2020

GEOGRAPHY, OWNERSHIP, AND UNEVEN TRENDS IN THE ECONOMIC
PERFORMANCE OF SMALL BANKING CENTRES IN EUROPE DURING THE FINANCIAL CRISIS

Jiri Blazek, Tereza Hejnova (2020)
European Urban and Regional Studies, 27(4): 359-378

The current phase of intensive globalisation, digitisation, the expansion of fintech companies and the overall impacts of the recent crisis seem to spur further concentration in the banking sector in terms of both the number of banks in operation and the number of banking centres. This research is motivated by the fact that, in contrast to leading financial and banking centres that attract considerable research attention, small banking centres have remained under-researched, despite their large number and the important role they play in their host communities and regions. This paper deals with the recent evolutionary dynamics of 199 small European banking centres and is based on an analysis of the economic performance of individual banks aggregated at the city level where they have their headquarters. The analysed indicators cover size, profitability and the level of risk of particular banks over the 2004–2015 period. In addition, the data were analysed for three basic European macro-regions (western Europe, southern Europe and central and eastern Europe) and in terms of the ownership of the banks headquartered in particular centres (foreign versus domestic). Our investigation shows that, even though a significant decline has been observed in the number of these centres, the financial performance of banks headquartered in small financial centres differs widely, depending significantly upon the European macro-region (a decisive number of defunct banking centres was concentrated in southern Europe) and the ownership structure.

INDUSTRIAL POLICY AND AUTOMOTIVE DEVELOPMENT: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THAILAND AND CZECHIA

Kaoru Natsuda, John Thoburn, Jiri Blazek, Kozo Otsuka (2020)
Eurasian Geography and Economics, 1-2

This paper investigates the effectiveness of industrial policy, and the role of state capacity to implement it, by making a comparison of automotive development in Thailand and Czechia, the largest vehicle producers in Southeast Asia and Central and Eastern Europe, respectively. The development of the industry in both countries primarily relied on foreign investment, despite Czechia’s long earlier history of domestic automotive development. The countries, however, have used very different types of industrial policy. Thailand introduced a series of vertical (sector-specific) industrial policies, pursuing a proactive industrial development strategy with state intervention, continuing even under the restrictions on trade-related policy measures imposed by the WTO since 2000. In contrast, Czechia has employed mostly horizontal (non-sector-specific) industrial policies with less state intervention, influenced by the restrictions of the European Union. Although both countries achieved considerable output and export growth, Thailand has a deeper and more locally owned supply chain. Thailand’s imaginative use of de facto local content requirements in connection with its product champion policy is instructive.

P Netrdova, V Nosek (2020)
ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 9 (6), 401

This paper focuses on the analysis of unemployment data in Czechia on a very detailed spatial structure and yearly, extended time series (2002–2019). The main goal of the study was to examine the spatial dimension of disparities in regional unemployment and its evolutionary tendencies on a municipal level. To achieve this goal, global and local spatial autocorrelation methods were used. Besides spatial and space-time analyses, special attention was given to spatial weight matrix selection. The spatial weights were created according to real-time accessibilities between the municipalities based on the Czech road network. The results of spatial autocorrelation analyses based on network spatial weights were compared to the traditional distance-based spatial weights. Despite significant methodological differences between applied spatial weights, the resulting spatial pattern of unemployment proved to be very similar. Empirically, relative stability of spatial patterns of unemployment with only slow shift of differentiation from macro-to microlevels could be observed.

USING AREAL INTERPOLATION TO DEAL WITH DIFFERING REGIONAL STRUCTURES IN INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH

P Netrdová, V Nosek, P Hurbánek (2020)
ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 9 (2), 126

When working with regional data from different countries, issues concerning data comparability need to be solved, including regional comparability. Differing regional unit size is a common issue which influences the results of socio-economic analyses. In this paper, we introduce a strategy to deal with the regional incomparability of administrative data in international research. We propose a methodological approach based on the areal interpolation method, which facilitates the usage of advanced spatial analyses. To illustrate, we analyze spatial patterns of unemployment in seven Central European countries. We use a very detailed spatial (municipal) level to reveal local tendencies. To have comparable units across the whole region, we apply the areal interpolation method, a process of projecting data from source administrative units to the target structure of a grid. After choosing the most suitable grid structure and projecting the data onto the grid, we perform a hot spot analysis to show the benefits of the grid structure for socio-economic analyses. The proposed approach has great potential in international research for its methodological correctness and the ability to interpret results.

THE VARIEGATED ROLE OF PROXIMITIES IN ACQUISITIONS BY DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES IN DIFFERENT PHASES OF ECONOMIC CYCLES

V Kveton, A Belohradsky, J Blazek (2020)
Papers in Regional Science

This paper aims at an understanding of acquisition processes in a strongly industrialized and export‐oriented economy in Central Europe. Drawing on a proximity framework and behaviour theory, the paper investigates that the geographical proximity dimension is more influential than the cognitive proximity dimension. At the same time, cognitive proximity matters more for foreign firms investing into the economy than for domestic acquisitions. While the role of cognitive proximity diminished during the economic crisis, geographical proximity keeps its importance throughout the economic cycle. Moreover, cognitive proximity has become more important for acquisitions of large companies and less for SMEs.

