Volume 44 / 2017
Gheorghe ZAMAN, Luminița IONESCU
Abstract: The aim of the paper is to provide an overview of the evolution of the accounting culture in the last decades and it shows how accounting became an efficient instrument for preventing discrimination in vulnerable communities. The role of the accountant became very important after the 2008 financial crises, in the cultural context of accounting. Accounting culture can be passed down through generations, nationality or written rules, but it can be influenced by the national and international rules, values and traditions. European accounting has a long history, going back to the Italian mathematician Luca Pacioli who was the first researcher to publish a work on the double-entry system of accounting, to the modern European regulation of a growing importance for the EU Member States. The European accounting culture has a strong influence on the Romanian accounting profession. The Romanian accounting system has been influenced by French and English systems in the process of regulation, during the transition to market economy.Each European country has its own accounting body or accounting qualification and all citizens, with no discrimination, may apply for the admission exam if they have an academic degree in economic studies. The vast majority of firms, irrespective of their size, are interested in hiring a professional accountant based on his/her experience, professional knowledge and skills in order to offer high quality services.Despite the fact that accountancy is considered a “male-dominated” profession in most of the countries and there are issues about payment and gender discrimination against both women and men, in Romania, the accounting profession is modern, open and influenced by the economic and social evolution of the Romanian society. In our opinion, there is no gender, race, disability or age discrimination preventing the candidates? access to the Romanian accounting profession and there are also no restrictions to entering or exiting the European market. This research is based on the analysis of the data collected by means of two questionnaires responded by 100 students and accountants from Bucharest and the suburbs in order to understand whether discrimination impacts (or not) on the vulnerable communities.
Keywords: discimination; education and inequality; government; accounting.
Classification-JEL: J71; I24; M41; M48.
THE EU FUNDED MARGIN PROJECT: TACKLE INSECURITY IN MARGINALIZED AREAS. FIRST RESULTS ON THE PERCEPTION OF INSECURITY IN FIVE EU COUNTRIES
Abstract: This paper presents the results achieved by the MARGIN EU funded Project (started in May 2015) to date. This transnational and multi-sector research on the perceptions of (in)security among different demographic and victims groups has been funded by the EU Horizon 2020 Programme and it involves 7 leading institutions in social researches from 5 EU countries (Spain, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Hungary). MARGIN overall objectives are: 1) to identify, validate and analyze factors influencing public and personal perception of insecurity; and 2) to analyze the relationship between socio-economic inequalities, victimization and crime, exploring the impact of insecurity among different demographic and socio-economic groups. The project compares and analyses two different sources (police and criminal justice recorded crime - PRCs - and CVS, crime and victimisation surveys data) that usually are treated separately. It also analyses the relation between socio-economic inequalities, victimization and crime and investigates the relevance of neighborhood effects on the public and personal assessment of insecurity. The aim is to provide qualitative information about how citizens assess their own security and to explore the socio-political potential of CVSs as a tool for policy-makers. Analyzing PRCs and CVSs in 5 countries, MARGIN firstly identified a series of demographic, socio-economic and socio-geographic variables influencing the perception of insecurity. On this basis, the project developed and validated a thematic module capable to assess the impact of those variables on the perception of insecurity. On July 2016, the data collection process started and the quantitative survey using the MARGIN module has been implemented on a sample of 15.400 citizens in Italy through the CATI method, including a CAMI and CAWI correction plan.In order to take into account the qualitative aspects and to identify possible cross-cultural differences among the countries, direct random interviews have been held on a limited sample of population living in 5 selected EU cities (100 citizens in each city). The large-scale survey in Italy has been concluded in October 2016 and the data are now under process and analysis in order to: 1) explore the cross-cultural potential of the module; 2) provide a set of validated indicators enabling the assessment of insecurity among different demographic and socioeconomic groups. By deepening the understanding of the root causes of insecurity, the research will provide policy makers with evidence-based tools for developing and assessing strategies targeted at better facing risks and increasing the public and personal perception of security.
Keywords: perception of insecurity; victimization; large and small-scale surveys.
Classification-JEL: K42; O17; Z13.
Valentina VASILE, Mihaela MIHAI, Daniela-Ioana MANEA, Emilia ȚIȚAN, Cristina BOBOC
Abstract: Social exclusion may manifest through spatial concentration of deprived population in communities located in certain areas. The globalization has reshaped the social and spatial geography of cities which led to major implications for research on social exclusion. Thus, in any practical formulation of social inclusion policies, it is necessary to consider the idea that social exclusion is inherently spatial. By addressing the territorial dimension of social exclusion, some important theoretical issues about the interaction of the two concepts ("social" and "space") are analyzed. Based on theoretical-conceptual contributions developed recently, this paper analyzes this dimension of social exclusion.
