List of issues

Contents of issue 4/2013

Katarzyna Sum - The Impact of Banking Regulation on the Economic Performance of EU Countries in 2007-2009, abstract, article

Leszek Morawski, Aneta Semeniuk - The Extent of Poverty and Tax and Benefit Policy Reforms in 2006-2010, abstract, article

Izabela Kowalik, Ewa Baranowska-Prokop - The Determinants of the Emergence and Expansion of Born-Global Companies in Poland, abstract, article

Krzysztof Ziółkowski - The Activity of Polish Export Companies as a Factor Stimulating the Development of Poland’s Merchandise Exports to Germany, abstract, article

Łukasz Gębski - Excessive Household Debt: A Financial and Legal Hurdle or a Social Problem?, abstract, article

Antoni Chrzonstowski - The Laffer Effect in the Pension System, abstract, article


Book Review: Marek Gruszczyński, Empiryczne finanse przedsiębiorstw. Mikroekonometria finansowa (Empirical Corporate Finance: Financial Microeconometrics), Difin, Warsaw 2012, 263 pp. - reviewed by Krzysztof Pytka

Book Review: Marek Bednarski, Kazimierz W. Frieske (eds.), Praca na czas określony w polskiej gospodarce. Społeczne i ekonomiczne konsekwencje zjawiska (Short-Term Employment in the Polish Economy: Social and Economic Implications), Instytut Pracy i Spraw Socjalnych, Warsaw 2012, 239 pp. - reviewed by Krzysztof Bartosik

Katarzyna Sum - The Impact of Banking Regulation on the Economic Performance of EU Countries in 2007-2009

The article investigates the role of a broad array of banking regulatory features in shaping the resilience of European Union countries to the latest financial crisis. The study considers the level of output, the yearly averages of the month-to-month government bond yield spreads, and the yearly variance of these spreads as performance measures. Moreover, the author considers house price growth, public debt levels, financial openness and the extent of private credit as basic factors determining the vulnerability of EU countries to the crisis. The empirical specification is based on dynamic panel data models, which are estimated using the Generalized Method of Moments (GMM).
The basic regressions including the main predictors of the crisis are expanded to include interaction terms between banking regulatory measures and the specified predictors. This approach is aimed at seizing the marginal effect of banking regulation on the impact of the respective factors of the crisis. The sample encompasses 25 EU countries during the period of 2004-2009. The choice of the time sample is aimed at capturing the developments in the economic cycle preceding the crisis, which affected the performance of EU economies during the downturn of 2007-2009. To capture the effect of the crisis itself, time effects are computed.
The results point to a significant role of banking regulatory features in shaping the performance of EU countries as well as to their mitigating effect on the factors driving the latest financial crisis.

Keywords: banking regulation, housing boom, financial crisis
JEL classification codes: F36, G15, G28
Article: PDF

Leszek Morawski, Aneta Semeniuk - The Extent of Poverty and Tax and Benefit Policy Reforms in 2006-2010

The article aims to identify the impact of changes in tax and benefit regulations—introduced in Poland from 2006 to 2010—on household income distribution. A wide range of legal adjustments in income policy motivated this research agenda. The research method used is based on the decomposition of changes in income distribution and poverty indexes onto those that may be attributed to changes in the distribution of income and those caused by the tax and benefit adjustments. The so-called Shapley values for hypothetical disposable incomes generated by the different regulation systems were calculated in the article. The hypothetical incomes were simulated using the SIMPL tax and benefit microsimulation model.
The study confirmed that changes in income distribution have a greater impact on the threat of poverty than those caused by regulatory adjustments. The results of the analysis indicate that in the 2006-2010 period, which was a time of relatively fast economic growth, more care was taken to enhance financial motivation to work than to reduce income inequalities. Despite a strong pro-efficiency policy, regulatory changes effectively protected the poorest households, as shown by changes in the poverty indexes.

Keywords: tax and benefit policy reforms, income distribution, Shapley decomposition, tax and benefit microsimulation
JEL classification codes: H31, I32, J38
Article: PDF

Izabela Kowalik, Ewa Baranowska-Prokop - The Determinants of the Emergence and Expansion of Born-Global Companies in Poland

The article aims to review the determinants of the emergence and expansion of early internationalizing firms in Poland. The authors present the results of an empirical study on this subject.
The paper discusses the key theoretical concepts related to the early internationalization of enterprises. The authors also offer a classification of motives for foreign expansion. Based on a literature review, the authors describe the basic factors determining the establishment of early internationalizing firms – which are also known as born globals – including environmental and situational factors as well as the specific features of the firms’ founders. In the study, an empirical method based on group interviews was used, covering managers in 10 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from various industries. The interview transcripts were analyzed using the content analysis method based on a set of categories developed by the authors.
The researchers found that a particularly important role in the emergence and expansion of early internationalizing firms in Poland is played by determinants related to the characteristics of these firms’ managers and their ability to use their previous experience in the context of opportunities available on foreign markets. Poland’s early internationalizing firms were mainly driven by proactive motives when expanding abroad, while reactive motives were treated as complementary. These findings are compatible with the results of research studies in other countries, the authors say, attesting to the similarity of internationalization processes among both Polish and foreign SMEs. However, this conclusion still needs to be confirmed by quantitative research, Kowalik and Baranowska-Prokop say.

