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Demand and Characteristics of Customers of Reusable Products in Slovenia

Abstract

The main aim of the paper is to analyse whether a demand for reusable products in Slovenia exists and to identify customers’ characteristics in terms of their gender, age, income, education and employment status. We used survey data to investigate what share of customers in Slovenia are buying and are willing to buy reusable products. Furthermore, we investigate whether there are differences between customers who are buying and who are not buying reusable products with regard to selected demographics (gender, age, income, education and employment status). The findings show that more than half of customers in Slovenia are already buying reusable products. The results of selected characteristics of individuals indicate that there are differences among buyers and non-buyers of reusable products only with regard to gender. The paper contributes to the literature on the demand for reusable products and gives better insights into the characteristics of customers buying reusable products.

Open access
Development of Trade Relations of Bosnia and Hercegovina with Slovenia: Different Aspects and Characteristics

Abstract

The paper is aimed at identifying characteristics of trade relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) with the Republic of Slovenia (Slovenia) in order to contribute to determining the position of BiH in its bilateral trade. The foreign trade analysis has been performed in the context of the changing trade regime between the two countries, thereby including both institutional and functional aspects of bilateral trade relations development. Different trade indicators have been calculated and interpreted for the period of 2003-2017 and/or for selected years which were identified by a change in the institutional regulations of mutual trade flows. The research results indicate increasing trade intensity between the two countries, with almost balanced export and import flows and with prevailing inter-industry trade. The trade performance of BiH has significantly improved, with increasing intra-industry specialization and trade. However, the export structure and comparative advantage pattern are not favourable toward BiH, which points to the need for improving the country’s position in its trade with Slovenia.

Open access
Infrastructure Indices: Comparative Analysis of Performance, Risk and Representation of Global Listed Proxies

Abstract

Faced with historically low interest rates, investors are looking further into illiquid assets such as infrastructure in search of alternative sources of income, better diversification and a long-term investment perspective. This paper analyzes the key performance and risk characteristics of the EDHECinfra global unlisted infrastructure equity index when compared to the main global listed infrastructure indices during the 2001-2018 period. The descriptive statistics method is applied to determine the representation of the benchmarks commonly used by investors considering infrastructure investments. For the purpose of the market beta analysis, the MSCI World index is also used as a global equities proxy in a linear regression model.

Listed infrastructure is often considered as an income-yielding and defensive equity strategy that provides a liquid proxy for alternative assets (e.g., infrastructure). However, the paper results indicate that the net effect of investing in listed infrastructure remains questionable, even unknown. Recent empirical findings demonstrate divergent stands on benchmarking infrastructure. The high correlation of the main listed infrastructure indices with the broad equity index MSCI World and the inconsistency of research results thus far suggest that infrastructure is an ill-defined investment category within the listed infrastructure space with lacking reliable and useful benchmarking. The commonly used and far-reaching classification of companies with broad industrial nature and business activities that are less relevant to infrastructure may affect the overall representation of the legitimate characteristics of the infrastructure asset class amid the growing enthusiasm among investors.

Open access
Labour Supply and Inequality Effects of In-Work Benefits: Evidence from Serbia

Abstract

Low labour market participation, together with the high effective tax wedge at low wage levels, create a fertile ground for the introduction of the in-work benefits (IWB) in Serbia. Our paper provides an ex-ante evaluation of the two IWB schemes, directed at stimulating the labour supply and more equal income distribution. The methodological approach combines the tax-and-benefit microsimulation model with the discrete labour supply model. Our results show that both individual and family-based IWB schemes would considerably boost labour market participation, although family-based benefits would have disincentivizing effects for the secondary earners in couples. Most of the behavioural changes take place among the poorest individuals, with significant redistributive effects.

