2015

FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

Pavlínek P (2015)
In: Béla Galgóczi, Jan Drahokoupil, Magdalena Bernaciak (eds) Foreign investment in eastern and southern Europe after 2008: Still a lever of growth? ETUI, Brussels, pp. 209-255.

In an increasingly globalized economy, foreign direct investment (FDI) by transnational corporations (TNCs) is considered a major force in the economic development of less developed economies, including the economies of central and eastern Europe (CEE)(eg Jindra et al. 2009). 1 In the early 1990s, it was argued that a successful ‘transition’to capitalism in CEE would depend on large FDI inflows for triggering the necessary industrial restructuring, modernization and successful economic development (eg Fischer and Gelb 1991; Dunning 1993; EBRD 1993). Consequently, CEE countries were urged to open up their economies to global capital (Gowan 1995). The automotive industry was at the forefront of this FDI-driven development strategy in which foreign TNCs took over the CEE automotive industry through heavy capital investment, restructuring it and incorporating it into European and global production networks in the 1990s and 2000s (Pavlínek 2002a; Pavlínek 2002c; Pavlínek et al. 2009). The goal of this chapter is to analyze FDI in the CEE automotive industry, examining trends and patterns since the 1990s with a focus on the 2000s and especially the period after the 2008-2009 economic crisis.

ŠKODA AUTO: THE TRANSFORMATION FROM A DOMESTIC TO A TIER TWO LEAD FIRM.

Pavlínek P (2015)

 In: John R. Bryson, Jennifer Clark and Vida Vanchan (eds) Handbook of Manufacturing Industries in the World Economy, Edward Elgar, pp. 345-361.

The automotive industry is considered to be a key industrial sector of strategic importance because of its size, links to other industries, employment effects and its potential regional development effects through the development of networks of component suppliers. As such, the governments of both developed and developing countries have supported the development of the automotive industry through various measures and economic policies (Dicken, 2011). Between 1990 and 2012, the production of cars in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) increased 2.5 times to 5.3 million units and that of East-Central Europe (ECE) quadrupled to 3.3 million units. 1 This rapid development was orchestrated by core-based transnational corporations (TNCs) through large inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI). As a result, the automotive industry has become a leading industrial sector in terms of its share of industrial production …

THE IMPACT OF THE 2008–2009 CRISIS ON THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY: GLOBAL TRENDS AND FIRM-LEVEL EFFECTS IN CENTRAL EUROPE

  

P Pavlínek (2015)
European Urban and Regional Studies 22 (1), 20-40

This article examines the impact of the 2008–2009 economic crisis on the automotive industry. The uneven nature of the crisis contributed to the gradual shift in production from traditional core areas of the global automobile industry to selected less developed economies. In this context, the paper analyses the firm-level effects of the economic crisis in the Czech and Slovak automotive industries as two examples of automotive industry peripheries that were integrated in the European automobile production system and experienced rapid production increases after 1990. The analysis draws on unique data collected during a survey of 274 Czech-based and 133 Slovak-based automotive firms conducted in autumn 2009 and spring 2010, 98 company interviews conducted with automotive firms in Czechia in 2010 and 2011, and 30 interviews conducted in Slovakia in 2011. Changes in revenues, production and employment during the economic crisis are compared between Czechia and Slovakia, and are analysed according to ownership, the involvement of firms in the automotive value chain and firm size. The article also investigates plant closures and relocations in the Czech and Slovak automotive industries during the economic crisis.

IS THERE A CREDIT-GAP IN A PERIPHERY? THE PERCEPTION OF THIS PROBLEM BY SMALL ENTREPRENEURS

I Bečicová, J Blažek (2015)
Journal of rural studies 42, 11-20

The article seeks to contribute to the relatively neglected, yet recently expanding, body of financial geography literature. It examines the propositions of the theory of regional segmentation of financial markets, which – within a centralized financial system – foresees credit rationing for small businesses located in peripheral regions. The research methodology is based upon a case-study approach employed in the most peripheral municipalities in Moravia-Silesia region in Czechia. The contribution of this research lies in its focus upon the detailed investigation of the experience with credit applications of small entrepreneurs running a business in a periphery. The results show that the interviewed entrepreneurs do not perceive discrimination by the banks due to their peripheral location, but rather they face the problem that the value of their premises, when setting them as collateral, is significantly underestimated.

