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Open access

Kristóf Gyódi, Maciej Sobolewski and Michał Ziembiński

Abstract

An important aspect of economic integration of the European Union is price convergence on digital single market. In this study, we propose a novel way to measure price dispersion in the e-commerce industry, using a custom made web-scraping tool. We target all the major price comparisons sites in the 26 EU member states, which enables us to collect price signals from thousands of retail shops operating on-line. We analyse pricing data of 182 branded products sold on-line across the EU, representing the most popular categories: fashion, consumer electronics, gaming and software, and cosmetics. We find considerable dispersion of both pre and post-vat on-line prices ranging from 20% to 40%, depending on the product category. The observed on-line price dispersion is driven by both cost factors and the level of per capita income, which is consistent with the view that producers or large distributors might engage in strategic price discrimination induced by income heterogeneity.

At first look, our results point to the unexplored potential for cross-border trade, which could be released by policy interventions with regards to delivery, payment or law harmonization. However, under strategic price discrimination, reduced costs of arbitrage for consumers might induce discriminating firms to lower the magnitude of price dispersion between high and low income countries, bringing adverse welfare changes of a priori unknown net effect.

Open access

Edyta Marcinkiewicz

Abstract

The study provides some quantitative information on voluntary pension plans in 10 CEE countries obtained from various local sources. The comparative analysis shows that there is a considerable variation in this group in terms of participation and contributions to the voluntary pension plans. In addition, this study empirically examines several factors that can possibly affect the development of voluntary pensions: income per capita and poverty rate, income inequality, replacement rate from the pension system, education attainment, interest rate and demographic burden. It uses a panel regression framework for the period of 2006–2014. The results reveal that, in the case of participation in voluntary pension plans, only income level per capita is associated with a greater number of pension plan members. As far as contributions are concerned, education seems to be the most important determinant of additional pension savings. Other factors do not seem to explain well both of the studied variables reflecting the development of voluntary pension schemes. However, as individual fixed effects are proven to be significant in the estimated models, one could conclude that country-specific characteristics play a significant role in explaining the development of voluntary pension schemes. They can be referred to the design and parametric settings of the non-mandatory pension system.

Open access

Marcin Chlebus

Abstract

In the study, the two-step EWS-GARCH models to forecast Value-at-Risk is presented. The EWS-GARCH allows different distributions of returns or Value-at-Risk forecasting models to be used in Value-at-Risk forecasting depending on a forecasted state of the financial time series. In the study EWS-GARCH with GARCH(1,1) and GARCH(1,1), with the amendment to the empirical distribution of random errors as a Value-at-Risk model in a state of tranquillity and empirical tail, exponential or Pareto distributions used to forecast Value-at-Risk in a state of turbulence were considered. The evaluation of Value-at-Risk forecasts was based on the Value-at-Risk forecasts and the analysis of loss functions. Obtained results indicate that EWS-GARCH models may improve the quality of Value-at-Risk forecasts generated using the benchmark models. However, the choice of best assumptions for the EWS-GARCH model should depend on the goals of the Value-at-Risk forecasting model. The final selection may depend on an expected level of adequacy, conservatism and costs of the model.

Open access

Paweł Oleksy and Andrzej Zyguła

Abstract

In the paper, we examine the impact of ownership structure on dividend policy and shareholder value in non-financial companies from construction sector in Poland. More specifically, by distinguishing between financial and non-financial shareholders, we verify the involvement of financial institutions in company ownership and how it translates into changes in major dividend and shareholder value indicators. Our results show that the presence of financial investors in the ownership structure has a positive impact on probability that the company will pay out dividends, what is symptomatic for financialisation. However, there is not enough evidence to support similar conclusion regarding shareholder value creation.

