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Economies, Volume 12, Issue 5 (May 2024) – 28 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Within an optimal currency area, the synchronization of fuel prices is crucial as it supports the effective implementation of policies and promotes macroeconomic stability. Our study examines the correlation between the price paths in the gasoline and diesel markets at the national level in the EU. Using data from 2017 to 2022, we construct networks in which the nodes represent EU member states, and the edges denote significant temporal correlations in fuel prices between these states. Empirical evidence suggests that diesel markets exhibit a more distinctive pattern of price co-movements than gasoline markets. Furthermore, the implementation of fuel taxation policies appears to have a negative impact on fuel price co-movements. View this paper
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20 pages, 1192 KiB  
Article
Comparative Analysis between Quality of Life and Human Labor in Countries Belonging to G7 and BRICS Blocks: Proposition of Discriminant Analysis Model
by Gustavo Carolino Girardi, Priscila Rubbo, Evandro Eduardo Broday, Maik Arnold and Claudia Tania Picinin
Economies 2024, 12(5), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050124 - 18 May 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 496
Abstract
The aim of the present research is to identify and analyze the variables which help to effectively differentiate Quality of Life (QoL) and human labor in the G7 (Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, and United States of America—USA) and BRICS countries [...] Read more.
The aim of the present research is to identify and analyze the variables which help to effectively differentiate Quality of Life (QoL) and human labor in the G7 (Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, and United States of America—USA) and BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) through a discriminant analysis. A discriminant analysis model is developed to classify countries as having a low, mid, or high QoL based on QoL and human labor variables. The variables used in the discriminant analysis were obtained between 2010 and 2022 from two platforms: NUMBEO variables capable of relating QoL to socioeconomic aspects and OECD’s (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) human-labor-related variables. Based on the results, the three variables that most discriminate the groups in order of importance are employed women in relation to the female population, the female labor force participation rate, and the female unemployment rate. Countries are classified as having a low, mid, or high QoL. The adopted technique will allow researchers and managers to classify and draw goals for action reorganization and investment in QoL and labor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation, Productivity and Economic Growth: New Insights)
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14 pages, 1287 KiB  
Article
The Model of Sustainability Balanced Scorecard and Supply Chain in Port Management for Tourism
by Krongthong Heebkhoksung
Economies 2024, 12(5), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050123 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 527
Abstract
The development of ports for the sake of tourism is one of the key strategies in developing and strengthening a solid foundation in the tourism industry. The integration of a supply chain into port management for the purposes of tourism that is sustainable [...] Read more.
The development of ports for the sake of tourism is one of the key strategies in developing and strengthening a solid foundation in the tourism industry. The integration of a supply chain into port management for the purposes of tourism that is sustainable balanced can be used as a model for planning sustainable port development for tourism purposes. However, there are scarcely any studies on this topic, while plenty focus on the general concepts involved. To fill this gap, this article presents a model of a Sustainability Balanced Scorecard for ports. The author proposes a new approach to planning port development and supply chain management for tourism, particularity to provide recommendations and further our understandings of the relationships involved in the Sustainable Balanced Scorecard from the stakeholder perspective, the learning and growth perspective, the internal process perspective, the financial perspective and the environmental perspective. Using these five perspectives, the literature review identifies 56 indicators of 15 factors that can be used in the model. Therefore, this research helps to enhance and develop sustainable and efficient conditions in tourism while reducing future risks. Moreover, the research enables stakeholders to gain an understanding of and knowledge about the sustainable development and management of ports and for tourism. The insights can be applied in policy and strategy development according to the sustainable development goals (SDGs) to accommodate social movement, environmental risk and economic inequality. Full article
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12 pages, 2455 KiB  
Article
Is Thailand Attractive to Japanese Companies?
by Hiroaki Sakurai
Economies 2024, 12(5), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050122 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 554
Abstract
This study examines the relationship between the business sentiment of Japanese companies regarding promising or potential countries for investment and macroeconomic statistics, such as economic or population growth in Thailand, using data from the Survey Report on Overseas Business Operations by Japanese Manufacturing [...] Read more.
This study examines the relationship between the business sentiment of Japanese companies regarding promising or potential countries for investment and macroeconomic statistics, such as economic or population growth in Thailand, using data from the Survey Report on Overseas Business Operations by Japanese Manufacturing Companies from 1992 to 2022. Although investing in Thailand has been popular among Japanese companies since the late 1980s, it has seemingly become relatively inactive in recent years. The present study’s results are summarized as follows: First, the business sentiment of Japanese companies has some relationships with relatively short-term economic growth and the business cycle in the short run. Second, business sentiment depends on long-term trends, and this stance may have changed after 2020. Third, other elements, such as minimum wage or fewer young people, do not necessarily have a relationship with business sentiment. Although more studies including capital accumulation or the global value chain should be conducted, improving the sentiments of Japanese businesspersons is desirable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Asian Economy: Constraints and Opportunities)
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22 pages, 443 KiB  
Article
Factors Determining the Average Price Level: A Combined Microeconomic and Macroeconomic Approach
by Tamara Peneva Todorova and Brikena Myftarallari
Economies 2024, 12(5), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050121 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 514
Abstract
We analyze various determinants of the average price level using a strictly mathematical approach. Starting with the microeconomic perspective, we review the effect of demand shifters such as consumer income and the level of advertising on the average price level in a simple [...] Read more.
