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This paper outlines major theoretical and methodological problems in Quality of Work Life (QWL) research within organisational studies and discusses possible solutions, based on extensive literature analysis. An electronic search in the Scopus database found 1,244 publications utilising the QWL concept. From this sample we selected 387 papers dealing directly with QWL and compiled a final set of publications for detailed review. The literature analysis revealed the absence of a clear and concrete understanding of QWL, various (and often incomplete) approaches to QWL content and indicators and interference between QWL and other concepts such as ‘job satisfaction’, which all resulted in a general confusion about the notion in academic discussions. As a possible solution, we suggested distinguishing clearly and including the following in the single integrative research instrument: 1) an aggregate subjective QWL measurement tool and 2) an aggregate objective QWL measurement tool. Finally, we present arguments for a new understanding of QWL, combining subjective and objective measures in the context of a general integration between ‘working conditions’ and ‘needs satisfaction’ approaches.

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In order to define and implement the most effective measures to overcome the difficulties of the post-crisis period, the policy-makers of ECB must identify not just main weaknesses of each banking system, but their strong points also. This requires the application of multi-criteria analysis, considering that policy-makers need to take into account a number of different aspects that, on the whole, indicate the quality of the banking system. Our aim is a comparative analysis of European banking systems right after the Brexit moment and within the framework of the tight new Basel III regulations. In this paper, we have ranked the banking systems of the 28 EU member states using multi-criteria analysis, specifically the PROMETHEE II method. The use of the PROMETHEE II method in combination with the entropy method offers a comprehensive insight into the banking system of each member state, given that the observed countries are ranked according to 9 conflicting criteria that are mostly used in banking system analysis. Our analysis shows that the banking systems in Central and Eastern Europe are the best performers, while the EMU’s developed banking systems such as the German, Italian, British, and French one are positioned among the last ranked. The Portuguese and Greek banking systems are, as expected, ranked in the last positions in our list. The obtained results also pointed out that the ECB should change its approach to the management and further development of a European Banking Union.

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While technological innovation is a core element of efforts to increase public welfare, innovators are rarely trained to take the societal dimensions of innovation into account in a systematic manner. Responsible innovation has emerged within policy discourses worldwide to address this challenge. Implementing responsible innovation in daily practices, however, requires addressing both the multidisciplinary and the culturally situated nature of innovation processes. Effectiveness of Socio-Technical Integration Research (STIR) has been tested, but primarily only in developed countries, raising questions about how well it works in innovation and cultural settings differing from Western cultures. Therefore, this study analyzes the possibities of institutionalizing responsible innovation in an Eastern European country, namely in Hungary. For this investigation, we conducted STIR-pilots in two Hungarian natural science research groups. The findings show that though the original STIR method can be adapted to support responsible innovation practices in Hungary, the differences in the innovation environment and culture (such as grant-driven innovation; lack of trust; less knowledge on responsible innovation; lack of law on the societical impacts of research and innovaton) require methodological modifications in order to improve STIR’s effectiveness.

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Equivalence scales are commonly employed in income analysis to compare the wealth of households of various compositions (e.g., 0-child, 1-child). The choice of weights for this type of analysis is not self-evident. In this paper, subjective equivalence scales for households in Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary are estimated. We use longitudinal EU-SILC data for 2005–2012 following the approach of Goedhart et al. (1977) as employed by Bishop et al. (2014). The use of longitudinal data shows that previous results on the subjective minimum income that were based on the OLS estimates for cross-section data overestimated the impact from current income and underestimated the role of economies of scale. Subjective equivalence scales imply a decreasing marginal cost of children in the three countries, which makes them distinct from the OECD scale. The marginal cost of a first child is similar to the values assumed in the OECD scale, but the cost of a second child is much lower.

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The Czech Republic benefits from its geographical location, relatively cheap and educated labour force, industrial tradition, high economic growth, and political stability. During the last two decades, Czech-Chinese relations have intensified mainly in terms of trade but also in investment and, in more recent years, also at the political level. In this paper, we assess existing trade and investment relations between the two countries, the Czech Republic’s potential for Chinese trade and investment presence in the EU in comparison to other V4 countries, and also explore the future opportunities and threats for more intensified relations. The trade analysis reveals that the fragmentation of world production has enabled more Chinese value added exports to reach the EU western markets through processing in the Czech Republic. Mutual cooperation can be beneficial for both sides as long as both countries avoid corruption, bridge cultural differences, deal with profit repatriation and prevent misconduct in property rights.

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This paper aims to provide an overview of the key themes in the development of carbon accounting and auditing over the past twenty years. The evolution of the field since the Kyoto Agreement of 1997 has been divided into four stages. The need to account for and disclosure of greenhouse gas-related emissions of industrial organizations has emerged parallel to growing concerns about climate change, and international and national policy developments in the field have followed. Carbon accounting is an emerging field of business economics and covers a wide range of activities, including the measurement, calculation, monitoring, reporting and auditing of greenhouse gas emissions at organizational, process, product or supply chain levels. Various initiatives (such as the Greenhouse Gas Protocol or the Carbon Disclosure Project) motivate and assist industrial organizations in accounting for and reporting their achievements in the field. Different methodologies of carbon accounting (bottom-up, top-down and hybrid) enable industrial organizations to quantify their emissions; however, some trade-offs emerge when choosing among these approaches. Carbon accounting should not be an isolated task for businesses. On the contrary, there is a strong need to integrate carbon accounting issues into different functional fields in order to achieve both corporate and climate policy goals.

