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Quality of Government and Well-being: Assessing the Gap in European Countries

Abstract

This paper analyses the influential factors which determine the differences between social and economic dimensions in the European Union. The main objective was to construct a composite indicator of the quality of government and citizens’ well-being, and rank the EU countries based on it. The dataset refers to variables specific to economic and social wellness (latest year available is 2015), focusing on both, the objective and subjective dimension of the governance and well-being. The results obtained indicate that the countries with the highest performance in terms of the quality of government and citizens’ well-being are Denmark, Sweden, Finland, followed by Austria and the Netherlands. Differences to the rest of the EU member states are based on economic and social policies, as these countries have the highest employment rates and social protection expenditures, focusing on the risks related to unemployment, social exclusion, invalidity or aging to increase citizens’ overall life satisfaction.

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Construction Of Hedonic Price Index For The “Most Liquid” Polish Painters

Abstract

Art market has been developing in Poland and the first Art Fund was established in 2011. Therefore it seems that investment in art can be considered as alternative form by Polish investors. In order to decide whether art is a good investment, it is necessary to evaluate expected returns which might be obtained from such investment thus an art price index should be developed. The aim of the paper is to discuss artworks as investment assets and evaluate price index of paintings produced by 11 Polish artists whose artworks were traded the most often on auctions that were held in Poland in the years 2007–2010. In our research, employing data concerning 750 objects, we apply the hedonic index methodology to estimate returns from the paintings market. The results of our investigation show that hedonic quality adjustment essentially influences evaluation of artwork prices therefore we propose the aggregated hedonic index which might better describe situation at the art market than the hedonic index biased by the specification of a single model.

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Taxonomic Analysis of Voivodships Development in Terms of ICT Usage in Enterprises

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to analyse the development of voivodships in terms of ICT usage in enterprises by means of taxonomic methods. The theoretical part of the paper has been devoted to the role of modern information and communication technologies in post-industrial enterprises, in particular to the meaning of these technologies for new management concepts (e-business, online marketing, CRM, network management, X-engineering). The research methodology has been carried out, with special attention being paid to the agglomerative clustering method and optimization clustering method.

The empirical part of the paper presents a taxonomic analysis of voivodships with respect to the employment of ICT in enterprises. Data from the years 2014–2015, published by the Central Statistical Office of Poland, have been used. Seventeen potential diagnostic variables have been identified. In the end, variables with the highest discriminative possibilities were selected. The rankings of the voivodships were thus created. Then, voivodships were clustered by means of Ward’s method and the k-means method. The obtained results were evaluated regarding their conformity.

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Probabilistic sampling strategy as a means of improving quality of price indices

Abstract

In spite of theoretical inferiority, a large majority of statistical institutes use non-probabilistic sampling techniques in price surveys. The main disadvantage of non-probabilistic sample design is that the risk of biased results is increased. Attempting to handle this risk in the domain of service producer price indices (SPPI) of professional services, the Croatian Bureau of Statistics (CBS) developed an innovative methodology and implemented it relying on the probability proportional to size (PPS) sample design. The purpose of the paper is to evaluate the impact of the probabilistic sampling strategy on the quality of price indices as shown in the case of SPPI for professional services at the CBS. The paper outlines respective methodological upgrading of SPPI compilation at the CBS, including also the method for variance estimation. The effect of the probabilistic sampling on SPPI is analysed by comparison with traditional purposive sampling surveys. The quality of SPPI based on the probabilistic sample approach is examined by coefficients of variation and confidence intervals.

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Impact of Internal Migration on Population Redistribution in Slovenia

Abstract

Background: In most countries, data on migration refer only to flows between administratively or statistically defined zones that are changing over time. When different numbers, sizes, and shapes of areas are chosen for analysis of internal migration, different results are generated. This problem is recognised as the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem (MAUP).

Objectives: The paper analyses the impact of inter-municipal migration on population redistribution in Slovenia in 2000–2014 by considering the MAUP. Namely, the number of analysed municipalities increased by 19 in the considered period.

Methods/Approach: We analysed the MAUP effects and estimated internal migration statistics by producing a large number of aggregations using the IMAGE Studio software.

Results: Several statistics that measure the direction and pace of population concentration, as well as the correlation between measures of migration intensity and national development, have been calculated.

Conclusions: The results for Slovenia show that the migration efficiency decreases with the development process measured by the human development index.