We analyze various determinants of the average price level using a strictly mathematical approach. Starting with the microeconomic perspective, we review the effect of demand shifters such as consumer income and the level of advertising on the average price level in a simple partial market equilibrium model. Then, we discuss the effect of supply shifters such as the exogenous tax level, worker wage, rental rate, and technology. We use implicit differentiation and Jacobian determinants. While government spending triggers inflation, taxes have the opposite effect. This is consistent with Keynesian theory. Money supply increases national income and prices while reducing the equilibrium interest rate. Therefore, money supply has pro-inflationary effects. The effect of money demand is the opposite—it increases the equilibrium interest rate, thereby lowering national income and prices. Augmenting the model to the level of international trade, we find that exports raise national income, the interest rate, and the average price level, while the effect of imports is just the opposite. Government spending raises the exchange rate while continuous inflation lowers it. Full article
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20 pages, 526 KiB  
Article
Digital Economy Development, Common Prosperity, and Carbon Emissions: An Empirical Study in China
by Jingke Gao, Wenxiao Zhou, Jinhua Cheng and Ziyuan Liu
Economies 2024, 12(5), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050120 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 690
Abstract
Under the new development model, the digital economy has become a new engine to promote the green development of the economy and realize the goal of “double carbon”. Based on the panel data of 30 provinces in China from 2010 to 2020, this [...] Read more.
Under the new development model, the digital economy has become a new engine to promote the green development of the economy and realize the goal of “double carbon”. Based on the panel data of 30 provinces in China from 2010 to 2020, this paper empirically investigates the impact of the development of the digital economy on energy and carbon emissions using a series of econometric models such as baseline regression, a mechanism test, and the spatial Durbin model, etc. Common prosperity plays an intermediary role between digital economy development and carbon emissions; digital economic development optimizes resource allocation, effectively solves the problem of uneven resource distribution, and reduces energy and carbon emissions while achieving common prosperity. In addition, green innovation, industrial structure, urbanization level, R&D intensity, and the degree of marketization also have different degrees of influence on energy and carbon emissions. Therefore, the government should accelerate the construction of new digital infrastructure and implement the digital economy development strategy according to local conditions, so as to promote the digital economy to produce a more significant carbon emission reduction effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Development in the Digital Economy Era)
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16 pages, 1878 KiB  
Article
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Economic Development of the Mining and Construction Industry: Case Study in Slovakia
by Beátka Stehlíková, Marcela Taušová and Katarína Čulková
Economies 2024, 12(5), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050119 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 615
Abstract
Due to the present worldwide economic development, there is an increasing need to follow the financial health of companies in individual sectors to avoid possible decline and bankruptcy. The goal of this contribution is to find out the influence of the pandemic on [...] Read more.
Due to the present worldwide economic development, there is an increasing need to follow the financial health of companies in individual sectors to avoid possible decline and bankruptcy. The goal of this contribution is to find out the influence of the pandemic on the economic situation in the mining industry as the primary sector, in connection with the construction industry as the secondary sector. The research is carried out through economic and financial indicators, which mostly influence the potential crisis of companies. The results show that the mining industry and construction sectors managed to avoid the heavy decline and bankruptcy of certain organizations in the industries. Such results can be used for forecasting and modeling the socio-economic development of regions and countries. The growth of the analyzed industries could contribute to the sustainable development in the country. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics after the COVID-19)
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18 pages, 1965 KiB  
Article
Analyzing the Impact of Public Capital on Private Capital Productivity in a Panel of African Nations
by Elhadj Ezzahid and Hamid Rafik
Economies 2024, 12(5), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050118 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 612
Abstract
This research contributes to the ongoing discourse concerning the efficiency of public capital and its influence on the productivity of private capital and total factor productivity within African economies. Employing the standard production approach, we include public capital as a distinct input to [...] Read more.
This research contributes to the ongoing discourse concerning the efficiency of public capital and its influence on the productivity of private capital and total factor productivity within African economies. Employing the standard production approach, we include public capital as a distinct input to assess its specific impact on output growth and the enhancement of total factor productivity. We argue that public capital, predominantly manifesting through infrastructure, constitutes an indispensable element for fostering growth. Fundamental to the productivity of private capital is its reliance on a sufficient stock of public infrastructure for operational efficiency. Our empirical analysis reveals that public capital exhibits a substantive long-term influence on output growth and the productivity of private capital. However, in the short term, the discernible impact of public capital is less pronounced. Moreover, while public capital emerges as a noticeable factor in output growth, its influence on total factor productivity remains relatively subdued. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation, Productivity and Economic Growth: New Insights)
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28 pages, 1156 KiB  
Article
Industrial Synergy Agglomeration, Urban Innovation Capacity, and Advanced Manufacturing Development
by Hua Yin and Wen Su
Economies 2024, 12(5), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050117 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 594
Abstract
This paper endeavors to construct an evaluative framework to assess the level of development in advanced manufacturing across the 31 provinces in China from 2003 to 2021. Additionally, it aims to investigate the impact of industrial synergy agglomeration on the development of advanced [...] Read more.
