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Measuring the circularity of congressional districts
Authors: Balázs Nagy and Szilvia Szakál

Abstract

Shape analysis has special importance in the detection of manipulated redistricting, which is called gerrymandering. In most of the US states, this process is made by non-independent actors and often causes debates about partisan manipulation. The somewhat ambiguous concept of compactness is a standard criterion for legislative districts. In the literature, circularity is widely used as a measure of compactness, since it is a natural requirement for a district to be as circular as possible. In this paper, we introduce a novel and parameter-free circularity measure that is based on Hu moment invariants. This new measure provides a powerful tool to detect districts with abnormal shapes. We examined some districts of Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, and Utah over several consecutive periods and redistricting plans, and also compared the results with classical circularity indexes. We found that the fall of the average circularity value of the new measure indicates potential gerrymandering.

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THE FUTURE OF WORK IN THE VISEGRAD GROUP OF COUNTRIES
Author: MARK KEESE

A number of megatrends are hitting the world of work at the same time. These include the digital revolution, globalisation and rapid population ageing, which are all having a profound impact on the types of jobs that are being created and how and where they are performed. This paper examines the challenges confronting the Visegrad Group of countries and the broad policy responses that will be required. It looks at the risk of job automation, how the structure of employment is changing by skill level and the rise of the gig economy. These changes will require a combination of policy responses in the areas of employment regulation, measures to facilitate labour mobility and lifelong learning, social protection and social dialogue. In many cases, this will not require a complete paradigm shift in policies but an adaptation and strengthening of existing polices.

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Abstract

The aim of this study is to analyse the impact of board size on a firms' operational and market performance at the largest East Central European listed non-financial, non-public utility firms. The literature debates the effects of the size of the board. While the resource dependency theory supports a positive effect, the agency theory supports a negative impact on firm value. This question is rarely investigated in two-tiered corporate governance models. This paper estimates the effects of management board and supervisory board size, between 2007 and 2016. The results indicate that the effect of management board size depends heavily on the size of the observed company. In both fixed effects and GMM-type dynamic panel regression models, using Tobin's Q, market-to-book ratio, total shareholder value and ROA as firm performance measures, increase in management board size has a significant positive impact on firm performance; however, in the case of larger firms, the effect is significantly negative. Moreover, the increase in the ratio of outside directors has a positive impact on the firm's performance in all dynamic panel regression models and this effect is even more significant in Tobin's Q and market-to-book ratio models. This can indicate the effective monitoring role of the supervisory board.

Open access

Abstract

I investigated the effects of adolescents' attitudes toward risk on their choice of employment sector in adulthood. I employed a joint model of employment sector choice and three-dimensional background characteristics to demonstrate that employment preference is an inverse function of the degree of relative risk aversion. Empirical data was obtained from longitudinal data, and a logit model was applied to estimate the effects of the three-dimensional background characteristics on the risk-taking attitudes and employment choices. I observed that individuals with a higher tendency to engage in risky experiences exhibit low risk aversion, and thus, tend to choose a riskier employment sector.

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Abstract

The Confucian doctrine of the Mean teaches that too much is as bad as too little. The Aristotelian doctrine of the Mean coincidently articulates that there can be too much or too little of nearly every human passion and action. In neoclassical economics, it is assumed that people tend to take any action at the optimal (not too much and not too little) level to maximise the net happiness from the action. This article argues that the Confucian doctrine of the Mean concurs with the optimality principle, and therefore that the optimality principle is a representation of human nature and can be understood as universal human wisdom. It follows that people can adopt both the Confucian doctrine of the Mean and the optimality principle as worldly common wisdom beyond the blunt dichotomy of spiritual orientalism and materialistic individualism. Too much emphasis on the technical differentials between the two has undermined the common wisdom embedded in them.

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The efficiency of the healthcare systems in EU countries – A DEA analysis
Authors: GheorghiŢa Dincă, Marius Sorin Dincă and Maria LetiŢia Andronic

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to identify the most efficient healthcare systems in a sample of 17 EU Member States. According to the health system financing schemes, the selected countries belong to two main groups, Beveridge and Bismarck. The research includes five input variables describing the financial and human resources, the level of health infrastructure, the medical technology and the healthcare utilization. On the output side we analysed four measures that reflect the overall health status of the population and the effectiveness of prevention and emergency care. Using the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) method, the most efficient healthcare systems are found in Sweden, the UK and Romania. The constraints applied for all the indicators and scenarios lead to higher or lower inefficiency scores, the Beveridge group being on average more efficient than the Bismarck one.

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Estimating older people's labour supply decisions in Korea
Authors: Inhee Lee and Almas Heshmati

Abstract

In 2017, Korea became an ‘aged society,’ with the proportion of people aged 65 or older exceeding 14%, while the ratio of the working-age population declined for the first time. This study uses data from the Korean Longitudinal Study of Ageing (KLOSA) to examine the effects of public pension on the labour supply of older people and discusses ways of preparing for this ageing problem. The study uses the Heckman sample selection model for analysing both the extensive and intensive margins of older people's labour supply. Our results show that the effects of public pensions in Korea are very different from that in other countries. It can be inferred that these differences are a consequence of the less developed social security system and limited experience from its short period of implementation. Hence, encouraging older people to work could be a way of solving the problem of relatively high poverty among the older population in a society that is likely to age even more. This is considered an optimal solution in light of increasing life expectancy, a poor social security system, and a decrease in private income transfers from children to their ageing parents.

Open access

Abstract

Evidence from the global financial crisis (2007–2008) and the Asian financial crisis (1997) have taught policymakers valuable lessons. The contagious effects of these crises have proven unavoidable and have led to negative economic development. However, South Korea, unlike other countries, has recovered remarkably from both episodes of financial turmoil and proved their ability to maintain positive growth throughout the two periods. This study investigates the correlation between the evolution of South Korean banking and corporate sector before, during and after these crises. A VAR model was employed to test the effectiveness of the South Korean government's policies, in response to the financial crisis from 1997 to 2017, using macroeconomic variables as proxies for newly introduced policies, and non-performing loans for controlled risks. The empirical results indicate impulse response functions which suggest that changes in macroeconomic variables as a representation for the policies resulted in a reduction of non-performing loans. This implies successful risk reduction and an overall economic recovery.

Open access

Abstract

This paper examines the Bismarckian and Beveridgean-style healthcare systems in 25 OECD countries to identify the relationship between the efficiency of the country's healthcare delivery arrangement and its economic wealth. The Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) is applied as a quantitative tool. I examine three models using infant mortality and potential years of life lost as output indicators. These models differ only in the way of expressing healthcare inputs. The DEA computations show that neither the Bismarckian nor the Beveridgean healthcare system has a clear advantage over the other when inputs are expressed by health expenditure as a percentage of GDP. The model which uses USD per head expenditure data at purchasing power parity shows a slight advantage of the Beveridge-style systems. This confirms the common opinion that the Bismarck-style systems perform worse in controlling the costs. When inputs are expressed using physical units (medical staff and equipment), DEA shows that the Beveridge system is significantly more efficient than the Bismarckian ones. I analyse the relationship between the DEA scores and the country's GDP per capita, as well. This analysis shows that more developed economies are technically less efficient. These findings are consistent with the belief that technical efficiency is only one of the many criteria that determine the quality of the healthcare system and patient satisfaction.

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