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To join the Eurozone (EZ), a candidate country has to fulfil five nominal Maastricht convergence criteria and ensure compliance of national legislation with the acquis communautaire. With this regard special difficulties pose the fiscal criterion relating to the maximum allowed budget deficit of 3 per cent of GDP. If it is not met, the European Commission launches the Excessive Deficit Procedure. Currently, such formula applies to France, Spain and the United Kingdom. Although the issue is not absolutely certain, one can assume that euro will weather the present difficulties and will come out stronger, though the economically unjustified Euro scepticism of some countries is not helping. It may be expected that in the 2020s the European Monetary Union will be joined by all countries that are still using their national currencies and that the EU will be extended to include new member states, enlarging the euro area further. In this article authors are discussing the issue whether Poland will join the EZ in the coming years, considering the challenges of meeting all Maastricht criteria, on the one hand, and the reluctance of the government to give up the national currency, on the other. A mixed method combining the results of qualitative and quantitative research has been used to empirically verify the research question presented.

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The paper concentrates on the evaluation of the Global Innovation Index, the Summary Innovation Index and the Innovation Output Indicator. For the purpose of this article, the PROFIT (PROperty- FITting) method, an extension of the multidimensional scaling (MDS), was applied. The ultimate goal of MDS techniques is to produce a geometric map that illustrates the underlying structure of complex phenomena such as the innovation performance of the EU countries. Cluster analysis, conducted with the use of Ward’s method provided an objective view of the division of the EU countries based on their selected characteristics. The final result is a two-dimensional map illustrating the structure of innovation performance. The main conclusion drawn from the analysis is the explanation of distance between single indices in a spatial map and their role in distinguishing specific groups of the EU countries from the perspective of innovation performance.

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Education is one of the key factors of economic growth. Despite the huge amount of researches investigating the relationship between education and GDP as a proxy of well-being, to the best of our knowledge, none of these studies examined a group of post-socialist countries comparing with not-post-socialist countries. This paper aims to fill this gap. We examine the correlation between growth and education with panel data evidence for 18 post-socialist (PS) countries and 16 developed market economies (DME) over the 1990–2014 period. The goal of this paper is to test two hypotheses: (i) The relationship between GDP per capita and tertiary education’s enrolment rate is stronger in the post-socialist countries than in other countries. (ii) In the post-socialist countries, the relationship between GDP per capita and tertiary education’s enrolment rate is stronger than the relationship between GDP per capita and any other level of education. Correlation analyses confirmed both hypotheses. Our findings suggest that the patterns of relationship between GDP and measures of tertiary education are different for PS and DME countries and would be interesting to observe when and how the gap between the patterns disappears.

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The post-2008 crisis seems to have come to an end in most countries, but its long-term impacts are increasingly felt by most players of the world economy. Certain economic problems were aggravated, others created by the crisis that seems to have generated significant structural and behavioral changes in most national economies and their international relations. These lasting changes are listed, and new directions for research suggested in the present paper, using an approach combining the human, the financial and the growth dimensions.

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The purpose of the paper is to explain the widely-observed phenomenon that the benefits of some apparently environmentally friendly solutions are much smaller than predicted. The applied research method is a systematic review of papers belonging to the ‘business and environment’ and ‘environmental science and technology’ literatures. Qualitative and interpretive research is used to support our propositions. Five key concepts accounting for the pitfalls associated with environmental sustainability-oriented (ESO) interventions have been identified and illustrated with reallife examples. Overlooked (1) interconnections among resources and environmental impacts, e.g. trade-offs, reveal that (2) system boundaries are often ill-defined, which can easily result in (3) problem shifting from one aspect of corporate environmental performance to another or from one stage in the life cycle to another. Additionally, false (4) assumptions and a strong (5) contextuality of best practices also overshadow the outcomes of ESO interventions. The relation among these general concepts is analysed and a graphic representation is provided.

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The paper investigates the price determinants, risk/return characteristics and investment performances of the Polish art market. Special attention is given to cultural and historical determinants underlying the creation of the Polish art market after 1989 and the dynamics of changes in the first two decades after the system transition. Data from auction annuals during the years from 1991 to 2012 and repeat-sales regression (RSR) method are used to create the index of 28,951 art transactions. Based on the art index values, we observe that the art index for the Polish auction market exhibits similar returns to the ones on treasury bonds and much lower returns than the ones on the Polish stock and gold prices. The volatility of the art index is, what is striking, much lower than the volatility of stocks, comparable to gold prices and much higher than the volatility of treasury bonds. Moreover, high correlation between art and money market instruments suggests a limited portfolio diversification opportunity.

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In a historical sense, humanity has accomplished its mission: it has populated Earth and has used its riches and resources to its own benefit. However, from an environmental perspective, Earth has a limited amount of resources, placing restrictions on these high expectations. Accordingly, humanity clearly needs to identify new ways of living, and make efforts to develop new goals. In light of this situation, it is worth exploring what the connection is between the more or less well-known concept of environmental sustainability and that of social futuring. Is there any overlap between the two concepts, and how can one evolve from the other? Can we identify any local-level (dis)similarities regarding these two in practice? The significant potential inherent in human beings – the unfolding of which is evident on a historical scale – can make interpretation of this issue easier. In this context, it is worth identifying the cornerstones of social futuring so as not to impair human ambition by blaming it for using up the Earth’s limited resources and causing natural disasters. The goal is to give humanity new direction and impetus, while retaining the intensity of earlier ambitions.

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This paper studies the sensitivity of share prices of Spanish companies included in the IBEX-35 to changes in different explanatory variables, such as market returns, interest rates and factors proposed by Fama and French (1993, 2015) between 2000 and 2016. In addition, for robustness, this paper analyses whether the sensitivity of stock returns is different between two periods: precrisis and recent financial crisis. The results confirm that, in general, all the considered factors are relevant. Furthermore, “market return” and “size” factors show greater explanatory power, together with the “value” factor in the crisis period. Regarding the analysis at sector level, “Oil and Energy”, “Basic Materials, Industry and Construction” and “Financial and Real Estate Services” sectors appear to be highly sensitive to changes in the risk factors included in the asset pricing factor model.

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The Greek financial crisis that erupted in 2010 was possibly cured after 8 years in 2018. It has been extraordinary in its social cost and its cost to European taxpayers. The causes of this failure are multiple. The main burden lies with consecutive Greek governments that did not carry out the necessary fiscal adjustment and reforms. In their lack of urgency they were strongly supported by American economists, especially Paul Krugman, who opposed austerity and instead called for fiscal stimulus, ignoring the need for financial stability. Much of this discussion was devoted to the benefits or harm of the Eurozone, which eventually hardly mattered. The crisis resolution was complicated by the European Union wanting to play a big role but not knowing how and weakening the traditional role of the International Monetary Fund. The key lessons are back to basics: A government needs to act hard and fast to resolve a severe financial crisis. The IMF is the best leader for financial stabilization. Early and fast fiscal adjustment brings about early financial stabilization, more structural reforms and early and higher growth.

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