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The effect of the exchange rate is often discussed in connection with economic performance, net export and inflation rate. Within the context of current discussions, we aim to examine the influence of the CZK/EUR exchange rate on changes in liquid assets in the Czech banking sector. The scope of our examination also covers the effects of GDP, CPI, one-month PRIBOR rate and the effects of ten-year government bond yield. The selected period is 2003–2014; monthly data taken from the CNB ARAD database is used. To verify the effect of the monitored variables on liquid assets in the Czech banking sector, we employed the regression analysis methods applied on financial and economic time series. The results show the effect of the CZK/EUR exchange rate and PRIBOR on changes in the liquid assets of Czech banks. The paper analyzes the identified causes and connections, and discusses possible consequences.

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International competitiveness is influenced by globalization processes in the world economy. This process changes the comparative advantages of each country and thus the shares of individual countries in world trade. BRICS countries have quickly strengthened their influence in international trade, and thus the European Union must face new pressure in competitiveness from their side. The aim of this paper is to define key factors of foreign trade competitiveness by an application of factor analysis and identify countries with similar characteristics of competitiveness factors by an application of cluster analysis. Factor and cluster analysis contain indicators of foreign trade which describe the driving forces of competitiveness, also in terms of long-term potentiality, and those which are direct or indirect outcomes of a competitive society and economy. Based on the results of the factor analysis, it is possible to classify the evaluated territories according to the level of foreign trade advancement by cluster analysis.

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The concept of money neutrality is an important pillar of the mainstream economic literature. It implies that autonomous changes in the money supply have no influence on real macroeconomic variables in the long run. The goal of this paper is to test the validity of (long-run) money neutrality proposition in the CEE (EU member) states. The empirical research is based on panel cointegration analysis which utilises annual data on real output and broad (M2) as well as narrow (M1) monetary aggregates over the 1995–2013 period for 11 ex-socialist EU countries. The results suggest that the money neutrality proposition could be rejected in both cases when narrow or broad measure of money supply is applied, meaning that an active monetary policy could and should be used as a stabilisation instrument as well as in stimulating real economic activity.

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This study seeks to show the impact of stock recommendation reports on the efficiency of investments in the Polish stock market. The study is carried out in two stages: the first takes place at the micro-level and is based on a behavioural experiment, while the second focuses on the verification of our results obtained on a real market. The main assertion is that stock recommendations create heuristic effects among investors near the publication date of the recommendation. The ambiguity of the recommendations hinders investors’ reliable and unequivocal evaluation in investment decisions. There are studies in this field for different stock markets and periods of time, but our research added significant new knowledge about the functioning of the Polish stock exchange. Our study fits into the mainstream analysis of outlining the behaviour of investors in the capital market. The research findings underpin our pessimism about the impact of stock recommendations on investors’ behaviour.

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Different valuation methods and determinants of housing prices in Budapest, Hungary are examined in this paper in order to describe price drivers by using an asking price dataset. The hedonic regression analysis and the valuation method of the artificial neural network are utilised and compared using both technical and spatial variables. In our analyses, we conclude that according to our sample from the Budapest real estate market, the Multi-Layer Preceptron (MLP) neural network is a better alternative for market price prediction than hedonic regression in all observed cases. To our knowledge, the estimation of housing price drivers based on a large-scale sample has never been explored before in Budapest or any other city in Hungary in detail; moreover, it is one of the first papers in this topic in the CEE region. The results of this paper lead to promising directions for the development of Hungarian real estate price statistics.

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At the onset of the mass protests in 2010–2011, many politicians and experts suggested that Arab countries could learn from the experiences of the post-communist transition of the early 1990s. However, the geopolitical, historical, and socio-economic context of the Arab transition was different in many respects from that of the former Soviet bloc countries 20 years earlier. These differences became even more obvious five years later, in early 2016, when most Arab transition attempts ended either in a new wave of authoritarianism, or protracted bloody conflicts. Nonetheless, there are some common lessons to be learnt from the history of both transitions. They concern interrelations between the political and economic transition, the role of institutional checks and balances and the rule of law, the speed of reforms, the dangers of ethnic and sectarian conflicts, and the role of external support.

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Author: Juliette Reich
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In this paper, the convergence in R&D expenditure across 21 European Union countries is examined by applying fractional integration analysis. Data are annual and cover the period 1990–2010. Results show that there is certain degree of convergence in R&D intensity. However, the speed of the convergence varies across countries. For most of the countries, the speed of convergence is higher in the R&D expenditures of governments than in the R&D expenditures of higher education institutions and businesses. Differences in the speed of convergence could be explained by differences in industry structures, in cultural trajectories, in macroeconomic conditions, or in internationalisation. The more dissimilar countries are in terms of these factors the more likely they are to have divergent paths. Furthermore, differences in R&D convergence by institutional sectors could be due to the different goals of each sector and to the relative weight of each sector in the entire economy.