This paper endeavors to construct an evaluative framework to assess the level of development in advanced manufacturing across the 31 provinces in China from 2003 to 2021. Additionally, it aims to investigate the impact of industrial synergy agglomeration on the development of advanced manufacturing by employing a moderated mediation model and the Spatial Durbin Model (SDM). The research results demonstrate that industrial synergy agglomeration facilitates the development of advanced manufacturing, with particularly pronounced effects in the eastern region of China and the 18 provinces that already possess national advanced manufacturing clusters. Urban innovation capacity plays an intermediary role, and both manufacturing intelligence and international capacity cooperation exhibit positive moderating effects in the direct and indirect pathways through which industrial synergy agglomeration influences the development of advanced manufacturing. Furthermore, industrial synergy agglomeration exhibits strong spillover effects on the development of advanced manufacturing. To boost the development of the advanced manufacturing industry, it is imperative to expedite the establishment of an industrial synergy spatial layout, foster a culture of enterprise innovation and intelligent transformation, emphasize inter-provincial communication and cooperation, and facilitate cross-border resource integration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Clusters, Agglomeration and Economic Development)
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20 pages, 774 KiB  
Article
A Measure That Really Works? Impact Evaluation of the Contribution for Self-Employment as a Tool of Active Labour Market Policy in Slovakia
by Lucia Svabova and Barbora Gabrikova
Economies 2024, 12(5), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050116 - 13 May 2024
Viewed by 597
Abstract
Unemployment presents a significant challenge requiring attention not only in developing countries but also in economically developed ones. Active labour market policies offer a potential solution to address this issue. This study focuses on assessing the impact of the intervention called Contribution for [...] Read more.
Unemployment presents a significant challenge requiring attention not only in developing countries but also in economically developed ones. Active labour market policies offer a potential solution to address this issue. This study focuses on assessing the impact of the intervention called Contribution for Self-employment provided under the Act on Employment Services No. 5/2004 Coll in the Slovak Republic. This financial support is extended voluntarily to unemployed individuals seeking jobs and aims to partially defray the expenses associated with launching business ventures. The primary objective of this research is to quantify the effectiveness of the Contribution for Self-employment in enhancing the employment of its recipients, thereby gauging its efficacy in reducing unemployment. The evaluation employs a counterfactual impact assessment methodology, utilising propensity score matching for analysis, with propensity score estimated by the logistic regression. Data from the registry of jobseekers maintained by the Central Labour Office of Social Affairs and Family in Slovakia are utilised in this analysis. This study’s findings indicate a favourable impact of the contribution on the employment of its participants compared to the comparable non-participants. Consequently, this intervention emerges as a viable mechanism for supporting entrepreneurship and mitigating unemployment in Slovakia. Full article
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17 pages, 1361 KiB  
Article
The Impact of the Great Recession on Well-Being across Europe Ten Years On: A Cluster Analysis
by Elisabetta Croci Angelini, Francesco Farina and Silvia Sorana
Economies 2024, 12(5), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050115 - 10 May 2024
Viewed by 722
Abstract
To evaluate variations in the well-being dimensions of European citizens, we rely upon Principal Component Analysis methodology, whereby a large set of interrelated indicators are reduced to a small number of aggregate synthetic variables. We find that the 2008 crisis impinged differently on [...] Read more.
To evaluate variations in the well-being dimensions of European citizens, we rely upon Principal Component Analysis methodology, whereby a large set of interrelated indicators are reduced to a small number of aggregate synthetic variables. We find that the 2008 crisis impinged differently on the various dimensions of well-being. The evolution of the indicators has affected different clusters of countries in various ways. Most importantly, we observe that there has been a shift of the principal component from the poor in terms of material deprivation to the risk of poverty for the worsening conditions in the labor market. Full article
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13 pages, 1204 KiB  
Article
Asymmetric Exchange Rate Effects on Trade Flows in India
by Niloufer Sohrabji
Economies 2024, 12(5), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050114 - 9 May 2024
Viewed by 816
Abstract
This paper examines the role of exchange rate changes on India’s trade. The drivers of exports and imports (income, exchange rate including sectoral differences, and exchange rate variability) are estimated for the short and long run including a structural break. Using annual data [...] Read more.
This paper examines the role of exchange rate changes on India’s trade. The drivers of exports and imports (income, exchange rate including sectoral differences, and exchange rate variability) are estimated for the short and long run including a structural break. Using annual data from 1994 to 2022, the results of dynamic fixed effects estimation show that both exports and imports are income-elastic in the short and long run, but income elasticity is far stronger for exports. Moreover, exports are responsive to the real effective exchange rate in the short run but not in the long run, and the reverse is true for imports. Furthermore, exchange rates have asymmetric effects for high-volume and primary sectors for exports and imports. The combined impacts show the ineffectiveness of using currency depreciation to address trade imbalances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exchange Rates: Drivers, Dynamics, Impacts, and Policies)
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22 pages, 827 KiB  
Article
Empowering Pakistan’s Economy: The Role of Health and Education in Shaping Labor Force Participation and Economic Growth
by Muhammad Umair, Waqar Ahmad, Babar Hussain, Costinela Fortea, Monica Laura Zlati and Valentin Marian Antohi
Economies 2024, 12(5), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050113 - 9 May 2024
Viewed by 879
Abstract
The labor force is a crucial factor in conducting economic activities, especially in labor-surplus countries like Pakistan. In this study, we explore the impact of labor force participation (LF) on economic growth (EG), with an emphasis on how this impact depends on the [...] Read more.
