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Über dieses Buch

This volume sheds new light on economic developments in several countries of Southeast Europe. The European Union and especially the eurozone continue to experience rhythms of fiscal crisis, as can most clearly be seen in the debt crisis in the South Periphery. Despite the fact that several measures and decisions have been taken to deal with the crisis (banking union, liquidity support from the European Central Bank), proposals to reform Europe’s strategic policy in order to find a way out of the crisis have been put forward.

This book explores the respective roles that specific sectors, e.g. the agricultural sector, social capital, tax policies and labour immigration, can play in this regard. The importance of international economic relations (exports, imports, FDI, exchange rates) is analysed, in order to illustrate the nature of the economic developments and the major economic difficulties these countries face.



Structural Changes, Sustainable Growth and Sectoral Policy


Sectoral Analysis of Structural Changes of the Republic of Serbia

The practice of “structural experimenting” and inattention to structural disproportions is impermissible in the modern conditions of macroeconomic management. In order to properly determine the direction of restructuring of an economy, there should be conveyed a detailed sectoral analysis. It should provide us with knowledge about which sectors should be specially stimulated in the future, in order to accelerate the economic development of a country. It certainly does not mean that other sectors should be neglected, because such wrong decision would bring deeper structural disparities in national economy.
The restructuring of the economy is momentarily one of the most complex macroeconomic issues of the Republic of Serbia. In the order of activities, first of all, there should be identified the leading sectors of the economy of Serbia, which are the framework of its economic development. Also, there should be identified potential “pulling” sectors, that would give way to future structural changes and future economic structure of Serbia. The structure of economy of Serbia should be “adjusted” in such way that should even in the long run provide a stable economic growth, and to lessen the disbalance of the balance of payment, to increase the competitiveness of the economy, to decrease the unemployment, and finally, to increase the social standard of living.
Vladislav Marjanovic, Zoran Arandjelovic

Advances and Difficulties in Serbia’s Reindustrialization

The starting point of this paper is that for the completion of (post) socialist transition process is needed the realization of the strategy of reindustrialization of the Republic of Serbia according to the European concept of endogenous, auto-propulsive, self-sustainable and inclusive development. Development based on knowledge that is the essence of this concept, in Republic of Serbia in the last three decades, was promoted several times as strong development orientation. Implementation has not started for several reasons, from which in the forefront the cultural-political tendency is easy to define and much easier leaving the determination. The processed material is divided into two parts. In the first part, the emphasis is on causes of deindustrialization in the Republic of Serbia. The second part deals with three generic development alternatives and policies of their realization with emphasis on phenomena that encourage or block the generating and implementation of technological and business innovation in the structure of industry in the Republic of Serbia. The performed analysis shows that networking and clusterization of enterprises and agricultural farms, apropos the development of poles of generic growth are the key mechanisms by which with process of integration of research, high education and production in the local, sub-regional, regional and national frames, should start this process from a standstill.
Sofija Adžić, Dragan Stojić

Investigating Farmer’s Perceptions of Adopting Alternative Farming Systems

Organic and integrated agriculture are recently developed alternative farming systems aimed at controlling environmental impacts and assuring the quality of agricultural products. Here we aim to: (1) describe the characteristics of certified of organic and integrated farms; and (2) analyze the factors affecting the farmers’ decision to implement either organic, integrated or conventional farming. The survey was based on a multinomial analysis applied to data obtained from a survey of farmers (structured questionnaire) in Greece. The findings confirmed that the decision to opt for one of three forms of agriculture was based on both the farms’ characteristics and the farmer’s attitudes.
Sotirios Papadopoulos, Eleni Zafeiriou, Christos Karelakis, Theodoros Koutroumanidis

