This edition of Ekonomika preduzeća covers a vast array of topics, both of national as well as broader (regional or global) character. The first paper in the Organization and Management section written by O. Abidi, V. Dženopoljac and S. Janošević represents an ex-plorative study of the impact of firm characteristics on FDI within Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Research propositions stipulate the role of firm-specific variables in explaining the regional expansion of MENA companies through FDI.
In the Finance section, a trio J. Kočović, M. Koprivica and B. Paunovićdeals with initial effects of Solvency II implementation in the member states of the EU, while respecting the macroeconomic environment in which it is implemented. Although Serbia is not an EU member, the effects of this concept are also relevant to the domestic insurance market, due to reinsurance business, the presence of insurers belonging to insurance groups based in the EU, and the gradual integration of parts of the EU regulations into the local legal framework within the accession process. The authors identify the key problems that have emerged in the first year of Solvency II application and propose possible ways to overcome them.
In the second paper in this section G. Radosavljević examines the relationship between the level of fiscal decentralization and economic growth across Serbian local self-governments over the 2002-2011 period by using a panel data approach with fixed effects. The author’s results suggest that there is a modest positive impact of fiscal decentralization on local economic growth in that period in Serbia.
In the Tax and Law section, J. Perović analyzes the rules concerning the limitations on liability for the loss arising out of business contracts from the perspective of the principle of full compensation and its limitations by the foreseeability rule. Given that the contractual liability may apply only if no circumstances that exclude it have occurred, the paper provides a careful analysis of the rules of the Law on the exemption of liability, as well as contractual clauses on the exclusion and limitation of liability in terms of their validity and legal effects.
In the second paper in this section, N. Krstić and J. Protić review the effects of the implementation of the Law on Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities from the business perspective. A survey involving companies from various sectors and sizes was conducted, and the results are cross-referenced with the findings from interviews with selected employers and representatives of the state administration. The authors detect various obstacles with the employers regarding misunderstanding as to how the Law should be applied, along with the imbalance between the needs of the labor market and the number and quality of employable persons with disabilities.
The first paper in the Transition and Restructuring section, written by I. Popović Petrović and P. Bjelić, explores the implementation and existing obstacles from the Trade Facilitation domain in the CEFTA 2006 countries. The authors focus on TF measures and show that many possibilities and burdens are still present. They provide concrete proposals like investing in TF instruments that could elevate the trade volume increase in this region.
The second paper in this section, by M. Šestović, K. Radosavljević and B. Chroneos Krasavac, assesses the impact of IPA funds on the country’s competitiveness considering data on funds specifically intended for agriculture (IPARD), and their impact on the export of agricultural products to beneficiary countries. In addition, analyses of available data on starting a business and trading across borders, and their correlation with data on absorption of IPA funds, were used to determine the importance of EU pre-accession funds for a country’s competitiveness.
In the last paper, S. Milićević, S. Cvetanović and D. Despotović investigate the movement of competitiveness of industry in 212 countries of the world measured by the amount of manufacturing value added per capita during the period from 1970 to 2015. The authors show that the productivity in industry of developed countries is significantly higher than the average productivity of world industry, which is a specific confirmation of their competitive superiority.
Just like wisdom, science cannot be created in a day. It takes time and effort. Given the fact, it was our pleasure and honor to welcome a distinguished professor Lj. Madžar to present his article in the Introduction section of this edition of Ekonomika preduzeća. Growth is one of the greatest concerns in macroeconomics. In his cognizable manner, the author takes us along a voyage through history in order to be able to understand better the roots of sclerotic growth in post-socialist countries. Employment is the second keyword in macroeconomics. Readers of Ekonomika preduzeća will easily spot the strand between the second Introductory paper and the previous polemics about labor market statistics in Serbia carried on by P. Petrović and his co-authors on one hand, and M. Arandarenko with co-authors on the other. In this edition, M. Kovačević, Director of the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia, together with V. Pantelić and D. Aleksić, continues this interesting story that has many layers and perspectives. The authors made an effort to present rather technical but useful details. Truth is never simple and at one pole. We strive to be a journal that promotes the values of scientific arguments, not the power of position, and thus welcome readers to be the judges in this truly interesting and important debate.
