Contents of issue 5-6/2011
Elżbieta Duliniec - Early Internationalizing Firms: Determinants and Development, summary
Grzegorz Konat, Wanda Karpińska-Mizielińska, Tadeusz Smuga - The Importance of Export Insurance in Polandin the 2000-2009 Period, summary
Bernadeta Baran - The Origin and Implications of Greece’s Public Finance Crisis, summary
Adam Koronowski - PIIGS Countries: A Public Finance Crisis or a Balance-of-Payments Crunch?, summary
Katarzyna Kosior - Ideas for Reforming the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy After 2013, summary
Lesław Niemczyk - Accountancy of Knowledge in Enterprises, summary
, article80 YEARS OF GOSPODARKA NARODOWA (1931-2011)
Anna Jarosz-Nojszewska - Józef Maria Poniatowski and Gospodarka Narodowa, summary
Book Review: Jan Kulig, Meandry globalizacji XXI wieku
(The Intricacies of Globalization in the 21st Century), VIZJA PRESS&IT, Warsaw 2010, 237 pp. - reviewed by Krzysztof Bartosik
Book Review: Tadeusz Kowalski, Steve Letza, Clas Wihlborg (eds.), Institutional Change in the European Transition Economies. The Case of Poland
, Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Ekonomicznego w Poznaniu, Poznań 2010, 339 pp. - reviewed by Tomasz Dołęgowski
Elżbieta Duliniec - Early Internationalizing Firms: Determinants and Development
The article aims to show the key determinants of the development of early internationalizing companies (EICs). The early and quick internationalization of companies is an increasingly common trend that has been the subject of numerous research projects in many countries. It is an important area of studies focusing on the mechanisms of companies’ internationalization.
The author critically analyzes some of the most significant international scientific papers of the last few years, with a special focus on the external and internal determinants of internationalization of EICs, the industries where EICs operate (both hi-tech and traditional) as well as these companies’ strategies in the area of foreign market entry and marketing.
The typical characteristics of EICs are compared in the article with those of traditionally internationalized firms. The success factors of EICs in international markets have also been identified on the basis of research in this area. Finally, major threats to the development of EICs and the strengths of these firms are presented.Keywords
: early internationalizing firms, internationalization of companies, determinants of companies’ internationalization, early internationalizing firms’ strategiesArticle
Grzegorz Konat, Wanda Karpińska-Mizielińska, Tadeusz Smuga - The Importance of Export Insurance in Polandin the 2000-2009 Period
The article aims to assess the system for supporting Polish exports in 2000-2009, with a particular focus on exports to high-risk countries. The authors review the available support instruments and evaluate the work of Poland’s Export Credit Insurance Corporation (KUKE), an institution that plays a key role in this system. The authors rely on a method based on analyzing the contents of documents and legal regulations—enacted by Poland, the European Union, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)—concerned with issues related to export support. The authors also examine statistical data, conduct in-depth interviews, and use information from publicly available reports on the activities of the Export Credit Insurance Corporation.
The decade covered by the study is not a uniform period, the authors say. They divided it into two subperiods: the time from 2000 until Poland’s EU entry in 2004, and the EU membership years (2004-2009). In the latter subperiod, special attention was paid to 2008 and 2009, the years of economic crisis.
The analysis of changes taking place in the official system for supporting exports with the use of Treasury guarantees shows the government’s role in the development of exports by Polish enterprises. The study also shows how the external environment, including Poland’s status as an EU member as well as international regulations and fluctuations in international markets, influence the system’s functioning. The authors conclude that the system has played an insufficient role in promoting Poland’s exports so far, particularly in the case of small and medium-sized enterprises. This was especially evident during the latest crisis, the authors say.
The Polish export support system requires far-reaching changes, according to the authors. Most of the initiatives mentioned in official government documents are declarations and tentative proposals not followed byspecific projects. This approach did not even change during the recent crisis when the Polish government, unlike its counterparts in other EU countries, failed to markedly step up measures aimed at boosting exports. Not only proposals but also concrete and consistent steps—jointly taken by many institutions—are needed, the authors say. On the one hand, these should involve adapting the system to the needs of a wider group of businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); on the other hand, it is necessary to strengthen KUKE financially and take better advantage of opportunities linked with those activities of the Export Credit Insurance Corporation that are conducted on behalf of the Treasury, the authors say.Keywords
: exports, financial support, insurance coverage, State Treasury, commercial insurance, Export Credit Insurance CorporationArticle
Bernadeta Baran - The Origin and Implications of Greece’s Public Finance Crisis
The article traces the development of the budgetary situation in Greece since the early 1990s and aims to identify the main causes behind the public finance crisis in this country that began in 2009 and continued in 2010. The author discusses the most important implications of the crisis for the functioning of the euro area. The period covered by the analysis was divided into several subperiods: the period of 1990-1995, which saw the continuation of an expansionary fiscal policy initiated in the 1980s; the period directly preceding the country’s entry into the euro zone Jan. 1, 2001, marked by an improvement in Greece’s budgetary performance; the years after Greece’s entry into the euro zone and the return of the fiscal expansion policy; and the period when the country was forced to launch budgetary reforms.