The Impact of Migration on Albanian Agriculture: A Snapshot

This study aims to identify the relation between migration and agriculture in Albania. After more than 20 years of free trade, migrant worker remittances remain a vital voice in Albanian national economic wealth. At the same time, the agricultural sector seems to have remained frozen in time: a farming system derived from the land reform of 1991 that is still characterized by smallholdings oriented to auto-consumption with some very informal trade connections to the local food markets. Moreover, a substantial proportion of the Albanian population still lives in rural areas and still works in agriculture. On this premise, it is not surprising that the majority of remittances from abroad go to the rural population and it is acceptable to assume that the remittances absorbed by the rural population may have been partly used to overcome the lack of policy support and to provide agriculture with the minimum input of capital needed to fund some connection to the market.
However, with regard to this assumption, recent studies suggest that this is not the case. These studies claim that the increase in the total rural income in Albania from the transition to the first decade in the twenty-first century is probably due to the direct effect of the remittances instead of to any investment of remittances in agricultural productivity. Moreover, these studies infer that remittances directed to the rural population in many cases are used by the households “to escape” from agriculture rather than to improve agricultural income. Hence, with respect to these papers, the present is a confirmatory study designed to further explore the relation between remittances from abroad and agricultural income generation in Albania. We rely on an up-to-date review of the most recent research conclusions on the impact of international migration on Albanian farming system to better comprehend the lack of progress in the post-transition Albanian agricultural economy, the migration process being a potential shock element to a labor-intensive rural economy as a whole. Qualitatively, the present study guaranties greater statistical power with respect to the previously mentioned research. This improvement can be attributed to the use of a highly disaggregated and a more recent probability sample that is representative of the Albanian farm population. The inferential analysis is carried out in R.
Matteo Belletti, Elvira Leksinaj

Social Capital in Balkan Societies


Crisis and Social Capital in Greece: A Comparative Study Between Rural and Urban Communities

Greece is facing a severe economic crisis that has also been perceived as a crisis of human values, ideology and on parallel a crisis of trust in people and institutions. The role of trust (both individual and institutional) has been highlighted within the social capital literature as a factor of growth and prosperity of societies; especially in terms of adaptability to volatile conditions where the need for cooperation in order to achieve common goals is of great importance. At the same time, much has been written about the existence of higher levels of social capital in closed societies such as rural ones when compared to urban. The main aim of this paper is to investigate the relation of trust and solidarity, between urban and rural areas in Northern Greece, using empirical research to a large sample of 503 residents. Research results lead to the segmentation need of the population into three distinct clusters with respect to different levels of social capital within different rural–urban context. The main policy implication would be whether the increase in social capital could be a tool for “survival” in the current economic crisis in Greece and at the European level.
Anna Tokalaki, Anastasios Michailidis, Maria Partalidou, Georgios Theodossiou

Social Dialogue in the Era of Memoranda: The Consequences of Austerity and Deregulation Measures on the Greek Social Partnership Process

The aim of this paper is to contribute to the current debate on the consequences of joint EC-ECB-IMF Programmes that directly impact on the Greek industrial relation system via an analysis of the changes in the institutional framework of the labour market and the social partnership process. Moreover, it will test the hypothesis that the Memoranda have had a negative impact on the quality of social dialogue in Greece.
The paper examines immense transformations in the Greek industrial relations system and evaluates the direction of change in the field of social dialogue. Furthermore, it analyses how the radical changes introduced since 2010, which have amended essential features of the Greek labour legislation, have promoted significant implications for the role of social partners.
Finally, using a comparative assessment, it examines the impact of EC-ECB-IMF Programmes on the reshape of the national industrial relations system towards highly decentralized collective bargaining, and the abandonment of social dialogue as an essential means to influence economic and social policy.
Theodore Koutroukis, Spyros Roukanas

Social Capital and Corruption: Evidence from Western Balkan Countries

Throughout the last decade, empirical evidence from transition countries has confirmed low levels of social capital, a resource often regarded as a determinant of the speed of reforms, economic growth and social development in these countries. On the other hand, corruption is considered to be closely related to social capital, whereas high levels of corruption reflect institutional weakness, which impedes contract enforcement. Such environment prevents building trust relations between economic actors. There are opinions that certain types of social capital are likely to increase corruption, which brings into question the causal direction of their relationship. The aim of the paper is to measure and compare the levels of social capital and corruption in Western Balkan countries. In addition, relations between social capital, corruption and GDP per capita levels will be explored in order to establish whether higher corrupt countries report lower levels of trust and civic participation and therefore lower GDP per capita.
Marija Džunić, Nataša Golubović

Tax Morale and Compliance in Greece: An Approach for the Construction of a Questionnaire Survey

No comprehensive empirical research has been conducted to assess the qualitative variables that affect tax ethics in Greece. The proposed method of empirical research of this working paper is the use of a questionnaire survey. Accordingly, the steps toward the construction of such a questionnaire survey and the performance of stratified surveys are presented. The aim of the questionnaire survey is, firstly, to estimate the level of tax ethics and, secondly, to identify the factors that influence it. The size and impact of the problem in Greece is discussed based on international transparency indices. The results of the survey are expected to support the structuring of useful proposals and measures for improving the level of tax ethics and tax compliance in Greece.
Panagiotis Mitrakos, Aristidis Bitzenis, Ioannis Makedos, Panagiotis Kontakos

