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Contents of issue 10/2010

Krzysztof Karbownik, Małgorzata Knauff - Trends in International Economic Research as Reflected in the Journal of Economic Literature, summary, article

Jacek Szlachta, Janusz Zaleski - Poland’s Regional Policy Agenda Until 2020, summary, article

Maria Lissowska - Consumer Policy: Theoretical Framework, Objectives and Tools, summary, article

Andrzej Sznajder - Competitive Balance in Professional Sports, summary, article

Dorota Wyszkowska - EU Fund Absorption in Poland’s Podlaskie Province, summary, article


REVIEWS

Book Review: Jan L. Bednarczyk, Sławomir I. Bukowski, Józef Misala (eds.), Globalne rynki finansowe w dobie kryzysu (Global Financial Markets at a Time of Crisis), CeDeWu, PI, Wydawnictwa Fachowe, Warsaw 2009, 285 pp. - reviewed by Marek Lubiński

Book Review: Stanisław Owsiak (ed.), Planowanie budżetowe a alokacja zasobów (Budget Planning and Resource Allocation), Polskie Wydawnictwo Ekonomiczne, Warsaw 2008, 373 pp. - reviewed by Andrzej Muszyński





Krzysztof Karbownik, Małgorzata Knauff - Trends in International Economic Research as Reflected in the Journal of Economic Literature

The authors analyze the subject matter of articles published in leading economic journals in the European Union and compare it with the focus of research conducted by academics from top European schools of business, economics and management. The analysis focuses on the 1998-2007 period when a growing number of papers by researchers from Central European countries began to appear in international publications.
The authors assume that a paper’s chances of international success largely depend on its subject matter. That is why it is important to study what subjects are covered by leading economic journals and to examine the focus of interest of academics from leading European schools of business, economics and management, Karbownik and Knauff say. The authors use data from the Journal of Economic Literature on the topics of articles published in economic journals by authors from schools affiliated in the CEMS alliance of business schools and multinational companies. Karbownik and Knauff conclude that although the schools differ from one another—especially Central European schools differ from their counterparts in “old” EU member countries—the gap is shrinking and it is possible to say what kind of research, in terms of the subject matter, should be encouraged to narrow this gap still further.

Keywords: codes analysis, scientific journals, schools of economics
Article: PDF



Jacek Szlachta, Janusz Zaleski - Poland’s Regional Policy Agenda Until 2020

The paper discusses the evolution of regional policy in Poland from 1990 to 2010 and examines guidelines for modifying this policy in 2010-2020. Poland’s entry to the European Union in 2004 and European cohesion policy have had a substantial impact on regional policy in Poland. In recent years new important theoretical inspirations have appeared for regional policymakers, including new economic geography and the economics of location. International organizations such as the OECD, the World Bank and the EU are formulating proposals for a major modification of regional policy in the world. The research method is based on a benchmarking analysis and qualitative assessment of program documents. The results obtained by the researchers point to a shortage of theoretical foundations and the growing importance of regional policy to Poland’s socioeconomic development. Szlachta and Zaleski identify various risks connected with the implementation of a modern regional policy in Poland and formulate a set of questions about the theory of regional policymaking. In the first part of the paper, the authors discuss the experience of regional development programming in Poland since 1990. The next part focuses on the financial and institutional dilemmas of regional policymaking in Poland in the coming years. Later on the authors propose benchmarks for a National Regional Development Strategy until 2020. The paper ends with the formulation of key conclusions, recommendations and questions about the theory of regional policymaking.

Keywords: European cohesion policy, regional development, economic, social and territorial cohesion, competitiveness of regions
Article: PDF



Maria Lissowska - Consumer Policy: Theoretical Framework, Objectives and Tools

The article focuses on the theoretical framework, objectives and tools of consumer policy. The author examines the issue on the basis of research reports focusing on consumer policy and discusses business practices in this area in OECD countries.
The author shows that consumer policy is primarily based on the theory of information asymmetry, the transaction costs theory and behavioral economics. Another source of consumer policy is observation of market changes and commercial practices used, Lissowska says. The author reviews consumer policy tools used in OECD countries.
The research confirms that consumer policy can help avoid the pitfalls of excessive protectionism. Consumer policy can be asymmetrical and protectionist to a minimum extent, Lissowska says. It benefits producers by helping them increase the competitive advantages of their goods and services and encouraging them to innovate.
The latest economic crisis has demonstrated that consumer policy is indispensable, the author says, and that consumers should be protected from the implications of risky decisions.

Keywords: consumer policy, information asymmetry, behavioral imperfections, unfair practices
Article: PDF



Andrzej Sznajder - Competitive Balance in Professional Sports

The article deals with the problem of competitive balance on the professional sports market, one of the most important issues linked with the functioning of sports organizations. The competitive balance effect has a major influence on the performance of sports organizations in terms of both their sports results and finances. The term competitive balance means an equal level of sports clubs taking part in competitions in a specific type of sport. An important feature of sports clubs working as business enterprises is that their main product is a sports show, and that the result of this show—in other words the winner of a match—is difficult to predict. This uncertainty of outcome attracts audiences and makes people buy these sports products.
The author sets out to show that competitive balance helps increase the revenue of individual sports clubs and leagues. This applies to revenue generated from both individual buyers (supporters) and institutions. As a result, clubs earn more money from the sale of tickets, club merchandising and advertisements, and they also increase their income from sponsors and the sale of broadcasting rights to the media.
Sports leagues in which there is a lack of competitive balance between individual clubs are vulnerable to various kinds of threats, including indebtedness resulting from growing costs of buying new players. Weaker clubs may face the danger of bankruptcy, while stronger clubs may be tempted to withdraw from the league and compete elsewhere. This explains why organizations managing professional sports leagues usually make every effort to maintain competitive balance among sports clubs, Sznajder concludes.

Keywords: professional sports market, competitive balance, sports club, sports league, uncertainty of outcome hypothesis
Article: PDF



Dorota Wyszkowska - EU Fund Absorption in Poland’s Podlaskie Province

The article aims to identify factors determining the effectiveness of local governments in securing funds from the European Union.
Local government authorities across the European Union are responsible for carrying out various public projects in keeping with the principle of subsidiarity followed in most countries in Europe. As part of a decentralization policy, the central government delegates authority to local areas and provides regional authorities with funds to carry out their responsibilities. According to the author, there is continued debate over whether budget funds available to local governments are sufficient to finance their projects. The European Charter of Local Self-Government, adopted by the Council of Europe in the mid-1980s, commits the ratifying member states to guaranteeing the political, administrative and financial independence of local authorities.
Due to considerable limitations in the amount of funds available to local governments, they often use external funds while carrying out major infrastructure projects. Nonrefundable assistance from the EU is an especially desirable source of outside funding. An analysis of EU funds secured by individual districts in Poland’s Podlaskie province points to considerable differences in the scope of support obtained. Wyszkowska sets out to check what factors are responsible for these disproportions and why some districts obtain funds for a dozen or so projects, while others receive no support.
Contrary to popular belief, securing funds from the EU depends not only on the financial status of the beneficiary, Wyszkowska concludes, but also on many other—institutional, administrative, personnel, organizational and political—factors.

Keywords: cohesion policy, absorptive capacity, European project, beneficiary, EU funds
Article: PDF

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