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Kamila Fialová

Abstract

This article explores the development of part-time employment in Central and Eastern Europe and compares it to Western Europe. On the macro level it examines the role of the business cycle and its effect on part-time employment in the two groups of countries since 2001. The key result reveals that contrary to the West, the business cycle development exerts a significant negative effect on the part-time employment rate in Eastern Europe. When the economy operates below its potential, part-time employment tends to grow more than full-time employment. This finding is consistent with the labour demand effect and reflects the pursuit of flexibility by firms as well as the adjustment in composition of employment to changing economic conditions. The countercyclical effect is even stronger for involuntary part-time employment. Separate analyses of individual demographic groups of workers reveal a significant negative effect of the business cycle on part-time employment of older workers and male prime-age workers in Eastern Europe. In contrast, the effect is insignificant for young workers and unclear for prime-age women.

Open access

Kamila Fialová and Pavel Štika

Abstract

The article assesses well-being in the Czech Republic compared to other Visegrad countries (Slovakia, Hungary, Poland) and neighbouring Germany and Austria. By employing various approaches designed by several international organisations it takes an aggregate perspective to assess both the current well-being and its sustainability into the future. All employed indicators that relate to current well-being evaluate the well-being in the Czech Republic as moderate among the OECD countries. The results indicate that the position in well-being rankings improves with the growing number of dimensions or subjective factors included in the well-being measure, mainly due to the reduction in relative importance of income dimension and higher emphasis on the multidimensionality and complexity of well-being. In the case of sustainability, large differences can be identified in evaluation stemming from Happy Planet Index and Sustainable Society Index perspective. Although both of them agree on unfavourable situation as regards environmental sustainability in the Czech Republic, different accent on economic area alters the final result substantially. The analysis shows that for any well-being assessment, the choice of indicators is crucial and a large portion of caution is necessary when interpreting these.