The labor force is a crucial factor in conducting economic activities, especially in labor-surplus countries like Pakistan. In this study, we explore the impact of labor force participation (LF) on economic growth (EG), with an emphasis on how this impact depends on the levels of health and education expenditures. We analyze time series data from Pakistan spanning from 1980 to 2022, using ARDL (Autoregressive Distributed Lag), ECM (Error Correction Model) and Granger causality techniques for empirical analysis. The ARDL results indicate that LF significantly boosts EG, both in the short and long run. Furthermore, the estimations reveal that better facilities for health and education strengthen the positive effects of LF on EG. This suggests a complementary relationship between health, education, and LF in driving EG. Moreover, our findings highlight the temporal significance of health and education: Health plays a more crucial role in the short run, while education’s impact is more substantial in the long run. Furthermore, the Granger causality results indicate that LF, health, and education significantly contribute to EG. It is advisable for the government to prioritize investments in the health and education sectors. This approach can empower individuals to actively and effectively participate in economic activities, eventually contributing to the overall economic output of the nation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation, Productivity and Economic Growth: New Insights)
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37 pages, 10033 KiB  
Article
Investigating the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Stock Volatility in Sub-Saharan Africa: Analysis Using Explainable Artificial Intelligence
by Mbongiseni Ncube, Mabutho Sibanda and Frank Ranganai Matenda
Economies 2024, 12(5), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050112 - 8 May 2024
Viewed by 772
Abstract
This study examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sector volatility in sub-Saharan Africa by drawing evidence from two large and two small stock exchanges in the region. The analysis included stock-specific data, COVID-19 metrics, and macroeconomic indicators from January 2019 to [...] Read more.
This study examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sector volatility in sub-Saharan Africa by drawing evidence from two large and two small stock exchanges in the region. The analysis included stock-specific data, COVID-19 metrics, and macroeconomic indicators from January 2019 to July 2022. This study employs generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity (GARCH) models to estimate volatility and Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI) in the form of SHapley Additive exPlanations (SHAP) to identify significant factors driving stock volatility during the pandemic. The findings reveal significant volatility increases at the onset of the pandemic, with government stringency measures leading to increased volatility in larger exchanges, while the introduction of vaccination programs helped to reduce volatility. Weaker macroeconomic fundamentals impact volatility in smaller exchanges. The healthcare sector has emerged as the most resilient, while non-essential sectors, such as consumer discretionary, materials, and real estate, face greater vulnerability, especially in smaller exchanges. The research findings reveal that the heightened stock market volatility observed was mainly a result of the government’s actions to combat the spread of the pandemic, rather than its outbreak. We recommend that governments introduce sound policies to balance public health measures and economic stability, and that investors diversify their investments to reduce the impact of pandemics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Macroeconomics, Monetary Economics, and Financial Markets)
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17 pages, 1628 KiB  
Article
Analyzing Fiscal Sustainability in Latin American Countries: A Time–Frequency Perspective
by Nini Johana Marín-Rodríguez, Juan David Gonzalez-Ruiz and Alejandro Peña
Economies 2024, 12(5), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050111 - 8 May 2024
Viewed by 737
Abstract
This study examines fiscal sustainability in Latin American countries from a unique time–frequency perspective, focusing on Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Mexico from 1997 to 2022. Using wavelet coherence analysis, it uncovers dynamic relationships between government revenue and expenditure over different time horizons, [...] Read more.
This study examines fiscal sustainability in Latin American countries from a unique time–frequency perspective, focusing on Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Mexico from 1997 to 2022. Using wavelet coherence analysis, it uncovers dynamic relationships between government revenue and expenditure over different time horizons, revealing varying causality patterns across countries and periods. The findings underscore the importance of balanced fiscal planning and resource allocation to ensure fiscal sustainability and support economic growth. This research contributes to a deeper understanding of Latin America’s economic landscape and provides valuable insights for policymakers, economists, and stakeholders concerned with the region’s economic stability and development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomic Stability)
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16 pages, 882 KiB  
Article
Examining the Shifting Dynamics of the Beveridge Curve in the Turkish Labor Market during Crises
by Jamilu Said Babangida, Asad Ul Islam Khan and Ahmet Faruk Aysan
Economies 2024, 12(5), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050110 - 7 May 2024
Viewed by 721
Abstract
Following the global financial crisis, an increasing amount of attention has been directed towards examining the Beveridge curve (BC), which indicates the relationship between unemployment and vacancy rates. This research analyzes the unemployment–vacancy rate dynamics in the Turkiye labor market during both the [...] Read more.
Following the global financial crisis, an increasing amount of attention has been directed towards examining the Beveridge curve (BC), which indicates the relationship between unemployment and vacancy rates. This research analyzes the unemployment–vacancy rate dynamics in the Turkiye labor market during both the global financial crisis and COVID-19 periods. The findings from this study demonstrate that the labor market exhibits deteriorating efficiency, as evidenced by movement of BC away from the origin. The unemployment and vacancy rates both increase over time, with a leftward (rightward) shift of BC during the global financial crisis (COVID-19) period. The study also reveals that both crises had no significant effect on unemployment–vacancy rate dynamics. In the Turkish labor market, there exists a situation where the vacancy rate is in shortfall of the unemployment level in Turkiye. This creates a positive relationship between these two factors. The labor market in Turkiye experiences inefficiencies as it struggles to generate a sufficient number of jobs to meet the demand from job seekers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Labour Economics)
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25 pages, 1041 KiB  
Article
Is There a Link between Remittances, Capital Formation, Structural Transformation and Economic Growth? A Dynamic Panel Analysis for Latin America under the PVAR Approach
by Eduardo Germán Zurita Moreano, María Gabriela González Bautista, Juan Pablo Vallejo Mata and Víctor Dante Ayaviri-Nina
Economies 2024, 12(5), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050109 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 1080
Abstract
The literature has mainly focused on analyzing the relationship of remittances with economic growth and social welfare, neglecting more complex aspects where remittances can have relevant implications. To contribute to the literature, the objective of this research is to examine the dynamic relationship [...] Read more.
