Gospodarka Narodowa
magazine archives

Contents of issue 3/2007

Eugeniusz Kwiatkowski - Remembering Prof. Cezary Józefiak (1932-2007)

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Maria Lissowska - The Challenge of the Knowledge-Based Economy: The Polish Case, summary, article

Andrzej Cieślik - The Regional Distribution of Companies with Foreign Capital in Poland, summary, article

Paweł Kumor, Jan Jacek Sztaudynger - The Use of the Economic Growth Model for the Estimation of Optimal Pay Disparities, summary, article

Ewa Baranowska-Prokop, Jacek Prokop - Price Discrimination and Countertrade, summary, article

Dariusz Mongiało - Factors Influencing Service Markets, summary, article


Joanna Białynicka-Birula - The Movement of Works of Art Between Poland and European Union Countries in 1992-2004, summary, article


Book Review: Gary S. Becker, Guity Nashat Becker, Ekonomia życia (The Economics of Life), Helion, Gliwice 2006, 408 pp. - reviewed by Marek Lubiński

Book Review: Ryszard Domański, Gospodarka przestrzenna. Podstawy teoretyczne, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, Warsaw 2006, 230 pp. - reviewed by Anna Rutkowska-Gurak

Maria Lissowska - The Challenge of the Knowledge-Based Economy: The Polish Case

The paper focuses on barriers to the development of a knowledge-based economy in Poland.
The author analyzes views about the knowledge-based economy presented in professional literature. She examines the conditions for the development of the economy, considering changes in geographic factors and economic policy. Her analysis of the knowledge-based economy is based on a presentation of statistical data and reports. Lissowska also considers information on the European Union’s plans to enhance research and innovation across Europe.
The analysis shows that the knowledge-based economy is insufficiently developed and differs unfavorably from the state prior to transition and from the average state displayed by other EU countries with a similar level of development. Industrial enterprises display insufficient initiative, with little involvement among foreign-owned companies to create innovation in their research centers in Poland. Small technology-oriented firms have made little effort despite their intellectual potential and possibilities.
The main barriers to the development of the knowledge-based economy include the unfavorable legacy of the period prior to transition and imperfect industrial and innovation policies, along with an inadequate institutional and organizational environment. These imperfections may aggravate the vicious circle of uncertainty by adding to risk avoidance among suppliers of capital and an insufficient absorption of innovation, the author concludes.
To tap the existing intellectual potential and make good use of the growing amount of funds (including EU structural funds and money for research and competitiveness promotion), it is necessary to focus on institutional and organizational tools likely to encourage potential investors and enable them to pursue knowledge-based projects.

Keywords: knowledge-based economy, innovation, information and communication technologies (ICT), research and development (R&D)
Article: PDF

Andrzej Cieślik - The Regional Distribution of Companies with Foreign Capital in Poland

The paper aims to examine factors influencing the regional distribution of companies with foreign capital in Poland. The author uses a negative binomial model based on data covering the country’s 16 regions/provinces in 1990-2004. The study expands previous empirical analyses based on data for Poland’s 49 former provinces. The author checks if companies with foreign capital take into account the same factors while making their siting and investment decisions. It turns out that the latest data applying to the 16 regions is less distinct than that obtained in the past with regard to the former 49 provinces. This is due to a high level of data aggregation in the country’s new administrative division, the author explains. The 16 new provinces are larger than the old provinces, as a result of which differences between them are less considerable than in the case of the former provinces. Still, some trends are independent of the degree of data aggregation. These include a positive relationship between the number of companies with foreign capital operating in a given region and the share of the service sector in the overall labor force. Another rule is a negative relationship between the number of companies with foreign capital and real wages and unemployment in the region. The border location of individual regions produces less distinct effects for today’s 16 provinces than in the case of the former 49 provinces. The feedback effect that was found in earlier studies involving the 49 former provinces does not occur in the current regional arrangement based on 16 provinces. Indicators describing the influence of special economic zones on regional economies are statistically significant only when the relevant regression equation takes into account the effects of a region’s border location.

