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Contents of issue 5-6/2010

Arkadiusz Michał Kowalski - Industrial Clusters as a Factor Behind the Innovativeness and Competitiveness of Regions, summary, article

Barbara Jankowska - Internationalization of Clusters, summary, article

Marta Gancarczyk - Business Support Systems: British Experience, summary, article

Szymon Truskolaski - Exogenous Measures of Technology Shocks as Used in Poland in 2005-2009, summary, article

Krzysztof Pytka, Tomasz Kuszewski - Effectiveness Evaluation of the European Union’s Emission Trading System, summary, article

Małgorzata Pawłowska - Competition in the Polish Banking Sector, summary, article


REVIEWS

Book Review: Alan Beattie, False Economy: A Surprising Economic History of the World, Riverhead Books, New York 2009, 324 pp. - reviewed by Rafał Matera

Book Review: Agnieszka Ostalecka, Kryzysy bankowe i metody ich przezwyciężania (Banking Crises and Ways to Solve Them), Difin, Warsaw 2009, 302 pp. - reviewed by Marek Lubiński

Book Review: Marian Gorynia, Ewa Łaźniewska (eds.), Kompendium wiedzy o konkurencyjności (A Compendium of Knowledge About Competitiveness), Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, Warsaw 2009, 350 pp. - reviewed by Tomasz Dołęgowski


CONFERENCES

1st Polish Law and Economics Conference - Anna Laszczyk, Katarzyna Metelska-Szaniawska





Arkadiusz Michał Kowalski - Industrial Clusters as a Factor Behind the Innovativeness and Competitiveness of Regions

The article examines the conditions underlying the establishment and development of industrial clusters and analyzes the impact of clusters on the competitiveness of regional economies, especially in the context of business innovation.
Industrial clusters are one of the most researched methods for stimulating horizontal cooperation in the economy, according to the author. They play an important role in generating and accelerating innovation processes and can act as “growth poles” for both regional and national economies, Kowalski says.
Industrial clusters fit into the latest generation of innovation process and policy models, which underline the role of cooperation among enterprises and the significance of ties between companies and research centers. Cluster structures contribute to the diffusion of knowledge and capital in the modern economy. Businesses operating as part of clusters can pursue innovative projects on the basis of both their own resources and expertise and skills provided by other market players, institutions, industries and scientific disciplines.
Cooperation as part of clusters is beneficial for individual companies (micro level), regional economies (meso level), and the country as a whole (macroeconomic level), Kowalski says.He pays special attention to the regional aspects of clustering, such as proximity, cultural community, tacit knowledge, trust, and social capital. The article highlights the guidelines of Polish cluster policy, which Kowalski says is an important component of innovation and regional and industrial policies.
Cluster initiatives are usually launched at the regional level, the author notes. In the article, he focuses on measures carried out in various provinces in Poland, mainly by analyzing regional operational programs for 2007-2013.
There are different models of supporting clusters in different regions in Poland, Kowalski says, but all these models make it possible to develop cluster structures with strong development potential.

Keywords: cluster, innovation, competitiveness, region, interaction, cooperation
Article: PDF



Barbara Jankowska - Internationalization of Clusters

The paper deals with a process known in economic theory as the internationalization of industrial clusters. According to the author, clusters are subject to internationalization at two levels: the micro level, or the level of firms taking part in clusters; and the meso level, or the cluster as a whole—through the work of organizations responsible for coordinating the cluster’s operations.
Industrial clusters have entered a new stage of development in their role as projects designed to stimulate competition, Jankowska notes. They no longer limit themselves to local, regional or national markets, but are increasingly eyeing international markets in their operations. This enables them to combine the benefits of clustering with the effects of internationalization, the author says.
Jankowska uses a deductive approach to investigate the cluster internationalization process. Her research methods include an in-depth, critical literature review focused on the concepts, models and indicators of the internationalization of a firm and reports on the internationalization of cluster initiatives. Another research method is based on in-depth interviews with managers and coordinators of selected clusters in Poland. On the basis of the research, the author highlights the mechanism of internationalization of clusters and shows the degree of internationalization in some Polish clusters. The main conclusion is that Polish clusters are still only marginally involved in the process of value creation in international markets, according to Jankowska. Internal structural problems caused by the attitudes and policies of managers are a principal barrier that prevents Polish clusters from taking full advantage of the benefits of internationalization, Jankowska concludes.