The literature has mainly focused on analyzing the relationship of remittances with economic growth and social welfare, neglecting more complex aspects where remittances can have relevant implications. To contribute to the literature, the objective of this research is to examine the dynamic relationship between remittances, capital formation, structural transformation and economic growth in 15 Latin American countries during the period 1996–2019. To meet the objective, a panel vector autoregressive regression (PVAR) model was estimated, focusing on the analysis of the impulse-response function and variance decomposition. The results show a positive effect of remittances on economic growth and capital formation and a negative effect of remittances on structural transformation for initial periods and positive for later periods, framing a non-linear relationship. In addition, it was determined that structural transformation does not have a significant impact on economic growth. Finally, it was found that capital formation has a partial positive effect on economic growth. It is concluded that public policies should generate support mechanisms for the efficient channeling of these resources so that they become engines of growth. Full article
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25 pages, 2060 KiB  
Article
The Impact of the Stimulus Packages on the Economy during COVID-19 in Bangladesh: A Mixed-Method Approach
by Ruhul Amin, Nahian Rahman, Samira Tasnim, Sima Rani Dey and Mohammad Tareque
Economies 2024, 12(5), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050108 - 5 May 2024
Viewed by 1641
Abstract
With the unexpected onset of COVID-19, governments across the world responded with a range of preventive measures, including the imposition of lockdowns. To mitigate the adverse effects of lockdowns arising from supply chain shocks and employment loss, governments worldwide chose to implement policies [...] Read more.
With the unexpected onset of COVID-19, governments across the world responded with a range of preventive measures, including the imposition of lockdowns. To mitigate the adverse effects of lockdowns arising from supply chain shocks and employment loss, governments worldwide chose to implement policies to stimulate their economies and keep them working. This study assesses the impact and effectiveness of four of these packages in Bangladesh, employing a mixed-method approach. These packages include “salary support for workers in export-oriented RMG industries”, “working capital loans for affected industries and service sectors”, “working capital loans for cottage, micro, small, and medium enterprises”, and initiatives for “revitalizing the rural economy and job creation”. Each package was examined individually because of their differences in beneficiary groups, implementation methods, and individual objectives. Quantitative analysis involved propensity score matching (PSM), the difference in difference model (DID), and structural equation modelling (SEM). Stakeholders, including policy implementers, Bangladesh Bank officials, policy analysts, academics, workers, and beneficiaries, contributed to the qualitative analysis through extensive key-informant interviews, providing a comprehensive assessment of intervention outcomes. Ultimately, the results show that the packages achieved their socio-economic relief objectives for beneficiaries. The research examined both positive impacts and challenges in their implementation. It suggests that all four packages successfully achieved their goals, such as providing social and economic support, sustaining livelihoods, addressing marginalized groups’ needs, ensuring survival for large industries and small businesses, and promoting employment. In order to better address future shocks, establishing a beneficiary database integrated with the national system is recommended for smoother policy rollout. Despite acknowledged limitations, including challenges in beneficiary identification, data availability, and time constraints, the study’s unbiased estimations provide valuable insights to guide future policy directions in similar situations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics after the COVID-19)
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14 pages, 1131 KiB  
Article
Water For Food in Euphrates–Tigris River
by Abdelmoneim Bahyeldin Mohamed Metwally, Mai M. Yasser and Merna Ahmed
Economies 2024, 12(5), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050107 - 3 May 2024
Viewed by 1060
Abstract
Water scarcity is an important threat to food security in the Euphrates–Tigris river. Water scarcity is a huge worldwide problem that results from the rapid increase in water demand, which exceeds the amount of available water. The most significant problems currently affecting countries [...] Read more.
Water scarcity is an important threat to food security in the Euphrates–Tigris river. Water scarcity is a huge worldwide problem that results from the rapid increase in water demand, which exceeds the amount of available water. The most significant problems currently affecting countries are food insecurity water scarcity. The Euphrates–Tigris river countries suffer from different political issues, such as the Syrian war and internal civil conflicts in Iraq. In addition, this area consists of only three countries: Iraq, Syria, and Turkey, but it affects the entire Middle East. Turkey has established many irrigation projects compared to Iraq, which still suffers from the previous American invasion. Therefore, this study examines the Euphrates–Tigris river (using two countries) to examine the relationship between water scarcity and food security from 1992 to 2020. This study will be conducted using a fixed and random regression approach over 18 years. The results show a negative relationship between water scarcity and food security in the short run, at a 10% significance level, and a long-term positive relationship of 1%. Thus, the use of research and development and the encouragement of investments will help policymakers to develop a nexus between water scarcity and food security. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Demographics and Regional Economic Development)
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32 pages, 7303 KiB  
Article
Influence of the Russia–Ukraine War and COVID-19 Pandemic on the Efficiency and Herding Behavior of Stock Markets: Evidence from G20 Nations
by Bilal Ahmed Memon, Faheem Aslam, Hafiz Muhammad Naveed, Paulo Ferreira and Omonjon Ganiev
Economies 2024, 12(5), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050106 - 1 May 2024
Viewed by 1386
Abstract
Efficiency in stock markets is essential for economic stability and growth. This study investigates the efficiency and herding behavior of the stock markets from the top economies of the world (known as G20 countries). We classify stock market indices using MSCI classification for [...] Read more.