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The main purpose of this paper is twofold. First, it aims to estimate the effect of the tightening of regulatory capital requirements on the real economy in periods of credit upswing. Second, it intends to show whether applying a counter-cyclical capital buffer measure as set down in the Basel III rules could have helped to reduce the pace of FX lending growth in Hungary, mitigating the buildup of vulnerabilities in the run-up to the global financial crisis. In order to answer these questions, we use a Vector Autoregression-based approach with the aim of understanding the impact of shocks to capital adequacy in the pre-crisis period. Our results suggest that although regulatory authorities could have slowed down the increase in lending temporarily, they would not have been able to avoid the upswing of FX lending by requiring counter-cyclical capital buffers even if such a tool had been available and even if they had reacted quickly to accelerating credit growth. Our results also suggest that a more pronounced tightening might have reduced FX lending substantially, but at the expense of real GDP growth. The reason is that unsustainable fiscal policy led to a trade-off between economic growth and the build-up of new vulnerabilities in the form of FX lending.

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This paper provides an empirical evaluation of the effects of income taxation on personal savings in Serbia, by taking into account both transmitting channels: the direct impact of capital income tax on the rate-of-return and the indirect impact of labour income tax on disposable income. The estimated elasticity of bank deposits to the rate of return of 0.3 and the estimated elasticity of employment income to a labour tax wedge of −0.38 suggest that income tax function aimed at minimising the efficiency losses should not considerably differentiate the tax burden on labour and capital income. We show that in the case of the introduction of a revenue-neutral income tax, with a single marginal tax rate of 15% and considerably larger labour income exemption, households’ savings in Serbia would decline by 0.27%. This means that the negative impact of a rise in the capital income tax wedge on savings would prevail over the positive effects of a labour tax wedge cut. The results imply that the overall possibility to boost savings using tax policy is modest.

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The study uses a cross-sectional data set for 209 countries in order to test whether the regulation of social life by Islamic norms and values is related to gender inequality and whether the impacts differ for the MENA countries, as well as Arab- and Muslim-majority countries. The study finds that the impact of gender inequality differs for the MENA, Arab- and Muslim-majority countries only when control variables are excluded from the regressions. The paper obtains empirical evidence against the belief that religion and oil are culprits responsible for holding women back in Muslim countries.

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The paper examines the motivational drivers behind the participation of Hungarian consumers on a special shopping event, also known as Glamour Days. The study encompasses a variety of related conceptualizations such as hedonic/utilitarian shopping values, self-gifting as well as impulsive buying practices. After the introduction of relevant consumer behaviour concepts and theoretical frameworks, the paper presents a qualitative research on adult and adolescent female consumers’ shopping experiences during Glamour Days. By building on phenomenological methodology, this study also portrays the ways this shopping event has changed consumer society within an originally strongly utilitarian attitude driven Hungarian culture. The phenomenological interview results highlight differences within the motivational drivers of pleasure-oriented shopping for the two age groups. For teenagers, the main motivation was related to the utilitarian aspect due to their financial dependence and the special opportunity to stand out of their peer group by joining an event that is exclusively held for adult women. On the other hand, adult women are motivated by combined hedonic and utilitarian values manifested in self-gifting and impulse buying within an effectively planned and managed shopping trip. Based on the results, retail specific strategies are provided along with future research directions.

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The project management literature on project success is rich. Numerous papers focus on the evolution of the understanding of project success, identification of success criteria and critical success factors. Critical success factors increase the potential for achieving project success, while project success can be evaluated with the help of success criteria. Although the interrelationships between critical success factors and success criteria are rarely analyzed, yet there is a strong demand for it. The aim of this paper is twofold. One of the aims is to identify the impact of one of the critical success factors, the project manager’s project management attitude on project success. The other aim is to highlight the interrelationship between the project manager’s personal characteristics and project management attitude and leadership style, which are three critical success factors. These aim to address the shortcoming mentioned above, which is considering the lack of the interrelationships between critical success factors and success criteria. The research outcomes are drawn from qualitative field research at the Hungarian subsidiaries of multinational companies operating in the ICT sector.

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The primary aim of this paper is to give a comprehensive overview of social media marketing solutions which can be used by companies. Many authors and researchers dealing with specialised subjects examine certain areas of this topic — and, in particular, with the influence of the social media on marketing communication. An overview of current literature and practical solutions enabled us to create a framework usable in the corporate sphere for creating a social media marketing strategy and for measuring the efficiency of social media activity. The framework helps companies to identify which social media solutions are worth taking advantage of to support their business processes, how they are able to measure the effectiveness of social media and it also provides a basis for the identification of additional research directions.

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In 1961, Staffan Linder attacked mainstream trade economics by diverging from the generally accepted factor endowments theory and focusing on alternative explanations of why countries trade with each other. He was among the first economists to recognise the growing importance of intraindustry trade and presented his hypothesis that the more similar the per capita income levels of countries, the more they tend to trade with each other. This observation has since become one of the main pillars of modern trade theory. The present paper assesses the empirical validity of the Linder hypothesis in the Visegrad countries. Using a variant of the gravity model, it finds that when controlling for other factors, the Visegrad countries tend to trade more with countries with similar per capita income levels than with significantly richer or poorer countries. This observation is consistent with the Linder hypothesis. OLS regressions, Tobit regressions, and robustness checks all support the hypothesis.