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In this paper, the prospects of the political party Alternative for Germany (AfD) are examined on the basis of demand and supply factors which favor a party’s electoral breakthrough and longtime persistence. It will be argued that although the party is currently profiting mainly from growing disillusion with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door refugee policy, it should not be treated as a single-issue (anti-immigrant) phenomenon. Building on a comparison with its unsuccessful predecessor, The Republicans, we argue that the party is better equipped to deal with factors usually obstructing the success of populist right parties in Germany.

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The collapse of one-party dictatorship and centrally planned economy based on state ownership opened up the pathways for the formation of different postsocialist systems. Among other variants in a certain number of postsocialist states, democratic capitalism could emerge. Recently the system of postsocialist capitalism has been going through the process of regression leading to a distorted and defective democracy and capitalism in some postsocialist countries. This essay reviews the literature on the relationship of democracy and capitalism in order to contribute to the creation of a theoretical framework for the analysis of the regression of postsocialist democratic capitalism. In the paper the argument is made that for the explanation of the regression of democratic capitalism, the structural analysis of postsocialist democratization and marketization should be supplemented with a theory that reflects on the role of political actors, the role of political parties, party competition in this process.

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Comparative economics and European integration

Convergence and divergence in the European Union and the effects of anti-crisis policies

Author: Bruno Dallago

Transformation processes in Central and Eastern Europe and deep economic reforms in China and other emerging countries did not end the variety of economic systems. Various brands of comparative economics have shown this variety in both theory and different countries. An increasingly important form of this variety concerns the process of European integration. Systemic differences within the European Union are the source of difficulties and tensions, of a European conundrum that appears in different forms and ways and that make the sustainability and progress of integration difficult. This article looks at the logic of and proposals by the “New Comparative Economics” and the “Variety of Capitalisms” literature to find an explanation to the problems and difficulties that the European integration is meeting, going beyond the standard technical explanations based on European convergence criteria. It finds that both theories, although important and useful for contributing to solving the European conundrum, do not account sufficiently for the novelty and the complexity of European integration.

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This paper deals with the Altab Ali Park and its significance in regards to the Muslim community in the London borough of Tower Hamlets. Using Pierre Nora’s concept of lieux de mémoire, I would like to demonstrate how the Bangladeshi Muslim minority and the rest of the community of Tower Hamlets construct their collective memory through the transformation of the park. The article argues that the Altab Ali Park is in Pierre Nora’s term a lieu de mémoire with multiple layers, which has been developed to enhance community cohesion in the Borough. The park itself contains further lieux de mémoire with clear messages against extremist secular and religious ideologies. This makes the park a symbol of multicultural coexistence in the district, which could help increase community cohesion through shaping the identity of the inhabitants of Tower Hamlets.

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This paper evaluates the efficiency of Active Labour Market Policies (ALMPs) in the European Union (EU). The paper first reviews the main trends governing the evolution of the European Social Fund (ESF) since its creation. The ESF promotes public expenditure in ALMPs in order to foster social cohesion across the EU. In order to test to what extent this strategy can be backed up by facts, we estimate the impact of public expenditure on ALMPs on the employment rate using panel data from 28 European countries (1985–2011), taking into account the endogeneity of the explanatory variables and the dynamic behaviour of their relationship. Results support the hypothesis that expenditure in ALMPs is more beneficial for employment than aggregate public expenditure. In addition, we show that periphery countries observe a larger efficiency of their ALMPs. These results support the recent policy strategy undertaken by the European Commission to raise the budget devoted to ESF in Member States experiencing higher unemployment rates.

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Although the macroprudential regulation only became a central topic of bank regulation after 2008, recognising and analysing risk, what now we call macroprudential, has formed part of the thinking about banking risk for a long time. A real turn of events was caused by the Global Financial Crisis. Since then, as a consequence of the huge taxpayers’ burden and the mutual reinforcing effect of sovereign and banking crises, the main course of bank regulation has become the elaboration and implementation of regulation with a macroprudential perspective. This article reviews the history of the international evolution of macroprudential regulation from the perspective of both the regulation’s motivations and its conceptual and practical developments. Its main focus is the development of the ideas of a macroprudential perspective on prudential policy and the way these ideas eventually led to concrete experiences with macroprudential regulatory tools. As a conclusion, the author raises the question of whether the financial system has become more stable by implementing the current form of macroprudential regulation.

