The content of this paper is a proposal for a new explanatory variable that can be used instead of commonly used variables expressing the dates of parliamentary elections. The proposed variable is then used to verify the existence of the impact of the political-budget cycle in the area of taxation on a sample of countries belonging to the European Union (EU28) over the period from 2000 to 2012. Combining the use of this variable and the Pearson correlation coefficient, a statistically significant effect of PBC was identified, particularly in the field of indirect excise taxes, and especially for countries belonging to the group of new EU Member States. The article also contains a comparison of results using traditional indicators which take into account the date of parliamentary elections and the results using a new variable. The results obtained show that with the help of two of the four indicators, statistically significant changes in tax policy in the area of indirect excise duties were identified. When evaluating a new variable, it can be noted that it is a variable which is appropriate for testing the effect of PBC, since not only has the number of statistically significant correlation coefficients been increased, but additionally, illogical results contrary to PBC theory have not been identified.
This study tests whether decentralized leadership influences the efficiency of running selected cultural institutions, specifically museums in the Czech Republic. For the analysis, data from 2015 from 187 museums spread around the whole Czech Republic are used. The method for the evaluation of efficiency is data envelope analysis, and for identifying the influence of decentralized leadership, a regression analysis is used. Museums established by municipalities reach higher efficiency than museums established by regions and central government. The causes may be found in the ability to better estimate the local demand as well as in the rational behavior of municipalities that prefer a cost-minimization strategy. The benefits of decentralization cannot be seen only in the field of finance but also in reinforcing local traditions, trust and the effects of social capital that is generated by a strong regional cultural identity.
Many countries have carried out extensive amalgamation-related territorial reforms at the level of local self-government and created relatively large municipalities. The Czech Republic is one of the few remaining European countries with a fragmented territorial structure. There is a lot of discussion in the country about the need for amalgamation, but this discussion is mainly based on political arguments rather than on empirical evidence about the feasibility of amalgamation and its potential to improve local government performance. This paper analyses economies of scale on the local level as a factor that should be reflected in debates about the pros and cons of amalgamation in the Czech Republic. To add to the existing knowledge about the reality of economies of scale on the municipal level in the Czech Republic, we processed the municipal costs of three selected areas on a representative sample of municipalities in the South Moravian Region. The analysis showed that economies of scale can be identified for collecting local fees and for pre-school and elementary education, but not for local administration. Our results suggest that the existence of too small municipalities in the Czech Republic results in inefficiencies and should be addressed.
In 2015–2016, 6,429 km medium-voltage power lines with 76,430 pylons were checked for bird mortality in the Czech Republic. 1,326 bird victims of power lines were found, 156 of which died after collisions, and 1,170 birds were electrocuted. They belonged to 60 species from 12 orders, and birds of prey made up almost half of all victims. Steel pylons bearing several cross-arms including upper and crosswise jumpers were identified as most dangerous from the electrocution point of view. On the other hand, pylons in straight lines with Pařát cross-arms (triangular arrangement of conductors without any horizontal bar) were among the least dangerous, and when they had a simple perch fitted below the cross-arm, no mortality was recorded. But these pylons are new in practice and despite becoming widely used recently, they form less than one tenth of all pylons in the Czech Republic. On other pylons various types of mitigation measures have been installed. Commonly used plastic covers and plastic strips have proved to be especially effective, but only in cases when they are undamaged and correctly installed.
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.