This issue of Ekonomika preduzeća opens with a thoughtprovoking paper in the Marketing section written by a trio of authors, Lj. Bojić, L. Tucaković and N. Nikolić. They introduce us to neuromarketing, a relatively new field that bridges neuroscience and marketing, which has often been interpreted as a powerful tool used by corporations to manipulate consumers’ preferences, purchasing behavior, etc. After a comprehensive review of literature as well as the main techniques and applications used in this field, the authors have paid particular attention to ethical issues. Despite many limitations and controversies surrounding it, neuromarketing could have a bright future as a sophisticated approach to understanding and satisfying consumers’ needs provided that ethical concerns are adequately addressed.
In the Management section, B. Mihailović, K. Radosavljević and V. Popović have provided a valuable insight into Serbia’s consulting industry and key drivers of its development. The consulting activities in Serbia as well as in other countries in Central and South-Eastern Europe are mostly triggered by the processes of privatization and reorganization of state-owned enterprises, EU integration, and liberalization. The factor analysis based on the empirical study including a respectable sample of 150 consulting organizations has shown that the three factors had the greatest influence on the development of consulting services in Serbia: managerial capabilities and skills, project activities and transformation of enterprises and markets.
In the first paper in the Tourism section, D. Dimitrovski, M. Leković and M. Đurađević have presented the results of their bibliometric analysis of WoS-indexed scientific papers that dealt with the economic impact of sporting events in the period 2000-2018. They have found that mega-events, such as the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup, attracted a great interest of authors, Tourism Economics achieved the largest production of papers on the researched topic and Tourism Management was the most influential tourism journal. The second paper in this section, written by N. Radović and S. Čerović, has examined the impact of ecologically responsible business management of mountain hotels in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro on their business excellence, evaluated by applying the BEX model. The statistical analysis has demonstrated that the correlation coefficient is very low and that the presumed impact is insignificant. Anyway, the authors have pointed out that these results should not be taken for granted given that as much as 50% of surveyed hotels responded that they did not use renewable energy sources. So, the absence of sustainable practices in the regional hotel industry is certainly a matter of concern. In the last paper dedicated to tourism, I. Trišić, S. Štetić and S. Vujović, have followed the same line of reasoning by outlining the importance of environmental forms of tourism, green procurement, eco-labelling and a responsible economy in general. Their findings indicate that the advantages of green procurement are not sufficiently exploited in Serbia’s hospitalityindustry and that only a small number of facilities possess eco-labels as the warranties of environmentally-friendly and responsible business. Interestingly, they have identified the willingness of hoteliers to change and go green, which could be seen as a ray of light.
In the Economic Growth and Development section, a duo of authors, I. Nikolić and S. Filipović, has compared the effects of the economic policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic implemented in the EU-27 countries and Serbia in 2020 on economic activity, labor market and public debt. The authors have found that the financial value of the economic aid package largely reflects the economic capacity and relative wealth of a country, rather than the depth of the crisis that countries faced. Also, the research has shown a positive interdependence between the financial amount of the economic measures package and public debt as a percentage of GDP and a negative interdependence between the change in unemployment rate and the volume of economic package aid as a share of GDP. The good news is that Serbia’s economy, unlike the Eurozone, recorded moderate debt growth, and that its adequately capitalized banking sector proved to be resistant to credit risk growth. In the second paper in this section, a team of authors, including M. Bakator, D. Ćoćkalo, D. Đorđević and S. Bogetić, have provided an overview of the strategies implemented in resolving both health and economic challenges brought by the COVID-19 crisis. They have concluded that the cumulative efforts of developed and developing countries turned out to have a positive impact on the mitigation of crisis-induced shocks, at least in the short term. Also, the authors have emphasized the resilience of Serbia’s economy and healthcare system as well as the efficiency of undertaken measures. So, this issue of Ekonomika preduzeća closes with a glimmer of hope that better days are ahead of us.
This issue of Ekonomika preduzeća starts with a remarkable paper in the Economic Growth and Development section written by a trio of experts from the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia, M. Kovačević, K. Stančić and S. Jelić. Based on a comprehensive set of data, the authors have analyzed the trends in Serbia’s industrial production sector, identifying the subsectors with the highest inclusion in global value chains and their role in overcoming the crisis and fueling growth, but also the ones that lag behind and need to improve their efficiency to be able to seize the opportunities brought by Industry 4.0.
