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The first major global crisis of the 21st century, the increasingly general name of which is the “Great Crisis” (like the descriptive name of Great Depression of 1929), has been an important challenge for practically all the institutions of multilateral cooperation. The crisis has made it clear once again that avoiding the derailment of globalization of trade and finance, and protecting the globe from fragmentation call for enhanced global cooperation and an efficient, flexible and coherent system of global governance.

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We are immersed in a knowledge society that calls for indicators to go beyond economic factors to measure the development of a country. In this paper we use an adapted microeconomic model that determines the value of a country’s intellectual capital. For this, we consider intangibles such as human development, economic structure, international trade, foreign image and innovation. This measurement of intellectual capital is divided into human and structural capital and is used to analyse the relationship between these capitals and the economic development of the 27 countries in the European Union (EU27). The results show that when we consider aspects other than economic variables, the differences between countries are larger. Moreover, there is an inverse relationship between the management of intangibles and economic growth, which is why the former progresses after the latter have occurred.

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In the late eighties, many developing countries followed the example of the most advanced countries and opened their capital account (K.A.) in an attempt to reap new gains from increased integration with the world economy. Currently, after the wave of financial and currency crises that hurt the global economy over the last decade, enthusiasm about K.A. liberalization has greatly faded. First, the relationship between development and capital account liberalization did not come out to be as solid as initially expected; second, the greater capital mobility has brought about new forms of financial instability. This paper points to some risks that might be associated with undifferentiated deregulation of international movements of capital in connection with developing economies. It argues in favor of proper sequencing: liberalization should proceed in parallel with progress when it comes to macroeconomic stability, building market competition and the creation of a sound, internal financial system. A separate section analyzes this issue in the special context of transition economies.

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Acta Oeconomica
Authors: Jorge de Andrés-Sánchez, Ángel Belzunegui-Eraso, and Francesc Valls-Fonayet

Abstract

The relationship between social expenditure, on the one hand, and poverty or income inequality indicators, on the other, focuses a great interest in the literature on welfare systems. In this paper, we evaluate the efficiency of the social transfer policies of the EU-28 states between 2011 and 2015 using deterministic and stochastic frontier models. Using the fuzzy clustering methods, we identify the patterns in the size of welfare systems, which we measure from the value and efficiency of social expenditure. In this way, we identify four clusters. The first cluster comprises many EU-15 countries (normally the Continental and the Nordic welfare states); the second comprises nations that were integrated into the EU in the last 15 years (mostly the former Communist countries); the third cluster comprises the culturally and geographically heterogeneous countries, such as Hungary, Ireland, Croatia and Luxemburg (whose main characteristic is the high efficiency of their social expenditure); and finally, the fourth group basically comprises the southern European countries, whose social transfer policy effectiveness is rather weak.

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Keynesian policy was quite successful in the post-war decades in Western Europe, but by the late 1960s lost its efficiency due to changes in conditions rather than its mistaken logic. The lesson from the first global crisis erupting in early 1970s and also from the subsequent several crises since then is that the increasing crisis propensity of the world economy is rooted in its inherent disequilibria stemming from deep inequalities, asymmetrical interdependencies and disintegrated socio-economic structures. In view of the failure of the prevailing methods of crisis management, particularly those undifferentiated, antisocial austerity measures corresponding to a neo-liberal monetarist concept which neglects this lesson, many economists prefer the Keynesian recipe. However, since global crises need global solution, and the spread of conspicuous consumption modify the demand constraint, its application must be adjusted to reality, and requires some global governance which may pave the way for a global oeco-social market economy.

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

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The progress of post-socialist systemic transformation should be evaluated through the prism of its influence on a country’s development abilities. During twenty years of comprehensive systemic shift, gross domestic product has increased only to a limited degree, on a par with the growth of the world economy. While judging the transformation progress, not only the improvement of competitiveness and growth in terms of quantity must be taken into account, but also social and cultural aspects. Had there been a better policy co-ordination of systemic change and socio-economic development, GDP could have increased by a considerable amount more. This opportunity has been missed due to the implementation of sub-optimal if not just wrong economic policies based on wrong economic theories and the lack of ability of the ruling elites to overrun the conflicts of interests.

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The Japanese economy has continued to grow, albeit at a low rate, through the drastic changes in the Japanese economic system. The global crisis has seriously affected the Japanese economy, despite it causing only slight damage to the banking sector. The current global economic crisis will have far-reaching consequences on the economic system and structure. In this study, the economic characteristics following the bubble economy and the sustainability of the Japanese economic system are examined.

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

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Abstract

In the era of irreversible globalisation, the worldwide economic and political rules of play must take into account of the growing importance of China. Rather than fight the country, one should pragmatically cooperate on solving the mounting global problems. Contemporarily, both China should adapt to the external world and the world itself should adapt to China. There is no possibility of imposing on it a model developed elsewhere, especially that these days liberal democracy is experiencing a systemic crisis in many countries. Neither is there a chance to impose the Chinese model on others, though it seems tempting to a country; it is not an exportable ‘commodity,’ but its elements may prove useful elsewhere. China is not aiming for global domination; instead, it is consistently integrating with the world to maintain its own development. The only reasonable way forward is thorough observation, mutual learning and pragmatic collaboration based on the non-orthodox economic thought.

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