Efficiency in stock markets is essential for economic stability and growth. This study investigates the efficiency and herding behavior of the stock markets from the top economies of the world (known as G20 countries). We classify stock market indices using MSCI classification for the developed and emerging markets to provide a comparative examination using the latest data and by employing the robust multifractal detrended fluctuation (MFDFA) method. In addition to the full sample, the analysis uses sub-sample periods to reveal the hidden features and efficiencies of the G20 markets during the Russia–Ukraine War and COVID-19 for the first time. The findings show the availability of varied multifractality among all G20 stock markets during the overall and crisis periods, exhibit long-range correlations, and may support the fractal market hypothesis. In addition, Italy remains the least efficient, while Germany remains the most efficient stock market. The sub-sample results further reveal unevenness in the local fluctuations and resultant higher inefficiency considering the sheer magnitude and impact of crises on the G20 stock markets. However, the efficiency of developed stock markets performed better as compared to emerging markets. The study of G20 stock markets is useful and provides several implications for a wider audience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics after the COVID-19)
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16 pages, 316 KiB  
Article
The Nexus between Oil Consumption, Economic Growth, and Crude Oil Prices in Saudi Arabia
by Kolthoom Alkofahi and Jihen Bousrih
Economies 2024, 12(5), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050105 - 29 Apr 2024
Viewed by 956
Abstract
The energy revolution in Saudi Arabia has accelerated significantly since 2016, driven by the National Vision 2030. Significant changes to energy subsidies took place, and the renewable energy sector has seen rapid growth. The paper presents an empirical analysis of the Saudi energy [...] Read more.
The energy revolution in Saudi Arabia has accelerated significantly since 2016, driven by the National Vision 2030. Significant changes to energy subsidies took place, and the renewable energy sector has seen rapid growth. The paper presents an empirical analysis of the Saudi energy transition by emphasizing the drivers of fuel consumption in KSA. It primarily attempts to explore the long-run (LR) connection between oil consumption and several economic variables such as economic growth, crude oil prices, investment, and the labor force in Saudi Arabia (KSA) from 1991 up to 2021. The paper implemented the vector error correction model (VECM) and performed different diagnostic tests to provide more evidence about the validity and robustness of the tests. The empirical findings highlighted how important the labor force, savings, GDP, and crude oil price are in determining oil consumption for KSA. The law of demand is significantly present, which negatively affects oil consumption for KSA as an oil exporting country. The results also supported the existence of a long-term direct correlation between the variables and oil consumption. Furthermore, the short-term estimation highlighted that only saving has a negative impact on oil consumption for a single lagged period. Our findings provide governments and regulators with further incentive to slow the expansion in oil consumption, as a larger labor force is demanding more oil to attain the target, faster economic growth, and increased savings are all contributing factors. Our findings are significant because they can assist policymakers, investors, and regulators in generating more efficient oil substitutes and making them affordable for the economy. Full article
20 pages, 1021 KiB  
Article
Navigating Kazakhstan’s Sustainable Economic Future: A Study of Tech Innovation, Infrastructure, and Resource Management
by Gani Rakhymzhan, Nazym Esbergenovna Dabyltayeva, Gaukhar Sakhanova, Elvira Abdulmitovna Ruziyeva and Assemgul Bauirzhanovna Bekmukhametova
Economies 2024, 12(5), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050104 - 28 Apr 2024
Viewed by 831
Abstract
In a quest to illuminate Kazakhstan’s economic horizon within a sustainable context, this study delved into the complex interplay of sustainable tech innovation, investment in sustainable infrastructure, and natural resource management. The study assesses the potential for green economy development by introducing the [...] Read more.
In a quest to illuminate Kazakhstan’s economic horizon within a sustainable context, this study delved into the complex interplay of sustainable tech innovation, investment in sustainable infrastructure, and natural resource management. The study assesses the potential for green economy development by introducing the adoption of sustainable practices as the mediator and corporate social responsibility as the moderator in the examined relationships. We employed a cluster sampling technique, focusing on government sector employees in Kazakhstan. The choice of this sector stemmed from its pivotal role in shaping national policies. A time-lagged approach was incorporated, collecting data at two distinct time points to capture the dynamic evolution of green initiatives over time. As the data unfolded, sustainable tech innovation, investment in sustainable infrastructure, and natural resource management emerged as significant predictors for adopting environmentally responsible practices leading to green economy development. This development process, we found, was further augmented by the moderating influence of corporate social responsibility. Hence, our findings contribute both practical and theoretical insights to the discourse on sustainable economic development. In addressing the intricate interplay of technological, infrastructural, and resource-related factors, this study provides guidance for Kazakhstan’s ongoing transition towards a more sustainable and resilient economic trajectory. Full article
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18 pages, 383 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on Capital Structure Dynamics: Evidence from GCC Economies
by Amanj Mohamed Ahmed, Deni Pandu Nugraha and István Hágen
Economies 2024, 12(5), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050103 - 26 Apr 2024
Viewed by 976
Abstract
This study seeks to investigate the potential effects of the recent pandemic (COVID-19) on capital structure dynamics. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a fascinating topic for this study because of its distinct economic characteristics. The analysis draws upon a cross-country dataset covering [...] Read more.