EVERY PLACE MATTERS: TOWARDS EFFECTIVE PLACE-BASED POLICY

A Beer, F McKenzie, J Blazek, M Sotarauta, S Ayres (2020)
Routledge

Across the globe policy makers implement, and academics teach and undertake research upon, place-based policy. But what is place-based policy, what does it aspire to achieve, what are the benefits of place-based approaches relative to other forms of policy, and what are the key determinants of success for this type of government intervention? This Policy Expo examines these questions, reviewing the literature and the experience of places and their governments around the world. We find place-based policies are essential in contemporary economies, providing solutions to otherwise intractable challenges such as the long-term decline of cities and regions. For those working in public sector agencies the success or failure of place-based policies is largely attributable to governance arrangements, but for researchers the community that is the subject of this policy effort, and its leadership, determines outcomes. This Policy Expo explores the differing perspectives on place-based policy and maps out the essential components of effective and impactful actions by government at the scale of individual places.

THE DARK SIDE OF REGIONAL INDUSTRIAL PATH DEVELOPMENT: TOWARDS A TYPOLOGY OF TRAJECTORIES OF DECLINE

J Blazek, V Kveton, S Baumgartinger-Seiringer, M Trippl (2020)
European Planning Studies, 1-19

Over the past few years, scholarly debates on new path development have attracted increasing attention within the economic geography literature. This work distinguishes various trajectories of regional and industrial evolution. So far, these evolutionary trajectories have been mainly conceptualized as ‘positive’ forms of path development. However, in reality, many regions are undergoing phases that can be characterized as ‘negative’ trajectories. Despite their potentially detrimental social and political effects, negative pathways have to date largely been ignored in the extant literature. This paper seeks to shed light on the ‘dark side’ of path development by outlining a typology of ‘pathways of decline’. Three forms of negative pathways are identified, namely path contraction, path downgrading and path delocalization. Empirical illustrations are provided for each of them.

SUSTAINABLE URBAN MOBILITY: ONE DEFINITION, DIFFERENT STAKEHOLDERS’ OPINIONS

HB Foltynova, E Vejchodska, K Rybova, V Kveton (2020)
Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment 87, 102465

During recent decades, the debate on how to sustain urban mobility has accelerated. Transport decision-making has been more reflective of sustainability issues and quality of life in cities; this process has especially accelerated with the setting of modern urban mobility planning concepts, substantially focusing on transport demand regulation and management, and Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans taking over the role of cities’ primary transport-related strategic documents. The approaches to sustainable mobility visioning and planning differ within cities, as do their key stakeholders’ opinions. Our research aims to reveal the main shared viewpoints on the preferred paths towards sustainable urban mobility. We use the Q method, which is a statistical method to study subjectivity. It enables determination of characteristic shared viewpoints on a particular subject. A qualitative analysis assessing subjective opinions is combined with the quantitative approach of a factor analysis of statements ranked by respondents. The study was undertaken on 36 carefully selected stakeholders situated within the Czech Republic. Our results indicate that even stakeholders sharing the same definition of sustainable urban mobility may substantially differ in regard to their ideas on how to achieve it. Furthermore, we show that some of the attitudes expressed and measures appreciated by our respondents would not be recognised as sustainable by environmentalists. There is still a wide gap between sustainable mobility theory and its implementation in practice. All these findings represent barriers to sustainable mobility development in urban areas. Therefore, the paper also conveys relevant policy implications.

SPATIAL CHANGES IN DISTRIBUTION OF FIRMS AND SELECTED INDUSTRIES AROUND NEW MOTORWAY

M Petras, V Kveton (2020)
Applied Geography 121, 102263

The paper examines changes in economic activity occurring in municipalities around the motorway D11, after a new section of motorway has been opened in 2006. The aim of the paper is to determine the extent to which the detected changes in the region can be connected with the opening of the motorway section. The changes in establishment and extinction of firms with distinction by industry sector are evaluated using descriptive analysis and Difference in differences method. The results of the research show certain manifestations regarding the opening of the motorway, since the changes in firm birth intensity are the highest in the group of municipalities that are within 8–12 min’ drive from the motorway, and with increasing distance from the motorway the in-tensity decreases. The link with the proximity of the motorway indicates increase of firms in general, within sector categories it stands for manufacturing industry, construction and logistics. At the same time, for munic-ipalities at the distance of 12–20 min away we recorded slight decrease of firm birth intensity in comparison to a period before opening of the motorway section. These results indicate that the main road infrastructure positively influences only the nearest area.

DOES INNOVATION SUPPORT AND MATURITY MATTER FOR FIRMS’ PERFORMANCE IN A MODERATELY DEVELOPED REGIONAL INNOVATION SYSTEM IN CENTRAL EUROPE?

M Kostic, V Kveton (2020)
Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, 1-28

Regional innovation systems in Central and Eastern Europe suffer from many handicaps connected with generally lower levels of business activity and unfavourable positions of firms within global value chains. In this paper, results of business coaching programmes implemented in South Moravia (Czechia) are evaluated. The success of support is assessed (1) in terms of turnover, value added and employment growth (using a counterfactual analysis), and (2) according to the maturity of companies. Average annual growth of the treated companies was higher compared to a control group of non-supported firms. Apart from the initial dynamic growth, the supported start-ups underwent the fastest growth between 2 and 3 years after entering the programme, when the impact of the support on their performance was fully expressed. The findings bring new insights into the effects of targeted support of companies, using unique company data combined with qualitative information on the results of evaluated measures.