Open access

Pavel Kotlík

Abstract

: Technology roadmaps have become an essential part of the European Commission’s (EC) nanotechnology policy strategies. They represent socio-technical landscapes and evolving pathways, suggesting the underlying or otherwise supportive metaphorical patterns and narrative structures. For the same reason, however, roadmaps are problematic assemblages: they can simplify and distort reality, and filter things that don’t fit. The presented study combines cognitive linguistics with narratology to scrutinise the European Commission’s nanotechnology roadmapping as a discursive formation. It targets the systematic metaphors in approximately two-hundred news and reports on nanotechnology, compiled ad hoc from the CORDIS database (between the years 1999-2015). It is argued that the identified metaphors correspond to a discourse topology of ‘locations’, ‘events’, and their structures, especially as regards to the dilemma of ‘path dependence’, overcoming ‘knowledge gaps’, and reaching ‘nanoworld’. These are accompanied by a narrative climax of developing mature science policy model, in the arrangement of actions and roles for the European governments, science (nanotechnology), policy, and the public. The study demonstrates how systematic metaphors engage all the actors in the narrative of ‘innovation journey’ to form stabilised structures of meaning, that is, spatio-temporal consolidation of nanotechnology policy. It is imperative to continuously assess the context of such consolidation, being less overt but not necessarily less effective, in privileging some meanings, interests, and practices over the others, thereby excluding other political alternatives.

Open access

Marcin Wiśniewski

Abstract

Social impact bonds are an innovative mechanism for financing social tasks with the financial resources of private investors. The repayment of the capital invested and capital gains depends on obtaining apredetermined social aim that is paid for by the public side under the “payment for results” formula. The previous work on this mechanism focused mainly on its task and organizational dimension. In this paper, the author attempts to define the social impact bond as afinancial instrument. In particular, the financial side of the mechanism is considered. First, an attempt is made to determine the place of the social impact bond in the theoretical classifications of financial instruments. Second, the place of the instrument is indicated in the system of financial law. Finally, some remarks are made on the need to have the new instrument regulated in Polish legislation.

Open access

Beata Zofia Filipiak and Marek Dylewski

Abstract

Investment activities executed by regional authorities are exposed to high risk. The risk results from the very essence of investment projects implemented by regions in Poland and can be associated with the failure to meet the regional budget. The purpose of this study is to assess the size of the existing discrepancies between the planned and actually incurred investment expenditure and to find out if there are systematic changes in the level of these discrepancies i subsequent years. This goal was achieved through the presentation of the specific approach to risk measurement in the investment activities of local government units. The research was undertaken by regional self-government units. Empirical research has allowed us to answer three research questions: how great were the disparities between the planned and the actually incurred investment costs in the Polish regions in 2011-2015? Did systematic changes in the level of inconsistency between the planned and the actually incurred costs take place in the observed period? Was the rate of failure to meet investment plans correlated with the rate of failure to meet operational financial plans?

Open access

Peter Pisár, Jan Huňady and Ina Ďurčeková

Abstract

Research and development activities within the region are often seen as a key driving force of innovation performance. This is further important for productivity growth and economic growth of the region. These issues are part of European Union strategy for regional development called Smart Specialization. Higher education institutions play important role in the support of innovation in the region via their own research activities, knowledge creation and dissemination and improvement of the human capital in the region. The main aim of our research is to test potential link between intensity of research & development as well as specialization of the region and labour productivity in the region. In our research we compared NUTS 2 regions in the Czech Republic and Slovakia based on the selected indicators related to research and development. We used factor analysis and regression analysis based on the cross-sectional data for all NUTS 2 regions in the EU. Our results strongly suggest that focus on research & development activities is positively correlated with higher labour productivity in the region. Higher number of scientific publications and patents is also positively linked to higher productivity in the region. The same seems to be true for higher share of tertiary educated inhabitants.

Open access

Leszek Dziawgo and Danuta Dziawgo

Abstract

The subject of this study is the legal regulations concerning the banking and stock market sector. The research objective is to identify the issue of the adequacy of legal regulations on the modern financial market. The object of the research is the banking institutions and companies listed on the stock exchange. The following research methods were used, i.e. the analysis of the literature, analysis of legal acts, observations, descriptive, comparative and case study analysis. It was found that there has been an increase in the level of detail and restrictiveness of legal regulations in recent years, both in relation to the banking sector and to the stock market. In addition, the legislative revolution not only continues, but is also gaining momentum. Thus we could formulate a conclusion about the inversion of the modern financial market. The financial market was to facilitate business operations through access to capital. Currently, excessive regulations indicate the growing legal barriers to entering the financial market and conducting business activity in it.