifically, this study investigates whether the digitalization of households is a factor in their macroeconomic and behavioural indicators. In other words, does households' access to digital devices and channels determine rates of employment, productivity (TFP), level of savings, disposable income, per capita GDP or the growth ratio of GDP, and even such institutional indicators as political stability? The methodology employed is panel Granger causality analysis and Dumitrescu-Hurlin test, and the regional scope is the EU. Causality is tested between the households' digitalization and their macroeconomic, consumer behaviour or institutional indicators using panel Granger causality tests.

Open access

Abstract

Using situation-specific and dyadic data, we analyse how trust in inter-organisational relationships evolve over time. Based on a multidisciplinary approach, we define four trust-related concepts, which include both behavioural and perceptual aspects of this multifaceted phenomenon. We also develop the hypothesis that the behavioural consistency of the trustee affects the level of his/her trustworthiness as perceived by the trustor. To test this hypothesis, the paper specifies a finite Dynamic Trust Game that, in a unique way, models longer-term relationships characterised by interdependent actions between partners. In contrast to the simple Repeated Games modelling discrete exchange episodes, this game corresponds to the requirements of the interaction approach of the relationship management, since the iterations of the game are interrelated and embedded in previous ones.

Timely development of the behavioural variables in the game reflects an inverse U-shape with an increasing willingness to cooperate until round 8, with a maximum cooperation level of 80% on average. Behaviour seems to affect the perceived level of trustworthiness. However, we need additional experimental data on inconsistent behaviours to get a clear understanding of this effect.

Open access

Abstract

Among other things, the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected the use of time of individuals. The burdens seem to have been unequally distributed between men and women. This paper analyses gender differences in Slovenia in time spent on paid and unpaid work before and during the lockdown. The design of our study enables us to examine the change in time spent on 14 different activities in an average workday before and during the pandemic. We find that during the pandemic, the gender gap in paid work widened, meaning that men spent even more time on paid work compared to women. Men also began to cook, devoted more time to cleaning and spent significantly more time caring for children. Therefore, the gender gap in childcare, which was marginally significant before the pandemic, became insignificant. During the pandemic, women spent relatively more time on home maintenance, which in turn led to a narrowing of the gender gap in this activity.

Full access

Abstract

The year 2020 saw the world turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic. Countless human activities were suspended or cancelled as the virus spread across the globe. In this paper, we show how the regular season matches of Ecuador's professional football league were rescheduled due to the disruption caused by the pandemic. As with many others, this league had to reschedule its remaining games to fit within in a much shorter period of time than originally planned. To address this problem, we developed two mathematical models that designed new match calendars. The first one, a round assignment model, rescheduled the various rounds in the season still to be played while the second one, a day assignment model, took the solutions of the first model as input to assign the matches within each round to specific days. The implementation of our models secured a well-balanced number of days off before each match across all of the teams. Also, it enabled the league to conclude a full season without cancelling any matches or changing the schedule format, unlike what occurred in many other leagues, and won the approval of all stakeholders including league officials, players, team coaches, the TV broadcaster and fans.

Open access

Abstract

This paper focuses on sports-related public spending in the Member States of the European Union (EU). Based on the public procurement database of the EU (TED), a sport-related public procurement database was built and analysed. Using data from 33 countries for the period 2017–2019, the paper describes the characteristics of sport-related public procurements. The research highlights that the public database is an adequate way of making the data on public procurements available, where traditionally the latency was high. The characteristics found for the eight most active Member States include a high proportion of construction works. There is a connection between countries and the dominant type of purchasing organisations, although the involvement of central purchasing bodies is not a game-changer in this area. Higher value contracts usually lasted for longer and the length of contracts has a strong connection to the contract types. Non-negotiated types of procedures show a far higher average contract value than negotiated procedure types. When the lowest price criterion was applied, the total procurement value was significantly lower.

