List of issues

Contents of issue 1/2018


Łukasz Hardt - Ceteris Rectis Laws in Economics, summary, article

Aneta Kargol-Wasiluk, Anna Wildowicz-Giegiel, Marian Zalesko - The Evolution of the Economic Man. From Homo Oeconomicus to Homo Moralis, summary, article

Maria Lissowska - Crowdfunding: Concept, Problems, Regulation, summary, article

Marta Götz, Małgorzata Bartosik-Purgat, Barbara Jankowska - International Aspects and Challenges of Digital Transformation, summary, article

Robert Socha, Piotr Wdowiński - Analysis of Oil Market Trends Post-2000, summary, article

Błażej Łyszczarz - Determinants of Household Health Expenditure in Poland, summary, article

Maciej Czaplewski - Creating a Single Digital Market for Telecommunications Services as a Challenge for the European Union, summary, article

Łukasz Hardt - Ceteris Rectis Laws in Economics

This paper endeavours to interpret laws of economics as statements that are only valid under “normal” conditions. It starts out by referring to various problems in understanding scientific laws, including those governing economics, in ceteris paribus terms. Next, the author tries to demonstrate that difficulties in completing antecedents of these laws, i.e., specifying all factors that are either absent or constant, should result in a “normality” approach to ceteris paribus laws. In such an approach, instead of claiming that “ceteris paribus, if A, then B,” we would be stating that “ceteris rectis, if A, then B,” with ceteris rectis implying that “the nature of A is to produce B.” However, the clause would have to be placed in the context of the more encompassing definition where ceteris rectis originally means simply “other things being right.” Such reflections, deeply rooted in the general philosophy of science, are illustrated by various examples taken from economics, including statements on the relationship between the cost of money and investments, as well as some insights into the law of demand. The paper concludes by asserting that economic laws not only carry implicit or explicit ceteris paribus clauses, but also consist of the ceteris rectis clause. This appears to rule out the possibility of formulating universal laws of economics.

Keywords: scientific laws, economics, ceteris paribus, ceteris rectis, philosophy of economics
JEL classification codes: B41
Article: PDF

Aneta Kargol-Wasiluk, Anna Wildowicz-Giegiel, Marian Zalesko - The Evolution of the Economic Man. From Homo Oeconomicus to Homo Moralis

This article traces the development of the concept of homo oeconomicus, a fundamental principle of mainstream economics. The concept is compared against alternative approaches proposed by representatives of other schools of thought such as heterodox economics, behavioural economics and neuroeconomics. Special attention is paid to the Resourceful, Evaluative, Maximising Man (REMM) model, which seems to be a missing link between homo oeconomicus and homo moralis. It is simultaneously assumed that the narrow interpretation of homo oeconomicus as a being solely guided by self-interest is oversimplified and that this kind of paradigm may be harmful to society in the real world. The article was written on the basis of a content analysis of literature. For the purposes of the research, both descriptive and interdisciplinary methods were employed. As a result of the conducted analysis, a conclusion was drawn that the explanation of economic behaviours requires a more holistic and dynamic approach. The incompleteness and inadequacy of the paradigm of homo oeconomicus were highlighted. It was noted that the rationality of the economic man results not only from concern for self-interest but also from his embeddedness in society and culture. The study showed that economic behaviour is context-dependent and additionally determined by morality derived from social and religious systems.
In conclusion, it was emphasised that the economic man cannot be reduced to a machine concentrating on his own material well-being. The morality of an individual making choices in a world of scarcity is inevitably subject to assessment.

Keywords: homo oeconomicus, homo moralis, egoism, self-interest, morality, REMM model
JEL classification codes: A10, B10, B20, B31, B50
Article: PDF

Maria Lissowska - Crowdfunding: Concept, Problems, Regulation

The objective of this paper is to look into crowdfunding as a new way of providing funding to those in need. The author also evaluates the need for regulating crowdfunding in the European Union. The analysis makes use of the concept of two-sided markets [Rochet and Tirole, 2004], and it also refers to institutional economics for its theoretical framework.
When discussing the benefits and risks of crowdfunding, I underline the substantial risk faced by investors. Often, due to the use of a business model in which their decisions are replaced by the platform, they cannot protect themselves against risk. As to small and medium-sized enterprises, besides the benefits of easier and possibly cheaper access to funds, I underline the importance of negative selection and moral hazard, which are detrimental not only to the investors, but also to the fundraisers. Additionally, the features of investors (who often make emotional decisions) and of platforms (liquidity risk and risk of default) amplify the risks for business participants, including SMEs as fundraisers. The substantial asymmetry of the negotiating power of the platform over other participants and the divergence of their interests-considering that the platform is much less exposed to financial risk than the investors-creates a specific institutional situation that prevents spontaneous adjustment of the rules governing the functioning of a platform to the diverging interests of participants. In this context, I reflect on the need for future harmonised regulation of crowdfunding in the European Union. I particularly highlight the need to regulate loan-based crowdfunding, which is the least regulated form of crowdfunding at the national level. Besides the protection of investors, which is already addressed by national regulations in most member countries, the issue of protection of fundraisers should also be given due attention.