Open access
The Structure of Design Orientation and its Relationship with Market Orientation

Abstract

Although market orientation has been investigated in numerous studies, its complex relationship with design orientation lacks research attention, especially in countries with transitional economies. Therefore, existing models of market orientation (MO) and design orientation (DO) have been investigated. The research has been executed in several stages, combining qualitative and quantitative methods. In the first, qualitative stage, a series of face-to-face in-depth interviews were conducted. In the second, quantitative stage, an Internet survey was conducted among managers and CEOs from Croatian companies in different industries. Partial Least Square and Structural Equation Modelling analyses were conducted to examine the relationships between variables of MO and DO. Results confirm the positive relationship between design orientation and market orientation. Further, results also confirm sub-hypotheses that customer orientation and strategic marketing are positively related to all dimensions of design orientation. The model could have implications for marketers, designers and managers in practice. Both concepts, MO and DO, are very complex and multidimensional, so it was not possible to investigate all the aspects of the constructs. Another limitation of the study was the sample size, as a result of a low response rate as well as a relatively high drop-out rate. The research contributes to theory highlighting the role of design as an important element of market orientation.

Open access
Convergence in GDP per capita across the EU regions— spatial effects

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to offer an empirical insight into the spatial effects of growth of regional income and disparities across EU regions (NUTS 2). Since regions are spatial units and there are interrelated standard linear regression is not sufficient to evidence the convergence process. Two models (Spatial Lag Model – SLM and Spatial Error model – SEM), derived from spatial econometrics, have been used to identify and explain spatial effects in convergence clubs—all EU countries (EU-28), countries that entered the EU in 2004 (EU-13) and countries that were in EU prior to 2004 (EU-15). Unconditional and conditional β-convergence has been examined in the period 2000-2015 thus covering two financial perspectives (including n + 2 rule3). Dummy variables have been also applied to catch the country-specific effects, such as national policies, legislation, technology progress, etc.

Open access
Cyberattacks on critical infrastructure: An economic perspective

Abstract

The aim of this article is to analyze the economic aspects of cybersecurity of critical infrastructure defined as physical or virtual systems and assets that are vital to a country’s functioning and whose incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating impact on national, economic, military and public security. The functioning of modern states, firms and individuals increasingly relies on digital or cyber technologies and this trend has also materialized in various facets of critical infrastructure. Critical infrastructure presents a new cybersecurity area of attacks and threats that requires the attention of regulators and service providers. Deploying critical infrastructure systems without suitable cybersecurity might make them vulnerable to intrinsic failures or malicious attacks and result in serious negative consequences. In this article a fuller view of costs and losses associated with cyberattacks that includes both private and external (social) costs is proposed. An application of the cost-benefit analysis or the Return on Security Investment (ROSI) indicator is presented to evaluate the worthiness of cybersecurity efforts and analyze the costs associated with some major cyberattacks in recent years. The “Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond and Recover” (IPDRR) framework of organizing cybersecurity efforts is also proposed as well as an illustration as to how the blockchain technology could be utilized to improve security and efficiency within a critical infrastructure.

Open access
‘Dark matter’ in the external sector of the United States

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to examine the ‘dark matter’ assets in the external sector of the United States in the period 1999:Q1-2018:Q3. The paper investigates data on the balance of payments and international investment position for the US and a group of 18 economies. The research reveals that the US is a privileged economy with respect to foreign income on international investments. The rates of return on its foreign assets are relatively higher, and the costs incurred on its foreign liabilities relatively lower, as compared with the benchmark group. This special privilege of the US relates to equity investments, especially foreign direct investments. Based on prevailing income differentials substantial ‘dark matter’ assets of the US are estimated. Recognising such ‘dark matter’ leads to the conclusion that the US is a foreign creditor, not debtor. The findings shed light on the puzzle as to why the US has a continuing ability to sustain its external position despite mounting foreign liabilities.

Open access
Exploring service quality of low-cost airlines in Europe: An integrated MCDM approach

Abstract

This study aims to evaluate service quality performance of major LCCs (Low Cost Carriers) in Europe by the MCDM (Multi-Criteria Decision Making) methodology. In addition it focuses on managerial business models and includes the international airline service providers that have applied the cost leadership strategy. In the study passenger reviews based on customer-rating systems are adopted as an alternative data source. For this purpose 24,971 passenger reviews, including 7 evaluation criteria, are analyzed. In this integrated methodology the Entropy method is used to weight the service quality criteria and the WASPAS method is used to rank the airlines. A sensitivity analysis is also applied and the robustness and stability of the application are confirmed. Consequently Jet2.com demonstrates the best service performance overall and legroom is the most important evaluation criterion.

Open access