Economic Crisis in Greece and the Consequential “Brain Drain”

Economic crisis in Greece had enormous impact on society and people’s lives. Political corruption, cronyism, nepotism, partisanship, bureaucracy, are some of the main causes which lead to the country’s plague, unemployment. “Brain drain” in Greece is inevitable. Thus, this study tries to record students’ opinions towards the Greek scientist emigration. The results reveal that Greek students are extremely pessimistic that unemployment could be restrained or reversed and that they believe that both Greek politicians and European authorities are incapable of leading the country into economic recovery.
Sofia Anastasiadou

The External Sector, National State and Development in the Balkans and Eastern Europe


The Legal Framework of European Union: Western Balkans Trade Liberalization

The relations between the European Union (EU) and the Western Balkan Countries are governed by the Stabilization and Association Agreements (SAA). One of the fundamental objectives of the Association is to establish a free trade area, in accordance with WTO rules, between each of the associated Balkan states and the EU which is their largest trading partner. To this end, each of these agreements provides for the gradual establishment of a zone of free movement of goods, the introduction of a regime on the right of establishment in order to exercise an economic activity, on the cross border services supply, on current payments and capital movements. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the rules promoting the liberalization of economic transactions between the contracting parties and generally economic integration in the area concerned. Emphasis is given to the agreement concluded with Serbia.
Odysseas G. Spiliopoulos, Dimitrios P. Petropoulos

Exchange Rate Volatility in the Balkans and Eastern Europe: Implications for International Investments

Our paper’s objective is to study the volatility of exchange rates from the region that have not yet adopted the Euro and are not members of the Exchange Rate Mechanism II by considering the exchange rate regime and the implications of currency volatility for foreign capital flows. We model exchange rate volatility by using standard deviations of daily logarithmic changes in the exchange rates, rolling standard deviations, Hodrick-Prescott filters to detect the trends in volatility and ARIMA models. We find that currency volatility remains a strong issue for these countries and that central banks have attempted to manage it, particularly after the global financial crisis. Spikes in monthly volatility are identified for all currencies, although with some variation in time. Over the long-run, some exchange rates experienced sudden increases in volatility over the entire period, but rather quickly corrected, while others have shown an episode of high volatility at the beginning of the period and recorded a reasonable level of volatility throughout the remaining period. Exchange rate volatility “has memory”, but some exchange rates are more prone to the persistent effects of shocks in volatility.
Alexandra Horobet, Lucian Belascu, Ana-Maria Barsan

Market Volatility and Foreign Exchange Intervention

This paper explores unilateral interventions by National Bank of Serbia on RSD/EUR market, conducted over the period from 2004 to 2010 inclusive. We have employed a Markov-switching model that describes the time-varying nature of the exchange rate volatility. The changing nature of volatility may arise due to the process of information arrivals or being liquidity driven, but can also be a consequence of interventions. We found the probability of switching between high-volatility and low volatility states conditioned upon the intervention. The regime switching model proved to be able to indicate correctly the ex ante identified structural breaks that came from intervention policy. Moreover, our study raises doubts that the central bank intervenes also in response of detrimental past exchange rate trends rather than solely in response to excess volatility.
Srđan Marinković, Ognjen Radović

Do Remittances Reduce Poverty in Developing Countries?

Workers’ remittances represent a lifeline for the poor, increasing income for the families left behind. They represent an important link for the study of the impact of international migration in both origin and destination countries. This paper examines the effects of remittances on poverty in Poland, Romania, Ukraine and Turkey for the period 2002–2011. The results of the panel data analysis show that per capita official international remittances significantly reduce the level and depth of poverty in the analysed countries. A 10 % increase in per capita workers’ remittances will lead to a 5.3 % decline in the share of people living on less than $2 per person per day. Due to the use of informal channels for transferring money, an important share of remittances is left unrecorded. One possible way for the policymakers to deter the use of informal channels is by further creating incentives for lowering the costs for sending money back home. Also, better data and monitoring could bolster the rate of official remittances.
Costin-Alexandru Ciupureanu, Mihai Daniel Roman
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