Keywords: social exclusion; spatiality; the rate of overcrowding
Classification-JEL: H75; J61; I23; R23
Abstract: Although many recent studies have approached the topic of criminality, the regional dimension of the phenomenon is still under research. This paper employs a variety of statistical methods, from descriptive statistics to convergence and spatial econometrics, in an attempt to explore criminality rate in Romania, at county level, over 1990-2014. The analysis revealed that developed counties tend to have higher criminality rates, with Ilfov County and Bucharest Municipality frequently on top positions, and the county rankings are relatively stable in the short run. Against expectations, the regression models that have been estimated could not provide enough support for the GDP per capta (proxy for development level) as a statistically significant factor of influence on criminality rate in all years, but the explanatory variable “criminality rate in previous year” proved to be positive and highly significant in all models, indicating the relative inertia of this phenomenon.
Keywords: criminality rate; spatial model; county; Romania.
Classification-JEL: R10; R12; R58.
FINANCING REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND COMPETITIVNESS: PROBLEMS AND CHALLENGES AT MACRO AND MICRO LEVEL IN BULGARIA
Abstract: The paper discusses the contemporary regional development of Bulgaria and regional financing by different national sources and European funds. The compliance with the EU requirements for attaining targeted results in specifically programmed priority areas is revealed as a driving force for improving the financial governance of regional development. The main tasks are to analyse the problems and prospects of the different types of regional development financing, their interdependence and overall impact on the regional production structures and social development. The issues of the efficiency and effectiveness of the decentralisation of public finances are analysed within the framework of the goals of sustainable regional development.
By revealing the mechanisms and instruments of public financing the regional development some conclusions are made for the enhancement of fiscal coordination between the municipalities? and central Government authorities. The implementation of additional measures for more strict fiscal discipline at local level is considered with regard to improving the solvency of the municipalities„budgets and enhancing the capacity of the municipalities to manage their debts? repayment problems. Overcoming the shortage of municipalities'funding commitments and difficulties of meeting the obligations to serve due costs is discussed as an opportunity to improve the local finances. The role of public governance is revealed in order to consider the problems and future prospects for financing regional development.
The methodology of the study involves the comparative analysis of the macro and micro financing of regional development and institutional and legal analysis of forms and schemes of public financing. In conclusion some problems and prospects are drawn for the public governance of Bulgaria in support of financing regional development.
Keywords: regional development, regional planning, Government budget transfers, municipalities' own resources, EU funds for regional development.
Classification-JEL: R1; R5; H5; H7; L6; F46.
Abstract: Industrial, economic, scientific and cultural development was spread over the whole country, including distant rural areas. Self-contained, independent Soviet economy called for a differentiation in industry and education. To provide for the new demands new educational establishments were being built, new specialists in various fields of industry and science were being prepared. Women were encouraged to work in the system of science and higher education. The greatest influx of women to Russian science occurred soon after World War II. The formation of a new, self-conscious female personality was under way. The Soviet state was in need of women?s hands and wits to realize the economic modernization. At the same time, the Soviet power could not free the women-scientists from the household responsibilities and delegate these functions to the state.
Keywords: economic; social and cultural impact; migration processes; qualified specialists
Classification-JEL: H75; J61; I23; R23.
FOLLOW THE MONEY. THE IMPACT OF THE ILLICIT FINANCIAL FLOWS HOME AND ABROAD. A COMMON EUROPEAN-AFRICAN PERSPECTIVE
Abstract: The recently documented impact of Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) challenged global organisations to propose solutions and sign agreements. Multilateral conventions and international cooperation programmes were placed on agendas by global organisations like OECD, IMF, G20, World Bank. Combatting IFF combines the purposes of addressing vulnerabilities, protecting people and resources, bringing financial stability, economic development, human development and diminishing crime. IFF is primarily of a political nature, however it happens because of money laundering, trade mispricing, bad financial reporting, tax avoidance, shell companies, etc. As well as being an African issue, IFF is a European one as well. Regional bodies like the European Parliament and African Union are specifically addressing the effecting issues further. In the process of legislation making, under the umbrella of the ACP-EU Parliamentary Partnership, is the Stolojan-Kaba report on the Impact of Illicit Financial Flows on Development Finance. This piece of legislation is of particular importance as it shows common interest and two-headed leadership from both the EU and African side. The purpose of this article is to analyse the policy coherence on the subject matter around the world and how efforts done separately, home and abroad, are put together. A second purpose of the article is to follow the money by presenting the accountability dimension of accounting and discover who is paying the price.
Keywords: illicit financial flows; policy; European Union; African Union.
Classification-JEL: G28; H87.