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The aim of this study is to shed some light on the factors determining the investment decisions of Sovereign Wealth Funds. Using the financial data from companies listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, the author employs a logit model to analyse the probability that firms are targeted for investment by the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund. These findings suggest that not only the growth of earnings per share increases the probability of such investment, but that also a company whose shares have been bought by the Government Pension Fund Global has, on average, a higher level of earnings per share than companies not targeted by the Fund. This study contributes to a deeper understanding of the investment activities of the world’s largest Sovereign Wealth Fund.

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Although Western Balkan countries are quite different, they can all be characterised by their one shared goal, to achieve the quickest possible accession to the European Union. Even though agriculture plays an important key role within all Western Balkan states, it’s share is the highest in Albania and only Serbia has a trade surplus. Land is a key production factor but all the analysed countries can be characterised by fragmented land structure and low average farm sizes. Mostly based on land ownership issues, a land reform index can be calculated. The major contribution of this paper to the literature is the reevaluated land reform index for the Western Balkans.

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Authors: Raul Manuel Da Silva Laureano, Maria João Cardoso Vieira Machado and Luís Miguel Da Silva Laureano

The purpose of this paper is to characterize the level of maturity of management accounting in Portuguese industrial SMEs. Specifically, the study classifies firms using Kaplan’s Four-Stage model; and introduces a new model to classify them better. The research design is exploratory. The data were collected through interviews with those responsible for management accounting in 58 Portuguese industrial SMEs. The analysis used descriptive and inferential statistics and a cluster analysis was performed to classify firms according to their management accounting characteristics. The results showed that all the SMEs belong to stage 2 of Kaplan’s model and that it is possible to classify them in one of the four stages of the proposed new model. Moreover, the type of firm and the source of capital have no influence on the level of maturity, although larger firms tend to have greater maturity. The study offers evidence that there is a clear difference between management accounting knowledge and practices, which should motivate top management to focus on the continuous training of firm employees on the latest developments in management accounting methods.

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Despite the large body of research on foreign direct investment, domestic savings, domestic investment and economic growth, little has been done to investigate the relationships among them. This paper examines the relationships among foreign direct investment, domestic savings, domestic investment, and economic growth in 16 Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries from 1981 to 2011, using various techniques. The results of VAR estimation and Granger causality tests demonstrate that there is a unidirectional causality from foreign investment to growth and domestic investment, savings to growth, and a bidirectional causality between growth and domestic investment as well as savings and domestic investment. The results of the variance decomposition analysis reveal that foreign investment exerts more influence on growth. Savings are more important in explaining domestic investment, growth is more important in explaining foreign investment, and domestic investment is more important in explaining savings. Based on the results of the impulse response analysis, there is a positive unidirectional causality from foreign investment to growth and domestic investment, savings to growth, and a positive bidirectional causality between savings and domestic investment, both in the short and long-run. Although there is feedback causality between domestic investment and growth, the impact from investment is negative in the short-run and positive in the long-run. Thus, policies that encourage foreign investment and savings are required to boost domestic investment and promote growth, and policies that raise domestic investment will lead to higher savings and growth in SSA.

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The paper intends to give an insight into the relations of the economic and political systems of the Central Asian republics using the theoretical framework of the “rentier economy” and “rentier state” approach. The main findings of the paper are that two (Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan) of the five states examined are commodity export dependent “full-scale” rentier states. The two political systems are of a stable neo-patrimonial regime character, while the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan, poor in natural resources but dependent on external rents, may be described as “semi-rentier” states or “rentier economies”. They are politically more instable, but have an altogether authoritarian, oligarchical “clan-based” character. Uzbekistan with its closed economy, showing tendencies of economic autarchy, is also a potentially politically unstable clan-based regime. Thus, in the Central Asian context, the rentier state or rentier economy character affects the political stability of the actual regimes rather than having a direct impact on whether power is exercised in an autocratic or democratic way.

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The paper analyses the impact of the factors of production on economic growth in Poland in the years 1992–2012, with particular focus on the impact of foreign direct investment (FDI), and strives to verify whether a causality relationship occurred between GDP and FDI, i.e. whether high GDP dynamics attracted FDI inflows and whether this investment contributed to GDP growth. The Vector Error Correction Method impulse responses and variance decomposition analysis confirmed the bi-directional relationships between FDI and GDP in Poland. However, the impact of GDP on attracting FDI inflows to Poland is stronger than that of FDI on GDP growth. Polish developmental policy should concentrate on three essential determinants (pillars) of growth, namely employment growth, attracting FDI (with emphasis on improvement in the type of inflowing investment), and increasing the value and productivity of domestic investment.

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Authors: Dominik Brenner, Pál Czeglédi and Sergiu Delcea
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This paper proposes a new measure of central bank credibility — the credibility index calculated on the basis of the key determinants of central bank credibility. The index is compiled for 9 countries: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Chile, Brazil, Turkey, United Kingdom and Sweden , for the years 1999–2007. The results are cross-checked with other credibility measures based on inflation expectations of two groups of economic agents. The analysis demonstrates that the credibility index may be considered a relevant and consistent credibility measure.