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This article seeks to assess how the absorption of European the Union funds by the Polish voivodeships reflects two basic types of strategy in their allocation, i.e. the polarising and the equalising model. The analysis embraced 16 regional operational programmes (ROPs) between 2007–2013. The frame of reference adopted in the research was the centre-periphery model. Classes of peripherality were distinguished for each voivodeship, and absorption profiles of EU funds were determined for areas differing in their levels of peripherality. The goal of the article was achieved in a multi-stage research procedure ending in the construction of a synthetic index of the spatial orientation of support within the ROPs. The analysis demonstrated that the features of the polarising model tended to predominate in intra-regional policy. In most cases, however, the distribution of EU support represented a mixed model, with a shift towards the polarising one.

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has undergone notable changes by starting collaboration with the European Union (EU). Hence, this paper seeks to estimate the effects of IMF programmes on employment, with data from the EU-28 between 1993 and 2013. In order to control for selection on observable and unobservable variables, the study employs Propensity Score Matching in combination with the Differences-in-Difference estimator. Next, the robustness of the findings is checked by applying four different matching algorithms. Our paper concludes that employment decreases once a country resorts to the IMF, and this impact is still measurable after two years of programme initiation.

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During the decades after World War II, countries began shifting taxation from income to consumption. This shift has been associated with an expanding welfare state and left-wing dominance. However, the pattern is far from uniform and while some left-wing governments indeed expanded consumption taxation, others did not. This paper seeks to explain why, by exploring how experts influenced post-war tax policy in Britain and Sweden. Experts influence is crucial when explaining how the left began to see consumption tax not as a threat but as an opportunity. Interestingly, the influence of experts such as Nicholas Kaldor in Britain was different from the impact of Swedish experts (e.g. Gösta Rehn). I make the argument that the impact of expert advice is contingent on the political risks facing governments. The low risks facing the Swedish Left made it more amenable to the advantages of broad-based sales taxes, while the high-risk environment in Britain made Labour reject these ideas.

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The rapid institutional changes taking place today, including the emergence and global spread of new institutions bring to the fore the question of how new institutions develop. From the 1990s onwards, a new technical term has begun to spread in the literature: institutional entrepreneurship, reflecting the revaluation of people’s activity in institutional change. The aim of the paper is to answer the questions regarding this kind of entrepreneurship. How does institutional entrepreneurship emerge, how can we interpret and define this phenomenon? What kind of driving forces are behind it? How does it work in the real economy? The novelty of the paper is in addressing institutional entrepreneurship as the result of a special ability and activity of actors to combine different, already known elements for building up new institutions. The study introduces the characteristics of institutional entrepreneurship, using the example of the sharing economy, by contrasting sharing as an alternative to conventional market solutions. The paper also demonstrates how the institutional entrepreneurship of sharing changes its socio-economic environment, from mobilization of unused resources through perception of ownership to the increase of the growth potential of the economy.

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The goal of this article is to provide a deeper insight to the overall contribution of the export of food products to the Croatian economy and to estimate the direct and indirect impact of the international competitiveness of food producers on other domestic sectors. The authors measure the importance of the food sector by employing both the constant market share (CMS) and the input-output analysis. The results indicate that a loss in competitiveness in the Croatian food industry was the most important factor that determined the decreasing share of national companies in the period from 2009, when the global recession started, up to 2013, when Croatia joined the EU. EU membership strongly and positively influenced the performance of Croatian food exports. The negative trend regarding the share of the international food market was reversed. Besides having a direct impact on the export performance of the food industry, the international competitiveness of food producers indirectly affects other domestic companies whose products are used as intermediate inputs in the food industry. The study also presents a benchmark of results with previous research for EU countries, which rarely included Croatia before the accession in 2013. As far as output and value added are concerned, multipliers for the food industry are relatively significant and higher than the national average, and the food industry could be assessed as one of the key Croatian economic sectors.

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The free movement of persons has been one of the fundamental building blocks of European integration from the beginning. The economics behind it implies that greater efficiency can be achieved if besides goods and services, the factors of production (i.e. capital and labour) can also move freely across a common market. Nevertheless, this setup was originally designed for an economic area where internal imbalances were modest. In fact, these freedoms have serious, originally unintended consequences in the 21st-century European Union (EU) where the original condition, even if implicit at that time, no longer applies. Nicholas Kaldor had actually warned about these threats many decades ago, saying that with the development of trade, initial differences among trading regions would grow in the absence of adequate compensating policies. Most lately, two large-scale events have accelerated intra-EU divergence and, consequently, migration: the Eastern enlargements and the recent financial and economic crisis. Our study focuses on the causes and potential implications of the intra-EU migration challenge in the light of Kaldor’s legacy. Our main conclusion is that the original construct of European economic integration is not fit for the current realities in that it no longer ensures steady and balanced development across the EU.