Open access

Abstract

The esport industry is emerging and constantly changing. The pandemic has had a significant impact on esport and its markets and has affected the whole ecosystem. The focus of this paper, besides esport, is simracing: due to the limitations on physical events, motorsports have had to convert their races to the digital world. The aims of the article are: (1) to identify the changes in the esport and simracing world and markets caused by the pandemic, (2) to examine the difficulties and challenges that the industry is facing, and (3) to explore the opportunities for the further development of the business. Our research methodology involved in-depth interviews with industry professionals from different backgrounds. The results show that esport and simracing need to become more economically sustainable, and changes are required in all related markets. This article identifies such opportunities. Despite the difficulties, esport will continue to be a major player in the digital world and in the world of sports.

Open access

Abstract

In recent years public and political debate suggested that individuals with children value the future more. We attempt to substantiate the debate, and we use a representative survey to investigate if the number of children (or simply having children) is indeed associated with a higher valuation of the future, which we proxy with an aspect of time preferences, patience. We find that, in general, there is no correlation between having children and patience, though for young women with below-median income there is some weak evidence in line with the conjecture. We also show some evidence that it is not having children that matters, but marital status. More precisely, single women are less patient than other, non-single women.

Open access

Abstract

The aim of this research is to examine whether consumers in Croatia behave ethically, focusing on whether they believe that family farm products have ethical attributes and whether they are willing to pay a higher price (premium) for such products. Given the specificity of the market niche of family farm products, the paper provides an innovative and different view of the product market with a focus on characteristics rather than the good itself. In the paper, family farm products are viewed as goods with ethical attributes, ethics in consumer behavior is examined, as well as the extent to which consumers are willing to pay a price premium for an ethical good, i.e., its ethical attributes. The sample consisted of 143 participants aged between 20 and 71. The results show that consumers in Croatia commonly behave ethically, perceive the characteristics of family farm products as ethical and are willing to pay a price premium for these products. Women perceive family farm products more ethically, and consumers perceive family farm products to have ethical attributes regardless of how frequently they buy these products.

Open access

Abstract

This paper explains the EU's Aid for Trade (AfT) and trade relations with Vietnam, and examines how EU AfT influences Vietnam's trade policy reform. It provides an analysis of EU AfT as a contested trade policy intervention by using the results of the EU-MUTRAP project in Vietnam. The finding is that EU AfT can interfere as an “external impacts” on Vietnam's trade policy reform. Based on the priorities of EU trade policies towards Vietnam, the EU uses AfT projects to support and change the Vietnamese trade environment. The paper partially proves the contribution of the EU-MUTRAP on the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement negotiations and implementation.

Open access

Abstract

In this article we use a natural experiment to assess the effects of a public transport disruption on the bicycle sharing system ridership. We exploit maintenance work on a major tram line in Budapest. Fixed effects panel regressions are applied in a difference-in-difference setting. Our results show that bicycle sharing usage significantly increased on weekdays during the disruption, however, this effect is not substantial relative to the baseline usage of the tram service. These findings raise interesting policy questions.

Open access

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
Society and Economy
Authors: Nikoletta Kaszás, Krisztina Keller, and Zoltán Birkner

Abstract

The spread of the idea of the circular economy has already appeared among service providers; therefore, a growing interest in tourism can be observed. Due to its seasonal nature and because tourism is primarily operated by for-profit actors, whose aspirations focus on economic benefits, tourism in in recent years has developed in the direction of mass tourism. By overriding the approach of sustainability, all this strengthens the damaging effects of tourism on nature and society. The aim of the study is to understand and interpret the circular economy model in the tourism industry; explore the relevant literature through a review analysis and based on the synthesis of principles found in the literature, show directions of how the circular economy can be interpreted in tourism. The main contribution of the study is that besides the contextual understanding of circular tourism, it aims to provide practical issues and examples about circular solutions. The study also highlights that in addition to physical parameters, some solutions could be achieved only by reorganizing processes and practices. Furthermore, based on industrial symbiosis, tourism can support sustainable development at the individual and the regional level.

Open access

Abstract

This study analyses the effectiveness of government incentives on household savings in Hungary prior to the Covid pandemic and the ensuing economic turmoil. Time series pertaining to life insurance, voluntary pension savings, and long-term and short-term government bonds are tested in relation to government incentives. The novelty of this study is the test on complex mix of policy incentives and saving funds. The analysis applies the multiple breakpoint test and OLS regression, based on the behavioural life cycle hypothesis. The conclusion is that in the analysed time period the government incentives had a significant effect and promoted savings behaviour, with the exception of short-term government bonds.