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This paper examines the impact of firm-specific and industry characteristics on capital structure during a sample period spanning from 2007 to 2013. We used panel regression with fixed effects and found strong evidence that capital structure is most affected by firm-specific factors such as tangibility, non-debt tax shields, liquidity, firm size, taxes paid, profitability, Tobin’s Q ratio, and growth assets. In addition, the empirical results indicate that firms operating in different industries have dissimilar capital structures.

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I seek to investigate the relationship, if exits, between foreign bank penetration (FBP) and the determinants of bank performance, namely domestic bank assets (DB), domestic credit (CREDIT), and banking profitability (PRO) in Turkey using quarterly data from 1994Q1 to 2009Q4, while controlling for GDP and the event of the 2001 financial crisis. Using the Granger causality, impulse response function and variance decomposition, the short run dynamics are examined. The outcome of the Granger causality test indicates that there is unilateral causality, which runs from domestic bank assets to FBP at the 10% level. Moreover, I also find feedback causality between FBP and CREDIT at the 5% level. By employing impulse response functions, my findings reveal that rising foreign bank assets in Turkey tend to increase domestic bank assets and credit availability in short run, and vice versa. Surprisingly, no significant impact of FBP on profitability in the banking sector is observed.

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The objective of organizational creativity is to identify those factors that could affect creativity. One of the most influential factors is the leadership style. Following the review of literatures, we investigated this phenomenon in the Hungarian labor market. We analyzed the answers of more than 600 Hungarian employees. We asked them to categorize their leader on the basis of which classic Lewin leadership style is most characteristic of him or her. After this, they needed to judge how the perceived leadership style would affect the two phases of their workplace creativity. Similarly to international results, democratic leadership style proved to be stimulating, while the authoritarian leadership style was inhibitory. It has also been proved that not only leadership style influences creativity, as the model of successful creative organization cannot be described with the behavior of the leader(s) only.

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The implementation of efficient cross-border digital public services for a connected Europe, a developed e-government represents a priority for the European Union. There are big differences in the way e-government is adopted. Transition economies lag behind developed economies. This paper explores the e-government adoption in its multidimensionality within the EU member states. It uses 22 variables, which highlight: technological preparedness, the ability to access and absorb information and information technology, the ability to generate, adopt and spread knowledge, the social and legal environment, the government policy and vision, and consumer and business adoption and innovation. Barriers to efficient e-government adoption in transition economies are identified. Multicriteria decision analysis is used for the prioritisation of the factors with the highest overall impact on efficient implementation. The authors use the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP method) for prioritisation and the numerical results are obtained with Expert Choice software.

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The paper tests the hypothesis on whether refined economic value added (REVA) is highly associated with stock return compared to traditional performance measures. The goal of the study is to provide empirical evidence on the relative and incremental information content of REVA and traditional performance measures, such as net income (NI), net operational profit after tax (NOPAT), and earning per share (EPS). The study involves 395 non-financial companies listed in Bursa Malaysia over the period of 2002–2011. Pearson correlation coefficient and panel data single and multiple regression models were employed to analyze the data. The empirical results indicate that the relative information content of the REVA was not greater than that of NI and NOPAT to explain stock returns. NI and NOPAT were highly correlated with stock return compared to REVA. Additionally, the incremental information content test indicated that REVA makes some additional contribution to information content beyond the NI, NOPAT, and EPS. Finally, the panel multiple regression models showed that there was a strong relationship between NI, NOPAT, and REVA with stock return, but there was no meaningful association between EPS and stock returns. Overall, the results do not support the hypothesis that REVA can be considered superior to traditional accounting measures in association with stock returns.

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Léon Walras (1874) had already realised that his neo-classical general equilibrium model could not accommodate autonomous investments. In the early 1960s, Amartya Sen analysed the same issue in a simple, one-sector macroeconomic model of a closed economy. He showed that fixing investment in the model, built strictly on neo-classical assumptions, would make the system overdetermined, and thus one should loosen some neo-classical conditions of competitive equilibrium. He analysed three not neo-classical “closure options”, which could make the model well-determined in the case of fixed investment. His list was later extended by others and it was shown that the closure dilemma arises in the more complex computable general equilibrium (CGE) models as well, as does the choice of adjustment mechanism assumed to bring about equilibrium at the macro level. It was also illustrated through several numerical models that the adopted closure rule can significantly affect the results of policy simulations based on a CGE model.

Despite these warnings, the issue of macro closure is often neglected in policy simulations. It is, therefore, worth revisiting the issue and demonstrating by further examples its importance, as well as pointing out that the closure problem in the CGE models extends well beyond the problem of how to incorporate autonomous investments into a CGE model. Several closure rules are discussed in this paper and their diverse outcomes are illustrated by numerical models calibrated on statistical data. First, the analyses are done in a one-sector model, similar to Sen’s, but extended into a model of an open economy. Next, the same analyses are repeated using a fully-fledged multi-sectoral CGE model, calibrated on the same statistical data. Comparing the results obtained by the two models it is shown that although they generate quite similar results in terms of the direction and — to a somewhat lesser extent — of the magnitude of change in the main macro variables using the same closure option, the predictions of the multi-sectoral CGE model are clearly more realistic and balanced.