Greece’s current public finance problems are not only a direct effect of the global financial crisis, but also an outcome of domestic factors, which led to persistent economic problems in the country, including the loss of financial stability and decreased competitiveness. The following factors generate high budgetary expenditures and limit revenue in Greece (consequently leading to a high budget deficit and an escalation in public debt): low administrative efficiency, high operating costs of the public sector (high employment and a high level of wages in the public sector), excessive social spending, an inefficient pension system, an overregulated labor market and excessive regulation on markets for goods and services. Greece’s public finance crisis was therefore primarily provoked by structural problems that were evident still before the country joined the euro area and that have not been resolved since then. According to Baran, Greece met the budget deficit criterion for adopting the single European currency only because the country’s government artificially increased its revenues and resorted to statistical manipulation. Meanwhile, budget expenditures increased steadily, Baran notes, and an interest rate cut after the country’s euro-zone entry enabled public borrowing at a lower cost as internal problems accumulated due to abandoned reforms. The result was an explosion of the budget deficit and public debt in 2009. Fellow EU countries have decided to provide financial aid to Greece to maintain the stability of the euro and avoid a situation in which Greece’s problems would spill over to other member states, the author says.
According to Baran, Greece is struggling with what is the most serious public finance crisis in this country since it joined the euro zone and adopted the single European currency in 2001. The country’s unresolved structural problems are the fundamental issue that underlies the crisis. Greece scores poorly in terms of competition and product market liberalization. The Greek economy has a low level of competitiveness due to labor market problems, an inefficient social security system and excessive public-sector employment. As a result, the government in Greece collects insufficient revenue and has high public expenditures, Baran notes. Fiscal consolidation has been based on higher revenues and lower interest payments since the mid-1990s. Despite powerful arguments for a radical domestic adjustment, all reforms have been marked by controversy and conflict between the government and its social partners.Keywords
: Greece, crisis, public finance, budget deficit, public debtArticle
Adam Koronowski - PIIGS Countries: A Public Finance Crisis or a Balance-of-Payments Crunch?
The article examines the causes behind a credibility crisis that has hit a group of euro-zone countries collectively referred to as PIIGS: Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain. The author discusses the economic policy being pursued in these countries in response to the crisis.
The credibility crisis is generally being attributed to high public finance deficits and significant levels of public debt in the PIIGS countries. But this interpretation fails to consider the fact that various other countries are also struggling with high deficits and public debts. In addition to problems related to their public finances, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain, are also suffering from an imbalance of payments. The high current-account deficits in these countries reflect unbalanced public finance-sector budgets and excessive private sector spending. The balance-of-payments aspect of the credibility crisis besetting PIIGS countries is obscured by these countries’ membership of the euro zone.
This diagnosis is the starting point for asking a question about an economic policy aimed at addressing the imbalance-of-payments problem experienced by PIIGS countries. The widely recommended “consolidation” of public finances is hardly an optimal measure, according to Koronowski; nor can it be applied on a satisfactory scale, the author says. The best option would be to use an appropriate exchange rate policy, Koronowski says, because of the asymmetrical nature of the difficulties being experienced by these countries, including the balance-of-payments aspect of the crisis. However, such a policy is missing in euro-zone countries. In the absence of adequate national economic policies, the EU’s policy towards the PIIGS countries boils down to either explicit or implicit assistance granted by the European Central Bank, the European Commission and member states. According to Koronowski, this violates the underpinnings of the euro zone, undermines the credibility of the European Central Bank, ignores the principle of democratic control over public finances, and ultimately fails to effectively resolve the problem.Keywords
: monetary union, financial crisis, public finance, economic policyArticle
Katarzyna Kosior - Ideas for Reforming the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy After 2013
The article focuses on a debate under way across the European Union on prospects for developing the bloc’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after 2013. At the center of the debate are ideas to reform CAP being put forward by various researchers. Historical experience shows that the ideas and suggestions of scientists play an important role in the process of reforming CAP, Kosior says. The article analyzes three specific visions of CAP after 2013—a proposal by Bureau and Mahé, who argue that the system of direct payments should be converted into a “general contractual scheme;” the idea of Heissenhuber et al. suggesting a three-step scheme of basic payments, voluntary agri-environmental measures and regional support; and a proposal by a group of leading European agricultural economists on the establishment of a Common Agricultural Policy for European Public Goods.
The analysis refers to the achievements of new institutional economics. In conclusion, the author attempts to evaluate the presented ideas for developing CAP from the perspective of Poland’s interests.