Open access

Abstract

In order for monetary policy’s interest rate channel to operate smoothly and effectively, the relevant retail interest rates of the real economy should react quickly and follow the movements of the prime rate. It has been observed that this connection has weakened since the financial crisis and it was suggested that the so called Weighted Average Cost of Liabilities (WACL) might be a better proxy for the banks’ marginal costs than the prime rate or interbank rate. In this study the WACL for Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania is calculated by applying cointegration tests and ARDL models. I examined whether their long-run relationships with the retail loan rates are more stable. Results: 1. Using the WACL instead of the interbank rate yields slightly more stable long-term relationships with the retail loan rates, and the WACL has been proved to be somewhat more stable than the interbank rate. 2. The interest rate pass-through has been efficient for the household loan rates in all three countries, but only in Romania for the corporate loan rates. 3. The results suggest that the central banks can effectively influence the commercial banks’ financing costs even in a low interest rate environment, although this cost represents only one component of the loan rates, and the movements of other components can offset the changes of the prime rate.

Open access

Abstract

János Kornai, the most distinguished Hungarian economist passed away on 18 October 2021. This short essay, written by a long-time disciple of Kornai tries to prioritize his scientific achievements spreading over six decades. The conclusion is that Kornai's most important contribution to the principles of economics was already presented in his 1971 book, entitled Anti-equilibrium, and without this book his most respected later works and his other original concepts, like the soft budget constraint or the shortage economy, cannot be understood.

Open access

Abstract

The enlargement of the euro area (EA), an unfinished process, was low on the European agenda in the period between the 2008 and the 2020 crises. The socio-economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and frictions in geopolitics would call for a coherent Europe, yet new and old fault-lines appeared in the EU involving the eastern periphery where sovereignty issues gained particular importance. The authors revisit the euro adoption process of the new member states, with a focus on the Visegrad Group (V4) countries, applying a two-track approach: a monetary policy analyses of EA entry as a rational cost/benefit issue and, second, a political economic survey of key stakeholders, set in the context of the dilemmas of retaining or sacrificing nominal monetary sovereignty. Even a piecemeal enlargement of the EA, involving Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania, would cause business consequences and political repercussions in the countries left out of EA. The paper concludes that further moves towards a developmental state model would preclude euro adoption and put such member state in collision course with the core Europe.

Open access

Abstract

The financing of young start-up companies is hindered by market failures that prompt governments around the world to intervene at the venture capital market. The aim of this paper is to give a comprehensive overview on this research field based on sound systematic literature review methodology, which was never done before. We found three major themes: pure governmental venture capital involvement, governmental-private venture capital cooperation, and governmental involvement in the financing of pre-seed startups. The evaluation of the governmental efforts varies according to these themes and also the investigated geographic location. Generally, pure governmental venture capital is the most controversial theme, the government-private cooperation is mostly viewed in a positive light, while the authors almost unanimously praise the government’s efforts when financing pre-seed startups. We found that the success of governmental venture capital should not be judged based on the realized return of its investments, since profit maximalization is not its goal. The governments try to alleviate market failures at the venture capital market and transition financed startup companies to private financing. Thus, we advise researchers to use the number of this type of successful transitions as the success criteria of governmental investments.

Open access

Abstract

Hungarian small- and medium-sized enterprises are facing the challenges of digitalisation and innovation to survive fierce competition in the era of Industry 4.0, and particularly of COVID-19. Survival in the heavily hit sectors depends on the degree of digitalisation and involvement in e-commerce. This paper aims to examine Hungarian SMEs’ current scale of digitalisation and adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies. It also analyses the role of the Hungarian government’s support for SMEs’ digital transformation. To this end, secondary data were collected from Eurostat, the European Commission and the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, including the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), indices of skills and innovation from SME performance reviews and sectoral business statistics. In processing the data, the study strictly followed the European Commission’ classification protocol, complemented by a qualitative analysis of reports and programmes related to digitalisation and Industry 4.0 in Hungary. The findings reveal that there is a further need for strengthening the digitalisation and innovation capacities of Hungarian SMEs. The effects of introduced measures could not be seen yet. Hence, the Hungarian government should continue to support SMEs’ digital transformation in order to increase their role in high-tech manufacturing and knowledge-intensive services.

