Evaluating Land Reform and Market in Bulgaria (p.11-33)  [Fichier PDF]
Raúl de Arriba Bueno, University of Valencia, Spain
Keywords : Economic Transition, Land Market, Institutional Change, Bulgaria
JEL classification : P20, P23, P32, Q15
The creation of a market economy, viewed from a polanyian perspective, requires the setting up of markets in areas characteristic of economic reproduction, such as land. The goal of this article is to contribute to the establishment of a mechanism that permits the evaluation of the effectiveness of economic policies of reform in a transitional period and, moreover, to assess the effectiveness of land reform in Bulgaria. It is observed that a breakdown exists between the setting up of formal market institutions and the creation of market relationships in the land sphere.



Countries’ International Competitiveness and FDI: an empirical analysis of selected EU Member-Countries and Regions (p.35-52)  [Fichier PDF]
George Anastassopoulos, Department of Business Administration, University of Patras, Greece
Keywords : International Competitiveness, FDI, MNEs, European Union
JEL classification : F23, F21
This paper empirically examines the relationship of a country’s international competitiveness as defined and measured by the International Management Development (IMD) and its accumulation of inward Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) stock. This relationship is analysed for the European Union (EU)-15 Member-Countries and for the period 2003-2006 which coincides with processes of enlargement, structural changes, increased global competition for EU-located firms, and pressure for relocation of their economic activities. EU South Member-Countries (SMCs) are examined separately from North Member-Countries (NMCs) taking into account structural and regional differences . Evidence suggests a heterogeneous response of FDI towards the two EU regions - considered as country groups - in the processes of globalization, as well as the discriminating effects of different aspects of competitiveness on FDI e.g. economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure. An interesting outcome is that the role of government in influencing international competitiveness and consequently the levels of FDI is more important in SMCs than in NMCs.



Personnel Training at the Regional Level in Estonia: The Case of Järva County (p.53-70)  [Fichier PDF]
Kristjan-Olari Leping, University of Tartu, Estonia
Keywords : Personnel Training, Human Capital, Estonia, Regional Development
JEL classification : J24, M53, O18
Human capital is a fundamental issue regarding competitiveness of firms, regions and countries. In a world of continuous technological progress personnel training is one of the most important form of human capital investment. This paper provides answers to questions related to types of personnel training, and the extent they are used in firms at the regional level in one Estonian county. The data used in this paper is based on a questionnaire survey completed by firms. The results indicate that there exist remarkable differences in providing personnel training depending on the types of training programs, occupations and firm size.



Business Cycles in Greece (1960-2008): An Econometric Investigation  (p.71-106)  [Fichier PDF]
Angelos Vouldis, University of Athens, Greece
John Milios, National Technical University of Athens, Greece
Panayotis Michaelides, National Technical University of Athens, Greece
Spyros Lapatsioras, University of Crete, Greece
Keywords : Macroeconomic variables, trends, filters, frequency, business cycles, Greece
JEL classification : E32, O11, C10
Business cycle theory has fascinated economists ever since the beginning of economics as a science. The analysis of empirical facts has often been used as basis for the testing and formulation of theoretical models of the business cycle. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the principal macroeconomic series of business cycle in Greece using relevant econometric techniques over the time period 1960-2008. We adopt a definition according to which business cycles are regarded as fluctuations around a trend, i.e. deviation cycles. The type of trend has serious implications considering it determines the propagation of shocks. We investigate the stationarity properties of time series for basic macroeconomic variables and their first differences using the augmented Dickey-Fuller test. Next, we use five different de-trending methods to decompose the original series into a trend and a cyclical component. Furthermore, we use spectral analysis to extract periodograms which indicate, approximately, the length of the cycle. Finally, we examine whether the various de-trended macroeconomic variables follow a cyclical pattern or if their evolution in time is white noise. The empirical results suggest that strong cyclical regularities are present. In fact our findings, regarding the cyclical patterns of the macroeconomic variables under survey and the periodization of the phases of development of the Greek economy are consistent with the findings by other researchers.