This study seeks to investigate the potential effects of the recent pandemic (COVID-19) on capital structure dynamics. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a fascinating topic for this study because of its distinct economic characteristics. The analysis draws upon a cross-country dataset covering 208 non-financial listed firms across five GCC countries, with data spanning the years 2010 to 2022. Capital structure is a dependent variable and is measured by total debt to equity, equity multiplier, and short-term debt ratios, while the COVID-19 pandemic, firm size growth, return on assets, tangibility, and growth were applied as independent variables. Using the generalized least squares (GLS) method, findings demonstrated that COVID-19 has a significant and positive influence on debt-to-equity and equity multiplier ratios but a negative one on short-term debt ratio. Thus, non-financial firms increased their debt financing and transferred debt from short-term to long-term funding. In addition, firm-specific factors, such as firm size, tangibility, and macroeconomic factors, such as GDP growth, positively and significantly impact capital financing. Conversely, profitability has a negative relationship with financial leverage. There is a lack of empirical research on how COVID-19 affects the financial structure of non-financial listed companies in GCC nations. Consequently, by filling the previously specified gaps, this study provides proof to support the idea of using debt financing to raise capital for economic recovery. GCC policymakers need to give priority to ensuring that firms have convenient access to inexpensive finance in light of the financial consequences caused by COVID-19. This will guarantee that companies have the resources necessary to bounce back and support economic growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics after the COVID-19)
24 pages, 4852 KiB  
Article
Fuel Price Networks in the EU
by Fotios Gkatzoglou, Theophilos Papadimitriou and Periklis Gogas
Economies 2024, 12(5), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050102 - 26 Apr 2024
Viewed by 801
Abstract
This study deals with the evolution of fuels’ prices over time in the EU. The central research inquiry revolves around whether there exists any correlation among the trajectories followed by national prices in the gasoline and diesel markets. The EU, and more specifically [...] Read more.
This study deals with the evolution of fuels’ prices over time in the EU. The central research inquiry revolves around whether there exists any correlation among the trajectories followed by national prices in the gasoline and diesel markets. The EU, and more specifically the Euro-Area, by its construction, is treated as an OCA (Optimum Currency Area). In an OCA, certain conditions are met to ensure the smooth functioning of a common currency. The fuel price synchronization is essential because it contributes to the effective implementation of policies and promotes stability across the entire macroeconomy. The study covers the period of 2017–2022. For each type of fuel and year, we construct an individual network where network nodes represent the EU member states while the edges connecting these nodes represent strong temporal fuel price correlations among the member states. The properties of the resulting networks are analyzed within a Complex Network framework. Our goal is twofold: first, to detect any potential convergence or divergence in the trajectories of the prices, and second, to investigate the impact of tax and duty implementation on the co-movements of the prices. The empirical findings show that diesel markets have a more pronounced pattern of price co-movements compared to the gasoline markets. Moreover, the application of fuel taxation policies seems to adversely affect the co-movements of prices. Full article
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18 pages, 466 KiB  
Article
Family Restrictions at Work
by Enriqueta Aragones
Economies 2024, 12(5), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050101 - 26 Apr 2024
Viewed by 793
Abstract
This paper analyzes one of the causes of the current gender-unbalanced situation in the labor market: the discrimination that individuals face at work due to their commitment to unpaid care work. It aims at finding mechanisms that may induce a change from the [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes one of the causes of the current gender-unbalanced situation in the labor market: the discrimination that individuals face at work due to their commitment to unpaid care work. It aims at finding mechanisms that may induce a change from the current unbalanced situation to a world in which males and females are found in more equal shares in all professions and at all levels. I construct a formal model that includes the heterogeneity of individuals regarding their family commitments and I investigate how it affects the individual’s optimal labor market participation. The welfare of individuals with commitment to family duties is reduced for two different reasons: for not being able to participate as much in the labor market and thus receive a lower labor income and for not being able to contribute as much to their family commitments. I compare the results for the female and male sections of the society and I illustrate the observed gender gaps in terms of labor market participation, income levels, and the overall utility obtained. I find that even though the gender wage gap may be alleviated with reductions in the cost associated to unpaid care work, the gender utility gap will persist. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Labour and Education)
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16 pages, 463 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Macroeconomic Effects of Renewable Energy in Tajikistan: An Empirical Analysis
by Mirzosaid Sultonov, Behruz Hasanov, Pirumsho Valizoda and Fumiaki Inagaki
Economies 2024, 12(5), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050099 - 25 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1360
Abstract
Tajikistan holds the eighth position globally in terms of hydropower potential, estimated at 527 terawatt-hours (TWh), with a technically exploitable capacity of 317 TWh. Only 4–6 percent of this immense potential is currently utilized. In this paper, employing a combination of the Johansen [...] Read more.
