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Contents of issue 6/2014

Sławomir Pastuszka - Regional Policy: Interventionism or Liberalization?, summary, article

Zbigniew Kuchta - Nominal Wage Rigidities in Small­ Scale DSGE Models: An Empirical Analysis for Poland, summary, article

Paweł Dykas, Tomasz Misiak - Determinants of Key Labor Market Variables in Polish Counties in 2002–2011, summary, article

Tomasz Jędrzejowicz, Kamila Sławińska - Shifting from Labor to Consumption Taxes: The Impact on Tax Revenue Volatility, summary, article

Ewa Cieślik - African Sovereign Wealth Funds: Facts and Figures, summary, article

Jakub Ziółkowski - Decision Consumers’ on the Market for Higher Education as Exemplified by How Students Choose Their Lecturers at the Warsaw School of Economics, summary, article


Christian Dustmann, Bernd Fitzenberger, Uta Schönberg, Alexandra Spitz‑Oener - From Sick Man of Europe to Economic Superstar: Germany’s Resurgent Economy, article


Book Review: Wojciech Pacho, Stagnacja gospodarcza i innowacje techniczne w okresie przedindustrialnym (Economic Stagnation and Technological Innovation in the Pre‐Industrial Era), Szkoła Główna Handlowa w Warszawie, Oficyna Wydawnicza, Warsaw 2013, 169 pp. - reviewed by Krzysztof Malaga

Book Review: Łukasz Ambroziak, Wpływ bezpośrednich inwestycji zagranicznych na handel wewnątrzgałęziowy państw Grupy Wyszehradzkiej (The Impact of Foreign Direct Investment on the Intra­ Industry Trade of Visegrad Countries), Monografie ­IBRKK, Instytut Badań Rynku, Konsumpcji i Koniunktur, Warsaw 2013, 212 pp. - reviewed by Elżbieta Czarny


Institutions That Change the World - Maria Lissowska

Index of Publications in 2014

List of Reviewers

Sławomir Pastuszka - Regional Policy: Interventionism or Liberalization?

The paper aims to establish whether and to what extent the recommendations of classical and Keynesian economics can be used in regional policy making. The author attempts to resolve the dilemma as to whether regional policy should take the form of a traditional policy of equalization, which would mean limiting support to only the poorest regions, or whether it should be oriented toward supporting richer areas. Pastuszka analyzes the literature on the subject and reviews research reports on the mechanisms of the socioeconomic development of regions.
The analysis shows that there should be a reasonable balance between the impact of liberalism and interventionism in regional policy making, the author notes. The key recommendation that comes from such an approach to regional policy is that a polycentric model of moderate concentration should be promoted, Pastuszka says. The essence of this model is to strengthen medium­‑sized and small cities and build a functional communication network between them and between these cities and surrounding areas. When strengthened economically, these areas (surrounding cities), being the natural hinterland of large conurbations, can become their equal partners, and at the same time offer an additional incentive for regional development, the author argues. Therefore measures financed with public funds should be aimed to launch, supplement and strengthen the internal potential of individual subregions, according to Pastuszka. The top priority of regional policy interventions should be to fund activities aimed at facilitating the establishment and operation of local enterprises of key importance to the internal potential of subregions. Another priority is to strengthen the network of formal and informal links between these enterprises and scientific research institutions, consulting and training centers as well as public administration, the author concludes.

Keywords: regional policy, regional development, interventionism, liberalism
JEL classification codes: O11, O12
Article: PDF

Zbigniew Kuchta - Nominal Wage Rigidities in Small­ Scale DSGE Models: An Empirical Analysis for Poland

The paper examines the empirical importance of the assumption of "sticky wages" in small­‑scale dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models estimated for the Polish economy. The evaluation is based on a Bayesian comparison between the baseline "sticky price" model and a model of price and wage rigidities. The comparison includes extensions of these models to account for the case of price and wage indexation.
The analysis consists of two steps. In the first step, each model is estimated using quarterly data for the Polish economy from 1995 to 2011. In the second step, the "marginal data density" is calculated for each model and so‑called Bayes factors are obtained.
The results suggest that the best fit to the sample is observed in the case of the model with wage and price rigidities. Moreover, price and wage indexation mechanisms seem to have an insignificant impact on how the model fits the data, the author says. A comparison of impulse response functions shows that there are significant differences between the baseline model and the model with sticky prices and wages. Moreover, the estimates of structural parameters were strongly affected by the introduction of wage rigidities, the author says.