Open access

Abstract

In the following paper, I examine the considerable impact of the recent world-economic shift that has determined the circumstances of Hungarian suppliers' value-chain integration. I argue that as a result of the specialized positions they occupied in the value-chain after the collapse of the Comecon market, Hungarian enterprises in export-oriented industries faced a dilemma—a trade-off between obtaining the most advanced technologies (and thus access to world-market niches) and retaining ownership in the hands of domestic capital. When company managers opted to protect ownership with the help of the state, they exposed themselves to greater risk of downgrading their position in the value chain. If they managed to get access to advanced technologies (and the requisite funding), they were more likely to lose control over their company's assets, either as a result of a hostile takeover or becoming part of the larger partner's merger-and-acquisition plans. This paper is a discussion of some of the particular characteristics of this dilemma, as well as a comparison with the experience of Hungarian service providers who implemented a different strategy. This paper is also a critical assessment of some of the chief characteristics of the world-economic evolution that has been underway since 2009, such as German automotive value chains' expansion in the CEE region and the growing role of Chinese capital in regional infrastructural projects.

Open access

Abstract

Industrial parks may be high pollutants of the local environment, but also engines of regional development, employment, and economic value added. To make them more sustainable, regional planning often purports to promote a transition to a greener approach, but in reality, many green measures oppose business logic and profitability, while those companies that do invest in sustainable solutions do so without having a clear strategy. This complicated setup is to be explored and modelled in this article which is focused on a remarkable area, the urban region of Székesfehérvár, an industrial city in Hungary having an impressive economic development and hosting significant domestic and international companies. The disharmony between greening policies, intentions and actions is observable in Székesfehérvár, despite the considerable local and regional potentials of renewable energy resources. Findings indicate that systemic thinking and future-oriented decision making will be necessary to achieve true sustainability, which also requires a mutually proactive attitude and the cooperation of different sectors. A legitimate strategy aiming at greening the local and regional economy (with renewable energy concerns), implemented by both public and business actors can be the key element of a successful transition. This strategy needs to be stimulated by local governance.

Open access

Abstract

This article tries to explain the differences in COVID-19 case fatality rate (CFR) in 22 European countries by their type of organization and performance level of their healthcare systems. The CFR is taken here as the most important indicator since it measures the ratio between COVID deaths and COVID cases. In our view, this indicator reflects the true performance of the healthcare system, as this indicator is freed form public health interventions, like testing, lockdowns or social distancing.

Our research is also unique, because it sees the healthcare system in a holistic way and tries to explain the CFR not by individual risk factors, socioeconomic indicators, or partial system parameters, but by using a complex healthcare system classification method adopted from Isabelle Joumard and an overall healthcare system performance index adopted from European Health Consumer Index (EHCI).

The main results are twofold. First, higher EHCI score is related to lower CFR. So, the countries are cumulated basically in two quadrants: High EHCI performers (score 790 and higher) with low CFR (below 1.93%) and low EHCI performers with high COVID CFR. Second, apart from Czech Republic, the V4 countries are not doing very well in fighting COVID. Hungary is the worst, not only from the V4 group, but the worst from the whole list of 22 European countries included in this research. Poland is doing better, but still is high above the median CFR. Slovakia was the second worst from the V4 group. Czech Republic is the best V4 performer and the only country with EHCI score lower than median and CFR also lower than the median.

Free access

Abstract

The main objective of this paper is to identify the impacts of the COVID-crisis on growth, in particular on growth potential in the European Union (EU), in the context of a broader growth analysis. The quantitative analysis underlying this paper focuses on the financial and economic (“Great”) recession of 2008–2009, the subsequent recovery and the period of the COVID-crisis. We provide a detailed overview of some of the mechanisms of the COVID-crisis on growth.