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The Size of the Substitution Bias of Inflation Measurement in Relation to the Level of Innovativeness of The European Union’s Economies

Abstract

The consumer price index (CPI) is acommon measure of inflation. Similarly to the harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP), it is determined using the Laspeyres index, thus data on the consumption of the basket of goods do not have to be current. The Laspeyres index, using weights only from the base period, may not reflect changes in consumer preferences that occurred in the studied year. This is the reason for the formation of the so-called substitution bias in the measurement of inflation. The aim of the article is to assess the impact of the level of innovativeness of a given country’s economy on the occurrence of the substitution effect. The empirical part of the article is based on basic innovation indices, i.e. the SII, IOI, and GII. The assessment of the relationship between the level of innovativeness and the scale of the substitution effect was carried out based on the methods of multidimensional statistical analysis (including cluster analysis, the PROFIT method).

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Measurement of Export Market Concentration for the Largest European Economic Integrations

Abstract

Background: By joining different regional economic trade agreements, countries achieve preferential trade liberalisation. There are four main types of regional economic agreements in the world today: free trade area, customs union, common market, and economic and monetary union.

Objectives: The goal of this paper is the measurement of the export market concentration for the largest European regional economic integrations in the period between 1995 and 2016.

Methods/Approach: Various concentration measures have been used in the measurement of export market concentration, but the emphasis is placed on the standardized Herfindahl-Hirschman index as the basic measure of trade concentration.

Results: Results of the analysis have shown that the highest concentration level of trade with countries worldwide is among the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries, whereas the EU-15 countries seem to have the lowest concentration level. On the other side, the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) countries have the highest concentration level of trade with countries from the same group, and again the EU-15 countries have the lowest concentration level, which indicates that the CEFTA countries implemented deeper integration processes related to mutual intra-regional trade.

Conclusions: Deep integration processes led to lower values of export market concentration indices for intra-regional trade among countries of the same regional economic integration in comparison to trading with countries worldwide.

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Shedding Light on the Doing Business Index: a Machine Learning Approach

Abstract

Background: The World Bank (WB) acknowledged the importance of business regulatory environment and therefore created a metric which ranks 190 countries based on their level of business regulation for domestic firms measured by the Doing Business Index (DBI).

Objectives: The question which attracted our attention is whether all the observed entities should be given the same weighting scheme.

Methods/Approach: The approach we propose as an answer is two-fold. First, we cluster the countries covered by the DBI. In the next step, we apply the statistical multivariate Composite I-distance Indicator (CIDI) methodology to determine new, data-driven weights for each of the retained clusters.

Results: The obtained results show that there is a difference between the weighting schemes proposed by the CIDI methodology.

Conclusions: One can argue that one weighting scheme does not fit all the observed countries, meaning that additional analyses on the DBI are suggested to explore its stability and its weighting scheme.

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Use of Constraints in the Hierarchical Aggregation Procedure Intramax

Abstract

Background: Intramax is a hierarchical aggregation procedure for dealing with the multi-level specification problem and with the association issue of data set reduction, but it was used as a functional regionalization procedure many times in the past.

Objectives: In this paper, we analyse the simultaneous use of three different constraints in the original Intramax procedure, i.e. the contiguity constraint, the higher-inner-flows constraint, and the lower-variation-of-inner-flows constraint.

Methods/Approach: The inclusion of constraints in the Intramax procedure was analysed by a programme code developed in Mathematica 10.3 by the processing time, by intra-regional shares of total flows, by self-containment indexes, by numbers of singleton and isolated regions, by the number of aggregation steps where a combination of constraints was applied, by the number of searching steps until the combination of constraints was satisfied, and by surveying the results geographically.

Results: The use of the contiguity constraint is important only at the beginning of the aggregation procedure; the higher-inner-flows constraint gives singleton regions, and the lower-variation constraint forces the biggest employment centre as an isolated region up to a relatively high level of aggregation.

Conclusions: The original Intramax procedure (without the inclusion of any constraint) gives the most balanced and operative hierarchical sets of functional regions without any singletons or isolated regions.

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Residential property price index in Croatia: from experimental to official statistics

Abstract

The official statistics framework is based on internationally agreed standards, taking into account the core principles of impartiality, objectivity, professional independence, cost effectiveness, statistical confidentiality, minimisation of the reporting burden and high output quality. Since the latest 2007 global economic crisis, a growing demand for more, better and timelier data under limited resources for compilers and reporting agents has been observed. The concept of experimental statistics becomes more relevant, despite the lower quality in terms of coverage, data sources and harmonised definitions. The main aim of this paper is to present the methodological development of the residential property price index in Croatia from experimental to official statistics, as well as to show corresponding changes in time, which occurred due to the changes in methodological framework, institutional responsibility for compilation, coverage and data sources. A general conclusion of the paper is that publication of non-harmonized experimental statistics results, together with explanatory metadata, is better from the point of view of users than having nothing produced by official statistics.

Open access