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Search for phrase: "disparities"
Paweł Merło, Marcin Bogdański

Competitiveness is a key factor determining the development of a region and hence the standard of living of its inhabitants, and human capital is one of the most important factors enabling improvement of regional competitiveness. The aim of the presented research is to analyse the spatial differentiation of the level of human capital in the regions of the European Union (EU) in relation to their level of competitiveness. The results show significant disproportions in this respect, especially between the so-called old and new EU. The higher levels of human capital in the old EU regions were also generally accompanied by a higher level of competitiveness. In the long run, this will lead to an increase in regional disparities in development.

Grzegorz Gorzelak

The article was published in Polish in "Studia Regionalne i Lokalne", 4/2004


The paper discusses regional disparities in Poland in their many dimensions and aspects economic, social and political. Individual phenomena basically have a similar spatial representation, which can be seen as a corroboration of the well-known thesis on the existence of a strong interdependency of many phenomena in the development process. The historical underpinnings of these disparities prove once again that they are the products of "long duration` processes. Both characteristics of these differences, showing their complexity and historical factors suggest caution as to what can realistically be expected of regional policy because it can change the objective reality only gradually and only to a limited extent. The paper ends with some recommendations for regional policy.

Maria Lewicka

The paper discusses the findings from a survey conducted on representative samples from three historically dissimilar regions of Poland (Eastern Poland, Galicia, western and northern regions) and two in Ukraine (western and eastern Ukraine). It outlines the results of analyses investigating regional disparities in Poland and Ukraine, and similarities shared by all the five regions in terms of different aspects of local and national identity, taking into account the role of objective factors affecting regional disparities (mainly urbanisation rates). A series of cluster analyses has proven that the area of Poland is much more homogeneous than that of Ukraine. Likewise, western Ukrainians showed more similarity to the inhabitants of eastern and south-eastern regions of Poland than to the eastern parts of Ukraine.

Robert Perdał, Paweł Churski, Tomasz Herodowicz, Barbara Konecka-Szydłowska

The article aims to identify the geographical dimension of social (in)justice in the context of the existing permanent differences in the level of socio-economic development in Poland from the geographical and historical point of view. It also discusses the consequences of these inequalities for development policy on regional and local levels. The study consists of two essential parts. The first one presents synthetic deliberations on the geographical aspect of the social justice discussed. In the second part, an attempt was made to exemplify a geographical dimension of social (in)justice through the analysis of the spatial distribution of the socio-economic development level (a synthetic indicator) and selected partial indicators. In addition, the presence of dependencies of the socio-economic development level and the degree of political support for political fractions proclaiming the slogan of “social justice” was verified. The results of the conducted research confirm the existence of considerable developmental differences in the Polish space. Their strength is historically determined and, despite the passage of time, their pattern invariably corresponds to the former partition boundaries. These disparities are not minimised and the influence of economic growth on the income rise remains limited, especially in economically weaker areas, which leads to growing social dissatisfaction. As a result, one can conclude that in Poland those differences constitute the geographical dimension of social (in)justice.

Miroslava Lungová

The article explores resilience of the Czech NUTS3-level regions to an external economic shock in the form of the latest global economic crisis of 2008-2009. It begins with a brief introduction of the concept of resilience and of terminological and methodological issues associated with operationalizing it. Next, regional resistance to the external economic shock is assessed using sensitivity indices of relative output and employment contractions. Finally, the nature and severity of the shock as well as regional disparities in recoverability are investigated using employment data.

Maciej Smętkowski, Piotr Wójcik

The aim of this article is to outline growth tendencies and growth factors in the subregions (NUTS 3) of Central and Eastern Europe in the period 1998–2006. A wide range of complementary research methods has been used in order to triangulate results, starting with classical beta and sigma convergence analysis, to kernel density estimation, transition matrices, spatial autocorrelation and multi-dimensional comparisons. Some rarely discussed aspects of the influence of capital regions on growth processes have been taken into account. An additional analysis of the data in relation to country averages produced results independent of the country context. As a result, we have been able to answer the following questions: do the analysed countries experience regional convergence or rather divergence/polarisation processes? What factors determine the dynamics of regional growth? What are the main dimensions of spatial disparities in Central and Eastern Europe?

Andrés Rodrígues-Pose, Ugo Fratesi
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.
Grzegorz Gorzelak

This text addresses three key issues presented in the article by Perdał et al. (2020) and in the polemic by Bolesław Domański, published in this issue of Studia Regionalne i Lokalne: territorial aspects of social justice, the relationships between territorial differentiation of socio-economic phenomena and political attitudes and behaviour in Poland, and the problem of meeting the requirements of social justice in relation to territorial systems that are in a particularly difficult situation, mainly due to their depopulation.

