The effect of labour-market uncertainty on the public/private wage gap
The paper is concerned with the effect of labour-market uncertainty on the wage differential between the public and private sectors. Micro-models are used in which workers maximize their utility, one of the factors in their utility function being labour-market uncertainty. The paper considers the problem by making use of macro and micro data and several measures of uncertainty. The results obtained are consistent with the main hypothesis that the private-sector wage premium is due partly to its higher labour-market uncertainty.
The labour-market position of qualified starters and their chances of finding a job
The paper aims is to identify factors that affect the chances of young skilled workers finding a job, continuing their studies, and using qualifications at work or in education. The survey covers the career starts of young skilled workers who have completed trade school or vocational school in the previous year. It focuses on whether such skilled entrants are able and willing to enter the labour market over the next nine-month period. The results – a compound of annual databases for 2009–12 covering data for 10,104 such workers – show better labour-market chances for offspring of higher educated parents and higher unemployment risks for those with unemployed fathers. The chance of getting a job or applying learned skills in a job or further study increases if the trade matches personal interests, and for a traineeship at a company, good educational results, knowledge of foreign languages, and possession of a school leaving certificate. Further study brings tangible wage premiums in the short run, and a labour-market position stabilized by skills in acquiring new knowledge in the long run. To conclude it appears that good general knowledge and studying skills are highly important: the continually altering requirements of the labour market and frequent changes of jobs and trades call for lifelong learning, so that improved flexibility and knowledge renewal become an important task in the vocational training system.
Cliques in agricultural economics: co-authorship and co-citation networks in Central and Eastern Europe
The article analyses co-authorship and co-citation networks in the agricultural economics literature of Central and Eastern Europe over the last 25 years. It identifies the principal researchers in the field, together with their authorship and citation networks, on the basis of 238 articles written in 1990–2013. The findings suggest that the majority of articles were written by a small number of researchers, indicating that cliques and pivotal authors play an important role in scientific advance. It also emerges that cliques cite themselves more often than average, so boosting the scientific advance for their members. Finally, it is clear that pivotal authors are cited more often than average.
A framework for poverty reduction based on the capability approach
The capability approach of Amartya Sen focuses on the freedom of individuals: their real chances of leading a life they have a reason to value. Within this framework, poverty is not solely a shortage of material goods, but a shortage of valuable pursuits and positions that individuals are free to choose. The paper sets out to identify the main considerations for poverty-reduction initiatives based on the capability approach, and then to test this framework through qualitative empirical analysis carried out in Hungary. The authors analyse how the aspects of poverty reduction proposed in line with the arguments of the capability approach are reflected by various stakeholders of poverty-reduction initiatives (decision-makers, experts and civil activists). They first analyse the general thinking of stakeholders on poverty, then examine the opinion of these on a planned housing project for the disadvantaged in Szeged. It is found that general stakeholder thinking on poverty matches the arguments of the capability approach, but the given aspects of the proposed framework are considered to different extents when thinking generally about poverty and when evaluating a specific case.
Russian investment in the Visegrád countries – a cemetery for extant theories?
The article analyses the main characteristics and motivations of investment carried out by Russian firms in the V4 countries (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary). It concludes that extant theories of international investment – with the exception of Dunning's eclectic paradigm – have limited explanatory power over activities of Russian multinationals in the V4, and can hardly even explain the existence of such firms. So the ownership advantages of Russian investors are analysed primarily with the eclectic paradigm, duly adapted to the specifics of the given group of companies. The article reviews the available statistics and provides snapshots of the main Russian investors in the four countries covered. Generally speaking, Russian investment in the V4 is dominated by market-seeking, and to a lesser extent, efficiency-seeking projects carried out by state-owned or state-related oil and gas, steel, and nuclear energy firms. Furthermore, the limited number of innovative Russian private companies present show features similar to those of multinationals from developed countries.