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Does the Self-employment Policy Reduce Unemployment and Increase Employment? Empirical Evidence from the Czech Regions

Abstract

Empirical evidence related to the effectivity and outcomes of the self-employment programmes in the Central and Eastern Europe is still very rare, despite the important role of entrepreneurship in the economic development of post-communist economies. The main purpose of this study was to empirically investigate the impact of self-employment subsidy for unemployed in the Czech NUTS 3 regions for the period of years 2012–2015 to provide policy makers supportive material useful for policy adjustments. The study applies quantitative research framework, which is based on the construction of econometric models. Estimated regression models with region fixed effects supported the negative association between the amount of supported self-employed and unemployment rates in the Czech regions. This finding is theoretically framed by the theory of necessity entrepreneurship. Positive spillover of the programme (‘a double dividend’), was econometrically tested on the regional employment rates. Obtained estimates found that there is a positive contemporaneous relationship (weakly significant) between the number of supported self-employed and the employment rates but not in the lag. Analysis of the costs revealed that the costs of self-employment programme are not that high, if one takes into account the alternative costs of unemployment benefits paid to the unemployed and social insurance paid back to the state by the newly established self-employed. Therefore, this tool of active labour market policy has a potential of wider usage. Nevertheless, the applied empirical strategy was based on the regional level and has its limitations. Provided results need to be interpreted cautiously, without any causal inference, because the true outcomes of the programme could be analysed only on the level of supported individuals. Future research should therefore challenge the effectiveness of the start-up subsidy programmes in the Czech Republic on the level of individuals, with focus on the survival rates of subsidized businesses and incomes of their formerly unemployed owners.

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Editorial
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Policy, learning and regime change: Western concepts and CEE experience

Abstract

This article offers an outsider’s perspective on the place of policy in the analysis of governing in Central and Eastern Europe, both before the change from a communist to a post-communist order, and since. It explores the way in which ‘policy’ is used as a construct in both the practice of governing and the analysis of that practice. It argues that we have to recognise multiple strands – authority, structured interaction, and collective problematisation - in the construction of ‘policy’. It points to a distinction between ‘formal’ and ‘practical’ perspectives, and argues that this distinction reflects structural tensions in the process of ’putting together’ the shared understandings and relationships which make g for ‘governing’, It argues for the importance of continuing research, empirically based and theoretically informed, into the way that governing is ‘put together’ in Central and Eastern Europe, and how both participants and the governed ‘make sense’ of this process.

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‘You can say – we do not want the junkies and the sex workers. But they are here!‘: On the spatial exclusion of anti-social behaviour in Bratislava - Nové Mesto

Abstract

The paper focuses on the discursive framing of drug users and sex workers as subjects of public space governance within the process of local policymaking. The core of this study analyses the non-governmental organisation OZ Odyseus grant application for a harm reduction programme and a subsequent debate of the Municipal Council Members of the Bratislava city district – Nové Mesto. The aim of the meeting and the debate was to approve funding for numerous social projects, including a fieldwork-oriented organisation OZ Odyseus, which provides harm reduction in numerous city districts of Bratislava. The analysis disclosed the application of specific subject positioning frames, which conceptualise drug users and sex workers as ‘out of place’, anti-social and not members of a local community. Results of the study point to the conceptualisation of (commercial) public space as ‘stolen from the normal people’ and the need for spatial segregation of sex workers and drug users in order to reclaim and revitalise it.

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Administrative Burden Reduction Policies in Slovenia Revisited

Abstract

This article explores non-stimulating regulatory environment that can effect economic activities. Specific focus is on the so-called administrative burdens as it has been established that administrative burden reduction is an internationally used policy with questionable outcomes. This is tested on a case study of Slovenian administrative burden reduction policy concluding that administrative burdens are mostly considered unnecessary but to some extent (34.5%) also necessary, however, as a subject of possible optimisation. The most burdensome is time spent in order to comply with regulation, following successiveness of the burdens (one following the other). Additionally,based on the case study policy, we can conclude that businesses are not well informed about government administrative burden reduction policies.