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Nicholas Kaldor was a progressive force in economics who made several major contributions, which are well covered by other contributors to this issue in his memory. Yet, like most first generation Keynesians, he stayed within the paradigm of The Concluding Notes to the General Theory, in which Keynes claimed that provided the State intervened to manage the level of demand, the supply side of an economy could be left to the processes of perfect or imperfect competition, whereas Kalecki realised that oligopoly could influence both macroeconomic aggregates and policies. Like Keynes, he also assumed, with Ricardo, that trade was between different firms in different countries rather than recognising that capital already was multinational and that this could qualify both exchange rate changes such as that of the sterling in 1967 and his regional employment premium and selective employment tax.

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Nicholas Kaldor and János Kornai are known in the academic literature as the most principled and unyielding opponents of the neoclassical, mainstream economics in general, and the Arrow-Debreu General Equilibrium Theory (GET) in particular since the beginning of the 1970s. Nevertheless, they remained in the minority camp with their views until today. The mainstream of the economic profession still holds that only the neoclassical paradigm offers a comprehensive, systematic, consistent and, above all, mathematical (hence “scientific”) description of how modern economies operate. This paper aims at investigating why these two prolific writers, who were friends and spoke the same mother tongue, did not find a common ground and did not even try to build a school of followers jointly.

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After a monetary reform in 1946, the Communists helped by Jenő Varga and the Social Democrats advised by Nicholas Kaldor each drafted an economic reconstruction plan introducing central planning. Having already campaigned for economic planning after the war, Káldor was also in favour of a Keynesian income and fiscal policy. Good trade relations with the Soviet Union were in his eyes a precondition for economic recovery and stability. But the non-participation of Hungary in the Marshall Plan weakened the authority of the Social Democrats vis-à-vis the Communists who were now pressing for a Soviet-type planning system and the dictatorship of the proletariat.

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Authors: László Andor and Peter Mihalyi
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This paper reports the results of an econometric examination on the links between labour productivity and output growth for 22 countries (for which long-term data are available). It turns out that, generally, labour productivity does not “cause” output. In more cases, the causation seems to be running in the opposite direction: from output to productivity. This finding, though inconsistent with the “mainstream” ideas on the sources of long-term economic growth, is reminiscent of the classical Kaldor-Verdoorn Law. The progressing slowdown in output growth on the global level, initiated around the mid-1970s (when the process of discarding the earlier economic policy paradigms set in), may have been mirrored by the progressing slowdown in productivity growth (and that despite the hardly disputable acceleration of technological progress).

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The productivity slowdown in European countries is among the major stylised facts of the last two decades. Several explanations have been proposed: some focus on demand-side effects, working through Kaldor’s second law of economic growth (also known as Verdoorn’s law), others on supply-side effects determined by a misallocation of the factors of production, caused either by labour market reforms or by perverse effects of financial integration (in Europe, related to the adoption of the euro). The latter explanation is put forward by some recent studies that stress how low interest rates brought about by the monetary union may have lowered productivity by inducing capital misallocation. The aim of this paper is to investigate the robustness of the latter empirical findings and to compare them with the alternative explanation offered by the post-Keynesian growth model, which instead emphasises the relation between foreign trade and productivity, along lines that go back to Adam Smith. To do so, we use a panel of industry-level data extracted from the EU KLEMS database, comparing these alternative explanations by panel cointegration techniques. The results shed some light on the role played by the single currency in the structural divergences among euro area member countries.

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This article celebrates the life and work of the Hungarian economist Nicholas Kaldor, and particularly his emphasis on industrial structure and the role of demand in determining the growth performance of nations.

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From the second half of the 20th century, a set of emerging economies have undergone a remarkable developing path. During the first years of the global financial crisis of 2007–2008, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) were only slightly affected by its negative impacts. However, after 2013, a considerable growth slowdown period has evolved in these countries with the exception of the Indian economy. In the current study, we examine whether the growth dynamics of the BRICS economies shows significant correlation with the fluctuation of commodity prices, especially in the case of raw materials. Besides applying a cross correlation model on the quarterly commodity price indices and real GDP growth data, the research also focuses on the export structure of the selected fast-growing countries. As a closing element of our paper, a brief analysis is carried out regarding the correlations of growth patterns within the BRICS economies.

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This paper deals with the effects of political decentralisation on economic growth in Spain, an issue that has generated heated debates in recent decades. Our analysis of the last three and a half decades, a period characterised by the weak narrowing of the income per capita gap within regions, does not offer conclusive results on convergence and points to the importance of alternative factors. Several proxies were used to capture the decentralisation process. We also studied some potential interactions between decentralisation and other variables. All in all, our empirical evidence shows robustly that transferring more responsibilities to subnational governments does not significantly affect growth in any sense.

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The paper surveys the challenges of researching soft concepts in economics through focusing on trust. Although there is increasing evidence about its importance for macroeconomic outcomes, tensions with the homo oeconomicus model as well as the difficulties of conceptualization and measurement imply significant difficulties for research. The paper argues that comparative economics with its systemic analysis and traditional openness to interdisciplinary approaches is particularly well-suited for resolving these challenges, and it could also provide a contribution to trust research through integrating macro-, meso- and micro-level analysis.