Keywords: crowdfunding, two-sided markets, banking, financial markets
JEL classification codes: D02, D82, D85, G23
Article: PDF

Marta Götz, Małgorzata Bartosik-Purgat, Barbara Jankowska - International Aspects and Challenges of Digital Transformation

This paper aims to examine the international context of the digital transformation sweeping through advanced economies worldwide. The authors focus on both the business-to-business (B2B) and consumer-to-business (C2B) aspects of this process. The B2B perspective is linked with the idea of a fourth industrial revolution, a notion that is also referred to as Industry 4.0, while the C2B perspective involves the growing role and popularity of social media. The paper sets out to identify the interdependencies between these two dimensions of the digital transformation. The authors apply a narrative approach to lay out the main issues related to the process in the international context. The study is a balanced analysis of key issues related to the B2B and B2C streams of the digital transformation. It also outlines the major advantages and threats as well as expected implications of Industry 4.0 and social media. The research encountered a number of challenges that chiefly stemmed from the relative novelty of the discussed problems. These included a lack of first-hand data, a dearth of adequate literature references, and data confidentiality, compounded by firms’ unwillingness to share information.
Nevertheless, the authors managed to identify some internationally embedded peculiarities of Industry 4.0 (B2B perspective) and demonstrated the usefulness of social media in new production and communication processes (C2B perspective).

Keywords: digital transformation, Industry 4.0, big data, social media, B2B, C2B
JEL classification codes: F23, O33
Article: PDF

Robert Socha, Piotr Wdowiński - Analysis of Oil Market Trends Post-2000

This paper aims to analyse changes in the oil market during the “third oil price shock” in 2007 and 2008. It is particularly important to investigate the influence of disruptions in oil production (in both OPEC and non-OPEC countries) on crude oil prices and consumption. The authors conduct an empirical investigation of this problem, estimating a vector error correction model and an impulse-response function. Based on the empirical data, we noticed that from 2004 to 2008 the growth in oil demand was not compensated by an appropriate increase in oil production. The results of impulse-response functions show that, with the improvement in global demand, we should rather expect OPEC production to increase. Moreover, this kind of reaction in OPEC is delayed by about four months, which can be explained by the restrictions on OPEC’s spare capacity. This limits the room for a short-term increase in OPEC production. Unexpected demand shocks or price innovations increase the level of both OPEC and non-OPEC production, but the response of OPEC is more significant. These findings may be considered as a point of departure for future analyses of OPEC production adjustments.

Keywords: oil price, OPEC, cointegration, vector error correction model
JEL classification codes: C32, C52, Q31
Article: PDF

Błażej Łyszczarz - Determinants of Household Health Expenditure in Poland

The aim of the paper is to identify and quantify the social and economic determinants of private health expenditures by Polish households with a primary interest in the role of income. Panel data regression analysis is used to estimate relationships between socioeconomic factors and households’ health expenditures. Fixed-effects, instrumental variables and dynamic panel approaches are used in the estimation. The data is taken from the Local Data Bank of Poland’s Central Statistical Office (GUS) and covers the period 1999-2015.
Real per capita health expenditures are used as a dependent variable and the covariates are real disposable income, health status, healthcare availability, healthcare prices, pollution, and population age structure. Depending on model specification, the income elasticity of household health expenditure ranges from 0.45 to 0.87. Income elasticity lower than one means that healthcare financed directly from household budgets has the characteristics of a necessity good in Poland. Other factors that correlate with health spending are the proportion of the population over 70 years old and health status measured by life expectancy.
Meanwhile, healthcare supply was a factor that proved to be unrelated to households’ health expenditure. On the other hand, the impact of healthcare prices and pollution is unclear.

Keywords: health expenditure, households, regions, panel regression, income elasticity
JEL classification codes: C23, D12, I11
Article: PDF

Maciej Czaplewski - Creating a Single Digital Market for Telecommunications Services as a Challenge for the European Union

The aim of this article is to describe and evaluate action taken so far to create a unified digital telecommunications market in the European Union, with a view to proposing solutions that will facilitate the development of this market. The article is of a conceptual nature and uses a critical analysis of the domestic and foreign literature on the subject. The author also analyses EU regulations and documents and reviews studies by European institutes as part of research programmes commissioned by the EU. This made it possible to determine that EU authorities, in their efforts to create a unified digital telecommunications market, focused on regulating network communications infrastructure. Taking into account the main development trends for such networks, they focused their efforts on roaming, frequency management and network neutrality. The research also found that measures taken by EU authorities to form a unified digital telecommunications market have not been equally effective in all areas. Roaming is the only area that has been precisely regulated. These observations have led the author to conclude that the creation of a unified digital telecommunications market requires the development of generally applicable EU regulations on the allocation of frequencies and network neutrality. The article also points out that the creation of such a market would require the development of a comprehensive data protection and digital goods consumer protection regime in the EU. These conclusions can be used for further theoretical analyses and empirical research.

Keywords: single market, telecommunications services, digital economy, European Union
JEL classification codes: L96, D47
Article: PDF

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