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  • Author: Jerzy Wilkin, Joanna Konieczna-Sałamatin, Mirosława Marody, Maja Sawicka, Paweł Kaczmarczyk, Jan J. Michałek, Andrzej Halesiak, Stanisława Golinowska, Irena Topińska, Anna Fornalczyk, Richard Woodward, Grzegorz Gorzelak, Andrzej Kwieciński, Katarzyna Zawalińska, Przemysław Kowalski, Anna Malinowska, Wiesława Kozek, Magdalena Kąkol, Maciej Nowicki, Grzegorz Wiśniewski, Andrzej Cylwik, Tomasz Komornicki, Urszula Sztanderska, Jacek Liwiński, Dorota Ilczuk, Anna Karpińska, Przemysław Kowalski, Mateusz Szczurek, Stanisław Gomułka, Paweł Wojciechowski
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This report is the result of the joint work of a number of experts from various fields who have been - for many years – analysing the multidimensional effects of EU institutions and cooperation with Member States pursuant to European values and mechanisms. The authors summarise the benefits of Poland’s membership in the EU based on facts; however, they do not hide their own views and reflections. They also demonstrate the barriers and challenges to further European integration. This report was prepared by CASE, one of the oldest independent think tanks in Central and Eastern Europe, utilising its nearly 30 years of experience in providing objective analyses and recommendations with respect to socioeconomic topics. It is both an expression of concern about Poland’s future in the EU, as well as the authors’ contribution to the debate on further European integration.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Demographics, Energy Policy, Labor Issues, Economic Growth, Regional Integration, Social Policy, Fiscal Policy, Innovation, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Poland
  • Author: Adam Adamczyk, Leszek Morawski, Jarek Neneman
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: For many years, we have been hearing about the need for innovation and entrepreneurship. Successive Polish government declare their support for entrepreneurs and expand the catalog of privileges, mainly related to taxes and mandatory contributions. Not infrequently, in these discussions the self-employed are equated with entrepreneurs. In this work, we will seek an answer to the questions: Who, then, are the self-employed? Are they really entrepreneurs? Should we support their activities? And finally the fundamental question: What does the economy get from the self-employed? In this work we point out that the differences in rates of self-employment between countries may result from differences in taxation on the labor provided by self-employed and salaried workers. In the main part of the work, taking advantage of the potential of the EUROMOD tax-benefit microsimulation model, we show that in Europe there is no single model of taxation of work conducted as one’s own business. In the majority of the tax-contribution systems we examined, the profitability of employment or self-employment changes along with changes in income. In light of the regressivity of the burdens on the self-employed, as a rule it begins to be profitable only above a certain income level. In the first part of the work we define the self-employed as those who run a business, and later we distinguish within this group entrepreneurs, meaning those who take on risk and create innovations. Discussing the advantages and disadvantages of self-employment from the point of view of the self employed and the employer, we point out that the benefits – including systemic (tax and contribution) benefits, outweigh the disadvantages. We also discuss in more detail the imposition of income tax on the self-employed. In the second part we present changes in the value of self-employment over the last 25 years. Here we use data from the World Bank and certain data points from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC). They allow us to observe how the relationship between the self-employed and the economy is changing: The significance of services provided for other businesses is growing. Additionally, we can see that the significance of self-employment is falling. In Poland the level of (non-agricultural) self-employment is low. The dynamics of the rate of self employment indicate that the influence of legal regulations on the scale of self-employment is secondary. It seems that in this case, technological and demographic factors are much more significant.
  • Topic: Demographics, Labor Issues, Employment, Business , Social Policy, Tax Systems, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland
  • Author: Alicja Domagała, Christoph Sowada, Krzysztof Kuszewski, Marzena Tambor, Stanisława Golinowska
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The health protection system is the object of constant pressures and difficulties in mitigating them, and even more so eliminating or at least reducing them. Changes are undertaken under the influence of a one-sided political assessment, the interests of various groups of participants or the protests of successive groups of medical staff. There is no professional and fully documented diagnosis of the system, made by independent experts, which could serve as the basis for a comprehensive health protection reform plan, rather than individual, incidental changes that disrupt the system’s already very fragile balance. A well thought-out reform, properly distributed over time, so that at no point does it cause negative health effects. A reform agreed among stake-holders and adopted with understanding of the need for changes, so that it is supported by society. A reform for which there will be funds, institutions and engaged professionals – leaders in health protection. A reform that won’t be criticized or changed when the government changes. Such a reform is waiting to be presented and debated. We begin this process by pointing out and presenting the system’s main problems. At the top of the list of issues that must be taken up urgently we place the problem of insufficient resources, but associated with other activities that are essential to achieve higher effectiveness in accomplishing health goals. There is no single miraculous way of balancing and fixing the functioning of the health protection system. This requires both greater financing, qualitatively and quantitatively appropriate staffing, and good institutions. Financial resources are a necessary condition but not a sufficient one – if there is no staff or appropriate institutions, and these are shaped over years. In this publication we present four subjects, corresponding to that list of the main issues that must be addressed urgently. We begin with the problem of good governance, meaning achieving a decisive improvement in institutional solutions in health protection. Next we take up the problem of the need for growth in financial outlays, with judicious public and individual responsibility. We strongly accent the need for development in Poland of medical and support staff, presenting the problems of neglect and the deep shortage of professionals, which is currently paralyzing the health service. The final text, though no less important in the group of priority problems in health protection, concerns public health and demands that it be properly valued by treating care for the health of the population as an investment in human capital with a measurable and significant rate of return.
