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Application of the Institute of Income Redistribution in the Form of Social Transfers in EU Countries

Abstract

The reduction in the number of households living at risk of poverty is a common objective of EU countries but the social policy of each member state is different. This paper provides an overview of components of social transfers and their share in total household incomes in EU countries. The aim of the paper is to assess the effectiveness of the social systems of each on the basis of the number of households at risk of poverty determined before and after the payment of social benefits. Four segments of EU countries were identified in cluster analysis according to their approach to social transfer settings using primary data from EU-SILC survey. The combination of high share of social benefits and low share of old age pensions proves to be better in the fight against poverty. The relationship between an economic performance and a functioning social policy system appears in EU countries.

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Conceptual Framework and Empirical Methodology for Measuring Multidimensional Judicial Ideology

Abstract

The article presents a conceptual framework and empirical methodology of an on-going research on the role of ideology in the decisions of the Slovenian Constitution Court. The literature review demonstrates that research on judicial ideology in the courts of European countries and international courts is still rare. This can be explained by conceptual, methodological and empirical challenges posed by this type of research. The article hence advances a conceptual framework which is, contra to the mainstream theoretical approach in the field, based on a multidimensional conception of ideology that is empirically operationalised along the economic, social and authoritarian dimensions with five possible ideological positions on each dimension. By applying the newly developed methodology to a sample of Court’s decisions, it is demonstrated that this methodological approach is able to account for ideological differences between judges. This confirms that (judges’) ideology is a complex multidimensional set of values and convictions that cannot be reduced to simply equating ideology with (possible) political affiliations.

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The Connection between Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Respect for Human Rights

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to study the connection between corporate respect for human rights and corporate social responsibility. The author argues that business entities have a responsibility to respect human rights and that this responsibility forms part of their corporate social responsibility. The author defends the view that business and human rights issues are distinct from corporate social responsibility issues in their legal nature and content, while the strategic approach in the implementation of these concepts is the same. The author further examines whether voluntary corporate social responsibility initiatives include human rights, and how society understands the connection between the two. The conclusions of the article shed light on the interconnection between these two terms.

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Economic and Legal Features of Digital Markets

Abstract

Digitization has changed economic activity in many ways. While digitization has contributed to a very dynamic development of markets and competition, concerns are also being expressed about powerful positions of some companies. The digital transformation poses new challenges for companies, consumers, politics and society. Competition policy is also required to address these developments and to adapt existing competition law, if necessary. The following analysis of digital markets showed that it is not possible, in general, to make concrete competition policy statements or even to give detailed recommendations for the antitrust analysis. The aspects are to be considered separately and in detail when examining search engines, social networks, trading platforms and other business models. On the other hand, data (and data analysis) should stand in the centre of competition law analysis due to their importance for the economic success of digital market companies.

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Is the Czech Republic a Welfare State?

Abstract

Is the Czech Republic a welfare state? This question is to be answered through this article, whose purpose is to classify Czechia into one of the types of the welfare state. The introduction of the article describes the creation of the welfare state and the main factors influencing its origin. The article also describes the characteristic features of the welfare state and presents its typology. The section entitled “The Czech Republic and the welfare state” expounds on the constituent stages of development of the Czech social policy until the present day. The article concludes with the comparison of some aggregate indicators and characteristics of social policies found in Sweden, Germany and the United Kingdom with similar indicators from the Czech Republic; this basis forms the assignment of the Czech Republic to one of the types of the welfare state.

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Actuarial Neutrality and Financial Incentives for Early Retirement in the Austrian Pension System

Abstract

This paper takes a closer look at the existing early retirement schemes in Austria and analyses whether early retirement imposes a financial burden on the pension system (actuarial neutrality). Additionally, we compute incentive-neutral deductions for early retirement. These deductions reflect the view of the individual, who faces option of retiring earlier or working another year. Incentive neutral deductions would imply that an individual is indifferent between both. Our results highlight substantial differences between both measures. While the current deduction rate of 5.1% in the Austrian age corridor is, on average, close to actuarial neutrality, it is lower than the incentive-neutral deductions. This indicates that there are financial incentives for early retirement, which may arise due to the Austrian tax system. Additionally, we show that both actuarial and incentive neutrality differ substantially across socio-economic characteristics, such as gender, wages and (early) retirement age.

