Authors:Štefan Bojnec, Imre Fertő, Attila Jámbor, and József Tóth
Technical efficiency in agriculture of 10 new EU member states is analysed by Data Envelopment Analysis and econometric panel data analysis. Technical efficiency in agriculture is significantly positively associated with agricultural factor endowments, average farm size, farm specialisation, small-scale farms, and technological change. Foreign direct investments have an ambiguous effect. Reform and institutional developments, large-scale privatisation and price liberalisation, and urban- rural income gap are associated with technical efficiency in agriculture positively. An increase in technical efficiency in agriculture and the development of the rural economy are seen as a strategy to boost the level of living standards in agriculture and in rural areas.
This essay is an attempt to put two major events in a broader perspective. Comparing the two dominant discourses, we attempt to address the meaning and thus the strategic options of European integration at a time of crisis. A political economy approach is adopted to explain the different dynamics of the two cases and to specify conditions for a more efficient integration in the years to come. Some proposals for policy reform conclude.
Authors:Willem Trommel, Taco Brandsen, Mirjan van Heffen-Oude Vrielink, and Maaike Moulijn
The paper examines four different cases in which performance measurement has been applied within a process of policy reform. The cases will demonstrate that a large variety of mechanisms may underlie the use of performance measurement instruments, ranging from institutional imitation to political pressures. They show that it is insufficient to study performance measurement problems merely from the classical principal-agent perspective, simply because governance systems frequently lack an institutionalised principal-agent relationship. One must travel down new avenues of research to understand this phenomenon more fully, a journey for which this paper provides some preliminary directions.
In the dominant perspective on trade unions, stronger trade unions are supposed to lead to higher wages and less extensive welfare reforms. This article focuses on the role of trade unions in the processes of welfare reform in Central and Eastern European countries in the last decade, and aims to assess the extent to which this role is comparable to that of trade unions in Western countries. The article analyses key characteristics of trade unions' roles and positions in Bulgaria, Croatia, Moldova, Romania, Poland and Slovenia. These characteristics are related to the social policy reforms and wage developments in these countries, in order to analyse if the dominant perspective holds true also for Central and Eastern European countries.