In the first paper in the Finance section, K. Đulić, L. Barjaktarović, R. Pindžo and A. Vjetrov analyze the pecking order theory implementation and both the internal and external factors influencing the companies’ debt policy on a sample of 65 companies in Serbia surveyed during 2015. The authors’ results confirm the already identified structural imbalance of Serbia’s economy, and show that the restrictive and costly credit policy of the banks in Serbia influences the companies’ limited access to external sources of capital. In the same section, M. Lazarević examines the treatment of credit risk in the post-crisis reform of the Basel rules. The author reveals major deficiencies and anomalies in calculating risk-weighted assets that the empirical analyses have demonstrated and elaborates the need for radical modification of the credit risk framework.
In the Transition and Restructuring section, S. Rapaić explores whether the FDI inflow of over 20 billion euros contributed to the economic development of Serbia in the 2001-2013 period. The paper tells an interesting story about privatization in Serbia, foreign capital and the gap between desirable and actual outcomes.
In the Information Technology section, a duo of authors – A. Zečević and J. Radović-Stojanović analyze the usage of information and communication technologies in enterprises in Serbia in comparison with the EU Member States. In this paper, the readers can find data proving that the accomplished level of the usage of ICT in enterprises in Serbia is above the European average, yet still below the level of the developed EU economies. When cloud computing services and the development of web-based sales are considered, Serbia is still lagging behind the analyzed sample.
In the first paper in the Marketing section, A. Đorđević and V. Marinković analyze the hospitality industry in Serbia with particular focus on boutique tourism. Empirical data are the basis for econometrical modeling to identify satisfaction drivers of vacation-traveling tourists. In the second paper in this section, I. Domazet and I. Stošić explore the basic characteristics of competitive forces in the after-sales market of motor vehicles in Serbia. They pointed out the role of after-sale services during the period of use of vehicles in the demand dynamics.
This edition of Ekonomika preduzeća consists of seven papers.
In the first paper in the section Organization and Management, M. Knežević, S. Čerović, D. Borovčanin and A. Unković identify weaknesses and advantages of the selected hotel attributes by analysis of the guests’ importance and performance evaluation. The respondents were accommodated in four and five-star hotels in Serbia. In order to identify the weak points that could enablemanagers to raise the quality of services, the authors used the IPA method (Importance-Performance Analysis). The results reveal that guests are generally satisfied with the hotel attributes they consider highly important, while this is not the case with those less important. The second paper in this section, written by I. Kovačević, deals with convention bureau as the most dominant form of destination management organization (DMO). The methodology is based on interviews that were carried out with convention bureau professionals with the aim of classifying all activities that were defined through literature review into logic groups, each with an understandable objective – coordination of destination stakeholders, destination marketing and destination sales. For each group of convention bureau destination management activities, the author proposes a list of sub-activities.
In the Law and Taxes section, S. Aćimović and V. Mijušković analyze the regulatory framework which provides development guidelines for green initiatives. The relevant EU directives focused on regulating specific issues and areas of managing the green supply chain are treated in detail, as well as the legislative framework in Serbia. The authors explored to which degree the Serbian regulatory framework recognizes, appreciates and encourages implementation of green initiatives within the supply chain and what the general position of this framework is compared to the one set by the EU.
In the Transition and Restructuring section, a trio of authors, E. Manić, Đ. Mitrović and S. Popović, analyze regional disparities in Serbia regarding the factors of external environment that create different conditions for business development, primarily for SMEs development. Different economic, demographic and social factors were taken into consideration by using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). The composite index, Regional Development Index (RDI), was created in order to identify the main disparities within the existing economic counties in Serbia. The authors demonstrated the expected results in most of the analyzed counties (north-south development axis), but in some cases, there were certain deviations.