In the Insurance section, V. Vasić, J. Kočović and M. Koprivica have sought to determine the most relevant ratios for assessing the financial position and performance of non-life insurance companies in Serbia by applying principal component analysis. The empirical results of their research have shown that it is possible to explain 85% of variability of the initially selected thirty-eight ratios with only six representative ratios, which is a valuable input for further research and decision-making in this area.
In the first paper in the Finance section, M. Grujić, B. Mekinjić and D. Vujičić Stefanović have examined the advantages and disadvantages of using the main stock exchange indices and Bitcoin in portfolio optimization. According to these authors, rational institutional investors might take into consideration investing in Bitcoin using the Markowitz portfolio optimization model, but they must be aware of its limitations, bearing in mind that it tends to neglect transaction costs, foreign exchange differences and real value in the stock market. The second paper in this section, written by I. Janković, S. Popović and V. Lukić, provides a critical overview of monetary and fiscal responses to the COVID-19 crisis in the EU and, particularly, in the eurozone. A special focus is placed on Corona bonds, as new join debt instruments, and their potential advantages compared to the European Stability Mechanism.
The Management section of this issue is dedicated to the concept of quality management (QM) and its impact on business performance of Serbian companies. After carrying out extensive research using a respectable sample of companies, V. Milovanović, S. Janošević and M. Paunović have found that the certification of Serbian companies’ QMS to ISO 9001 positively affected their operational and market performance, with the impact intensity dependent upon company size, while its impact on financial performance was examined but not confirmed.
The tourism sector has been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is once again evidenced in the paper presented in the Tourism section. A team of authors, including I. Kovačević, A. Bradić Martinović and G. Petković, has shed light on the COVID-19 impact on the thematic tourism routes based on the empirical examples of cultural and natural Pan-European thematic routes as well as on the importance of the government’s commitment to mitigation measures, including destination promotion support, wage support and utility cost reduction.
In the Law section, a duo of authors, I. Maraš and V. Kozar, has analyzed the existing regulatory framework and practice related to the bankruptcy proceedings and proposed some improvements that could be made to enhance the protection of rights of secured creditors in the bankruptcy debtor asset sales procedure.
Industry 4.0 technological solutions and their implications for logistics have been explored in the last paper of this issue, written by M. Krstić, S. Tadić and S. Zečević and included in the Logistics section. The authors have explained the very concept of Logistics 4.0 or “smart logistics”, along with the most commonly used technological solutions that form the backbone of its development, such as Internet of Things (IoT), Autonomous Vehicles (AV) and Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGV), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and so on.
The COVID-19 pandemic affects the economy in many different ways. Actually, we are faced with a complex crisis, a medical crisis within economic, ecological, geopolitical and social crises. These are extraordinary times with enormous difficulties, where the situation is changing on a daily basis.
Each crisis tends to accelerate deeply-rooted negative trends impacting the economy. For more than four decades the neoliberal model of capitalism and related economic policy platform have been wrongheaded and dangerous. When the economy cannot escape from hibernation, reflation dominates. Quantitative easing and postponed tapering cause near-term inflation bets to surge. Yield inflation and cost inflation are much higher than CPI and core inflation.
Economists don’t have to accept such outcomes. Only the Great Reset could resolve structural imbalances from the past and bring positive outcomes in the future. Definitely, services are not part of the solution during and after pandemic. Global leaders in finance industry in 2020 cut office space by a third and closed half of branches. Moreover, the dilemma what to expect in the post-COVID-19 period when it comes to the workforce (back to work, hybrid work, or any) still remains unresolved. New industrialization based in the Industry 4.0 solutions is the only way of recovery.
Some sceptics might say it is not the time to run the economy, it is time to play political games. In a small and impotent economy such as Serbia’s economy, catalytic role of the state in the Great Reset is imminent. With regard to this issue, the divide between the haves and havenots is visible. The Serbia’s government forecasts 6% growth for 2021. This forecast comes as a result of very strong momentum of -1% growth in 2020, which is very encouraging data point in the context of pandemic. With this edition of Ekonomika preduzeća we have launched big (and feasible) ideas for the Great Reset in the case of Serbia. The key ingredient in an emerging heterodox approach is a balance between the “visible hand” of state and the “invisible hand” of market. Because the heterodox approach treats core policies in a structural way, we give priority in analysis to industrial or structural policies.
