Contents of issue 1-2/2010
FROM THE WORLD ECONOMY
Howard R. Vane, Chris Mulhearn - Interview with Edmund S. Phelps, article* * *
Piotr Urbanek - Management Reshuffles in Poland’s Publicly Traded Companies at a Time of Economic Crisis, summary
Ewa Aksman - Net Tax and Its Impact on Income Disparities in Poland, summary
Marcin Piątkowski - Tax Policy in Central and Eastern Europe: Competition or Unification?, summary
Krystian Mucha - A Perception Gap Among Consumers at the Time of Euro Adoption, summary
Jan Fałkowski - Changes in the Number of Farms in Poland Under Transition, summary
Robert Kudłak - The Impact of Environmental Protection on the Competitiveness of Businesses, summary
Anna Marszałek - The "Triple Loop" Model and Changes in a Knowledge-Based Economy, summary
, articleCONFRENCES - POLEMICS - REVIEWS
Book Review: Jean Tirole, The Theory of Corporate Finance
, Princeton University Press, Princeton-Oxford 2006, 640 pp. - reviewed by Jacek Prokop
Book Review: Witold Małecki (ed.), Globalny kryzys finansowy a polska gospodarka
(The Global Financial Crisis and the Polish Economy), Vizja Press&IT, Warsaw 2009, 274 pp. - reviewed by Marek Lubiński
Book Review: Marian Gorynia (ed.), International Business in Transition
, Difin, Warsaw 2009, 328 pp. - reviewed by Paweł Dziewulski
From the Great Depression to the Mortgage Crisis - Marian Zalesko
The Costs and Benefits of Adopting the Euro by Poland in the Context of Slovak Experience - Tadeusz Smuga
Consumer Protection in the European Union - Tadeusz Smuga
Piotr Urbanek - Management Reshuffles in Poland’s Publicly Traded Companies at a Time of Economic Crisis
The paper examines selected aspects of management reshuffles in Poland’s exchange-listed companies. Specifically, the analysis focuses on the dismissal and appointment of chief executive officers by the companies’ supervisory boards in 2006-2009. The author identifies the possible causes for these changes. The research shows that company chairmen come and go. According to Urbanek, these reshuffles did not intensify after an economic crisis hit companies and their shareholders in 2008, leading to falling sales, lower profitability and a decreased market value. The frequency of management reshuffles at a time of crisis is similar to that observed under an economic boom, Urbanek says. He concludes that the form of ownership has a greater influence on staffing decisions made by supervisory boards than the company’s economic performance.Keywords
: management reshuffles, staffing policy, supervisory boards, publicly traded companiesArticle
Ewa Aksman - Net Tax and Its Impact on Income Disparities in Poland
The paper looks at the influence of the so-called net tax on household income disparities in Poland. The net tax is understood as the difference between personal income tax (PIT) and social security benefits. This theoretical category makes it possible to identify the total redistributive impact of public transfers and PIT, Aksman says. A Central Statistical Office (GUS) study of household budgets in 2004-2007 was the source of data for the empirical research made by the author. She conducted a statistical and econometric analysis using two definitions of the redistributive effect of net tax based on the Gini coefficient as a measure of income disparities. The research shows that disparities increased in the analyzed period in the case of both original incomes and net household incomes. Original incomes increased by 5.50%, while net household incomes grew 9.29%, Aksman says. She adds that net income disparities were markedly smaller than original income disparities due to the redistributive effect of the net tax. The average net tax rate for original income was positive, showing that households received less in the form of social security benefits than they paid in the form of PIT. This means they were net contributors in this area, Aksman concludes.Keywords
: net tax, income disparities, Gini coefficient, redistributive effect, social security benefits, personal income tax (PIT)Article
Marcin Piątkowski - Tax Policy in Central and Eastern Europe: Competition or Unification?
The paper analyzes the potential benefits of unifying corporate income tax (CIT) in the new member states of the European Union in Central and Eastern Europe (EU10). An analysis based on a review of research reports and the author’s own research shows that equalizing CIT rates across the EU27 could harm EU10 countries, according to Piątkowski. On the other hand, unifying nominal and effective CIT rates in the EU10 at a lower level than in Western Europe—for example in the form of a minimum CIT rate—could produce considerable benefits, especially in the current stage of overcoming the global crisis by countries such as Poland, which aspire to quickly meet the Maastricht fiscal convergence criteria and enter the euro zone.