THE ROLE OF PARTICIPATORY APPROACH IN REDUCING SOCIAL VULNERABILITY. THE EXAMPLE OF A SOCIAL INTERVENTION AIMING AT THE RE-HOUSING OF FAMILIES BELONGING TO A MARGINALIZED ROMA COMMUNITY
Olimpiu Bela LACATUS, Júlia ADORJÁNI, Ágnes DAVID-KACSÓ, Imola ANTAL, Gabriella TONK
Abstract: The paper explores the issue of how social interventions in deeply marginalized communities should be conceived in order to prevent further victimization of the most vulnerable groups within the community: children and women. The analysis relies on the example of a pilot project, which is implemented in one of the most marginalized and stigmatized Roma communities in Romania. Within the housing component of the pilot project, participatory social housing will be piloted in the context of coordinated intervention. 32 apartments outside the marginalized area will be built/purchased, destined exclusively to the marginalized communities in case. Since the number of housing units achieved within the project represents only approximately 10% of the total amount of housing units needed for the spatial desegregation of the communities living at present in the marginalized area, we face the issue of having to select those families, which could benefit from these apartments. At present, the Romanian public and private system of social assistance is not capable of ensuring the necessary support, either in terms of social services or in terms of financial support, in order to surpass complex situations of vulnerability of families living in marginalized communities. Therefore, even if the project promotes the principle of the right to housing, the methodology fits into a housing ready policy. Without the intention to “reward” those who have more resources at their disposal, we needed to create an accession system, which is at the same time a complex system for assessing the needs and resources of the families filing for a social apartment. The project methodology adopts the perspective of rights, with express emphasis on children?s rights, and a systemic approach, which takes into account various levels of intervention. The paper presents and analyzes the participatory methodology used to create the accession system for the social housing. For this, we adopt the critical perspective, the model of structuralism and the notion of „structural violence? in order to explain the interconnectedness of the community dynamics and institutional mechanisms that enhance vulnerability instead of reducing it. The participatory approach overarched the different phases of the intervention on both community and institutional level: the assessment of housing needs, the assessment of needs before and after moving to the social houses, and the development of eligibility and evaluation criteria. The paper advocates the participatory approach allowing the counterbalancing of power relationships not just between the community and the institutions, but also inside the community, thus attempting to protect the most vulnerable members of the community. The paper also reflects on the difficulties and limits of the participatory approach, and raises awareness on the institutional responsibility when creating the context and reality of participation.
Keywords: participatory approach; social inclusion; housing; social vulnerability; children's rights; structural violence; marginalized community; spatial desegregation.
Classification-JEL: J71; J78; R23.
WOMEN, CHILDREN AND TERRORISM: SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL COSTS (EMPIRICAL INVESTIGATION FROM PAKISTAN 2002-2015)
Zaman BUSHRA, Amin AMJAD
Abstract: Today terrorism is confronted by the contemporary world in different forms and shapes. After the invasion of Afghanistan by the U.S and alliances of Pakistan with the U.S against Taliban, the socio-economic and political culture of Pakistan has completely changed. Pakistan is a participant in this Global War on Terror (GWO) for the last twelve years and trying to do more. This paper provides an exploratory analysis of victimization due to terrorism in Pakistan. The focus is on two questions; what are the latest challenges in form of victimization due to the evil of terrorism? And what key lessons and prevention can be to Pakistan in this terror situation? In today?s 21st century?s discourse of global terrorism, Pakistan spanning the border of Afghanistan is exposed to militancy and extremism. Today, about 50 Taliban groups are stationed and are hiding in seven different agencies of FATA in the name of Tehrik-e-Taliban (Al-Qaida), committing terrorism. By the year 2012-13, more than 52000 people including militants, civilians and law enforcing agencies have been killed. It has worst affects especially on the women and children of the area, who are the most vulnerable community. Consequently, direct cost is paid in the form of socio-economic and political instability. However not enough work has not been undertaken to highlight the socio economic and political implications of terrorism in Pakistan. This study has undertaken government effectiveness, political stability, foreign direct investment, primary level school enrolment of women and terrorism as the variables of primary concern along with graphs for a time period of 2001-02 to 2015. The findings emphasized that cost of war is mainly paid by women and children in public. Local government?s inability to provide security and political instability are the other major factors that contributed towards victimization in country.
Keywords: terrorism; victimization; government effectiveness; political stability; primary level school enrolment of women.
Classification-JEL: I24; I28; K37.
