The paper aims to discuss the major trends in changes of regional differences of economic wellbeing and the resulting spatial mobility of population as well as some regional consequences of these processes. The research is based on an empirical methodology, and visual analysis of mapped data is the main research method. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, fast decrease of employment in industry and agriculture has damaged, first of all, peripheral regions and, later, resulted in mass emigration, which is still evident in most Lithuanian municipalities. The decrease of the number of jobs in these sectors and its increase in those located in different places meant that most residents of non-metropolitan regions had to find new jobs outside the localities in which they resided. This resulted in growing mobility of the population, expressed by growing foreign emigration, inner migrations, and commuting, which continue to shape the social structure of the country to the present day, as spatial structures change more slowly than modes of production. Differences in wellbeing, which appeared at the end of the 20th century, played a role in accelerating emigration processes, which are still damaging local labour supply and economic development in many regions.
The article provides a comparison of the dynamic increase in the number of enterprises relative to the working-age population in the private sector in the years 2001–2004 (the immediate pre-accession period) and 2004–2007 (the immediate post-accession period). The study was conducted with regard to the main sectors of economic activity (agriculture, industry, lower-order services and higher-order services), as well as the functional diversity of municipalities, or gminas (urban and suburban categories, transportation corridors, tourism, etc., for a total of 16 categories). The study indicates a decline, inertia, spatial polarisation and tessellated spatial structure of the development dynamic of private enterprises.
European regional support has grown in parallel with European integration. The funds targeted at achieving greater economic and social cohesion and reducing disparities within the EU have more than doubled in relative terms since the end of the 1980. making development policies the second most important policy area in the EU. The majority of the development funds have been earmarked for Objective 1 regions, i.e. regions where GDP per capita is below the 75% of the EU average. However, the European development policies have come under increasing criticism based on two facts: the lack of upward mobility of assisted regions and the absence of regional convergence. This paper assesses, using cross-sectional and panel data analyses, the failure so far of European development policies to fulfil their objective of delivering greater economic and social cohesion by examining how European Structural Fund support is allocated among different development axes in Objective 1 regions. We find that, despite the concentration of development funds on infrastructure and, in less extent on business support, the returns to commitments of these axes are not significant. Support to agriculture has short term positive effects on growth, but these wane quickly, and only investment in education and human capital which only represents about one-eight of the total commitments has medium-term positive and significant returns.
This article aims to present the rarely examined process of rural gentrification in Poland via the example of the vineyard sector, which is a new and dynamically growing segment in the local agriculture. This paper uses quantitative data collected from public statistics, a spatial analysis conducted by GIS, and an authorial survey conducted among vineyard owners. The research findings have revealed that ‘vineyard gentrification’ does not match the classic rent gap theory; furthermore, being a non-socially severe preliminary rural gentrification performed mostly by high-class representatives, it differs significantly from the traditional pattern in Polish farming.
The article focuses on objective predictors of voting behaviour in the EU referendum and confronts them with the actual outcomes of the referendum. Major dependent variable is support for EU entry on a county (powiat) level. The aggregate data for counties show territorial distribution of support. The differences between counties are analyzed in terms of employment in agriculture, historic regions, and unemployment. Analysis reveals an absolute dominance of employment in agriculture in explaining territorial differences in EU support. Nevertheless, historic regions preserve their significance, and, to a lesser degree, unemployment rate.
Polish farmers, including rural pensioners, make up a social group which is difficult to define. It is a diversified population, dominated (in numbers) by ‘quasi-farmers’ – those who run small subsistence farms and do not sell their products in the market. This category has many negative, economic, social and psychological features. In their political choices, farmers often choose to support populist agrarian parties. The author, referring to her earlier concept of ‘blocking development’ and ‘moderating changes’, describes the political mechanisms of slowing down the reforms, triggered by a broadly understood community of Polish farmers.
The article presents a comparison of the dynamic for the increase in the number of enterprises as set against the population of working age in the private sector in the years 2001–2004 (the immediate pre-accession period) and 2004–2007 (the immediate post-accession period). The study was conducted with regard had to the main sectors of economic activity (agriculture, industry, lower-order services and higher-order services), as well as the functional diversity of gminas (urban and suburban categories, transportation corridors, tourism, etc. – in total 16 categories). The research points to decline, inertia, spatial polarization and a mosaic like spatial structure to the dynamic for the development of private enterprises.
The author of this essay argues that, in a longer time perspective, four major processes have been taking place in the countryside and changing its character in Polish as well as in other countries in Western and Central Europe: de-ruralization, de-agrarianization, development of a new model of agriculture (peasantization/ de-peasantization) and re-stratification. These processes are affecting 1) the place of the countryside in society, 2) the place of agriculture in society and in national economy, 3) the structure of the countryside as a social subsystem. These changes have been taking place throughout the last two decades, albeit with different speed in different time periods. Three of them, de-ruralization, de-agrarianization and re-stratification, are continuations of processes which took place before 1989. Their dynamics does not differ from that in Western and Central-Eastern Europe. The fourth, more original process can also be detected in the development of a new agrarian model: the adjustment of the post-communist structure of agricultural production to the market economy.
The main purpose of this paper is to present selected methods of spatial-economic research with a special focus on Michalski`s method. The enlargement of the European Union by new countries is an important opportunity to carry out comparative studies, making it possible to analyse and assess the competitiveness of regions as well as spatial and regional diversity of growth centres. The presented visualisation methods are the authors` modest contribution to literature on this subject. This contribution includes collecting domestic methods, their implementation in research and some modifications. The purpose of these methods was to examine spatial processes (in such areas as: economy, demography, agriculture, quality of life or building) in different spatial sections, in the years 1990–1992. There are many methods of examining similarity (dissimilarity) of regional structures. All of them fundamentally depend on the concept of structure. In this paper, two different approaches of this concept and the relevant measures shall be presented. Furthermore, various methods of visualisation of the obtained measures shall be presented.
The article was published in Polish in "Studia Regionalne i Lokalne", 3/2004
Theory and empirical literature relate educational quality to two main explanatory factors: family education (intergenerational transfer of human capital) and the quality of schools. The model proposed in this paper is intended to verify the significance of these factors in explaining territorial disparities in educational quality in Poland. The dependent variable is the test score of sixth grade pupils in 2002, averaged at municipality level. The test results prove to be strongly correlated with human capital stock in the municipality`s adult population, which points to the key role of intergenerational transfer for educational quality. On the other hand, the role of school resources (understood as expenditure on education) is rather small. Average test results differ significantly between Poland`s historical divisions. Surprisingly, the more urbanised and relatively affluent regions, like Greater Poland (Wielkopolska), Pomerania (Pomorze) and the so-called Regained Territories (ziemie odzyskane) reveal a substantially lower educational quality than the territories in the east and south-east of the country, generally less developed and with a significant share of agriculture in the economy. These differences can only be partly explained by an additional environmental factor, related to the prevalence of state-owned economy before 1990 (e.g. state farms PGRs) and today`s high structural unemployment. Interestingly, the dissimilarities between the historical regions are not only illustrated by average test score levels, but also by parameters of the determining functions for these results. It can be concluded therefore that location in a historical region has a substantial impact on the flexibility of educational outcomes with regard to different explanatory factors.
Polish farmers are hardly definable social group. It is a diversified population dominated (in numbers) by “quasi-farmers” – running small farms for own consumption, not selling their products at the market. This category has many negative, economic, social and psychological features. Their political choices are often to support the populist, agricultural parties. The author, referring to the concepts of “blocking development” and “moderating the changes”, describes the political mechanisms of slowing down the reforms applied by the (broadly considered) Polish farmers.