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In practice, input congestion effects appear in railway transport due to the difficulties of disposing of unnecessary input factors. This study measures the output-oriented technical efficiency and input congestion with consideration of categorical variables for railway transport by using the DEA extension approach. The empirical results from 24 European railway companies show that in 12 railways, the presence of weak congestion can be proved. Based on the results of identifying the source(s) of input congestion and further determining its amount, one can obtain more insights into railways’ operation and thus propose more effective strategies for improvement.

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January returns on stock markets can be used as a barometer for the subsequent 11-month holding period returns as documented by Cooper et al. (2006). We examine this apparent anomaly and analyze the effects of other holding periods of 1, 3, and 6 months in six Central and Eastern European transition economies from January 1991 through December 2013. Our results do not support the presence of the other January effect (OJE) in five of the six markets. Instead, the results reveal significant anomalies in non-January months and that such effects vary across markets. This latter evidence might reflect different characteristics in these economies, including diverse levels of market efficiency, local risk factors, and portfolio management among others. Furthermore, we construct a trading rule using the other month effect to illustrate the possibility of developing profitable investment strategies to earn abnormal returns.

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The main ambition of this study is to explain the unexpected change in the transition process of some Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries starting in the second half of the 2000s. Special attention is paid to changes in and the attitudes of governments toward state ownership. Although statist approaches gained momentum in the economic policy of various states in and after the 2008/2009 crisis, this did not mean a fundamental reorientation expressed in changes in the main economic conditions such as ownership patterns. Nevertheless, governments in some CEE countries seem to flirt with such ideas too in the general policy of increasing state economic intervention. The privatisation process was stopped and in a number of cases, formerly privatised assets were re-nationalised. Governments strengthened their influence in the governance structure in mixed-ownership companies. The main body of the present paper provides a better understanding of this change in state property policies. We also call attention to the risks of a reversal of the privatisation logic. An increasing role of the state as proprietor may today strengthen similar negative political and economic consequences and risks as the ones against which the privatisation agenda of the 1990s was suggested. It can reduce competition, give way for political and personal rentseeking, and weaken the functions of market economic institutions.

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This paper focuses on determinants of survival of new private firms in the manufacturing sector in a transition economy, Vietnam, during the period 2000–2007. A semi-parametric Cox proportional hazard model is applied with a comprehensive specification of firm-specific, industrial and macroeconomic factors. There is strong evidence in market selection that labour productivity is the most important internal factor supporting firm survival. Other evidence is that firms with higher profitability in terms of profit per employee will have higher survival probability. For private firms, in terms of start-up factors, although total assets increase the probability of survival, total sales decrease it. Besides, industries which have increasing numbers of employees open favourable opportunities for new private firms. Furthermore, the macroeconomic factor, GDP, significantly supports the development of private firms.

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The idea of symbolic consumption is based on the assumption that consumption is more than just functional problem solving: products and brands have significant meanings; therefore, they can be utilized as symbols in the cultural ecosystem. However, grasping the meaning of a specific brand can be confusing because it would presume knowledge about the brand as a symbol shared by the customers. We review the contradicting findings in the literature about the symbolic meaning of brands, and we initiate a new reference point in order to dissolve the above mentioned conflict. According to our understanding, the symbolic meaning of a brand shall be examined in the context of specific brand communities and not in general. We suggest that limiting the scope of research to brands with brand communities resolves several limitations of symbolic consumption studies focusing on general issues. Our theoretical model distinguishes the different types of brand communities based on their main cohesive force. In the model, at one end we find image based brand communities where the brand image is the main cohesive force, while at the other end we find brand-subcultures where the members are more committed to each other than to the brand.

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Much empirical research has been carried out to test the presence of contagion in European sovereign debt crisis since the beginning of 2010. In this paper I will consider contagion as a change in the transmission mechanism of shock, illustrating co-movement among the sovereign credit default swap (CDS) markets of seven European countries and the UK from November 2008 up until June 2013. By examining daily pricing data of the five-year sovereign CDS contracts of these countries, I found a large increase in the volatility in the period of crisis, and hence a correlation test is invalid, but parametric method with GARCH residual time series and quantile regression approach are applicable. The first test modelling time series’ residuals by GARCH formula shows no contagion. In the second method, slope equality tests analyse the stability in linear relationship among markets across quantile and find no evidence of contagion. This final result of no contagion during the debt crisis suggests that the reason of the sovereign risk’s propagation is the conventional interdependence among countries, not the greatness of the shock.

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Using an updated microsimulation model developed earlier in the Hungarian National Bank, we estimate the macroeconomic, budgetary and labour market effects of government measures relating to taxes, social contributions, social transfers and gross wages since 2010. Compared to other studies, we take into account a more broad scope of measures, e.g. measures affecting gross wages and total labour cost directly. According to our estimations, the increase of the minimum wage and the so-called expected wage have fully compensated the low-income households of 2.3 million people already in the short-run for the loss of net income stemming from personal income tax and social contribution changes (especially for the abolition of tax credit).Taking into account social transfer reforms, the long-term macroeconomic effect of the measures is favourable: the level of employment may increase by approximately 2 percent, steady-state GDP level may go up by 1.5–2 and public deficit may decrease in the long run due to the government measures.