The shared feature of the analyzed concepts is that they place an emphasis on the environmental aspect of CAP. All the researchers suggest that the new CAP should be more flexible and more useful in the battle against climate change, the loss of biodiversity and the depletion of water and soil resources in Europe. At the same time, the Common Agricultural Policy should rely on the principle of subsidiarity. However, despite some shared features, the analyzed proposals differ in several important respects, Kosior notes. Bureau and Mahé propose co-financing and contracting of virtually all types of payments in the future agricultural policy. The agricultural economists call for national financing of direct payments, but stress the need for full financing from the EU budget of all-European public goods. Heissenhuber points to the need to differentiate payment rates depending on how farmers comply with environmental requirements. The analysis conducted shows that the proposal of the agricultural economists is the most well-balanced and could prove to be the optimal scenario for developing CAP in the long term, the author concludes.Keywords
: Common Agricultural Policy, CAP reform, public debate, scientific communityArticle
Lesław Niemczyk - Accountancy of Knowledge in Enterprises
The article lays down the theoretical foundations of an accounting process known as the accountancy of knowledge. This new discipline of financial accounting involves the process of communicating financial information about a knowledge-based business entityto users including shareholders and managers. The communication is generally in the form of financial statements that show in monetary terms the knowledgeresources under the control of management.
Research related to the accountancy of knowledge involves the application of two methods—semiotic and axiomatic, Niemczyk says. In the semiotic method, two key terms, “knowledge” and “assets,” are used. The author looks at the analogy between these terms, distinguishing the traditional narrow meaning of the term “assets” from its broad definition that also covers knowledge. The author uses the term “assets” in the broad sense—as understood in an alternative approach to the theory of economics developed by medieval Italian mathematician Luca Pacioli, known as the father of modern accounting.
Niemczyk draws the following conclusions from his research: (1) the term “accountancy of knowledge” has been introduced into economics; (2) the subject matter of the accountancy of knowledge has been defined and the theoretical foundations of the process have been formulated; (3) new accounting tools and terms have been developed, such as “balance of personal knowledge,” “competence assets,” “intellectual capital,” and “marketing assets;” (4) basic methodology has been proposed for estimating the economic value of professional experience.
According to Niemczyk, the promotion of accountancy-of-knowledge standards can contribute to stimulating the development of a knowledge-based economy. A business following the principles of the accountancy of knowledge obtains a wealth of information needed for managing knowledge and key competencies, the author says. The accountancy of knowledge shows that the theory of financial accounting, despite its centuries-old tradition, remains a dynamic discipline open to new ideas.Keywords
: accountancy of knowledge, personal knowledge, competence assets, intellectual capital, Luca Pacioli, knowledge-based economyArticle
Anna Jarosz-Nojszewska - Józef Maria Poniatowski and Gospodarka Narodowa
The author discusses the socioeconomic views of onetime Polish economist and military leader Józef Maria Poniatowski (1897-1995) and his ties to Gospodarka Narodowa (National Economy) magazine, which was published every two weeks in the 1930s. Although Poniatowski was considered to be one of the leading economic policy makers of his time, no attempts were made to discuss his economic views in Polish scientific literature up to now, according to Jarosz-Nojszewska. She analyzes Poniatowski’s publications and presents his views about the most important economic problems of interwar Poland, on the basis of documents from the Central Archives of Modern Records (AAN) in Warsaw as well as the archives of the Warsaw School of Economics (SGH) and Warsaw Agricultural University (SGGW). The author highlights some of the key facts from Poniatowski’s life as well as his family ties, which had a huge impact on his views, especially in issues related to agricultural policy.
Józef Poniatowski came from a family of landowners. He graduated in economics from the Warsaw School of Economics, and also had a degree in agriculture from Warsaw Agricultural University and a degree in law from the University of Paris. In the 1920s and 1930s, Poniatowski worked as a researcher and also dealt with politics. He was one of the co-founders and most active members of a business association known as the National Economy Club. He published dozens of articles in Gospodarka Narodowa, most of them focusing on the problems of the countryside and agricultural issues as well as government economic policies. For example, he frequently criticized stopgap measures and short-term arrangements in the government’s agrarian policy. He called for an increased role of the state and government intervention in the agriculture sector and the economy as a whole, and advocated more decisive and far-reaching steps in various areas. He argued that an agrarian reform and related changes in the agrarian structure of the country were critical to reducing the Polish economy’s vulnerability to fluctuations in economic trends. Poniatowski pointed out that a land reform could alleviate the country’s economic problems by expanding the internal market. He highlighted the dramatic debt problem of Polish agriculture. He also wrote about cartels, a topic that was directly related to his work as a Cartel Court judge. However, his best known works were dedicated to the issue of agrarian overpopulation. A few years before World War II, he was appointed director of a government economic bureau, a position of key importance to the Polish economic policy of the time and one that enabled Poniatowski to take part in government economic policy making. World War II interrupted his career. After the war Poniatowski did not return to the country from exile, and continued his scientific and political pursuits while living abroad.Keywords
: Józef Maria Poniatowski, Gospodarka Narodowa, National Economy Club, agriculture, agrarian overpopulation, economic policy, land reformArticle