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Competitiveness research projects, especially in the United States, revealed and described some phenomena, having become commonplaces by now, for the first time in the 1980s. Examples of such phenomena are the following: each developed market economy can be described as an open economy and we have to live and manage in a global economy. Competitiveness research projects formulated suggestions for governments and business leaders on how to cope with the evolving phenomena. They also provided their theoretical backgrounds but there are still some theoretical and empirical dilemmas in competitiveness research projects regardless of their effectiveness. One such dilemma is their either economics or business origin. The paper discusses the main reason for this and suggests that competitiveness research projects have brought a system paradigm that makes necessary the modification and reinterpretation of traditional borderlines and the scope of economics and business studies.

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It is of particular importance to be competitive for a country like Hungary, going to join the European Union. It has been important for the country to modernise its tax system, in line with completing the transition into a modern market economy. It is usually less interest in the examination of the tax system as to whether it is competitive, and if so, whether it is streamlined enough to comply with the international comity that dictates us that a country - while attractive for investors - must not avail itself of tax practices that can be seen harmful. Hungary, associated with the EC, is also bound to rules equivalent to the EC rules on state aid and, as a WTO member, to WTO rules on subsidies. This paper takes a hard look at the Hungarian fiscal system from the perspective of illegal state aid and harmful tax competition.

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Windmüller, Jonh P. (1987): Collective Barganing in Industrialised Market Economies: A Reappraisal. ILO, Geneva. Collective Barganing in Industrialised Market Economies: A Reappraisal

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Since the start of its post-socialist transformation in 1989, Bulgaria has imported a large number of formal institutions from advanced market economies, including the EU-15. However, the adoption of EU and other international rules has not been effective due to weak enforcement and application by domestic actors such as the securities regulator, courts, and company owners/managers. The failures of corporate governance in Bulgaria until the early 2000s can be attributed to the broad institutional context (the lack of rule of law) as well as the creation of quasi-public companies as a result of the first wave of mass privatisation (1996–97). Since 2002, information disclosure and protection of shareholder rights have improved significantly. The article examines the proposition that this is partly due to the prospect of EU accession, which has certainly influenced the attitudes and expectations of domestic actors. Based on company surveys and in-depth interviews, the paper analyses how the securities regulator and company owners/managers have been adapting to the imported formal rules.

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In this article, the authors give a rich-in-data account of Hungary's structural transition to a market economy between 1993 and 1998. Although the availability of statistics also puts constraint on which period to study, these years may as well be later termed the first phase of post-socialist transition. The article has three main parts. In the first, structural changes of the whole economy are presented; the structural shifts in output, value added, and investments are analysed. The diffusion of private ownership and foreign capital and the process of decentralisation and concentration are also discussed. In the second part, the manufacturing industries are in focus. With an interesting analytical tool – the growth matrix – the authors present a possible approach of studying sectoral development. By distinguishing the factor needs of the manufacturing industries, the factor intensities of production are also easy to understand and yet reasonable for studying the adjustment to modernisation trends. In the third part, the structural changes of foreign trade are shown: export orientation, import dependency, the relationship between export and technology are the main concerns of analysis. The impact of FDI on the manufacturing industries' foreign trade and performance close the third part of the article.

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A chain of innovation is social network , defined by offering or adopting and economic innovation. The main hypothesis is that diffusion of rural innovations and the changes of life-style of the peasants (generally: the growth of market economy) do not necessarily restructure or destroy local networks, but in some  case  they will be reinforced. There are two different forms of economic behaviour: that of the  innovator  and of the model imitator. The innovator is an enterpreneur in Schumpeter's sense: an economic actor implementing innovation. Other entrepreneurs do not innovate so they copy the existing economic models. The members of peasant  societies are mostly model imitators. This economic behaviour is based on peasant social networks: prestigious people are also  recognised as economic examples to be followed, so their innovations will be accepted. On the other hand, the strongly tied rural actors, who worked mostly together and represented many times their relatonships with all due solemnity, are socially urged to help their smaller relations even with economic advice. If the example is to be the entrepreneur, many connected households will be also entrepreneurs - but not necessaily innovators. There  will be new technologies  adapted in the community; even life-style will chenge, but not the  social networks that present major stability. To illustrate this hypothesis there is the description of two cases of anthropological fieldwork conducted in rural areas. One is the example of an indigenous community of the  Peruvian Andes and the other one is of a Hungarian village.