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From a Text to Practice and Back Again. Making Knowledge(s) Work for Participatory Budgeting in Poland

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to provide an insight into practices of producing and translating knowledge that is intended to improve the work of participatory budgeting in Poland. From the onset, the knowledge processes described are no flat or transparent accounts. Rather, they should be perceived as profoundly performative, that is, entailing several translations of various types of knowledge together with the very conditions in which they are supposed to operate. The initially launched know ledges are supposed to eventually turn into a fairly coherent, non-imposing, well-embedded framework for thinking and acting. The success is then largely dependent on how know ledges are being inscribed, enacted and embodied in a complex and dynamic environment.

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Policy Entrepreneurship and Policy Transfer: Flood Risk Governance in Northern Sweden

Abstract

Central to policies relating to risk governance at the regional and local levels is the interaction between the public and private sectors also referred to as networked governance. At the same time, the role of political actors in general and policy entrepreneurs in particular, in terms of policy change, has gained considerable traction in recent policy scholarship. The purpose of this study was to investigate the change in governance arrangements resulting in the formation of a coordination network in regional flood risk management-the first of its kind in Sweden. Our research is guided by the following questions: first, would the policy change (the establishment of the networks)have taken place if a policy entrepreneur were not part of the policy transfer process? Second, what is the role of policy entrepreneurship in the implementation of the policy after its nationwide adoption? Third, what other factors played a role in the variation of the results in the implemented policy that is, the enforced networks? We find the role of a policy entrepreneur key in the policy transfer from the regional to the national level. In order to investigate the resultant networks, we draw from B. Guy Peters (1998) and his conceptualization of factors which affect the politics of coordination. In addition to the presence of a policy entrepreneur, we compare: (i) pluriformity of network members;(ii) member interdependence; (iii) redundancy of structures, and (iv) degree of formality (in terms of meetings). Our findings suggest that entrepreneurs contribute to the variation in the functionality of the enforced river groups, though other factors play a significant role as well.Most importantly, perhaps, we did not identify entrepreneurs in any of the river groups which were not functional.

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Policy Implementation: Lessons from the Chilean Policy on Public Management Modernization

Abstract

This paper analyses the implementation of public management modernization policy between 1990 and 2013, applying the taxonomy by Hasenfeld and Brock (1991). Information analysed in this study comes from 67 interviews with actors who have played key roles in the implementation of modernization initiatives, as well as from official documents, and academic literature. The findings of the study suggest that taxonomy is useful in characterizing the organizational and inter-organizational behavioural patterns that influence policy implementation;also, that the prevalent driving forces help to understand the dynamic of implementation and what capacities, abilities and strategies are required to put into practice a concrete public policy, which appear to be linked to the context in which implementation takes place.

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Who are the officials in the central administration of the Czech Republic and what activities do they perform?

Abstract

The article examines the section of officials in the central administration who belong to the ministerial staff of the Czech Republic. It examines those persons engaged in the creation of analyses, strategies, and management activities. The study is based on original research conducted by the ministries of the Czech Republic in 2013 (N = 1351). The article seeks to discover what the make-up of this group is in terms of gender, age, and education levels at the chosen ministries, as well as to report on the types of experiences the group has had. The analysis shows that ministerial officials are in fact a gender-balanced group of employees, predominately university-educated. The overall median age of employees in all ministries is 42 years. On the other hand, there are certain inter-ministerial differences, as explained in detail in this paper. Based on results of the empirical research, conclusions have been drawn that may also serve as an inspiration for similar investigations in other countries of Central and Eastern Europe that address similar issues as found in the Czech Republic.

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Counterfactual Impact Evaluation of the Project Internships for Young Job Seekers

Abstract

The growing youth unemployment across Europe raises the need to take appropriate measures. One of steps taken towards decreasing it by the European Union has been the program Youth Guarantee, implemented by a number of member states. Despite the relatively lower youth unemployment, the Czech Republic has implemented this program as well, and supported the realization of the project Internships for Young Job Seekers, whose aim was to ease the transition for students from schools to the labour market thanks to internships in companies. The effects which internship related project bring for their participants have been evaluated in other EU countries, mainly in Germany, but also in Sweden or France. However, evidence about internships’ effectiveness has been missing for the Czech Republic, and this paper fills this existing knowledge gap with the use of counterfactual impact evaluation methods. In the paper, we have focused on examining the impacts of internships on personal income and economic status of trainees by using the propensity score matching, difference-in-differences estimation and two complementary methods – ordinary least squares and multinomial logit. The results confirmed a positive impact of internships on treated project participants regarding both outcome variables, and thus, are consistent with the majority of literature in the field.

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