In the first Introductory Paper, a duo of authors, D. Đuričin and I. Vuksanović Herceg, presented three big ideas to make the Great Reset happen in Serbia based on heterodox approach (in-house development of ICT components of intelligent production systems and products, implementation of net-zero carbon technologies, and creation of manufacturing and service hub for health care providers). In the second Introductory Paper, the governor of the NBS J. Tabaković, explained how Serbia entered the COVID-19 crisis, based on a long series of macroeconomic data, and what measures the NBS has taken in coordination with the Treasury to mitigate the last crisis.
In the second part of this edition the focus consistently alternates between structural and core policies. We have started with structural perspective. A duo of authors, B. Paunović and Z. Aničić, discussed the impact of the pandemic on innovations and SMEs. In core policies segment M. Labus dealt with former recession episodes in Serbia covering the period 2006-2020 with the aim of comparing macroeconomic indicators in the related period with the COVID-19 period, as well as DSGE model which was updated. In micro segment, a trio of authors, M. Arandarenko, D. Aleksić and D. Lončar discussed the impact of direct investments on labor market. In macro segment, D. Vujović confronted the standard IMF conceptual platform and policy response in times of crisis with new approaches taking into account negative external effects, public goods, sustainable development goals and related issues. S. Ranđelović discussed three key forces in the COVID-19 crisis driving derailment of the economy from sustainable path, fiscal policy response, non-medical measures and the economy structure. The group of authors from FEFA under the leadership of N. Savić, apart from unconventional core economic policies, reaffirmed the role of industrial policy as the highest goal for recovery, this time by using cluster approach. V. Kostić addressed the issue related to the fight in talent management between domestic and foreign ICT companies, from fiscal perspective. Finally, the group of authors under the leadership of J. Antanasijević pointed out untapped export opportunities in post pandemic period.
This edition of Ekonomika preduzeća starts with a contextual topic in the Economics of Organizations and Industries section. J. Minović, V. Aleksić and S. Stevanović explore the causal relationship between institutional quality measures and real gross domestic product (GDP) growth in SEE (South East Europe) countries in the 1996-2016 period. The authors indicate that there is a unidirectional homogeneous causality from political stability to real GDP growth, from the control of corruption to government effectiveness, from the rule of law to the control of corruption and from government effectiveness to political stability. The second paper in this section, written by G. Kokeza and M. Paunović, analyzes the characteristics of intellectual capital, competitiveness and industrial policies of innovation-intensive sectors in Serbia.
The authors conclude that further development of innovation-intensive sectors implies the application of appropriate industrial policies specific for containing the elements of both vertical and horizontal policies which should focus on encouraging development and innovation. In their paper, I. Domazet, D. Marjanović, D. Ahmetagić, and M. Bugarčić analyze the correlations and conditionality of exports of HTP (share of exports in total country exports) and selected indicators that have an impact on innovation: GDP, R&D costs, degree of education of the population, number of researchers (in four sectors) and the global innovation index. The results of the research indicate that if the analyzed countries do not find resources to intensify investment in education and R&D, they will not reach the average EU innovation indicators for many years ahead.
In the Tourism section, S. Vujović, N. Vujić, J. Premović and M. Kalinić determine the relationship between socio-demographic variables and the respondents’ opinions on the advantages of Belgrade’s tourist offer over other European capitals as tourist destinations. In the second paper, a trio of authors, A. Đorđević, S. Topalović, and V. Marinković, analyzes the effects of four dimensions of perceived value (functional, economic, emotional and social) on the loyalty of service users in hotel and tourism industries. The results of the research show that out of the four dimensions of perceived value, two key dimensions (emotional and social) have a statistically significant influence on the loyalty of hotel service users.
In the Finance section, S. Drljača Kanazir estimates the degree of systemic risk exposure of the Serbian banking sector’s loan portfolio in the period from 2008Q4 to 2019Q3, observed also in terms of the main commercial segments (corporate and retail). The results of the research corroborated the truthfulness of both hypotheses, which has a multifold significance for commercial banks’ management, as well as for macroeconomic and macroprudential policymakers. In the International Economics section, A. Kemiveš and L. Barjaktarović examine the impact of external factors on the dynamics of foreign direct investment (FDI) trends in specific economies. Finally, M. Petrović, D. Rajin, D. Milenković and D. Marić examine in their paper the influence of eWOM on factors such as social norms, initial trust, perceived usefulness, ease of use, attitude and intention of using mobile banking in the territory of 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.
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