Contents of issue 11-12/2009
Andrzej T. Szablewski - Conditions of Nuclear Power Development, summary
Marek Szczepaniec, Tomasz Jurkiewicz - Human Capital and Innovation in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, summary
Małgorzata Stec - Innovation in European Union Countries, summary
Aleksander Z. Wassilew - Information and Communication Technology in Contemporary Society, summary
Barbara Zbroińska - Public Transaction Costs of the Tax System, summary
Bożena Słomińska - Stimulation Programs for Regional and Local Labor Markets, summary
, articleEUROPEAN INTEGRATION
Łukasz Ambroziak, Ewa Kaliszuk - A Free Trade Zone Between the European Union and Ukraine: Trade Implications for Poland, summary
, articleCONFERENCES - POLEMICS - REVIEWS
Italy in the Face of the Global Economic Crisis - Jolanta Janek
Book Review: Maria Lissowska, Instytucje gospodarki rynkowej w Polsce - Market Economy Institutions: The Case of Poland
, Wydawnictwo C.H. Beck, Warsaw 2008, 271 pp. - reviewed by Mieczysław Szostak
Book Review: Wioletta Nawrot, Globalny kryzys finansowy XXI wieku. Przyczyny, przebieg, skutki, prognozy
(The Global Financial Crisis of the 21st Century: Causes, Course, Implications and Forecasts), CeDeWu.PL Wydawnictwo Fachowe, Warsaw 2009, 215 pp. - reviewed by Marek Lubiński
Book Review: Stanisław Miklaszewski, Edward Molendowski (eds.), Gospodarka światowa w warunkach globalizacji i regionalizacji rynków
(The World Economy at a Time of Globalization and Regionalization), Difin, Warsaw 2009, 340 pp. - reviewed by Józef Niemczyk
The Role of Civil Society and Human Capital in Development - Tadeusz Smuga
Statement by the Jury of the Polish Economic Society Award for 2009
Index of Publications in 2009
Andrzej T. Szablewski - Conditions of Nuclear Power Development
The paper deals with renewed interest in nuclear power engineering in Poland and elsewhere. The author looks at the issue of nuclear power development, paying special attention to the nature and significance of the challenges involved. Szablewski focuses on the extent to which power sector liberalization could hinder investment in new nuclear power plants andsuggests ways ofovercoming this problem. In this context, the paper analyzes the competitive position of nuclear power against coal and gas-based energy and assesses various risks related to nuclear power investment in liberalized markets and the ways in which these risks can be mitigated.
Special measures are needed for the energy sector as it undergoes liberalization, Szablewski says. This especially applies to the sector’s structure, the market position of energy companies, the overall regulatory framework, and the approach of government institutions. Energy sector companies need to be able to share risk with other market players, according to the writer.Keywords
: nuclear power, energy sector, liberalization, competitiveness, regulatory framework, investment riskArticle
Marek Szczepaniec, Tomasz Jurkiewicz - Human Capital and Innovation in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
The paper is concerned with research into the relationship between human capital and innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Poland. The authors describe the results of surveys conducted on a random sample of SMEs, 1,308 in 2007 and 1,346 in 2009. The surveys showed that human capital has a direct influence on innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises. The greater the human capital stock, the more often companies become involved in innovative projects by introducing new products and services, making major modifications to the existing range of products and services, changing the way in which they are organized, introducing new methods for providing services to customers, modifying technology, entering new markets and changing the ways of distributing products. An increase in human capital leads to an increase in internet usage and the popularity of online banking services, in addition to a higher percentage of companies with patents, licenses, registered trademarks and quality certificates, the authors say. They conclude by stating that the results of their research can be applied in economic policy and the management of human resources in small and medium-sized enterprises.Keywords
: human capital, innovation, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)Article
Małgorzata Stec - Innovation in European Union Countries
The paper sets out to evaluate the innovativeness of European Union member states and determine Poland’s standing in a league table of EU economies in terms of innovation. The analysis is based on innovation indices reported by the European Commission, specifically the European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS) for 2004-2008 and the Summary Innovation Index (SII).
The author determines the innovation scores of individual countries by calculating a 2004-2008 summary innovation index for EU members using a method based on Z. Hellwig’s development model.The results are compared against those quoted in European Commission reports.
The research showed that both the method proposed by the European Commission and the Hellwig development model can be used to measure innovation in EU countries, Stec says. This is confirmed by a high level of correlation between the results as reflected by Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient.