Tajikistan holds the eighth position globally in terms of hydropower potential, estimated at 527 terawatt-hours (TWh), with a technically exploitable capacity of 317 TWh. Only 4–6 percent of this immense potential is currently utilized. In this paper, employing a combination of the Johansen cointegration test, vector autoregression, and the Granger-causality test on annual data from 1993 to 2021, we examine the causality relationship between electricity production and key macroeconomic variables, including gross domestic product (GDP), GDP per capita, exports, imports, final consumption, capital investment, and employment, in Tajikistan. The empirical findings reveal a positive unidirectional causality from electricity production to exports and imports. A positive bidirectional or feedback causality is found between electricity production and variables such as GDP, GDP per capita, final consumption, and employment. No causality relationship between electricity production and variables such as trade openness and capital investment is observed. The exploration of complex causal relationships between electricity production and key macroeconomic variables in Tajikistan, as revealed in this study, offers a modest yet meaningful addition to academic discourse. It presents insights that may inform policymakers and stakeholders, albeit with a recognition of the limitations inherent in the findings. These insights could potentially guide the formulation of sustainable development strategies and shed light on the underutilized potential of the country’s hydropower resources. Full article
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19 pages, 333 KiB  
Article
The Manufacturing Reshoring Phenomenon: A Policy-Oriented Analysis of Factors Driving the Location Decision
by Xavier Bornert and Dario Musolino
Economies 2024, 12(5), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050100 - 25 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1165
Abstract
For several decades, multinational enterprises (MNEs) have offshored their manufacturing activities to low-cost countries to achieve significant productivity gains. However, changes in the relative competitiveness of countries, social effects of deindustrialization in advanced economies and the vulnerability of global value chains (GVCs) revealed [...] Read more.
For several decades, multinational enterprises (MNEs) have offshored their manufacturing activities to low-cost countries to achieve significant productivity gains. However, changes in the relative competitiveness of countries, social effects of deindustrialization in advanced economies and the vulnerability of global value chains (GVCs) revealed by the COVID-19 pandemic have encouraged some firms, supported by governments, to “reshore” part, or all of their offshore industrial operations back to their home country. Reshoring decisions are motivated by a variety of endogenous and exogenous factors that are empirically analyzed in this paper to understand how reshoring policies implemented by governments can more effectively address the factors driving the firms’ location decisions. A review of the reshoring policies implemented in Europe, the UK and the US is conducted to provide general policy recommendations regarding policy instruments, SMEs, innovation and regionalization of value chains. This paper fills a gap in the literature by connecting the micro-level supply chain management analysis of firms’ reshoring drivers with the macro-level economic policy perspective on reshoring. The review of existing reshoring policies calls for an in-depth analysis by the manufacturing sector and at the local level. Full article
17 pages, 1412 KiB  
Article
Monetary Policy Spillovers and Inter-Market Dynamics Perspective of Preferred Habitat Model
by Abdul Wahid and Oskar Kowalewski
Economies 2024, 12(5), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050098 - 24 Apr 2024
Viewed by 892
Abstract
This study advances the understanding of the Preferred Habitat Model’s capacity to shed light on the inter-market transfer of mean returns and the diffusion of price volatility in Pakistani investment markets. It examines the extent to which returns in one market exert a [...] Read more.
This study advances the understanding of the Preferred Habitat Model’s capacity to shed light on the inter-market transfer of mean returns and the diffusion of price volatility in Pakistani investment markets. It examines the extent to which returns in one market exert a systematic influence on returns across others under the potential sway of interest rate policy shifts, USD exchange rate volatility, and domestic inflation trends. Employing a methodological arsenal that includes the GARCH process, enhanced by Dynamic Conditional Correlations (DCC), as well as the Markov Switching Model, this research assesses the propagation of mean returns and volatility across markets. The analysis uncovers significant linkages between monetary policy and stock market indices, underscoring the profound impact of monetary policy on cross-market performance transmission. These insights are pivotal for regulators overseeing the nuanced interaction between monetary policy and market performance. They are crucial for local and international investors interested in developing economies, especially in Pakistan’s markets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Macroeconomics, Monetary Economics, and Financial Markets)
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36 pages, 1044 KiB  
Article
Tax Complexity and Firm Tax Evasion: A Cross-Country Investigation
by Prianto Budi Saptono, Gustofan Mahmud, Fauzilah Salleh, Intan Pratiwi, Dwi Purwanto and Ismail Khozen
Economies 2024, 12(5), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies12050097 - 24 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1142
Abstract
This paper endeavours to investigate whether a complex tax system influences firms’ propensity toward tax evasion across countries. To achieve the objectives of this study, we utilised the World Bank Enterprise Survey and the World Bank’s Doing Business databases covering more than 46,000 [...] Read more.
This paper endeavours to investigate whether a complex tax system influences firms’ propensity toward tax evasion across countries. To achieve the objectives of this study, we utilised the World Bank Enterprise Survey and the World Bank’s Doing Business databases covering more than 46,000 companies from 83 countries. Our study revealed that the increased time required to pay taxes and higher total tax payments were associated with a greater extent and incidence of tax evasion among firms. The consistency of these benchmark regression results was proven through endogeneity analysis and several robustness tests. Furthermore, our heterogeneity analyses showed that the effect of tax complexity on firm tax evasion was more prominent in low- and lower-middle-income countries and also in the primary industry. These findings offer promising evidence for policymakers, particularly in low- and lower-middle-income countries where the majority of companies operate in the primary industry. Addressing the complexity of the tax system could potentially mitigate the adverse impact on tax evasion levels in these countries. Furthermore, our spatial analysis provides valuable insights, emphasising the potential impact of tax complexity in neighbouring countries and underscoring the necessity for policymakers in the home countries to strategise on harmonising and streamlining their tax systems. Full article
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