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Functioning of the Quasi-Labor Market under Socialism: Clash between Ideology and Reality

Abstract

Based on the interviews with that time managers, the paper aims to find out whether ideology affected the dealing with labor force in the last two decades of the socialist regime in Czechoslovakia. Technically, the labor market was balanced and characterized by zero unemployment and low and highly equalized wages. However, actually, there was a permanent imbalance with the lasting dominance of demand over supply and overemployment. Increasing wages was, due to ideological and formal settings of the system nearly impossible, and thus the economic agents tried to find alternative “solutions” to this imbalance. This situation led to low motivation of the labor force and consequently to low productivity. The positive side was represented by relatively good relationships among the employees. We demonstrate on the interviews that in the clash between ideology and the market forces, the former was stronger and in fact prevented efficient functioning of the labor market.

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International Court Jurisdiction in Disputes Concerning Unlawful use of Trademarks on the Internet

Abstract

The rapid development of IT technologies in the last few decades has also created increasing number of cross-border disputes. This trend is affected by the fact, that there are no border lines that we can find in the real world. Different law systems have to deal with the existence of this new, on state borders independent entity. In the perspective of law, internet is interesting because of its inability as a virtual space, to fit in the doctrine of legal state, by which the state exercises its authority and enforces its law on its territory. This traditional bond between the state, its territory and its law system is impaired, sometimes it is referred to as virtualization or delocalization of legal relationships. Delocalization has a great influence on determination of the decisive law system and court jurisdictions. In those cases, we need to distinguish substantive law and procedural law in order to determine court (or other institution) jurisdiction and law system which would be applied on the case. With regard to the topic of this article, we will deal with private law relationships with international elements. Unlawful use of trademarks on the internet raises a number of issues. One example is the use of trademarks on the internet and to what extent such use is infringing trademark rights on a specific territory. This paper deals particularly with the jurisdictional issues and how rules on private international law can assist in resolving these issues. The currently applicable EU Brussels I Regulation (Recast) allows infringers to be sued either in the place of the defendant’s domicile or in the place of the harmful event.

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The Looming Central and Eastern European Real Convergence Club. Do Implicit tax Rates Play a Part?

Abstract

The paper investigates whether there is a convergence club stance for the Visegrad countries plus Romania and Bulgaria and the part played, in this process, by the implicit tax rates on labour and consumption, respectively. For the purpose of the research, the GDP per capita, productivity and unemployment are used as convergence indicators and dependent variables. The dataset covers the 1995–2016 timeframe and the analysis is based on a panel-model approach. The main results show that the implicit tax on labour has no significant effect on the convergence indicators while the implicit rates on consumption are statistically significant with negative influence. The interpretation of results is made considering a set of control and robustness variables where policy lessons derive from. The conclusion reflects on the policy lessons that can serve to accomplish the convergence club within selected CEE countries: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Romania.

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Relationship between the Financial Indicators and the Implementation of Telework

Abstract

In most European countries, teleworking or homeworking is used in various forms that differ from one another by its legal regulation. The paper examines the SME’s in the Czech Republic from the perspective what makes them to adopt telework using the financial indicators. We hypothesized that employer adoption of telework would depend on some economic factors. The empirical evidence showed that a typical company that uses telework is a company with higher ratio of liabilities and therefore lower ratio of equity, a lower ratio of fixed assets, higher sales, lower inventory, higher labour productivity and higher value added per employee, higher return on equity, higher personnel costs, higher average wages. Within the analysed enterprises, 16 indicators were assessed; the 9 indicators showed the difference between companies that use telework and companies that do not use telework. The research shows a typical company that uses telework.

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