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Logistics industry, being the modern industry integrating information, forwarding, warehousing, and transportation, plays an important role in optimizing the industrial structure in regional economic development. There have been many experts and scholars interpreting the relationship between the level of regional economy and logistics industry from the aspect of econometric model. Referring to existing research results, Panel Vector Autoregressive Model and Factor Analysis are applied to study panel data of 5 coastal provinces in past 20 years and construct relevant indicators reflecting logistic competitiveness, the level of regional economy, and degree of openness in order to explore the linkage effect between logistic competitiveness and the level of regional economy. The results suggest that the 5 coastal provinces can merely achieve the long-term and steady development of regional economy by moving towards the linkage development between logistic industry and manufacturing industry.

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It is important for Taiwanese policy makers to understand how economic factors affect US tourists’ decision to travel to Taiwan. For the long-run analysis, Johansen’s cointegration test reveals that three cointegration vectors exist among the model variables, indicating a long-run relationship. To conduct a short-run analysis, this paper employs vector auto regression (VAR) to estimate the responses of US tourists in Taiwan to the shocks of changes to personal disposable income, cost of living, and substitute price. The short-run equilibrium adjustment processes are discussed in terms of generalized impulse response. The results show an immediate and significant response of changes in tourist arrivals to their own impacts, changes in the cost of living, and changes in the substitute price. In addition, the price, income, and cross-elasticity of tourism demand are all positive at the beginning of the responses, implying that the tourism products can be attributed to normal and substitute goods.

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The present study’s primary objective is to identify contributing factors in selecting and evaluating a seafood supplier within the Taiwanese hospitality industry. It illustrates the application of a multicriteria decision-making process to supplier selection within a service setting where it is less common than in a manufacturing context. To implement the study, a survey instrument was created and submitted to Taiwanese hospitality firms, namely hotels and restaurants, to identify contributing factors in the selection of a seafood supplier within six initial areas concerning food hygiene, stafftraining, crisis management, information technology, competitive ability, and logistics and quality assurance. The analytic hierarchical process (AHP) was then applied to the survey results, and the first- and second-level hierarchical factors were rigorously identified and ranked. These can be regarded as useful benchmarks in identifying and ranking the selection and evaluation of a food supplier within the industry. The present study enhances the understanding of supplier selection in the hospitality industry and provides insights which hospitality firms can apply in managing their supply chains. The managerial and research implications of these findings are discussed.

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The paper examines how flows of foreign aid have reacted to events of democratisation in developing countries. Using a panel dataset of 136 aid-receiving countries between 1980 and 2009, aid allocation regressions reveal that Western donors in general have tended to react to visible, major democratic transitions by increasing aid to the partner country, but no significant increases can be identified in the case of countries introducing smaller democratic reforms. The increases in aid flows are not sustained over time, implying that donors do not provide long-term support to nascent democracies. Also, democratisations in Sub-Saharan Africa do not seem to have been rewarded with higher levels of aid.

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The main goal of this paper is a quantitative identification of bear market periods during the 2007–2009 global financial crisis in the case of the Visegrad Group stock markets. We analyse four countries, namely Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia and, for comparison, the US stock market. The sample period begins on May1, 2004, and ends on April 30, 2013, i.e. it includes the 2007 US subprime crisis. We use the statistical method of dividing market states into bullish and bearish markets. Our results reveal October 2007–February 2009 as the common downmarket period of the recent global financial crisis, except for Slovakia. It is instructive to formally identify crises, as it enables sensitivity analyses of various relationships and linkages among international stock markets using econometric and statistical tools, with respect to the pre-, post- and crisis periods. Moreover, we investigate the effect of increasing cross-market correlations in the crisis compared to the pre-crisis period, applying both standard contemporaneous correlations and volatility-adjusted correlation coefficients. The results confirm that accommodating heteroskedasticity is critical for detecting contagion across economies. A number of studies document that crossmarket correlations vary over time, thereby making the benefits of international portfolio choice and diversification questionable.

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Authors: András Tétényi, Alfredo Hernández Sánchez and Gergely Rezessy
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The aim of this study is to apply the stochastic job search framework to the analysis of three transition economies (Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic). Two versions of equilibrium unemployment models have been developed resembling Mortensen and Pissarides’ models, namely the dynamic and stochastic models. The dynamic model’s properties were briefly examined by evaluating the Jacobian matrix and plotting the phase plane of the economy. In the primary analysis of the stochastic model, job destruction decisions are endogenous as a response to random productivity changes. A martingale, i.e. a discrete-space version of the geometric Brownian motion with the drift and volatility parameter, was used to enable fluctuation of endogenous variables and to perform numerical simulations. The results are promising, although ambiguous in some points, e.g. the main model-generated time-series are close to the empirical time-series, including reasonable fluctuations, correlation signs, and autocorrelations. However, the model was unable to capture some subtle differences in productivity and job destruction rate series across the countries, which is its main limitation.