Marian Cătălin VOICA
Abstract: Financial inclusion is one of the recent tools used by financial entities in order to provide suitable education for potential clients from groups of society that have a low level of education, in general, and almost no financial , in particular. Financial inclusion actions aim at explaining to lower educated groups of people and the mechanisms of the financial instruments that they can access in order to improve their day-to-day life. These programs are targeted towards people that are exposed to the risk of poverty and social exclusion. According to Universal Financial Access 2020, around 2 billion people from the global workforce do not use any form of financial services. As a result, the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation set the target to include 400 million adults in transactions by providing technical and financial support in the case of the World Bank and help 600 million adults to be included in investments and advisory services in the case of the International Financial Corporation. The highest impact of financial inclusion programs will be made in emerging countries with low economic literacy. As sustainable development became the highlight of nowadays agenda, financial inclusion may be viewed as an important tool to promote sustainable development in least developed countries and developing ones. As financial inclusion became a target for regulators and global development agencies, many countries around the world made commitments and some were developing national strategies to promote it. The development of financial inclusion may take on many forms, so the field is open to financial and non-financial institutions, which can innovate and explore new forms of financial services, like the case of microfinance that became very used in many developing and developed countries as a tool to lift people from poverty. Alongside with this free development space there needs to be a body to ensure consumer protection and responsible practices.
Classification JEL: G34; I22.
Teodora Cristina BARBU, Iustina Alina BOITAN, Sorin Iulian CIOACA, Carmen OBREJA
Abstract: The topic of financial inclusion has gained increased attention, on the background of international frameworks and policies devoted to inclusive societies, inclusive financial systems, sustainable and inclusive growth. However, existing literature and practice lack a generally accepted, reliable and easy to interpret quantitative measure of financial inclusion. The novelty of our paper relies on developing a financial inclusion index, comprising an updated set of indicators which account for current developments of the financial industry and the continuous diversification and complementarity of financial products people have access to. It is the first study comprising all the 28 EU countries and covering a large, recent time horizon (2008-2013). The index has been computed for each year considered and a ranking has been provided to comparatively assess the evolution of a given country on the financial inclusion scale. Our findings revealed that one-third of EU countries show moderate financial inclusion, while the remaining ones depict low financial inclusion, with different degrees of severity. A constant presence at the bottom limit of financial inclusion, in each of the six years, has been Romania. This result reflects a reality, namely the lack of official concern from authorities and financial institutions in respect of monitoring, measuring and stimulating financial inclusion. We believe that the index proposed in this paper could act not only for assessing the degree of inclusion at a given moment of time, but also as a tool for monitoring and signaling the imperative involvement of regulators, financial institutions and civil society in designing and implementing policies and programs for enhancing inclusive financial products.
Keywords: financial exclusion; financial inclusion index; financial education; inclusive financial products.
Classification-JEL: C43; G21.
Corina ENE, Mirela PANAIT
Abstract: Nowadays, some categories of the population tend to become economically vulnerable because of a complex set of factors, which include insufficient financial education. The paper consists in an analysis on the importance of financial education as a tool for reducing the vulnerability of the population, detailing key components of this component of corporate social responsibility and highlighting the efforts made on this issue at international level and in Romania. On the one hand, the companies develop financial education programs for employees so that they reach a certain level of wealth and to be able to provide a decent living even after retirement. On the other hand, other categories of financial education programs targeted are banks` clients (customers) and potential portfolio investors on the stock market. The article also highlights the relevance of financial education in the broader context of the Romanian consumer protection, drawing a few lines of action required in this area. From the results recorded internationally on financial education for certain categories of stakeholders, the authors propose and analyze the specific situation of the Romanian economy. In our country, the main promoters of financial education are banks which conduct various social responsibility programs to familiarize the population with specialized terms, raising awareness of customers about the risks posed by credit products offered by financial institutions. Efforts should be intensified and concerted by banks considering that in our country, about half of the population is not banked and a quarter is considered to be over-indebted. Financial education to familiarize the population with banking products must completed taking in to account the other components of the financial market - namely capital market and insurance market, so people are able to invest the savings available for financial gain during active life and to achieve a certain level of financial stability so necessary after retirement.
Keywords: financial education, banks, corporate social responsibility, financial vulnerability.
Classification-JEL: A2; G2.
Abstract: The development of eco-innovation parks in our country may be a key to regional as well as national sustainable development, due to their special features and opportunities for industrial synergy. Implementing a circular and green economy is also a current important challenge to a systemic transformation agenda in the European Union. Therefore, a main objective of this paper is to analyse from the viewpoint of the circular economy principles (closing-the-loop in the resource management) the strategic role of eco innovation parks as a community of manufacturing and service enterprises seeking enhanced environmental and economic performance through collaboration in managing environmental and resource issues including energy, water, and materials. In this respect we analyse both the conceptual and practical importance of eco-innovation for the circular economy and point out the character of the industrial ecosystem, as a regional metabolism in fostering both eco-innovation and industrial synergy of the SMEs and organisations involved. The case studies and conclusions recommend the urge to identify, design and plan industrial ecosystems within an eco-innovation park as an important way promoting circular economy on regional, microeconomic and sectoral scale in Romania.
Keywords: sustainable development; circular economy; resource efficiency; eco-innovation park; industrial symbiosis.
Classification-JEL: O44; O47; Q32.