  • Topic: Demographics, Health, Labor Issues, Governance, Health Care Policy, Social Policy, Public Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland
  • Author: Marek Gora
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The end of 2018 will mark the 20th anniversary of the introduction of Poland’s current pension system. It has been subjected to constant modifications, in general dictated by either ideological or ad hoc goals, but it has resisted destruction, and in essence is working as it was designed. The need for its introduction, misleadingly called a reform, was dictated by a long-term shift in the age structure of the population. In essence, the earlier system was replaced by the current one. The essence of this switch is a shift from the quasi-tax financing suited to the population structure by age of the past, to quasi-savings financing suited to the structure in the 21st century. This text is not an overview of the 20-year history of the current system; it is a critical examination of the functioning of Poland’s pension system against the backdrop of the universal challenges that pension systems are facing in the 21st century. The text barely touches on many fundamental questions. A full discussion of them would require a longer discourse, for which there is no space here. The purpose of introducing the current system was to balance the interests of the working generation and the generation of retirees. The previous system worked only for the interests of retirees, while those of the working generation, expressed in the level of its net income, was treated as an afterthought. This kind of system could operate in the 20th century. But in the 21st, it turned out to be not so much immediately impossible, as socially harmful. A change of system was thus essential. The current system is now quite well suited to the current population structure. The biggest problem in its functioning is citizens’ negligible awareness of how it is actually structured and what that implies – both on the macro level and on the level of individual behaviors. Pension issues are counterintuitive. This results both from their combination of macro- and microeconomic issues and from the fact that their time horizon exceeds any other undertaking. For a pension system to work well, it has to be understood by its participants; meanwhile, pension education practically does not exist. What’s worse, the public debate concerning pensions tends to frighten people rather than helping them. Instead of knowledge, there are chaotic assumptions, often far removed from reality. They are adopted as axiomatic, or as a result of inertia in thinking, or unrealistic expectations. In the first case, the current system is perceived as if it were the previous one. Meanwhile, in reality they are fundamental opposites. In the second case, people expect that the system will miraculously multiply the funds available for pensions. But in reality each system can only divide up what has been created. Discussions partly concern side issues, partly consist of misunderstandings and partly are derivations of general views. Much harm was done by the discussion on changing the proportions of the division of contributions in the universal system (the so-called OFE discussion). Debate on pension questions requires that the issues be laid out in an orderly fashion; we need a critical view of basic concepts and how they are understood. Without that there is no chance to solve the problems of pensions systems, or even to understand what they’re about.
  • Topic: Demographics, Labor Issues, Finance, Social Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Stanisława Golinowska, Agnieszka Sowa-Kofta
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: With the population ageing the development of sustainable long-term care institutions is of great importance in many European countries. In Poland, currently dominant, traditional and family based care will become insufficient with increasing cohorts of older people. Presented paper discusses recent developments in long-term care policy in the country. Long-term care institutions are separated in the two sectors, with little field for cooperation and coordination of activities. Over the past years policy addressing ageing related problems was developed, focusing on the active ageing instruments. Dependency prevention and active ageing are among goals of national policies formulated separately in the health and social sector. Information policy and monitoring long-term care services’ provision remains insufficient. Coordination of activities mainly takes place at the local level. Local governments and non-governmental organizations, often cooperating with representatives of older people, are active in providing services to older people in community and often incorporating innovative solutions in care.