Mikołaj Herbst, Jakub Rok

The goal of this article is to investigate the spatial allocation of human capital investment at the local level in Poland. In particular, this analysis refers to the funds within the Human Capital Operational Programme (POKL 2007–2013). The study is divided into the following parts: extrapolation of the algorithm for allocating the POKL funds between regions to the local level; comparison of the allocation based on the data from the period before the programme with the hypothetical allocation of the same funds based on the measurement done after the end of the programme (the „before-after” method); and a comparison of the intentional allocation of POKL funds with the observed actual absorption of funds at the local level in 2007–2015. The analysis carried out in this article proves that the final effect of POKL allocation at the local level is not a simple extension of the government’s plan of division expressed by an algorithm. The absorption of funds per capita differed between municipalities within individual voivodships, but more funds did not necessarily go to the areas that were particularly structurally burdened (according to the governmental algorithm). The „before-after” analysis leads to the conclusion that, in the period under study, development disparities increased, and development gap between eastern and western Poland deepened. The situation is particularly difficult in the territories of the so-called internal peripherals.

Michał Dudek

The paper analyses the changes in the scale of the rural economic activity and identifies their selected determinants. The socio-demographic characteristics of the labour resources and the economic differences between rural regions in Poland were analysed as reasons for the dissimilar levels of rural employment. Analyses have demonstrated that, in 2010–2016, rural economic activity measured by the employment rate increased from 50% to 53%, primarily as a result of the impact of cyclical determinants, reflected in the increase in the number of the employed being higher than the number of inactive persons, with a reduced scale of unemployment overall. The studies indicated similar values of the employment rate for urban and rural areas, while the differences in its level within the selected social categories were much more visible for rural populations. This reflected a persistence of territorial disparities in labour markets as well as a trend towards their convergence. The level of territorial differences in the rural employment in Poland was moderate and should be linked with regional economic characteristics. In this context, the allocation of rural labour supply could be attributed to the impact of cities and their functional areas and to the progress in economic diversification of villages located in a particular region. The discussion section of the paper outlines the institutional opportunities and barriers increasing rural economic activity. The presented conclusions were based on the Central Statistical Office data (mainly the Labour Force Survey and the Local Data Bank) and statistical and comparative analysis methods.

Maciej Smętkowski, Piotr Wójcik
The aim of this article is the description of growth tendencies and growth factors in subregions (NUTS 3) of Central and Eastern Europe in 1998–2006. Wide range of complementary research methods has been used in order to triangulate results – starting with classical beta and sigma convergence analysis, through kernel density estimation, transition matrices to spatial autocorrelation and multidimensional comparisons. Rarely exposed aspect of influence of capital regions on growth processes was taken into account. Additional analysis of the data in relation to country average allowed to obtain conclusions independent of the country context. As a result, it appeared to be possible to answer the following questions: do the analyzed countries face regional convergence or divergence/polarization process?; what factors determine the dynamics of regional growth?; what are the main dimensions of spatial disparities in Central and Eastern Europe.
Piotr Wójcik
The purpose of this article is to establish whether regional convergence is present in Poland in terms of GDP per capita. An analysis was conducted for the years 1995–2005 at the voivodeship (NUTS2), sub-regional (NUTS3 classification) and intra-voivodeship levels. Convergence means a reduction of income disparities between regions. The opposite phenomenon is called divergence. The author of the paper used a method – proposed by Quah (1993, 1996a, 1996b) – that enables an analysis of the full distribution dynamics of relative per capita income. It consists in the estimation of transition matrices derived from Markov’s processes and in the use of nonparametric kernel estimators of the relative density function for relative GDP distribution per capita in subsequent years. The method facilitates verification of the club convergence hypothesis, which is impossible using the classic methodology (Barro and Sala-i-Martin 2003). It is clear that income distribution is stable and that there is no unconditional convergence both between voivodeships and between sub-regions. In general, voivodeships as well as sub-regions were impoverished as a result of a faster-than-normal growth of the richest voivodeships (mazowieckie voivodeship) and sub-regions (large cities, mainly Warsaw and Poznan). The diversification of relative GDP per capita grows in time both in the case of voivodeships and sub-regions. The convergence model that can be seen both at NUTS2 and NUTS3 levels is club convergence (polarisation): relatively the poorest and – separately – the richest regions are becoming similar and converge at different income levels. The analysis also includes the occurrence of sub-region convergence within voivodeships, with the only observable convergence model being club convergence.
Wioletta Wierzbicka
The aim of the research was the evaluation of the regional disparities in the economic efficiency of private companies in Poland. An attempt to answer the following question was taken: Do the regional disparities in the economic efficiency of private companies in Poland are increasing or decreasing? On the basis of the research results one can obtain some important conclusions. Regional disparities in the economic efficiency of private companies in Poland during years 1999-2008 have slightly decreased, and still remain at the average level. It was caused by the different dynamics of economic processes occurring in voivodships and also by the processes of the internal convergence and divergence of voivodships.
Paulina Rychlewska
The aim of this study is to assess the impact of foreign investments on the development of one of the poorest Polish provinces – the Podkarpackie region. The article shows the location, structure and spatial variation of direct foreign investments in the region. The institution method was used to compile data: the number of employees and the size of investment were assigned to places where they were made, but not where the company`s headquarters are located. Results suggest a rather positive impact of foreign investments on local and regional development in the Podkarpackie province, especially in manufacturing industries. The influence of FDI on growth of socio-economic disparities in the region should be rated unfavourably.
Bolesław Domański

