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Abstract

The aim of the paper is to identify determinants of the efficiency of service companies from two Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries4—Poland and Belarus. These transition economies represent different economic and systemic conditions. That is why it is worth analyzing whether external conditions determine internal efficiency factors in service companies. In order to achieve that aim quantitative research was conducted among 305 Polish and Belarusian service enterprises. The research results presented significant differences in responses between the two countries. For Polish enterprises the main determinants of efficiency were above all connected with competent and skilled staff. Belarussian companies regarded as efficiency factors which determine the demand level by means of access toward foreign markets and possibilities of internationalization. It proves that CEECs are not homogeneous and they represent different levels of economic development as well as the different conditions of running a business.

Abstract

Why do countries engage in Regional Financial Cooperation (RFC) initiatives and why they may give up on them? Under which conditions are those mechanisms born and how may changes affect their performance? Although comparative studies have been a prolific strategy to investigate RFC the focus on the experiences of a specific region may reveal new insights. Therefore the aim of this paper is to map the existing RFC mechanisms in Latin America, seeking to identify the demand, supply and conjectural conditions behind the processes of their creation and evolution. The theoretical framework provides concepts from International Relations’ theories concerning regional institution building. Empirically fourteen Latin American RFC initiatives are surveyed. As a result important variables explaining RFC mechanisms in Latin America are presented in the paper: demand for greater participation (sense of belonging), material and political capacity from a paymaster and macroeconomic coordination.

Abstract

The aim of the article is to analyse the possibility of using the elements of a multidimensional comparative analysis in order to create a tool enabling a comprehensive assessment of a person’s competencies, and comparing it with the requirements set in a specific vocational situation. An illustration of such possibilities is the presentation of a tool for assessing competencies prepared under the international Go4FutureSkills project. A competency profile was defined as a set of desirable competencies with the level of knowledge or skills required for a given profession/position assigned to each of them. The competency matrix created in this way serves as a basis for the comparison of the results obtained by the people using the tool. In its present form, this tool can be used by students and graduates majoring and specialising in logistics, as well as by employees from the logistics industry.

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to analyze the employment-related real income gaps according to the education level reached by the working population during the 1997–2017 period. Using a panel methodology (pseudo-cohorts) it sums up that throughout recession, employment-related real income gaps by education level are wider, amplifying income inequality. During the economic boom the narrowing of the gap was due to the weak growth in skilled employment that did not manage to recover the pre-crisis values. This phenomenon is typical of a labour market structure with less skilled employment demand than its increasing supply. The employment-related difference in reduction of the real income gaps is exclusively reflected by a decline in employees from the highest education segment. The whole of tertiary education although with less intensity, replicates its trend. Not only educational credentials increase future employment-related income but also starting then not completing a university degree provides a significant disparity. Gender control shows a sharp drop in its determination.

Abstract

Extending working life is an important challenge for modern economies. In Poland, 40% of people aged 50–64 are economically inactive. In the population of people with disabilities, this percentage is much higher (78%). The aim of this paper is to assess the individual factors for extending the working life of Poles aged 50–64 and their comparison between people with and without disabilities. The empirical analysis is based on the national survey, Social Diagnosis (for people aged 50–64). The analysis was carried out with the application of logistic regression, as well as the Student t-test, the Mann-Whitney test, the chi-squared test of independence. The logistic regression results show that the factors of extending working life for people with disabilities are different than for others – statistically significant determinants are formal outcomes of human capital development (regarding individuals without disabilities, the list of factors extending working life is more extensive).

Abstract

The Bolsa Familia program of money transfers to the roughly 50 million poor at the bottom of the pyramid is internationally known but its success was grounded in a much wider set of 149 programs constituting an integrated and inter-sector policy. With inequality presently soaring not only in Brazil but throughout the world the aim of this paper is to understand how inclusive and sustainable policies can work both for society and the economy and assess their performance in Brazil as an illustration of institutional change as a key approach. Equally essential is understanding the power of the global financial interests which generated the drama of 1 percent having more wealth than the other 99 percent. Both mechanisms, of inclusion and exclusion, are analyzed here, on the basis of the Brazilian experience.

Abstract

It is important to obtain a deeper understanding of the social context of smoking, which may support finding new ways to hinder the development of a smoker’s identity. The authors developed the Picture Based Recognition of Smokers (PBRS) method in order to understand the identity markers of the social and visual contexts related to adolescent smoking. The differences in identifying non-smokers and smokers between traditional text-based questionnaires and PBRS were compared in a discriminatory analysis conducted by comparison clouds and correlograms. The ability of these methods to predict adolescent smokers was tested with a regression model combined with permutation analysis. The result of word clouds confirmed that interpretations of the visual identity markers of pictures differ between non-smokers and smokers. PBRS had a better success rate of predictions than the text-based questionnaires. This approach develops preventive interventions which do not stigmatize the intervention group.