The COVID-crisis is likely to have a direct impact on the level of potential output. A decrease in investments and labour market hysteresis may have long-lasting effects on potential growth. The former would have a negative impact on productivity. This can lead to increased inequalities and have a negative effect on social cohesion. The future development of divergences among the EU Member States is particularly important. Their possible intensification could disrupt the functioning of the euro area and the internal market.

A lasting source of potential growth in the EU Member States could be productivity growth. Its decisive structural factor is the growth dynamism of total factor productivity (TFP). There are large differences in this area with regard to the level and growth dynamism of performance of the Member States. Narrowing the output gaps vis-à-vis the front-runners through deep structural reforms could be a key factor in raising growth potential. The cleansing effects of crises, which force structural change and resource reallocation, can also create new opportunities for TFP growth.

Open access

Abstract

COVID-19 has been the “hottest” topic in many fields of research during 2020–2021. Our analysis focuses on the publications related to the pandemic in the business and economics area. Using the Web of Science database, the main international research patterns in this field have been analysed. Our research covers less than two years (2020 and part of 2021), but the number of publications is large (more than 1,000) in this limited time span. The publication patterns of the CEE countries have also been examined. Bibliometric and social network analysis was used to assess which countries and institutions published the most during this period. For analysing the main trends in the given field, keyword analysis was performed.

Open access

Abstract

Despite a long period of post-crisis recovery, the COVID crisis caught the EU in a precarious state. The policy and institutional innovations during the financial crisis tempered the macroeconomic imbalances that had caused the crisis. Nevertheless, the EU was left with a strong trend of divergence in economic and social performance because of the lack of sufficiently strong reforms at EU and national levels. But the lessons of the previous crisis were learned. This time around, the EU-level policy and institutional innovations were decisive. The fiscal capacities of the hard-hit countries were strengthened quickly. Green and digital transformation will require a major new wave of innovation in the corporate sector in the EU. This, in turn, critically hinges on improving the quality of public and private institutions and advancing with the implementation of major reforms at the EU level, such as the digital single market or Capital Market Union. Implementing these reforms fully, and preventing later reversals is a key to stemming the trend of economic and social divergence, thus strengthening the coherence of the EU.

Open access

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

Promoting the future of innovative higher education through thousands of master's programmes

STEM, interdisciplinary and business programmes in a changing labour market

Society and Economy
Authors: Katalin Feher, Zsuzsanna Géring, and Gábor Király

Abstract

This paper discusses how leading innovative universities and their master's programmes reflect rapidly changing social-economic technological trends. The increasing focus on the STEM subjects, the changing profile of business and MBA programmes, and the ratio of interdisciplinarity provide insights into the development of future-oriented higher education. In the scope of this study, 2,708 master's programmes were surveyed globally based on their online representation, and 1,750 training programmes from this list were analysed in terms of employability rankings. According to our findings, Western Europe offers the largest number of master's programmes. STEM studies are overrepresented at the top innovative universities, and interdisciplinary studies account for fifteen percent of the programmes. Additionally, business studies with interdisciplinary programmes were identified in a higher proportion as compared to business-only studies. The findings signal the labour market's preferences toward future-oriented, personalised and responsive knowledge. The present study contributes to future education through a global analysis, and supports the strategy creation of higher education institutions (HEIs). Therefore, this article is especially informative to representatives, policy makers or researchers at future-oriented HEIs.

Open access
Society and Economy
Authors: Edina Berlinger, Judit Lilla Keresztúri, Ágnes Lublóy, and Zsuzsanna Tamásné Vőneki

Abstract

The severity and frequency of operational loss events show high variability across the globe. In this paper, we first examine the extent to which the quality of country-level governance measured by the Worldwide Governance Indicators explains cross-country variation of operational losses. We use the comprehensive database of SAS OpRisk Global for the period of 2008–2019 covering 132 countries and 8,144 loss events with a total loss amount of almost 490 billion USD. Our findings indicate that the governance indicators lost their explanatory power over the past decades, which contradicts the academic consensus and calls for new explanatory variables. To find these variables, we hypothesize that the changes are driven by some important megatrends such as economic development and technological advancement, globalization, and sustainability. Accordingly, we propose an extended model where the number of mobile subscribers, the export to GDP ratio, and the poverty headcount ratio were significant for the frequency. For severity, only GDP is a significant and robust explanatory variable. Investors, regulators, and analysts should, therefore, concentrate on these factors if they wish to model, manage, or mitigate operational risks.