Keywords: cluster, internationalization, micro level, meso level, competition, European Union
Article: PDF



Marta Gancarczyk - Business Support Systems: British Experience

The article examines the evolution of business support systems in Britain in 1973-2006, looking at the strengths and weaknesses of individual measures and suggesting how the British experience could be used in Poland.
The analysis covers a period from the launch of Britain’s first government agency tasked with coordinating assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to a time when the government delegated responsibility for helping businesses to regional authorities.
Gancarczyk quotes interviews with British civil servants and employees at the University of Cambridge Centre for Business Research (CBR), an independent private research center specialized in evaluating business support policies. Gancarczyk also uses CBR research reports, scientific papers and reports issued by public institutions.
The British system for providing support to businesses is based on regional assistance, Gancarczyk says. Efforts to modify the system have included the launch of moderately decentralized structures coordinated by regional authorities and focused on financing specific services rather than institutions. This has been accompanied by a tendency to rely on well-reputed organizations and efforts to avoid an excessive number of service providers and keep red tape to a minimum.
According to the author, a similar policy should be followed by those responsible for developing Poland’s business support system. In particular, regional authorities should be encouraged to combine support for existing SMEs with assistance to business startups, Gancarczyk says. This would ensure the complementariness of central and regional measures, in addition to an effective monitoring and evaluation of these projects, Gancarczyk concludes.

Keywords: small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), entrepreneurship policy, business services, Britain
Article: PDF



Szymon Truskolaski - Exogenous Measures of Technology Shocks as Used in Poland in 2005-2009

The paper describes methods for measuring technology shocks and compares various indirect measures of technology shocks, including the so-called Solow residual and its modifications.
Apart from the conventional Solow residual, the author uses modified indicators to illustrate changes in factors of production; he approximates productivity by analyzing electricity consumption (capital) and the number of hours worked and work accidents (labor).
The main criterion used by the author to check if a technology shock measure is correct is its autonomy (exogeneity) from non-technology shocks that may occur in the economy, such as monetary shocks, fiscal shocks or external shocks. Truskolaski uses the Granger causality test to determine if each version of the residual is independent from non-technology shock variables. The test was conducted for 12 industries making up Poland’s manufacturing sector in 2005-2009.
The conventional residual is independent from non-technology shocks in low-tech sectors, Truskolaski says. In high- and medium-high-tech sectors, on the other hand, corrections linked with the variable use of factors of production are far more important, according to the author. In terms of independence from non-technology shocks, the best measure is a residual used to estimate changes in both factors of production, capital and labor, Truskolaski concludes.

Keywords: productivity, Solow residual, Granger causality test
Article: PDF



Krzysztof Pytka, Tomasz Kuszewski - Effectiveness Evaluation of the European Union’s Emission Trading System

The paper assesses the effectiveness of the European Union’s Emission Trading System, which was launched in 2005 to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the bloc. Initially, the system covered around 11,000 energy-intensive industrial installations.
The authors examine the EU’s “cap-and-trade scheme” in terms of the Pigovian taxation and Coase bargaining models, two classic instruments for the internalization of externalities. The approach differs depending on which method is used for the initial allocation of emission allowances. Currently, the predominant method in the EU is the so-called costless grandfathering, which is equivalent to the model proposed by Coase, according to the authors.
In the course of the analysis, Pytka and Kuszewski assess the effectiveness of the cap-and-trade scheme by employing two alternative approaches, an econometric analysis based on a test of linear restrictions and a model using a “differences-in-differences” estimator. For the linear-restriction models, data for EU countries from 2003 and 2005 were used, whereas the differences-in-differences analysis was carried out using data for EU countries and a control group of non-EU countries for the 2003-2007 period. The analysis shows that the system is ineffective in its current form, the authors conclude.

Keywords: externalities, greenhouse gas (GHG), grandfathering emission allowances, Emission Trading System (EU ETS), cap-and-trade scheme
Article: PDF



Małgorzata Pawłowska - Competition in the Polish Banking Sector

The paper aims to assess changes in the level of competition in Poland’s banking sector in 1997-2007. Competition between banks is one of the most important factors behind the stability of the financial sector through its influence on the profitability of banks, access to external funding, and the country’s economic development as a whole. In this paper, the Panzar and Rosse model was applied to assess the level of competition in the banking sector.
The results of the analysis of the Polish banking sector show that between 1997 and 2007 commercial banks operated under monopolistic competition. The degree of competition in the Polish banking sector is close to that in euro-area banking sectors (which is reflected by the values of the Panzar and Rosse measures). This applies to both corporate and retail banking.
The main driving factor behind competition in the Polish banking sector was the country’s entry into the European Union. The same channels, i.e. consolidation and financial deregulation, that were observed in the EU at the time of adopting the euro influenced competition between banks in the Polish banking sector at the time of EU entry. This was mainly due to foreign capital from the euro area.

Keywords: competition; concentration; market structure; Panzar-Rosse model
Article: PDF

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