The author compares Poland with other EU economies in terms of innovation. This comparison reveals that the Polish economy is still at an early stage of innovation, Stec says. In the EIS, Poland was classified among catching-up economies, and in Hellwig’s method it was grouped together with countries with a low level of innovation. The author also analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of the Polish economy in terms of innovation.Keywords
: innovation, European Union, European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS), Summary Innovation Index (SII), Hellwig’s development model, Spearman’s rank correlation coefficientArticle
Aleksander Z. Wassilew - Information and Communication Technology in Contemporary Society
The paper aims to determine how information and communication technology influences contemporary culture and examines the nature of this relationship.
The analysis is based on socio-cultural research combined with socio-metric and humanistic studies, along with an eclectic approach. The author uses qualitative methods, in addition to system analyses, discourse analyses, secondary analysis, and participant observation.
Digital and communication technology is changing the nature of interpersonal relations in today’s world, Wassilew says. Social networking sites on the internet make it possible to strengthen old and create new interpersonal ties, and they also contribute to the development of an information society.
Technology used in interpersonal communication changes the way in which people look at the world around them. This eventually leads to new lifestyle patterns, in addition to economic, political and cultural changes, Wassilew says.
According to the author, the paper’s findings can be used in business, marketing, logistics, organization and management strategies, and in the design of IT and communications systems.Keywords
: information and communication technology (ICT), virtual reality, the internet, social networking sitesArticle
Barbara Zbroińska - Public Transaction Costs of the Tax System
The paper aims to identify the transaction costs of the tax system and show that these costs can be used as an additional criterion of tax system assessment. The author uses an institutional analysis method and hypothesizes that the transaction costs of a tax system are not homogenous and that they include both indispensable and undesirable expenses. The former are required for the operation of institutions, while the latter result from political decisions that seek to use taxes for non-fiscal purposes; such decisions stem from the poor quality and unreliability of state institutions, the author says. Any form of state aid requires additional efforts from fiscal and supervisory authorities and adjustment from taxpayers, Zbroińska says.
Zbroińska examines the budgetary effects of tax breaks as an indirect measure of the tax system’s transaction costs. The analysis of empirical data—finance ministry statistics on 2007 income tax returns—shows that the greatest transaction costs are related to the constantly expanding tax breaks for corporate bodies and controversial exemptions for individuals, the author says.Keywords
: transaction costs, tax system, institutions, institutional analysis, tax breaksArticle
Bożena Słomińska - Stimulation Programs for Regional and Local Labor Markets
The author discusses problems related to the stimulation of regional and local labor markets on the basis of research conducted in 2007-2008. The research included both qualitative and quantitative methods. The analyses covered Central Statistical Office (GUS) data and labor market reports as well as opinions collected through individual in-depth interviews with employment agency officials and employers in six selected provinces with varying unemployment rates.
In recent years, authorities have launched various programs to spur regional and local labor markets, the author says, but some of these programs are poorly adapted to what is happening on the market due to a lack of in-depth knowledge about these developments. According to Słomińska, the most promising programs involve financial assistance for business start-ups and funds for equipping workstations for newly hired unemployed persons. More attention is also being paid to the quality and proper selection of training and retraining programs, Słomińska says, especially those aimed at jobless individuals who need to adapt to the needs of their local labor market.
Two groups of activities seem to be particularly important in the process of stimulating labor markets, Słomińska concludes, elimination of barriers to a rise in employment and efforts to more flexibly adapt the education system to changing demand for labor.Keywords
: active labor market programs, training and retraining, supply and demand for labor, in-depth interviewsArticle
Łukasz Ambroziak, Ewa Kaliszuk - A Free Trade Zone Between the European Union and Ukraine: Trade Implications for Poland
In March 2007, the European Union and Ukraine opened negotiations on an association agreement to replace the existing agreement on partnership and cooperation. The main part of the new agreement will be a deal on the establishment of a free trade zone between the EU and Ukraine. The paper aims to examine the commercial implications of such a zone for Poland, especially as Ukraine is one of the largest export markets for Polish goods and Poland is the second largest commercial partner for Ukraine in the EU27 in terms of trade volume.
The authors estimate the results of reducing import duties in terms of trade creation and diversion effects. They also examine the potential implications of lifting export duties by Ukraine and of using trade protection policies by both sides. Even though the estimated commercial effects are moderate, the authors say, they conclude that a free trade zone between the EU and Ukraine would benefit Poland’s trade. The zone would enhance Polish-Ukrainian relations without harming bilateral commerce, according to Ambroziak and Kaliszuk.Keywords
: European Union, Ukraine, Poland, free trade zone, trade creation and diversion, trade barriersArticle