Keywords: regional distribution, companies with foreign capital, negative binomial model, regression equation
Article: PDF

Paweł Kumor, Jan Jacek Sztaudynger - The Use of the Economic Growth Model for the Estimation of Optimal Pay Disparities

The authors have developed an econometric growth model to estimate an “optimal” diversification of wages. Pay disparities are optimal when they produce the highest rate of GDP growth. An optimal diversification of wages can be calculated by introducing a variable thanks to which the model will measure “parabolic” disparities.
The authors advance a hypothesis that there is an optimal level for the diversification of wages. If pay disparities are smaller than optimal, the most creative, hard-working and efficient individuals are insufficiently rewarded and are not properly encouraged to take advantage of their capabilities in contributing to gross domestic product.
If wage disparities are greater than optimal, employees with lower qualifications are underpaid. This can be accompanied by feelings of social injustice and a sense of exploitation and impoverishment. This harms interpersonal ties and the relationship between employees and employers, in addition to limiting people’s confidence and reducing social capital. In such a situation, low-paid employees have little incentive to work. They only have enough motivation to satisfy their minimum biological needs and stay above the poverty line. Underpaid employees display insufficient creativity and dedication.
The empirical analysis conducted by the authors for the Polish economy applies to the 1986-2004 period. The analysis shows that pay disparities are higher than optimal and have grown steadily since 1999. A statistically significant slowdown in productivity caused by an excessive diversification of wages occurred in 2003 and 2004. At the time, productivity dropped by around 0.5 and 0.8 percentage points respectively.

Keywords: economic growth, econometric model, pay disparities
Article: PDF

Ewa Baranowska-Prokop, Jacek Prokop - Price Discrimination and Countertrade

The aim of the paper is to examine the conditions in which companies use countertrade to hide their price discrimination practices and maintain a strong negotiating position with regard to their commercial partners. The analysis was made on the basis of two models. First, the authors present an innovative model for third-degree discrimination in which countertrade is used to conceal price differences; then they build a model in which countertrade promotes second-degree price discrimination.
In the third-degree price discrimination model, the authors prove that the effective use of products as payment in countertrade deals, coupled with the relatively high probability that price discrimination will be revealed, encourages companies to diversify prices in different market segments with the use of tie-in transactions. On the other hand, in the second-degree price discrimination model, if the marginal costs of production are not too high in relation to the value of the mutual services, the monopoly will offer its customers the possibility of buying goods in an ordinary market transaction or in a tie-in. At a point of balance, both forms of trade will occur, but prices in countertrade will be lower than market prices. The authors show that, under specific conditions, countertrade is a useful tool for maximizing business profit by enabling price discrimination.

Keywords: price discrimination, countertrade, second/third-degree price discrimination model
Article: PDF

Dariusz Mongiało - Factors Influencing Service Markets

The author probes the factors that influence the structure of service markets and describes the way in which they influence the operations of these markets.
The paper presents selected factors of key importance to the structure of service markets. These include the nonmaterial nature and diversification of services, information asymmetry, natural and regulatory barriers to entry and the level of concentration. The last part of the article shows the influence of all these factors on the structure of selected service markets.
The author argues that service markets have certain specific features that account for the existence of individual market models. Whether a specific segment of the service sector takes the form of an oligopoly, monopoly or perfect competition is determined by its specific features, including the differentiation of services, the nature of entry barriers, the existence of scale benefits and the level of concentration.

Keywords: services, service markets, market structure, entry barriers, concentration
Article: PDF

Joanna Białynicka-Birula - The Movement of Works of Art Between Poland and European Union Countries in 1992-2004

The paper analyses the exportation and importation of works of art between Poland and the European Union prior to Poland’s entry into the bloc on May 1, 2004. The author presents a dynamic analysis of artwork exports and imports data according to Poland’s Central Statistical Office (GUS) in 1992-2004. She identifies the main artwork export and import markets in Europe and estimates the share of the private sector in artwork trade. The analysis yields several conclusions. The value of artwork exports and imports between Poland and the EU-15 was characterized by major changes. EU countries accounted for a high percentage of Poland’s artwork trade in 1992-2004. This applies to both exports and imports. In the analyzed period, the value of Polish artwork exports was higher than the value of imports. Moreover, the analysis revealed that the movement of artwork between Poland and the EU was strongly concentrated in the case of several countries, with a clear marginalization of the remaining member states. France, Germany, Britain and Italy had the greatest share in Poland’s artwork trade. The share of the private sector in artwork trade was considerable, exceeding 75 percent in exports and 58 percent in imports.

Keywords: movement of works of art, artwork exports and imports, Poland, European Union
Article: PDF

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