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This study examines the causes of the rather dissimilar development of individual EU economies after the 2008/09 crisis. The initial elemental analysis of contributions to GDP growth is followed by a growth accounting exercise, with decomposition into the effects of movements in total factor productivity, capital stock, and several labour market indicators. The subsequent section then seeks to clarify to what extent this development was driven by changes in cyclical conditions and the potential product.

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The Central and Eastern European new Member States of the European Union (CEECs) went through the transition process following the commandments of the Washington Consensus, which gradually evolved into the “integrative growth model”. External liberalisation exposed the CEECs to recurring problems over external imbalances, bubbles driven by capital inflows, and resulting growth instabilities. Large foreign direct investment inflows attracted by repressed wages and low taxes do not accelerate growth. Arguably, real convergence would be much faster under a system with built-in limitations to free trade, free capital movements – and with more scope for traditional industrial, trade, incomes, and fiscal policies.

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Authors: Vera Takács, Ákos Máté and Sándor Gyula Nagy

The European Union does not have a comprehensive common tax policy and substantial changes in this specialized policy area are not likely in the foreseeable future. Albeit common rules, requirements, minimum rates for certain tax types were implemented in the last few decades, they barely limit the Member States in using their tax policies as one of the worthiest elements of their arsenal in increasing competitiveness or quite the contrary, to undermining their own international competitiveness inadvertently through a misguided tax policy. In this article, we put the tax policies of the Visegrad Group and the Eurozone core countries (Germany, Austria and the Netherlands), as well as changes in these policies under the magnifying glass, in terms of the impact of tax structure changes on economic growth and employment in the last decade.

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The principal component analysis is a practical method for multivariate statistical analyses. It can eliminate the correlation between sample indexes, and on the premise of keeping the main information of samples, extract a few representative principal components. This article adopts the input—output method and principal component analysis. It carries on the transverse comparison research on the effective utilization situation of human resources in China in 2008 and reveals the actual situation of efficient use of human resources in the provinces in China. The degree of effective use of human resources in Beijing is the highest, while in Ningxia is the lowest. It is closely related to the economic development. Finally, it puts forward the thoughts and suggestions of improving the effective use of human resources in China.

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The subject of the paper is related to the tainting of the public contract award process and the consequences generated by it: corruption in public procurement, which is a major problem of the Romanian economy, recognised and pointed out both at the national and at the European level. The study provides empirical evidence that between 2009–2013 there were many companies that repeatedly win public procurement contracts and do business only (or almost only) with the local and central authorities (contracting authorities who represent the interests of political parties). At the theoretical level, the profile of these companies, called political companies, is identified.

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The paper provides a systematic review on the cost-of-illness studies in an age-associated condition with high prevalence, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), published in Medline between 2005 and 2015. Overall 11 studies were included, which were conducted in 8 countries. In the US, the annual direct medical costs per patient ranged from $255 to $5,729, while in Europe from €253 to €1,251. In 2008, in the UK total annual direct medical costs of BPH were £180.8 million at national level. In the US, overall costs of BPH management in the private sector were estimated at $3.9 billion annually, of which $500 million was attributable to productivity loss (year 1999). Due to demographic factors and possible surgical innovations in the field of urology, the costs of BPH are likely to increase in the future. Over the next decade the age of retirement is projected to rise, consequently, the indirect costs related to aging-associated conditions such as BPH are expected to soar. To promote the transparent and cost-effective management of BPH, development of rational clinical guidelines would be essential that may lead to significant improvement in quality of care as well as reduction in healthcare expenditure.

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The traditional baseball instruction strategies were mainly conducted by the instructors with oral explanation and exemplification while students had to improve their performance in athletic activities through continuous practice. During the learning process of athletic skills, students oftentimes posed less confidence due to unskilled body movement resulting in lower achievement sense. Finally, they started to reject the engagement in relevant athletic activities and even never practice anymore. Therefore, this research aimed to explore the influence on the learning motivation and the performance of athletic skills made by students in the conventionally instructive mode by introducing the Computer-Aided Design (CAD) instruction strategies of the kinect baseball learning system. Research results indicated: (1) after the kinect baseball learning system was introduced into instruction, it positively affected the learning motivation of students; (2) after the kinect baseball learning system was introduced into instruction, it positively affected the performance of athletic skills of students.

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Slow tourism, a sustainable tourism pattern gradually emphasized over the past years, stresses on experiencing tourism campaigns with slow and recreational attitudes to create value for life and enhance well-being. Although the concept of slow tourism presents certain consensus in academic studies, it still encounters a lot of operational challenges, which could be properly solved through the educational training of operators and consumers and the economic value chain formed by industry alliances. In terms of the practical operation, the slow tourism promotion architecture is developed for promoting slow tourism in Green Island, Taiwan. The architecture is divided into two stages. The preparation stage focuses on communication, training, and the improvement of industrial environment to form the slow tourism industry alliance for cross-selling and importing visitors. The operational stage tends to form the overall image of the destination by maintaining the quality of slow tourism through review and innovation and gradually extend the slow tourism industry alliance. The key role in the promotion architecture is local intermediary organizations which integrate internal and external resources to have slow tourism present the maximal benefits.