Keywords: internationalization of the firm, early internationalizing firms, born globals, expansion, exports, motives
JEL classification codes: F23, M16
Article: PDF

Krzysztof Ziółkowski - The Activity of Polish Export Companies as a Factor Stimulating the Development of Poland’s Merchandise Exports to Germany

The article investigates the conditions and prospects for the development of Polish merchandise trade to Germany as well as factors determining Polish companies’ decisions to choose Germany as the main market for their goods. The paper is based on a literature review and empirical research based on questionnaires. The first step is an empirical microeconomic analysis of factors influencing Polish goods exports to Germany. A survey on the export activity of Polish companies provided a wealth of analytical material and enabled the author to draw a number of conclusions.
The main conclusion that can be drawn from the analysis, the author says, is that, apart from key macroeconomic factors, such as GDP growth in Germany and the real exchange rate, Polish merchandise trade is significantly influenced by microeconomic factors, such as product prices, product quality and design. Another conclusion is that, despite the crisis, there are good prospects for the development of Polish merchandise exports to Germany; these exports are likely to increase, Ziółkowski says.
The survey questionnaire also included a question about the use of export support tools. A vast majority of companies (95%) replied that they do not use any export support tools because these are either too expensive or unavailable.
The author concludes by urging the government to review its export-oriented policy so that it can better meet the expectations of Polish exporters.

Keywords: merchandise exports, “new new” trade theories, survey, questionnaire, competitive advantage
JEL classification codes: F17, F41, F44, F47
Article: PDF

Łukasz Gębski - Excessive Household Debt: A Financial and Legal Hurdle or a Social Problem?

The article focuses on the issue of excessive household debt, its causes and implications. Indebtedness and consumer bankruptcy have been a subject of scientific and empirical studies for decades, the author says. The consequences of excessive household debt reach far beyond finance and law and make it a major social problem, according to Gębski. Indebtedness leads to a loss of financial security and financial and social exclusion.
In his research, the author refers to various European and North American publications dealing with indebtedness. These studies adopt different approaches and define excessive debt in different ways. Gębski comes up with a definition of excessive debt that combines various concepts relevant to the United States and Canada as well European Union countries including Poland.
The research enables the author to identify a number of universal factors that determine the basic causes of indebtedness. The author highlights the social aspect of the problem by analyzing consumer protection policy tools and pinpointing trouble spots such as information asymmetry on the consumer finance market.
The finding that excessive debt is caused by a combination of factors including the expected level of consumption, financial market practices and financial literacy can be a valuable clue for governments and NGOs dealing with the problem, Gębski says – in terms of how they could prevent the escalation and consequences of household indebtedness and give indebted households a chance for a new start in life.

Keywords: household debt, consumer protection, personal bankruptcy, financial literacy, exclusion
JEL classification codes: D01, D20, D11, D14
Article: PDF

Antoni Chrzonstowski - The Laffer Effect in the Pension System

The paper aims to create a mathematical model of a social security program taking into account the mixed pension system introduced in Poland in 1999. The author subsequently uses this model to show how pension systems may be affected by the so-called Laffer effect – an effect intuitively predicted by various authors and involving the relationship between possible rates of taxation and the resulting levels of government revenue as a possibility in the economy. The econometric modeling carried out in the article is based on neoclassical growth models, especially one based on research by American economist Peter Diamond, who suggested that people’s lives should be divided into two main periods: professional career and retirement. The analysis conducted by Chrzonstowski combines basic economic values that influence the functioning of the pension system. The study aims to demonstrate the possibility of the occurrence of the Laffer effect in relation to a basic driver of economic growth – “a product constituting remuneration for production factors: capital and human labor”, the author says.
The article confirms that the Laffer effect, indicating a specific optimum, can occur in any economy with an institutional pension system, according to Chrzonstowski. The occurrence of such a point of maximum efficiency of the economic system should encourage politicians to search for a permanent path of sustainable growth taking into account this optimum, the author concludes.

Keywords: pension system, pay-as-you-go (PAYG) system, funded pension system, Laffer effect/curve
JEL classification codes: C29, E61, H55, J19, O17
Article: PDF

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