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Author: Robert Skidelsky

I summarise Kaldor’s “stylised facts” approach to economics through the lens of his 1966 inaugural lecture at Cambridge, “Causes of the Slow Rate of Economic Growth of the United Kingdom”. I then defend this approach as a way of preventing economics from ossifying into pure formalism, fielding objections stemming from the Lucas critique, the advancement of econometrics, and the argument that stylised facts must depend on some prior theory. Finally, I argue that modern economics could benefit not only from his “stylised fact” approach, but also from his speculative boldness and substantive contributions to economic theory.

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This paper explores the relationship between inequality and sustainability both of which are dominant considerations today. Inequality was an important preoccupation of Kaldor, although he was not concerned with sustainability, as this has only recently become an all-important issue. The paper identifies relevant criteria for determining the desirable distribution of incomes from a sustainability perspective, including considerations of justice and of instrumentality. It concludes that justice demands much greater equality of emissions (and incomes) among individuals, given that the total “safe” global emissions of carbon dioxide are limited. Instrumental considerations are not so clear-cut, as evidence suggests that sometimes greater inequality leads to reduced emissions. However, meta considerations, including motivations for pursuing economic growth and conditions likely to realise international agreements on restraining emissions, suggest that more equality within and between countries is needed to promote sustainability.

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In this paper we sketch a theory about the role of supernatural beliefs in incentivizing “good” behavior among children by parents. We present a simple theory on the production and the use of certain supernatural beliefs by parents to influence their children’s behavior. A prime example of this is the idea of Santa Claus and the idea that Santa Claus rewards children according to how well they have behaved during the year. We show that under standard conditions parents face a time inconsistency problem when trying to incentivize their offspring. We claim that the production of beliefs in certain supernatural or quasi-supernatural persons who allegedly have infinite lives can help parents discipline their children. Finally, we extend this logic to a community and its ruler or rulers. We show that rulers can have incentives to influence the beliefs of their subjects. This incentive is greater whenever the ruler is a monopolist and when he or she expects to rule for a long period. Rulers with limited ability and/or superior technology for producing beliefs will also supply more supernatural stories to enforce their rule.

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Authors: Tibor Czeglédi, András Simonovits, Endre Szabó and Melinda Tir

A basic problem with the ever-changing Hungarian retirement rules has been that they created excessive shares of gainers and of losers. Certain workers with long (and continuous) employment could retire well below the normal retirement age (NRA) with full benefit. Other workers, with fragmented and therefore short employment had to work until reaching the ever rising NRA. A peculiar consequence of these rules is the strong negative correlation between the retirement age and the length of contribution. Moving in the direction of a fair system, like the Nonfinancial Defined Contribution system, would improve sustainability and fairness.

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The article introduces a research that examined the impact of family on the cooperation of individual family members in family-owned businesses by applying a theoretical framework based on family therapy, family business research and social value research. Firstly, it presents a model based on blending family therapy and social research on the individual’s value preferences with the aim of exploring the internal structure of this family effect. It also shows a possible family business consulting method in order to observe and handle the dynamics of this internal structure. Then, testing of the described model and consulting method is conducted by multiple-embedded case study research. Based on the results, refining statements are formulated regarding the applicability of family therapy in family business consulting and social value research.

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This paper analyses the pricing of sovereign risk and contagion during the crises in the Central and Eastern European countries. Panel data are used to estimate the determinants of government bond spreads in three different time periods: before the crisis, during the global financial crisis, and during the European debt crisis. The econometric model includes interactions between the explanatory variables and the crisis dummies. This specification enables the coefficients to change during the crises. The empirical analysis confirms a statistically significant relationship between sovereign risk and macroeconomic fundamental variables. Additionally, the results suggest an increase in the importance of macroeconomic fundamentals during the financial crisis. The analysis also supports that sovereign credit ratings and exchange rate risk have a significant impact on government bond spreads.

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Biologicals are the fastest growing segment of the global pharmaceutical market, reaching 199 billion USD sales per year with 9.8% 10-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Being less costly, yet equally efficacious and safe alternatives to originator reference products, biosimilars drive competition, promise budget savings and the opportunity for better patient-access. This paper examines the key factors and players of biosimilar competition in rheumatology in Hungary. Due to the scarcity of data, the total yearly expenditure on biologicals could only be estimated from different data sources. In 2015 the estimated expenditure on biologicals was around 100 billion HUF. In rheumatology indications the expenditure on biologicals was 10 (8.9-11.2) billion HUF, and the average annual net treatment cost was 1.2 (1.06-1.34) million HUF / per patient / year. The magnitude of societal benefits in terms of budget savings and health gains may result from the joint effort of policy makers, funders, physicians and patients. In rheumatology indications, biosimilar utilization could be increased by a policy supporting physician-driven interchange of the reference product to biosimilars. Also, creating a physician incentive system for broader use should be considered in order to realize the full economic advantages of biosimilars and contribute to sustainable healthcare financing in Hungary.