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The balance-of-payments can act as a constraint on the rate of output growth, on putting a limit to the growth in the level of demand to which supply can adapt. Regional economies might be particularly sensitive to this effect, since they are presumably more integrated among them. In this paper, we examine this issue for the case of the 17 Spanish regions over the period 1988–2009, and calculate their balance-of-payments-constrained growth rates. By comparing these balance-of-payments-constrained growth rates with the actual growth rates, we would be able to assess whether the balance-of-payments has worked as a constraint on growth.

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The occurrence of Asian Financial Crisis and successive scandals highlight the importance of corporate governance on which the public start to stress. “Pursuing internationalization for sustainable development” has become a trend for corporate development in the future. Nonetheless, the promotion of internationalization enhances multiple operating environments and information complexity. An enterprise therefore has to adjust the existing organizational structure and construct favorable corporate governance mechanisms to timely reflect market demands and have the enterprise acquire the advantage of the economy of scale through overseas extension points. With the approach of globalization era, the extreme dependence of economic activities on import/export hastens Taiwan actively joining in World Trade Organization (WTO) to enhance the circulation of goods and resources among member states. Under such a trend, the industrial structure in Taiwan needs to be adjusted, and industries with competitiveness would present larger development space. Aiming at listed companies in Taiwan Stock Exchange, the research period is set 16 years, from 1999 to 2014. The research results conclude that 1. competition would affect corporate governance, 2. competition would influence corporate performance, and 3. corporate governance would affect corporate performance. The research results are expected to inspire international enterprises with the competition evaluation and corporate governance adjustment to promote the corporate performance.

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The enhancement of economic development and living standard in last years has the people stress more on recreational life that tourism becomes prevalent in Taiwan. County and city governments positively promote tourism and hold cultural festivals to enhance the boom of accommodation and catering industries and further fire national tourism market and catering industry.

Through online questionnaire survey, the customers of Wang Steak, TASTy, Tokiya, and ikki, which are the subsidiaries of Wowprime and burst out the oil scandal recently, are distributed 800 copies of questionnaires. Total 388 effective copies are retrieved with the effective rate 49%. The research results are concluded as follows. 1. Crisis Communication Strategies would affect Media Report. 2. Crisis Communication Strategies would influence Corporate Image. 3. Media Report has significantly positive effects on Managerial Capacity in Corporate Image. 4. Media Report presents remarkably positive effects on Corporate Reputation in Corporate Image. 5. Media Report shows notably positive effects on Communication News in Corporate Image. It is expected that catering businesses could enhance the countermeasures of Crisis Communication Strategies to cope with crises.

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The rapid advance of science technology and civilization has resulted in people’s activities being more complicated as various new problems are likely to occur at any time. Problem-solving abilities therefore become a basic competence to survive in modern societies. In the problem-solving process, the development of creativity is required to break through dilemmas. School education aims to cultivate students’ decision-making and problem-solving competence. Nonetheless, the educational approaches and contents in Taiwan stress too much on mastery learning, and ignore the development of curiosity and creative potential.

Aiming at the students in the department of business management in national universities in Taiwan, total 300 copies of questionnaires are distributed, and 187 valid copies are retrieved, with the retrieval rate 62%, in which each retrieved copy is regarded as a valid sample. The research findings show that Curriculum Design presents partially positive effects on Fluency, Flexibility, Originality, and Elaboration in Creative Potential Developing and Background Variables reveal significant moderating effects on the correlations between Curriculum Design and Creative Potential Developing.

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The promotion of educational standards and the rising independent awareness of females, females are gradually taking a place in the employment market. Industrial structure evolution and social transformation have the societies in Taiwan change from traditional manufacturing to hi-tech, information, and food service industries. Demands for human resources therefore become different from the past that lots of employment opportunities were indirectly created for females. Regarding the labor participation rate, the increasing female engagement in workplaces has enhanced the generation of female leadership. The unique female personality traits could assist female managers in forming unique management styles in business management. Aiming at Wowprime, total 650 copies of questionnaires are distributed, and 477 valid copies are retrieved, with the retrieval rate 73%. The results conclude 1. positive effects of leadership on teamwork, 2. positive effects of teamwork on organizational performance, and 3. positive effects of leadership on organizational performance. The results are expected to help the leadership of female managers in catering industry.

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Human resource is the major source of competitive advantages for an enterprise. Discussions aiming at the role of human resource in educational communities are progressing in past years. From the mobility of human resource in an organization, retaining human assets or reducing the mobility to the lowest are considered as the professional commitment of human resource and the direction for efforts. A new viewpoint about the role of human resource reveals that the role of human resource is to change social capital into the driving force of competitive advantages of an organization. It might affect the presentation of different roles of human resource in various corporate characteristics. For this reason, the effects of high-tech corporate characteristics on social capital and role of human resource management are discussed in this study.

Aiming at Kunshan High-tech Industrial Development Zone, the management and the employees in the manufacturers are distributed 1000 copies of questionnaires, and 683 valid copies are retrieved, with the retrieval rate 68%. The research results show 1. significantly positive effects of social capital on the role of human resource, 2. remarkably positive effects of corporate characteristics on social capital, and 3. notably positive effects of corporate characteristics on the role of human resource. It is expected to verify richer and more diverse effects for the reference of successive research and practice communities.

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