UNIVERSITY-BUSINESS COLLABORATION AS PERCEIVED BY LEADING ACADEMICS: COMPARING AND CONTRASTING THE TWO MOST INNOVATIVE CZECH REGIONS

V Kadlec, J Blažek (2015)
Erdkunde, 327-339

 This article compares the nature of academia-business collaboration in the two most innovative Czech regions, where the respective regional decision-makers and universities’ representatives differ sharply in their approaches towards the commercialization of academic knowledge. An analysis of the nature of collaboration between life-science researchers in two leading Czech universities and private companies has been performed to identify whether targeted support provided at the regional and university levels can make a real difference and can overcome hindrances from the national level. In particular, the article investigates the motivation and approaches of leaders of life-science research teams to cooperation with private companies, the perceived barriers impeding such cooperation, including the strength of demand for innovation in both analyzed regions. The research identified significant differences in the perception of barriers between life scientists in Prague and South Moravia, vindicating the positive role of the South Moravian innovation strategy. Thus, researchers in South Moravia no longer face barriers preventing the emergence of cooperation with the business sector, and instead they are concerned about obstacles that stand in the way of its more intensive development. 

INDUSTRIAL SPECIALIZATION AND ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE: A CASE OF CZECH MICROREGIONS

J Ženka, J Novotný, O Slach, V Květoň (2015)
Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift-Norwegian Journal of Geography 69 (2), 67-79

An influential body of literature suggests that economic diversity rather than specialization fuels the economic performance of regions and nations. The authors argue that this hypothesis has no universal applicability and that a more differentiated view is needed. In particular, historical specificity of the local environment and structural characteristics of regional economies should be taken into account. They focus on the effects of industrial specialization on economic performance and the vulnerability of Central European post-communist regions, namely Czech microregions with less than 200,000 inhabitants. They examine whether the economic performance and vulnerability of these regions is fuelled rather by industrial specialization or diversity when controlling for other potential determinants of regional economic performance. Their findings show that the dependence of Czech regions on manufacturing correlates with higher economic performance but also with higher regional vulnerability. In addition, industrial specialization within manufacturing was found to be instrumental for the economic performance of regions with high dependence on manufacturing. With a decreasing share of employment in manufacturing, industrial diversity rather than specialization becomes more valuable for the economic performance of Czech regions.

MORAVIAN-SILESIAN REGION (SUBREGION NUTS 3) AS AN EXAMPLE OF A SUCCESSFUL TRANSFORMATION–CASE STUDY REPORT

J Blažek, I Bečicová (2014)
GRINCOH Working Paper Series, Paper

The Moravian-Silesian region had to deal with many challenges in the past, mainly restructuring, deindustrialization and resulting high unemployment rate. Its pathway to prosperity was rather thorny, nevertheless, the performance of the region improved significantly until the crisis hit the regional economy in the second half of 2008. The developmental trajectory switched from growth to stagnation or even decline. However the complicated situation taught regional actors to cooperate to achieve a common goal. Their effort and relatively well developed social capital might become one of the most important sources for improvement of the overall socioeconomic situation in the region.

REGIONS WITH LESS DEVELOPED RESEARCH AND INNOVATION SYSTEMS

Jiri Blazek, Adrian Healey, Michaela Trippl, Björn Asheim, Johan Miörner, Mari José Aranguren, Edurne Magro, Mikel Navarro, James Wilson (2014)
Cardiff University

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SPEED DATING: AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER IN A FRAGMENTED REGIONAL INNOVATION SYSTEM?

V Kadlec (2019)
AUC Geographica 54 (1), 57-66

The main goal of this paper is to demonstrate the impacts of speed dating on the enhancement of university-business collaboration. With the example of the metropolitan region of Prague and its largest university  (Charles University), the case study on a speed dating event was organized by this University in the field of life science and medical devices. The results show, that speed dating itself has limited direct impact on real technology transfer. Only 1 of the 44 newly gained contacts was transformed into real cooperation in the form of consultancy. On the other hand, speed dating has several indirect impacts, which can moderate fragmentation of the regional innovation system, i.e. community and trust building, learning of common “language” and exchange of information. Direct impact can be enhanced by the follow-up activities of dedicated people (e.g. technology scouts or business development managers), who can encourage and support  creation of more new technology partnerships.

 

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