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This paper examines the impact of EU enlargement and the global economic crisis on the relative development of the EU countries. This effect is assessed by applying multivariate analysis to the whole set of 28 European countries at three representative points in time. The cluster analysis for the years 2002, 2007, and 2012 grouped the countries according to the range of economic development indicators showing within-EU cohesion before the EU enlargement, after the enlargement wave, and after the crisis. The findings show that a decrease in the development differences after the enlargement was replaced with an increase in these differences after the crisis, thus contributing to the existing debate about the success of cohesion and future of European integration. These results are somewhat worrying for the new member states of the EU as well as for EU membership candidates and their prospective development within the integration.

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The 2008 crisis highlighted how fragile the labour markets of the European Union’s member states were, while it also directed attention to the eventual further deepening of integration as a potential solution. Nevertheless, employment and labour market policy competences are still on the national level with relatively low EU intervention. In a recent study, we explored the role of the EU in facilitating potential policy solutions with regards to labour market resilience until 2030. The study focused on labour market experts’ opinion, coming from different European countries; and took form of an online Policy Delphi Survey combined with backcasting to predict the importance and feasibility of policies concerning future challenges. The most important policies considered to be best suited to deal with the main challenges of the labour market in the EU until 2030 are education, investment in human and social capital and improvement of social policies and protection, including migration policy. The research revealed a systematic gap between the importance and feasibility of relevant solutions.

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This paper provides an empirical analysis of the relationship between the labour income share and financialisation, as well as other related variables in Portugal from 1978 to 2012. We estimate an equation for the labour share that includes standard variables (technological progress, globalisation, education and business cycle) and variables to capture the effect of financialisation. We formulate the hypothesis that the financialisation process may lead to a rise in the inequality of functional income distribution through three channels: the change in the sectoral composition of the economy (due to both the increase in the weight of financial activity and the decrease in government activity), the diffusion of shareholder value governance practices and the weakening of trade unions. Our results show that the financialisation process has an indirect long-term effect on the labour share through its impact on government activity and trade union density. The paper also finds evidence supporting the traditional explanations for functional income distribution, namely globalisation, education and business cycle.

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The opinions of people are expected to forecast their actions, and even major economic institutions rely on this correlation. This research paper examines a case when the opinion of people about their financial situation contradicts their financial-related actions. In 2012 in Hungary the general opinion of people about their financial situation was showing the lowest confidence in the world, with a significant declining trend, reaching an extremely low level. Although the general expectation would be that this pessimism triggers a set-back in consumer spending, figures show that Hungarians were on the other end of the scale regarding their expenditures and were greatly increasing their spending. This raises the question: why do people say they are in such a tough financial situation yet instead of saving they increase their spending? This paper presents a cross-country analysis that reviews the severity of this discrepancy, as well as proves the validity of the question by excluding several alternative explanations, followed by a recommendation and hypotheses for a detailed research to explain the phenomenon.

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Palestinian refugees have a special status under international law. Their de facto statelessness provides for the discretion of hosting nations in treating them. A significant number of displaced Palestinians and their descendants have arrived in Lebanon, which treats them as “campers” and “temporary guests”, thereby depriving them of the rights to education, to work, to buy properties; overall, to legally exist. The situation of Palestinian refugees has been subject of cultural and legal research extensively. We have attempted to add new results to the existing literature and findings: the cultural-economic aspects of the existence of semi-legal Palestinians through a time-dimension. Our paper summarizes the findings of a three-tier field-study. We started with the first wave of interviews and surveys in late 2014, then completed the second round in late 2015, and finally, finalized our research in March 2016, with several rounds of interviews. Though we also visited settlements and camps outside the capital, the overwhelming majority of our work concentrated on Beirut and the Palestinian camps therein. We observed both cultural similarities and differences between the migrants and the host population. The added value of the research is that it highlights the amplitude and pervasiveness of these impressions.

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The aim of the study is to prove that agents organised by market forces tend to create and even more so deepen economic disparities over time. Empirical studies do not reliably describe the trend and causes of interpersonal global inequality in recent decades. Hence, the attention is turned to general economic theory with inspiration from Schumpeterian and neoclassical theories. The results indicate that pure market economy logic will tend to lead to multi-level divergence.

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For the last few decades, considerable attention has been paid to the methodology of mainstream economics. It is not mere chance that economics is surrounded by methodological debates. If its relevance is at stake, this can be either refuted or proven most efficiently at a methodological level. Arguments for and against mainstream economics underline the methodological homogeneity of mainstream economics, while serious, though almost neglected, arguments can be found for a view according to which the long history of mainstream economics can be described as a sequence of methodological breaks. I argue, firstly, for a sharp demarcation by new classical macroeconomics from the Friedmanian instrumentalism and, secondly, for the realism of new classicals. I strive to identify the epistemological principles underlying Lucas’ models and to highlight the signs of that demarcation as well. I concentrate on the techniques by which new classicals could set their models into an indirect relationship with reality. It is also highlighted that the common terminology, according to which the assumptions of abstract economic models are uniformly regarded as “unrealistic”, actually refers to two different techniques. From these approaches, there is only one which can be justifiably labelled as realist.

