Contents of issue 10/2005
In Memoriam: Jerzy Eysymontt* * *
Bartłomiej Rokicki - Reform of the Stability and Growth Pact, summary
Andrzej Płachecki - Supporting Competition on the Cellular Telecommunications Market, summary
Iga Rudawska - Patient Participation in Health Service Costs, summary
, articleEUROPEAN INTEGRATION
Przemysław Kulawczuk - Tax and Social Competition for Foreign Direct Investment in Central European Industry, summary
, articleWARSAW SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS 1906-2006
Edward Łukawer - Oskar Lange, summary
, articleCONFRENCES - POLEMICS - REVIEWS
Book Review: Jan Monkiewicz (ed.), Jednolity rynek ubezpieczeń w Unii Europejskiej. Procesy rozwoju i integracji
(The Single Insurance Market in the European Union: Development and Integration Processes), Oficyna Wydawnicza Branta, Bydgoszcz-Warsaw 2005, 386 pp. - reviewed by Tomasz B. Michalski
International Business and the Internationalization of the National Economy - Tadeusz Smuga
Bartłomiej Rokicki - Reform of the Stability and Growth Pact
The article is dedicated to a Reform of the Stability and Growth Pact endorsed by the Council of the European Union at its meeting in Brussels on March 22-23, 2005.
Under reform guidelines worked out by the European Commission and consulted within the Community, any changes to the pact should enable more effective supervision over the budget deficit and public debt in EU member states. On the other hand, reforms should guarantee member states sufficient flexibility in pursuing their national fiscal policies. In this context, the Council’s decisions, made under the pressure of France and Germany, put a question mark over not only the implementation of the key goals of the reform, but also the continued functioning of the pact.
The compromise reached within the Council may be important for new member states, both in the context of their prospective accession to the euro zone and the ongoing negotiations on the new financial perspective for 2007-2013. The author notes that, by offering concessions in the area of the pact, Poland could probably count on the “gratefulness” of the key net contributors to the EU budget.Article
Andrzej Płachecki - Supporting Competition on the Cellular Telecommunications Market
The development of wireless technology has stimulated the dissemination of mobile telecommunications. The growth of this market has resulted from a rapid development of cellular telecommunications services over the past decade—thanks to their natural values such as the possibility of using these services regardless of the user’s whereabouts. However, the Polish mobile telecommunications market is still characterized by a low penetration rate—expressed by a relatively small number of telephones per 100 residents—accompanied by relatively high, though declining, prices. At the same time, the mobile telecommunications market is growing at a relatively fast rate compared with traditional fixed-line telecommunications. In the future, this may solve the problem of access to telecommunications services in poorly urbanized areas. Notably, the mobile telecommunications market is a typically oligopolistic market with a natural tendency whereby operators make various formal and informal agreements with one another. They do not yet feel threatened by the competition. This is due to market entry barriers such as the limited availability of frequencies necessary for the performance of mobile telecommunications services and additional financial barriers related to costs. Overcoming these obstacles requires a comprehensive competition promotion policy based on creating conditions for a potential entry of new entities onto the market. These regulations require free frequencies for new investors, accompanied by the introduction of an effective policy for promoting competition in telecommunications services through the creation of conditions for providing services by operators without networks. At the same time, active regulation is necessary on the market to effectively counteract abusive practices and anti-competition agreements made by operators on the market.Article
Iga Rudawska - Patient Participation in Health Service Costs
Probably no country in either Eastern or Western Europe is free from the problem of rapidly growing healthcare costs. Since the health needs of the population cannot be fully met solely with the use of public funds, it is necessary to revise the current obligations of the state in this area. The article describes one of the methods for creating a more economic relationship between the patient and service provider through the participation of patients in the costs of health services. The aim of the article is to show opportunities and threats resulting from this mechanism in a wide economic and social context. The author highlights the pitfalls of cost-sharing programs while referring to economic theory. The article presents the experiences of Western European countries in the financial involvement of patients and the prospects of extensive patient participation in Poland. The author concludes that, as far as the costs of health services are concerned, the effectiveness of the patient participation mechanism is limited.Article
Przemysław Kulawczuk - Tax and Social Competition for Foreign Direct Investment in Central European Industry
The article presents the results of measurements of the competitive advantages of four Central European countries in attracting foreign direct investment to industry prior to European Union accession. Central Europe, which used various tax and social incentives, is compared in this area with EU countries in 1998-2004. The key conclusion of the study is that foreign investors derive economic benefits from moving production to Central Europe, both thanks to more favorable corporate income tax rates and lower labor costs. Generally, the differences in tax rates tend to be less important than the overall level of tax rates in the host country. A critical role is played by differences in labor costs among countries and the overall share of labor costs in the investor’s own country. The greater the differences in pay rates and the higher the share of labor costs in the product, the more profitable it is for the investor to transfer production to Central Europe. This issue is examined with the use of a model based on six variables. The model is used to calculate the tax and social prevalence of the four Central European countries over 14 EU countries on the basis of available data. The indices show profit per 1 euro of value-added industrial production transferred from the 14 EU countries to the four Central European countries in select years of the 1998-2004 period.Article
Edward Łukawer - Oskar Lange
The beginnings of the research career of Oskar Lange were linked with his critical analysis of capitalism. In 1934, aided by Marek Breit, Lange set out to define the mechanism undergoing the functioning of the socialist economy. Two years later, referring to the neo-liberal concepts prevalent at the time and critical of socialism, he presented a decentralized socialist economy model that earned him international acclaim. Lange spent the war years in the United States where he wrote his internationally recognized work on employment and price flexibility. He lectured at several leading U.S. universities and began to perform various social and political functions on behalf of Poland.
Another noteworthy period of his career coincided with the beginnings of economic reform in Poland in 1956 and the establishment of an Economic Council under his leadership. Another special moment was the publication of his work on political economics. It raised a lot of polemics and controversy, chiefly because Lange called for the need to include the principle of rational management in Marxist economics. Actually, 20 years later—after Lange’s death—these problems provoked heated disputes.
In reference to economic reform, Lange was preoccupied with an analysis of ownership forms and the functioning of various types of enterprises as well as the principles of central planning.
Lange’s last article, The Computer and the Market, raised eyebrows among economists in 1965. In this essay, Lange largely revised his previous assessment of the allocation capabilities of the market.
Lange was undoubtedly an outstanding scholar who was recognized around the world and contributed to the international reputation of Polish science.Article