In addition to the direct benefits of tax unification, for example in the form of higher tax revenues, indirect benefits could be generated by shifting international competition from tax policy to the quality of institutions, infrastructure and human capital, Piątkowski says. Reforms in these areas could considerably spur economic growth in the region.Keywords
: tax policy, competition, corporate income tax (CIT), Central and Eastern EuropeArticle
Krystian Mucha - A Perception Gap Among Consumers at the Time of Euro Adoption
The paper describes a wide range of approaches to what is known as a perception gap among consumers in the European Union after most member countries switched to the single European currency in 2002. The author focuses on issues linked with the consumer theory, analyzing why consumers are unable to properly estimate the value of inflation—in terms of its compatibility withtheHarmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), an inflation and price stability indicator used by the European Central Bank.
The first part of the paper outlines research theories related to the perception gap. These include the theories of limited rationality and rational passivity, in addition to behavioral economics and neuroeconomics. The second part of the paper discusses factors behind the perception of inflation, taking into account theoretical discussions conducted as part of various scientific disciplines. This approach is designed to show the state of debate on the perception of inflation and stress the growing role of heterodox approaches in contemporary economics, Mucha says.Keywords
: perception gap, single European currency, euro, consumer theory, inflationArticle
Jan Fałkowski - Changes in the Number of Farms in Poland Under Transition
The paper sets out to identify the key factors behind changes in the number of farms in Poland during the country’s transition to a market economy. More than 1.2 million farms abandoned agricultural production at the time, according to Fałkowski. Despite this, an excessive fragmentation and overpopulation of farms are still believed to be the key barriers to the development of Polish agriculture, the author says.
The paper uses data collected during censuses in rural areas in 1996 and 2002. The research is based on two methods, descriptive analysis and econometric analysis based on what are called probit models and the Heckman procedure. The results obtained by the author show that farms in areas with a less favorable agrarian structure and a positive balance of migration displayed a greater tendency to abandon agricultural production. Access to nonagricultural sources of incomes, in turn, slowed down the outflow of farmers to other sectors of the economy, Fałkowski says. This process is important for agricultural policy makers because it contradicts the popular belief that programs for the diversification of agricultural incomes have a positive influence on the rate of structural changes, Fałkowski concludes.Keywords
: farms, outflow from agriculture, transition, Poland, probit models, Heckman procedureArticle
Robert Kudłak - The Impact of Environmental Protection on the Competitiveness of Businesses
The paper discusses empirical evidence on the relationship between environmental protection and economic performance.
Traditionally, economists and managers perceived environmental regulations and pollution abatement as a cost burden on firms and a factor detrimental to their competitiveness and that of the entire economy, Kudłak says. A new approach to this issue appeared at the beginning of the 1990s when Michael Porter suggested that properly designed environmental standards could stimulate innovation, which would decrease a firm’s environmental impact while strengthening its competitiveness through improved productivity. Since Porter published his theory, there have been a growing number of theoretical and empirical papers examining his ideas.
Kudłak says his research findings do not justify the view of some politicians, economists and managers that environmental protection poses a threat to the competitiveness of enterprises and economies. On the other hand, there is no hard evidence supporting Porter’s hypothesis, Kudłak concedes. Presumably, environmental protection measures can be a competitiveness-boosting factor, the author concludes, but only under specific conditions.Keywords
: environmental protection, economic performance, environmental regulations, pollution abatement, competitiveness, Michael PorterArticle
Anna Marszałek - The "Triple Loop" Model and Changes in a Knowledge-Based Economy
The paper looks at mutual relations between the government, scientists and industry in a knowledge-based economy. The author describes individual stages of what is referred to as the “triple loop” model showing the course of changes in this relationship. Each participant in the process derives tangible benefits from this interaction, according to Marszałek. A significant role is played by universities whose goal is to work out mechanisms to stimulate economic growth.
The use of the “triple loop” model to show changes in a knowledge-based economy required an extensive analysis of English- and German-language research reports on the subject, Marszałek says. Based on this, the author examined the ties between key players in the innovation process.
The author concludes that the changes taking place in a knowledge-based economy require flexibility from key market players. Thanks to building partner-like ties between science and business, universities take an active part in the process of transferring knowledge and technology to industry. Relations developed with the state administration enable universities to better promote research and development in society.
Finding out about these complicated mechanisms makes it possible to develop scenarios for promoting academic centers, Marszałek says, because these institutions contribute to an increased competitiveness of the economy through innovation and fostering a congenial economic and political environment.Keywords
: innovation, “triple loop” model, knowledge-based economy, universities, stateArticle