Open access

Abstract

A set of policy prescriptions based on Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) have been developed that are independent of the monetary model, which are often presented together, in a context that does not require taxation: guaranteed income, job guarantee and full employment. These are enabled by the ability of a government to deficit spend as needed, as long as government controls its sovereign currency.

Here I raise the concern that implementing MMT accounting could cause increases in political power inequality relative to citizens not seen since the medieval era or before. The assumption that spending and tax policy in an MMT system would occur as proponents expect is contradicted by the history of political choices regarding spending and taxation over the past half-century. The record of behaviour by politicians in the nations where foreign aid money “fell from the sky,” thus divorcing national income from the tax base, also contradicts this idea.

With removal of the formal requirement for taxation, politicians operating in an MMT system will have little inherent reason in the short term to treat citizens well except moral suasion. This should provide a foundation for tyranny unparalleled in modern history. Incorporating progressive taxation into MMT’s corpus, for the express purpose of economic and political stability, is suggested in order to achieve the overall aims of the MMT policy advocates. However, this may not be sufficient. In addition, considering increasing the role of governors/leaders of states within the monetary unions may be useful, because those governments do need to follow the old rules of taxation to support spending, and this may provide a counterweight.

Open access

Abstract

Government involvement in the venture capital (VC) market has become an important catalyst of the entrepreneurial ecosystem of young and innovative firms. There is an extensive literature describing the VC model, but the models of its government backed variants are not comprehensively discussed. The article focuses on the model of purely government backed venture capital (GVC) and hybrid venture capital (HGVC). The conclusion of this article is that, by the logic of their models, GVCs are destined to underperform than private VCs. Many articles see HGVCs as a step forward compared to GVCs, as they involve private participants. The novelty of the current article lies in bringing out the drawbacks deriving from the system of hybrid venture capital funding by creating a complex theoretical framework of the HGVC model. We show that due to the crowding in of private participants, this scheme creates a two-goal system where the private profit maximising interests conflict with the economic policy goals. The complex system of HGVC is exposed to increased moral hazard issues that might lead to higher distortions than GVC. The conclusions are especially relevant in the case of developing industries.

Open access

Abstract

The 2008 crisis highlighted the importance of using stress tests in banking practice. The role of these stress tests is to identify and precisely estimate the effect of possible future changes in market conditions on capital adequacy and profitability. This paper seeks to show a possible methodology to calculate the stressed point-in-time probability of default (PD) parameter. The presented approach contains a linear autoregressive distributed lag model to determine the connection between the logit of default rates and the relevant macroeconomic factors, and uses migration matrices to calculate PDs from the forecasted default rates. The authors illustrate the applications of this methodology using the Hungarian real credit portfolio data.

Open access
Acta Oeconomica
Authors: Gergely Csurilla, András Gyimesi, Erika Kendelényi-Gulyás, and Tamás Sterbenz

Abstract

We describe a statistical approach for the measurement of the newly defined luck-based noise factor in sports. It is defined as the difference between the actual outcome and the expected outcome based on the model predictions. We raise the question whether some sports exhibit a higher level of noise-factor than others, making investments in that sport riskier. Data from 14 individual sports in six Summer Olympic Games between 1996 and 2016 were included in the analysis. Market shares are predicted by the autoregressive linear and zero-inflated beta regression models with exogenous variables, where the higher Normalized Mean Squared Error indicates a higher noise-factor. Modern pentathlon, tennis and cycling showed the highest noise-factors, whereas swimming, table tennis and athletics were the least noisy. Possible reasons are discussed in the paper. Our analysis indicates that countries with suitable resources producing leading elite Olympic athletes are predicted to achieve higher success in sports with a lower noise-factor such as swimming. In contrast, investments in noisy sports, such as e.g., modern pentathlon, are associated with a higher risk.

Open access