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Poland and Slovakia during the economic crisis 2008–2010

The influence of diverse exchange rate regimes

Society and Economy
Author: Krzysztof Bandasz

This article examines the impact of different exchange rate regimes on economic conditions during an external economic shock. It focuses on the recent global recession of 2008 and analyses its impact on two emerging market economies: Poland and Slovakia. These countries share many similarities, such as location, main trading partners and the general level of development. However, they differ significantly in the size of their economies and economic openness. They adopted radically different currency arrangements as well, which determined the way their economies were influenced by the economic turmoil. The article examines the role of foreign loans and the export structure as potential factors influencing the Slovak and Polish economies. Several economic indicators are analysed and compared, including trade balance, inflation, conditions in the tourism sector and credibility with the investor community. The paper argues that Poland substantially benefited from its monetary autonomy and the depreciation of the Polish Zloty. The weaker currency triggered a significant expenditure switching effect and improved the balance of trade. The membership in the Euro-zone had a blurred impact on Slovakia, it increased stability and credibility, however, it did not allow nominal adjustments to cushion the real economy.

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Abstract  

The economic and social transformation of countries of central and eastern Europe has deeply affected their S&T systems. However, conceptual and methodological problems in monitoring transformation of their S&T systems are not trivial. In this paper we analyse conceptual and methodological issues involved in measuring S&T activities in the socialist and post-socialist period across the most important S&T indicators (R&D, US and national patents; innovation surveys; bibliometrics). Our conclusions are that: i) the process of methodological harmonisation of S&T indicators has progressed considerably and we have provided some evidence in that respect; ii) the use of similar or identical indicators (business R&D, innovation counts, patents, citations) when making inter-country or inter-temporal comparisons should be approached with caution because of the significant differences between the socialist and post-socialist periods as well as between post-socialist R&D systems and R&D in other market economies. This latter applies especially to the interpretation of business R&D data in the post-socialist period.

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Abstract

The paper identifies three reasons why social scientists have not readily accepted a Darwinian perspective: first, in the relative importance they attribute to variability in social and cultural systems; second, in their conception of social evolution; third, in their emphasis on the emergent properties of social interaction. I locate the social sciences’ position in the late nineteenth century debate between Durkheim and Tarde, but point out that Durkheim is wrongly accused of presenting the human mind as a ‘blank slate’. Durkheim and Tarde took different lessons from Darwin's Origin of Species. The concept of co-evolution, as applied in behavioural ecology and complex systems theory, promises to bring the social and evolutionary sciences closer together. Our species has evolved a complex capacity for sustaining social relations, and outbreaks of violence must be explained not only in terms of evolved psychological dispositions, but also put in their social context. The diffusion of innovations in a farming economy must likewise be explained as a response to changes in the economic environment for which the farmers themselves are partly responsible through their engagement with the market economy. Cross-cultural applications of game theory indicate a fruitful way forward.

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This article is intended to give a short synopsis on the history of the Hungarian privatization, which has not been fully finished yet, but the most important aims however have been accomplished. As this issue is rather a complex one, having also legal and economic nature, one cannot avoid providing a short historical introduction from legal and economic aspects. Therefore the author also outlines the most significant elements of the changes in the system of the Hungarian ownership at the beginning of the 1990s, which can be featured as the transaction from planned economy into market-economy. After the introduction the author describes the most important steps of the Hungarian privatization, which can be summed up as follows: (i) stage of spontaneous privatization (1985-1989); (ii) stage of state-controlled privatization (1990); (iii) stage of state-"directed" privatization (1990-1991); (iv) stage of privatization under the SPA/-programmes (1991-1992); (v) stage of self-privatization (1992-1995); (vi) the "third" regulation of privatization, strategic privatization (1995-). The author also pays attention to the analysis of the relevant legal rules, which are or used to be in effect regulating privatization. The author also highlights that the law of Hungarian privatization cannot be thoroughly studied without taking into consideration the economic goals and economic characteristics of Hungary, as well.

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