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Mass migration was, is, and will always be an important topic of discussion regardless of whether it is economically, socially, or politically motivated. This is certainly a matter of great concern for Romania, currently Europe’s largest sender of migrants to Western Europe. Considering that the educational system should be of the uttermost priority, we addressed the issue of emigration propensity among Romanian teachers making use of data from our own nationwide survey. Bivariate logistic models were employed to identify the main factors behind the emigration decisions of pre-university teachers. Aiming to enrich the narrow economic perspective, we adopted a novelty approach by focusing on an overlooked determinant in emigration research studies, namely ethnicity in relation to nationality. Among Romania’s minorities, Hungarians are the most important ethnic group, accounting for 6.1% of the population, hence we explored their migration behaviour compared to Romanian ethnics. The results from the logistic regression models indicate significant differences regarding the factors that trigger the intention to initiate the emigration process for our subjects, based on their ethnicity. We found that teachers of Hungarian ethnicity display 50.6% less propensity to emigrate compared to the ones of Romanian ethnicity and we were able to shape distinct emigration profiles for the two groups.

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Our paper seeks answers to the following questions: What are the determinants of permanent emigration from Poland and how do they vary for specific economic age groups (pre-working, working, and post-working age)? Do the causes of permanent emigration differ over space in these categories, and if so, how? We applied GIS and ESDA instruments, including geographically weighted regression, which allowed us to identify the variability of regression coefficients in the geographical space. Our research indicated socio-economic factors (among others: poviats budget income, feminisation rate, unemployment rate), which, with varying force and in varying directions, affected the studied variable in specific parts of the country. The analyses were performed on the basis of statistical data on the numbers of de-registrations for residence abroad in Poland’s NUTS-4 in three economic age groups (pre-working, working, and post-working age) for the time span from 2005 to 2013.

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More and more research is dedicated to address the phenomenon of online word-of-mouth (WOM). Concerning electronic WOM, three major underlying motives can be differentiated: opinion seeking, opinion giving and opinion passing (Flynn et al. 1996; Sun et al. 2006). The main aim of the research is to analyse the relationship between these three dimensions and the level of customer satisfaction. The research is based on a representative sample of 1000 respondents living in Hungary. According to the hypothesized Structural Equation Model (SEM), we can conclude that online opinion seeking behaviour has a significant positive impact on levels of customer satisfaction, as well as on opinion giving and opinion passing. This implies that opinion leaders not just share, but also collect enormous amounts of information about products and services and raise their expectations according to feedback. By doing so, their prior expectations are in relation to the true customer value of online stores and products. This means that customer satisfaction — measured using the disconfirmation paradigm — will reach a higher level, so it is advisory for online retailers to encourage customers to give feedback, write reviews, because it will affect the customer satisfaction level in a positive manner.

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Exports play a significant role in the economic catching-up transition in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The East Asian market has emerged for CEE’s exports not only because of its dynamic economy, but also because of the European debt crisis, the political tension between Ukraine and Russia, and the recent threat of terrorism. This study utilises panel ARDL models to estimate the long-run and short-run relationships between export instability and commodity concentration and geographic concentration. The datasets cover the 2004–2014 period for the trade of all the CEE countries with 10 East Asian marketplaces. The results of the causal relationships show significance in the long-run, but not in the short-run. This study suggests that the CEE export policy toward East Asia is likely to consider the impact of trade concentrations on export instability.

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The paper presents an analysis of the shift in the ownership policy of the Polish government in office since 2015 towards a more active role of the state and a more reluctant attitude towards privatisation. This shift reflects a general change in the paradigm of the role of the state towards the concept of the state as a strong market player, which includes the strengthening of its ownership functions. Among others, it has led to stalling the privatisation process and concentrating only on its fiscal goals. Possible factors causing this statist shift are divided into two dichotomic groups: the government’s good faith vs. the impact of rent-seeking interest groups and endogenous vs. exogenous factors. Our main conclusion is that despite similarities with the trends observed in some other countries, endogenous factors such as increasing capture of the state by rent-seeking groups, and not the exogenous ones, including the global financial crisis, contributed most to the growing statist trends in the Polish state’s ownership policy.

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The end of the Communist regime brought about great changes in the economies of Central and Eastern Europe; the restructuring of foreign trade was one of the biggest challenges for these countries. After the transition period, Hungary became a very open country, with its trade to GDP ratio around 1.5, while trading with more than 190 countries. The aim of this paper is to analyse the determinants of exports between 1993–2014, with an emphasis on the impact of factor endowments. According to our results, economic size, common border, and free trade agreements had a statistically significant positive effect on exports, while the coefficient of distance had the expected negative sign. We measured factor endowments with several approaches and our results show that exports change in line with the Linder hypothesis, i.e. Hungary tends to trade more with countries having similar factor endowments, and thus its trade is based on differentiated products.