Keywords: price and wage rigidities, dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model, Bayesian model comparison, price and wage indexation
JEL classification codes: J30, E30, E32, C52
Article: PDF

Paweł Dykas, Tomasz Misiak - Determinants of Key Labor Market Variables in Polish Counties in 2002–2011

The article seeks to endogenize selected labor market variables—such as labor productivity, real gross wages, and changes in the unemployment rate—for Poland at the county level in 2002–2011. The authors analyze the impact of a number of determinants on these variables. The study is based on conclusions resulting from theoretical models, including those of economic growth and a model of efficiency wages, as well as conclusions resulting directly from the definition of the unemployment rate.
The analyses were carried out using panel data generated for all of Poland’s 379 counties as well as within selected groups of rural counties (314) and municipal counties (65) for a period from 2002 to 2011. Spatial econometric methods—regression equations with fixed effects and switching variables—were used for the analyses. The data were retrieved from Poland’s Central Statistical Office (GUS), and the authors’ own estimates were also used.
The results of the empirical research conducted in the paper confirmed conclusions resulting from theoretical considerations, the authors say. They add that the parameters estimated in the paper varied among the studied groups and methods of estimation. As expected, labor productivity, for example, depended on technical devices, total factor productivity, and the rate of technological progress, the authors note. Relative real gross wages were explained by the unemployment rate and relative labor productivity. The increase in the unemployment rate resulted from variations in unemployment rates recorded in the previous year and from real GDP growth, the authors say.

Keywords: labor market, local unemployment, relative gross wages, labor productivity
JEL classification codes: J01, J31, J64, R23
Article: PDF

Tomasz Jędrzejowicz, Kamila Sławińska - Shifting from Labor to Consumption Taxes: The Impact on Tax Revenue Volatility

This paper provides estimates of tax revenues with respect to their individual tax bases, focusing on differences between long- and short‑run elasticities and allowing for asymmetries in the speed of adjustment as well as in short‑run volatility. Estimates are presented for two major tax categories in Poland: value added tax, and employer and employee social contributions for the 1999–2013 period. Our results indicate that long‑run elasticities are close to unity. An analysis of short‑run elasticities based on considering their asymmetric responses to economic fluctuations, complemented by a rolling regression exercise, suggests that VAT revenues are subject to greater volatility. Therefore, a shift in taxation from labor income to consumption increases the sensitivity of public finances to the business cycle.

Keywords: fiscal policy, tax revenue elasticities, value added tax, social contributions
JEL classification codes: E62, H2, H68
Article: PDF

Ewa Cieślik - African Sovereign Wealth Funds: Facts and Figures

This article discusses the features of sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) created from accumulated foreign reserves in African countries that export commodities. The author describes the investment targets of African SWFs, using empirical data and a research method based on a detailed analysis of available information on the investment activities of SWFs in the last 20 years.
Conclusions from the analysis indicate that, due to the poor transparency of African SWFs, gathering the necessary statistics, general information and literature on the institutional arrangements and business strategies involved still remains a challenge.
The study uses press articles and reports that are compared against other sources of information in order to increase credibility. Due to the small size of African SWFs, their role in stimulating the economic development of the continent is limited by many institutional, economic and political factors.
African SWFs are not a homogeneous group. They can be beneficial for nations if they are used and structured properly in order to take advantage of their full potential. This implies that most of the African SWFs would have to expand their stabilization goals and move gradually to instruments intended for achieving economic development, intergenerational transfers of resources, financial sector stabilization, and promotion of regional integration.

Keywords: sovereign wealth fund, Africa, investment targets
JEL classification codes: F21, G23, O16, O55
Article: PDF

Jakub Ziółkowski - Decision Consumers’ on the Market for Higher Education as Exemplified by How Students Choose Their Lecturers at the Warsaw School of Economics

The author sets out to identify factors and methods that can support students in the process of choosing lecturers (utility maximization) for bachelor­‑level courses at the Warsaw School of Economics.
The paper describes four strategies used by students based on fear, field of study, scholarships and recruitment. The key point of the research was to analyze preferences before and after institutional changes at the university.
The empirical part of the research provides an analysis based on descriptive statistics as well as mixed, logit, probit, linear and Poisson models, multinomial logit models and Quinlan’s algorithm (C 4.5). The data for the research were provided by the Warsaw School of Economics’ IT center.
The accuracy of the forecasts (comparison of actual and predicted values) ranges between 66% and 88%, in most cases exceeding 72%, Ziółkowski says.
The author concludes that the research enabled him to identify methods that can optimize students’ decision­‑making processes and at the same time help the university redesign some of its courses to better meet the needs of students and produce job‑ready graduates.

Keywords: preferences, utility maximization, optimization, students, lecturers
JEL classification codes: A22, C01, C02, C61, D12, D40, D41, I20, I21, I23
Article: PDF

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