In the Informational Technology section, M. Sakal, L. Raković and V. Vuković provide answers to the following questions: Are spreadsheets used in SMEs and to what extent? How great is the significance of spreadsheets in respondents’ regular activities? In which situations and for what purpose do respondents use spreadsheets in SMEs? The research encompassed 213 respondents from 147 Serbian SMEs.
In the Marketing section, N. Krstić, D. Lalić and D. Vujičić explore the state of digital marketing within the business marketing function of the leading advertisers, based on the research question: Has digital marketing in Serbia become an integral part of the strategic marketing function in its organizational, functional and budgetary terms? The findings suggest that in Serbia, similar to the global trends, trust in both traditional and digital marketing performance measurement remains an issue, as does the ability to develop digital talents and to overcome the drag of legacy technologies.
In the last paper in this edition, included in the Case Study section, N. Lojanica investigates the position of Serbian researchers in the market of economic journals that belong to the M20 category. The author reveals that journals from the most developed countries have a dominant role in the market and that Serbian researchers publish the results of their studies primarily in neighboring countries. The author recommends bringing eminent journals into the focus of Serbian researchers, but also to encourage further development of domestic journals so that they could be more active in the international market.
Transition is once again in the spotlight. We know that transitional chaos is a topic that many readers have heard enough about. However, after fiscal consolidation in 2016, Serbia finally has the chance to escape more than a quarter-of-century long freefall due to transitionism (never-ending transition). As a result, in this edition of Ekonomika preduzeća we invited our most prolific and acclaimed authors to produce groundbreaking analyses on how to fix the economy in Serbia.
Breaking away from transitionism requires a complex reform agenda with three sets of activities: annulation of past failures, adaptation of the new policy framework and investment in structural changes. We intend to provide evidence-based answers by discussing all the relevant details from both macro and micro perspective, and their interconnections in particular. It is an attempt to create a framework from the ground up, primarily from the microeconomic viewpoint. To understand what causes growth, one must look inside industry structure and behavior of the main competitors, as well as to establish the framework from the ground up to adjust their risk appetites to the macroeconomic fundamentals.
In the Introductory Paper, after observing lessons learnt from previous mistakes and the emerging new normality, as well as megatrends in the global economy, D. Đuričin searches for the best ideas on how to restart Serbia’s growth engine by employing the heterodox policy framework as a valuable alternative to the neo-liberal (or orthodox) policy framework. After fiscal consolidation, the author particularly emphasizes the complementarity of the industrial policy for tradable sectors and the pro-growth monetary and income-neutral fiscal policy. In the Macroeconomics section, D. Vuj ov i ć, P. P e t r o v i ćet al., M. Labus, J. Tabaković, D. Šoškić, S. Ranđelović and V. Vučković et al. work jointly on the structural fault lines in the economy, as well as in the institutional setting for the sake of defining a sound and pro-growth economic policy platform necessary for escaping the transitional trap. Positive aspects of fiscal consolidation and monetary stability are presented, but some of the remaining pitfalls are brought to light in more detail.
Perhaps the most important insight into the problem, one which is based both on theory and real-life examples of fiscal consolidation, is offered by the Minister of Finance, D. Vujović. He provides a thorough analysis of the fiscal consolidation since 2015, reveals the main achievements and points to the accomplishments which yet remain to be attained. To provide a complete picture of the abovementioned reforms, P. Petrović, Chairman of the Fiscal Council, with two co-authors, D. Brčarević and S. Minić, as the voice of caution, indicates the gaps that Serbia still needs to fill in, despite the encouraging progress in economic and fiscal trends, in order to attain healthy public finances. The authors underline that the observed improvements rest primarily on short-term and unplanned factors that are easily exhausted. The reality will prove them right or invalidate their statements.However, the results of the consolidation reform could be interpreted correctly only if they are measured in a correct manner. If we do not measure something, we cannot manage or improve it, the axiom holds. But if we measure things incorrectly, the results might be the same. The problem, as M. Labus demonstrates, is that we simply do not measure GDP in the proper manner. The author shows how nowcasting can provide timely GDP estimates one or two months after the end of the quarter. This is in stark contrast to the current methodology, providing reliable and revised estimates only at the end of the following year.