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Authors: Jitka Doležalová, Vlastimil Havlík, Antonín Slaný and Petra Vejvodová

The recent electoral success of far-right and far-left parties is often considered to be a side-effect of the economic crisis. This article aims to determine the degree to which the downturn in economic performance helped to increase the vote share of these parties. The research includes a set of 23 EU member states from the period 1995 to 2012, and finds that poor economic performance significantly determined the vote share of the far-left. Among the indicators influencing the far-left electorate were mainly changes in the GDP and unemployment rate. The research does not find any correlation between the far-rights vote share and the development of macroeconomic indicators.

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The paper discusses the frameworks and development of the introduction of the Euro in Central Europe, with a focus on pre-entry countries (Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Croatia). The main elements of monetary integration maturity are the state of real-integration (possibilities of large saving in transaction costs), meeting the criteria of functioning market economy and the single market; macro-economic stability and meeting the Maastricht criteria; and shortcomings of absorption (integration) capacities of the EU. Controversial questions are also discussed, such as requirements concerning inflation, the budget deficit or exchange rate stability. The paper argues that the countries under scrutiny show diverging courses of action and policies, public support is also unclear, and the interests of TNCs and political elites contradict each other. Cultural, legal, security or emotional factors will pay a key role in eventual adoption, and prospects also depend on the solution of the current debt and migration crises.

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The main objective of our research is to examine the effects of financial distress on ownership structure and to elaborate on the factors that influence change of ownership in companies that have adopted a reorganisation plan in the Republic of Serbia. Of the 63 sample companies reorganised in bankruptcy proceedings between 2009 and 2015, the ownership structure remained unchanged in 49 companies, while in 35, the existing owners or their family members remained in charge of key management positions. Using binary logistic regression, we observed that two factors influenced the change in ownership structure: the length of time it takes to resolve the insolvency process and whether the owners were involved in the running of the distressed company before it filed for bankruptcy. The obtained results indicate that corporate governance mechanisms in distressed Serbian companies are not efficient.

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Authors: Annamária Dézsi-Benyovszki and Tünde Petra Szabó

This study focuses on the theory of planned behaviour in order to understand and to predict the entrepreneurial behaviour of Romanian early-stage entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, identifying the main differences among them. We first present the individual level analysis of these new venture creators using the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Adult Population Survey database of Romania from 2011 to 2014, followed by the estimation of logistic regressions in order to test the applicability of the theory of planned behaviour in predicting entrepreneurial behaviour. We aim to contribute to the understanding of differences in start-up activities by broadening the concept of start-up to include intrapreneurship as well. The findings of this study provide partial support of the theory of planned behaviour.

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It is suggested that international trade has a positive effect on the growth rate of economies. Although a vast literature has illustrated that open or more liberalised economies grow faster, the specific factors that promote this process have only recently begun to be investigated. We belive that there is a non-linear relationship between trade and growth, with the impact depending on a number of macroeconomic factors, i.e. the magnitude and even the direction of the effect of trade on economic performance might depend on other macroeconomic variables. Within this framework, our study aims to investigate the possible non-linearity in the trade-growth relationship, with a special focus on the financial deepening level for the selected Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. Unlike the existing empirical literature on trade-growth nexus for the CEE economies, we utilise threshold regression techniques, where we allow the size and direction of the impact of trade on growth to differ between regimes, conditioning on the financial deepening level of these countries. Regarding credit growth and investment/credit ratio as thresholds, the countries in the upper regime benefit significantly more from trade.

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The goal of the paper is to analyze the demographic discrepancies in the relationship between customers’ perceptions of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and their loyalty towards mobile telecommunication companies, within the particular socio-cultural and economic context of one of the largest national markets of Central and Eastern Europe. For this purpose, a survey was conducted among a sample of 1,464 mobile telecommunication customers from the urban areas of Romania. The findings emphasize several significant dissimilarities between gender, age, education and residence type based consumer categories in what concerns the impact of various CSR dimensions, as perceived by customers, on corporate brand loyalty. The results have practical implications for enhancing corporate brand loyalty in the regional mobile telecommunication market by outlining those CSR policies which should have priority in implementation and, especially, communication.

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The paper studies the relationship between key factors influencing senior entrepreneurship and the level of inclusiveness of seniors in entrepreneurial activity in Europe. The objective is to cluster countries with similar patterns in senior entrepreneurial inclusivity and to identify the factors leading to inclusive entrepreneurship of seniors and their social cohesion. The focus is on European countries which participated in Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) between 2001 and 2012, using GEM data as the main source for the analyses. Initially, the authors identify the key factors influencing entrepreneurial activity of seniors within Europe based upon data contained within the literature review. At the same time, utilizing the senior entrepreneurship inclusivity index, the authors measure the level of inclusiveness in each European country. Using the results of these analyses the authors subsequently implement a cluster analysis method to create clusters among European countries based upon the similarities in the relationship between the levels of senior entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial activity of the general population. This helps them identify countries with above average levels of senior entrepreneurship inclusivity. The results allow the authors to assess key similarities in clustered economies in terms of entrepreneurial culture and policies which have a major influence on senior entrepreneurship.

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