  • Topic: Demographics, Health, Social Policy, Labor Policies, Public Policy, Aging
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Katarzyna Mirecka, Izabela Styczynska
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The paper aims to assess the impact of selected elements of social harmonization on labor market performance in the European Union among two groups of workers—the total working population and the elderly. The aim is to examine whether upward changes in labor taxes affect employment, unemployment, and inactivity rates in the European Union. The descriptive empirical evidence shows that the level of labor taxation varies significantly across European countries and the introduced changes might affect national markets differently. The Arellano-Bond dynamic panel data regression shows that an increase in the tax wedge, as an element of a social harmonization process, has a very weak impact on labor market performance in the European Union. The impact is statistically significant and negative only for the elderly (i.e. the population aged 50+). Empirical analysis suggests that upward social convergence might negatively affect the employment of the most disfavored groups in the labor market, such as the elderly. It suggests that social harmonization focused on reducing the tax wedge would have favorable effects on labor market performance, especially among the most disadvantaged groups. This report was prepared within a research project entitled “SocialBoost – effective measures of social harmonization as a boost for employability in times of demographic changes”, which received funding under the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Programme for NGOs in the Baltic Sea Region.
  • Topic: Demographics, Labor Issues, Social Policy, Tax Systems, Social Security
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Karolina Beaumont, Matthias Kullas, Matthias Dauner, Izabela Styczynska, Paul Lirette
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This report provides an analysis of the issues related to female brain drain between Poland and Germany in the years 1989-2015: female and male migration patterns during specific time periods, the challenges of female migration, the emigration of highly-skilled individuals in Poland and Germany, as well as the issues regarding brain drain from a gender perspective. Global female migration is a topic frequently studied in academic literature; however, the topic of female brain drain is one that has long been ignored by academic research. This gap in research on female brain drain is closely related to a significant lack of relevant quantitative data, and, consequently, has led to gaps in policymaking. The aim of this report is to gather all available information on female brain drain and its impact on labour markets, gender equality, female migration, and human capital, while noting the gaps in data and policymaking. A further objective of this report is to highlight the issues that are important for policymaking, as well as to propose adequate polic recommendations. The report aims to provide a current and comprehensive analysis of female brain drain in Poland and in Germany – two neighbouring countries, with complex histories of population migration – as well as an analysis of the economic and societal consequences of this phenomenon for both countries. The publication was prepared within the project “Brain drain/brain gain: Polish-German challenges and perspectives - Focus on the gender aspects of labour migration from 1989” with financial support from the Polish-German Foundation for Science and The Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation.
  • Topic: Demographics, Education, Gender Issues, Migration, Labor Issues, Brain Drain, Women, Inequality, Social Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, Germany, European Union
  • Author: Sierž Naŭrodski
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The policy brief by Sierž Naŭrodski presents a review of potential effects of parametric pension reform in Belarus starting in 2017 for the population aged 50 and more in terms of unemployment, alcohol consumption, and poverty. It concludes that, despite the fact that raising the retirement age is overdue in Belarus to address demographic challenges, it may have a negative impact on the quality of life of people close to retirement age as well as a poorer GDP effect within current conditions on the labor market in Belarus. The paper presents a set of public policy improvement directions in Belarus, which could help mitigating vulnerability of the group 50+ during the pension reform.
  • Topic: Demographics, Labor Issues, Social Policy, Labor Policies, Public Policy, Aging
  • Political Geography: Europe, Belarus
  • Author: Karolina Beaumont, Katarzyna Mirecka, Izabela Styczynska
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Aspects of labor mobility and discrepancies in social benefits schemes in Member States became an urgent matter to address. Revision of the Posting of Workers Directive, the European Pillar of Social Rights and the European Mobility Package were aimed at introducing more harmonization within the EU countries. However, the EU propositions faced a strong resistance from some groups of stakeholders and Member States. Moreover, the debate has been evolving quickly given recent events such as the economic and migration crises and Brexit. CASE held a forum with various Polish stakeholders, where CASE experts gathered views on the future of social situation in the EU. They are all summarized in this Policy Brief. Main policy recommendations emphasize that proposed legislation is important for Poland, however it still needs more debate, since under current form certain policies might be harmful for many EU Member States. This policy brief was prepared within a research project entitled “SocialBoost – effective measures of social harmonization as a boost for employability in times of demographic changes”, which received funding under the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Programme for NGOs in the Baltic Sea Region.
  • Topic: Demographics, Labor Issues, Social Policy, Mobility
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Xavier Cuadras-Morató
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Catalonia is one of the richest regions in Spain. Until the outbreak of the international financial and economic crisis in 2008, it enjoyed a phenomenal economic boom – which then turned into a very severe depression, from which the region began to exit only in 2014. Consolidating the recovery and making the economy more competitive and resilient, and less volatile, are some of the key challenges of economic policy in Catalonia. Also, to improve the region’s social cohesion, policymakers should make sure that economic prosperity is more widely shared, and transform it into an effective tool for social progress.
  • Topic: Demographics, Labor Issues, Economic Growth, Social Policy, Global Financial Crisis, Economic Policy, Trade, Recovery
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain, Catalonia, European Union