What does the Governor of the National Bank of Serbia, J. Ta b a k o v i ć , has to say about the monetary system? Quite a lot, as it turns out. The author elaborates the policy-measure set that reached the main monetary targets: inflation control, FX stability and stability of the financial system. Is there room for improvement in the domain of monetary policy and functioning of the financial system? In his paper, the former Governor of Serbia’s central bank, D. Šoškić, intends to check the abovementioned paper’s factsheets. The author analyzes specific problems of monetary economics and the financial system’s status quo and offers recommendations. The following two papers examine the growth issue observed through the fiscal lens. S.Ranđelović examines the factors of well-established shadow economy in Serbia compared to other CEE countries and identifies key elements of the effective strategy aimed at boosting tax compliance and tax morale. Additional analysis of the fiscal policy and shadow economy comes from a trio – V. Vučković, S. Vučković, and M. Stefanović. The authors map out general directions of desirable tax administration reform and explore new regulatory solutions.
In the Microeconomics section, A. Trbovich et al., E. Jakopin, I. Vuksanović, Z. Mihajlović, S. Kisić-Zajčenko, D. Lončar et al. and G. Petković et al. deal with different framework and sector-based analyses coupled with proposed policy measures. This section addresses competitiveness improvement from the industrial policy perspective, and its different horizontal layers, such as innovation, science and technology policy, building up entrepreneurial skills, as well as the vertical policies targeting manufacturing, transport, health care, trade, and tourism.Specifically, a trio of authors – A . Trb ov i ch, N. Savićand Z. Kukić deals with digital transformation and technological development in Serbia with the emphasis on the ICT and software engineering education. Technical competence, educational background and working conditions of software developers in Serbia are in focus of the paper. E. Jakopin, guides us through RIS3 smart specialization process as a way for the government to foster innovation in the manufacturing sector. The role of the government in promoting economic activity and innovation in particular sectors of the economy, or in the economy as a whole, remains unclear as the debate on the topic is still ongoing. I. Vuksanović proposes a new approach to the industrial policy that reconciles opposing attitudes and clears away most of the stumbling blocks. A matrix approach where horizontal, framework-based policies are intersected with vertical, sector-based policies is applied to the Serbian case. In the block of more specialized papers, Deputy Prime Minister, Z. Mihajlović explores critical points of defining and realizing Serbian transport policy. In her p ap e r, S. Kisić-Zajčenko analyzes preconditions for youth entrepreneurship, both on institutional and financial level, and provides guidelines for a horizontal policy aimed at enlarging entrepreneurial skills and the education base. D. Lončarand F. S t o j a n o v i ć provide a gap analysis of the health system in Serbia compared with the best practices in Europe, and offer a number of recommendations for improving the efficiency of spending public money. The last paper is dedicated to social trade and tourism. Trio of authors – G. Petković, B. Knežević and R. Pindžo introduces cases of socially responsible entrepreneurship in Serbia and Croatia. Responsibility toward society and toward nature are the final pillars supporting a circular economy that might be, from today’s viewpoint, the very distant vision we are striving toward.
Accurate analysis unlocks an entire cascade of opportunities that will accelerate the pace of growth, a central issue of the future economic policy in Serbia.
Savez ekonomista Srbije je (SES) nevladino i neprofitabilno udruženje ekonomista Srbije osnovano 1947. godine radi ostvarivanja ciljeva u oblasti unapređenja ekonomske nauke i prakse u Srbiji. SES okuplja ugledne ekonomiste iz akademskih i poslovnih krugova, kao i najznačajnije kompanije iz realnog i finansijskog sektora.
SAVEZ EKONOMISTA SRBIJE
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