The author discusses different definitions of social justice related to equality of outcome and equality of opportunity. It is argued that, in the territorial perspective, public policy should aim at improving the equality of opportunity by means of reducing social exclusion rather than at fighting regional disparities in the standards of living. What is challenged is the interpretation of the relationship between political preferences and the core–periphery division of Poland into Northern and Western Territories on the one hand and Eastern and South-Eastern regions on the other, as presented by R. Perdał et al. (2020).

Artur Bajerski
The aim of the paper is to examine the relation between pupil movement between school catchment areas and the examination results of primary and secondary schools. The problem is analyzed in a broader context of educational disparities related to the spatial organization of educational activity. The results show that the non-rigorous approach to educational zoning by the city authorities, school directors, parents, and their children, causes an intensive movement of pupils between school catchment areas (especially at the level of secondary school). It was found that pupil movement between catchment areas accounted for almost 50 per cent of variation in examination results in the secondary schools in Poznan. The consequences of this situation for the city’s educational policy and school management are discussed.
Joanna Kurach
Convergence is one of the key issues of cohesion policy. The European Union applies different instruments of regional development to reduce disparities between regions and countries. Due to the discussion on the effectiveness of this policy, a research in this area seems to be required. The purpose of this article is to assess the diversity of wealth in the regions using the methods of measurement of sigma convergence. The main parameter used in the calculations is GDP per capita in 2000–2007 at the sub-regional level (NUTS-3). The research shows that income inequalities among some groups of Polish regions have increased after the accession to the EU. Convergence patterns vary in cities, rich sub-regions and poor sub-regions. In some cases, convergence is correlated with the dynamics of GDP, whereas in other there is no significant relationship between convergence and the economic situation.
Mikołaj Herbst

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.

Mikołaj Herbst
Theory and empirical literature relates educational quality to two main explanatory factors: intergenerational transfer of human capital and the quality of schools, school composition and economic conditions. Based on these findings a model explaining territorial differentiation of educational quality is proposed. The dependent variable is test score of 6th grade students, averaged at municipality level. As it turns out, educational outcome is highly conditioned on local human capital stock. The role of traditionally meant school quality (resources) is minor (although higher in rural areas than in cities. Average school outcome differs significantly along historical divisions of Poland, not only in levels, but also in parameters of determining function. Legacies of the past and related socioeconomic processes have a substantial impact on the sensitivity of educational quality to different explanatory factors.
Maciej Smętkowski
The article presents intraregional convergence processes in different types of European metropolitan macro-regions in the years 1995–2004. The typology is based on factor analysis using principal components methods as well as cluster analysis using the Ward method. The results of the analysis indicate the presence of a specific situation in particular types of macro-regions. On the one hand, a clear internal divide of capital city regions of Central and Eastern European Countries was observed, as well as large interregional differences in the level of development in other peripheral macro-regions. On the other hand, Northern Italian and Southern German macro-regions, dependent on modern industry, were internally quite coherent regarding their level of development. The situation was similar also in some regions that experience problems and undergo restructurisation processes. Capital city regions of smaller European countries, especially from the former EU15 (but not constituting any particular type), were the most differentiated group of macro-regions.
Janusz Heller, Alicja Joanna Szczepaniak
The aim of this study was a synthetic evaluation of EU funds’ distribution between 16 voivodships. It was found out that the regional EU funds’ distribution in the years 2000–2005 is an effect of a method, according to which the voivodships that more populated are privileged. In absolute numbers the biggest recipients were: Masovia, Silesia and Malopolska – regions with a high level of urbanization, equipped with a broad business environment and with a relatively rich scientific background. At the same time, these voivodships win the most direct foreign investments. Thus we deal with a double privilege of these voivodships in relation to other regions. In relative numbers, described by an index of received funds in relation to the share of produced GPD, the dominating regions are: Warmia and Mazury, Podlasie and Western Pomerania. But it does not mean that in this way the distance between these voivodships and the most developed regions is reduced. The research did not prove that there is a connection between GDP per capita and the amount of aid per one inhabitant. The lack of any connection (positive or negative), which is a logic effect of the assumption that the regional distribution of EU funds is conditioned mainly by the number of inhabitants, indicates that the criteria do not differentiate voivodships according to the anticipated economic effects. They take an egalitarian approach – every inhabitant should receive statistically equally.