Challenges of Contemporary Economics


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Volume 13 (2019) Volume 12 (2018) Volume 11 (2017) Volume 10 (2016) Volume 9 (2015) Volume 8 (2014) Volume 7 (2013) Volume 6 (2012) Volume 5 (2011) Volume 4 (2010) Volume 3 (2009) Volume 2 (2008) Volume 1 (2007)

Volume 5 Issue 2 (2011)

Theory of Economy as the Original Cause of the World Crisis original article

pp. 4-15 | First published in 30 June 2011 | DOI:10.5709/ce.1897-9254.8

Witold Jakóbik


A growing debate around the active role played by the neoliberal ideology and the economy connected with it in the crisis development. The polarisation of researchers in this area is quite significant: starting from the negation of this role to its complete affirmation. This analysis is aimed at contributing to the aforementioned debate, putting forward the following hypothesis: historical development of mainstream economics and its influence, to a considerable extent, determined the outbreak of the large-scale crisis. In the analytic part, I look into some aspects of economic methodology, both orthodox and heterodox, taking my own position on the basis of important literature. Criticism of the traditional paradigm and a review of innovative trends in research do not show a straightforward road, however, which imposes a moderately optimistic outlook on the future, especially as regards the application value of the theory of economy.

Keywords: global crisis, methodology of economy, traditional and new paradigm

The Feldstein-Horioka Hypothesis in Countries with Varied Levels of Economic Development original article

pp. 16-29 | First published in 30 June 2011 | DOI:10.5709/ce.1897-9254.9

Piotr Misztal


This article aims to analyse the Feldstein-Horioka hypothesis, which suggests a strong correlation between investments and savings in advanced economies. Additionally, the analysis of the Feldstein- Horioka hypothesis was expanded to include emerging markets and developing economies in order to provide a thorough analysis of this issue.1 The paper utilises a research method based on bibliographic studies in macroeconomics and international finances as well as econometric methods (the vector autoregressive model - VAR). All statistical data used in the paper are taken from the statistical database of the International Monetary Fund (World Economic Outlook Database).

Keywords: savings, investments, VAR model

Divestments in Banking. Preliminary Evidence on the Role of External Factors original article

pp. 30-41 | First published in 30 June 2011 | DOI:10.5709/ce.1897-9254.10

Krzysztof Jackowicz, Oskar Kowalewski


Divestment constitutes an important method of corporate restructuring. Despite this fact, the banking literature on divestment is very limited. In this text, we try to remediate partially to the shortcomings of the existing literature by examining empirically the role of external factors. Using a large sample of 313 transactions, we have established that parent companies originate from countries with relatively high accumulated wealth, slow GDP growth, stable macroeconomic situation and dominant bank intermediation in financial system. The acquirers in turn come from poorer countries with faster economic growth and relatively more market-oriented financial systems. Those results broadly conform with the predictions of three hypotheses formulated in the text, namely the weak performance hypothesis, the corporate governance hypothesis and the rebalancing hypothesis.

Keywords: divestment, banking, external factors

Macroeconomic Considerations and Motives of Sovereign Wealth Funds Activity original article

pp. 42-53 | First published in 30 June 2011 | DOI:10.5709/ce.1897-9254.11

Dariusz Urban


Sovereign wealth funds are entities regarded as an institutional innovation in the international financial market. Due to the nature of the ownership rights, the investment activity of such entities is still highly controversial. Objections against sovereign wealth funds included the alleged extraeconomic goals of their activity. This article attempts to show that the establishment development and operation of sovereign wealth funds are determined by economic factors. The study presents a description of the international monetary system and the motives for building foreign exchange reserves by countries. It has been evidenced on the basis of the most recent data that some countries have reserves considerably exceeding the level regarded as optimal for the economy. The article presents benefits for the economy from the use of sovereign wealth funds to manage excessive foreign exchange reserves.

Keywords: sovereign wealth funds, foreign exchange reserves, international monetary system

Sources of Return in the Index Futures Markets original article

pp. 54-71 | First published in 30 June 2011 | DOI:10.5709/ce.1897-9254.12

Adam Zaremba


The paper concerns an issue of existence of a risk premium in equity and index futures markets. The paper consists of four parts. The first part describes the basic hypotheses of forward curves in the futures market. In the second section, I formulate 5 hypotheses concerning a risk premium in the equity futures market, its forecastability, and its dependence on a market segment and development stage. The third part includes an empirical study, which confirms the existence of timedependent and partially predictable risk premium. The research was based on the Polish futures market in the years 2000-2010. The last section of the paper discusses potential implications for the financial market practice and indicates areas for further research.

Keywords: futures, risk premium, forward curve

Modeling Strategic-Knowledge-Resource Management Based on Individual Competencies in SMEs original article

pp. 72-79 | First published in 30 June 2011 | DOI:10.5709/ce.1897-9254.13

Justyna Patalas-Maliszewska, Martin Hochmeister


A number of publications have dealt with the correlation between knowledge-management capability and competitiveness. In the article describing human resources as strategic-knowledge resources, which is motivated by: the concept of effective management of resources in an organization (Sirmon and Hitt, 2003), an enterprise’s unique potential in the form of knowledge and experience (Barney, 1995), and the concept of competence management (Hamel and Prahalad, 1994). This study describes competence and resource management, sharing in the collaborative development and implementation of strategic-knowledge-resource management in SMEs. In this context, strategic-knowledge resources are defined in such a way as to be incorporated into a model of strategic-knowledge-resource management.

Keywords: strategic-knowledge resources, competence management, resource management

Influence of a Company’s Social Initiatives on the Consumer Attitude towards It. Results of Experimental Research original article

pp. 80-89 | First published in 30 June 2011 | DOI:10.5709/ce.1897-9254.14

Marek Pawlak, Grzegorz Zasuwa


This article constitutes an attempt to answer the question whether social initiatives undertaken by a company influence the consumer attitude towards it. The afore-mentioned aim has been achieved by presenting the results of experimental research. Six scenarios of social initiatives undertaken by a food sector company were used in the research. Research work was conducted using a sample of real consumers. It was shown that information about undertaking a single social initiative by a company does not lead to a more favourable consumer attitude towards it. The results obtained show that when undertaking a social programme, which is not consistent with the company’s actions to date, the attitude towards it can even become worse.

Keywords: consumer behaviour, corporate social initiatives, corporate attitudes

Punishment – and Beyond original article

pp. 90-99 | First published in 30 June 2011 | DOI:10.5709/ce.1897-9254.15

Bruno S. Frey


This paper argues that the “Economics of Crime” concentrates too much on punishment as a means of preventing crime, which is unwise for several reasons. There are important instances in which punishment simply cannot reduce crime. Several feasible alternatives to punishment exist, such as offering positive incentives or handing out awards for law abiding behavior. These alternative approaches tend to create a positive sum environment. When people appreciate living in a society that is to a large extent law abiding, they are more motivated to observe the law.

Keywords: crime, punishment, incentives, motivation, framing, broken window theory