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Economies, Volume 6, Issue 1 (March 2018)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Economies in 2017
Received: 16 January 2018 / Revised: 17 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
Peer review is an essential part in the publication process, ensuring that Economies maintains high quality standards for its published papers.[...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessCommunication Sets of Sustainable Development Indicators in Vietnam: Status and Solutions
Received: 21 October 2017 / Revised: 9 December 2017 / Accepted: 12 December 2017 / Published: 25 December 2017
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Abstract
There are some sets of sustainable development indicators (SDIs) at different regional scales and the Millennium development goals indicators (MDGIs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGIs) are employed in Vietnam. Actually, building and applying SDIs have faced different difficulties and this has led to
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There are some sets of sustainable development indicators (SDIs) at different regional scales and the Millennium development goals indicators (MDGIs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGIs) are employed in Vietnam. Actually, building and applying SDIs have faced different difficulties and this has led to a reduction in their value. Solutions to improve SDIs have been proposed and completed. This paper aims to review the SDIs, MDGIs, and SDGIs in Vietnam and to propose recommendations for building and effectively applying them in practice in Vietnam. Two national SDIs, one regional SDI, one local SDI, and some provincial SDIs, in addition to the results of MDGIs/SDGIs implementation, were analyzed. The common limitation of Government promulgated SDIs was found to not be feasible as they are applied in practice. Proposed solutions are building pilot SDIs for specific regions in Vietnam based on UN guidelines from 2007 and calculating practical values of SDIs for pilot regions, subsequently recommending relevant authorities in Vietnam to change or adjust promulgated SDIs. The experiences of procedure used to develop the pilot SDIs and effective handing over the usage of SDIs to stakeholders should also be considered when developing the sustainable development goals indicators in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Human Capital, Social Capabilities and Economic Growth
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 21 December 2017 / Accepted: 25 December 2017 / Published: 2 January 2018
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Abstract
Theoretically, human capital is conclusively believed to be positively related with economic growth. While empirically, the said relationship does not always hold for several reasons. Thus, the current paper presents new results on a set of conditions under which human capital is robustly
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Theoretically, human capital is conclusively believed to be positively related with economic growth. While empirically, the said relationship does not always hold for several reasons. Thus, the current paper presents new results on a set of conditions under which human capital is robustly and positively associated with economic growth. Using data for 132 countries over 15 years, the empirical results reveal that human capital plays a positive role in per capita GDP growth only in the presence of better economic opportunities and high-quality legal institutions. In fact, economic opportunities reinforce the effect of human capital on growth: the easier it is to do business and trade domestically or internationally, the stronger the effect of human capital on growth. In conclusion, the findings suggest that inconclusive results in previous empirical studies on human capital and growth might be due to omitted variable bias as these studies do not include variables related to social capabilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Education and Health in Economic Development)
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Open AccessArticle Downshifting in the Fast Lane: A Post-Keynesian Model of a Consumer-Led Transition
Received: 6 December 2017 / Revised: 1 January 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2018 / Published: 10 January 2018
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Abstract
If the world’s countries seriously tackle the climate targets agreed upon in Paris, their citizens are likely to experience substantial changes in production, consumption, and employment. We present a long-run post-Keynesian model for studying the potential implications of a major transition on macroeconomic
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If the world’s countries seriously tackle the climate targets agreed upon in Paris, their citizens are likely to experience substantial changes in production, consumption, and employment. We present a long-run post-Keynesian model for studying the potential implications of a major transition on macroeconomic stability and employment. It is a demand-led model in which firms have considerable but not absolute freedom to administer prices, while household consumption exhibits inertia. Firms continually seek input-saving technological improvements that, in aggregate, tie technological progress to firms’ cost structures. Together with firm pricing strategies and wage setting, the productivities of different inputs determine the functional income distribution. Saving and investment, and production and purchase of consumption goods, are undertaken by different economic actors, driven by income and capacity utilization, with the possibility that productive capacity exceeds, or falls short of, effective demand. The model produces business cycles and long waves driven by technological change. We present results for a “downshifting” scenario in which households voluntarily withdraw labor, and discuss the implications of downshifting for stability, growth, and employment. We contrast the downshifting scenario with ones in which households reduce consumption without withdrawing from the labor pool. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Implementation of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Framework in Enhancing Business Performances in Oil and Gas Sector
Received: 2 November 2017 / Revised: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 29 December 2017 / Published: 15 January 2018
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Abstract
This study empirically investigated the ERM Implementation model and proposed framework to identify and manage risks in Oil and Gas Sector in Malaysia. The study examined the role of ERM framework implementation in improving business performance by utilizing Economic Value Added as a
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This study empirically investigated the ERM Implementation model and proposed framework to identify and manage risks in Oil and Gas Sector in Malaysia. The study examined the role of ERM framework implementation in improving business performance by utilizing Economic Value Added as a measurement tool. The study also provides insights to the Oil and Gas Sector to gain higher profit returns, reduce cost of capital, and improve shareholders value. Moreover, it contributes significantly in the field of Enterprise risk management in Malaysia. The identification and management of risk is significant to organizations in managing risks efficiently. Expectations of stakeholders of the organization are high from executives and board of directors in managing the risk effectively. Linear regression analysis is utilized in analyzing the data obtained from the data collection performed for this paper. Purposive sampling has been employed in order to select the firms that are operating in Malaysian oil and gas sector. Primary data has been utilized to collect data with the help of structured questions and interview techniques that involve semi structured questions. The results of the regression analysis conducted for in this study suggested that a significant and positive relationship between Enterprise Risk Management with operational risk; market risk; political risk; health, safety and environmental risk; and, also business performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Growth as a Consequence of the Industry 4.0 Concept)
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Open AccessArticle Low-Carbon Competitiveness in Asia
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 3 December 2017 / Accepted: 20 December 2017 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
Environmental degradation and the risks from climate change have strengthened the need for cleaner forms of economic growth. Using patent, trade and output data, we measure the current size of Asia’s low-carbon economy and assess its competitiveness across key sectors. We look at
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Environmental degradation and the risks from climate change have strengthened the need for cleaner forms of economic growth. Using patent, trade and output data, we measure the current size of Asia’s low-carbon economy and assess its competitiveness across key sectors. We look at three success factors for low-carbon competitiveness at the sector level: the ability to convert to low-carbon products and processes (measured by a specialization in low-carbon innovation), the ability to gain and maintain market share (measured by existing comparative advantages) and a favorable starting point (measured by current output and scale). Using this framework, we identify the ‘climate change mitigation technologies’ that Asian countries specialize in and can potentially scale up. The analysis shows that Asia’s top low-carbon economies are Japan, South Korea and China. The sectors in which Asia is particularly well placed to be globally competitive include efficient lighting, photovoltaics and energy storage. Overall, Asia is a specialist in innovating and exporting climate change mitigation technologies but there are significant regional disparities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Non-trivial Factors as Determinants of the Environmental Taxation Revenues in 27 EU Countries
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 8 January 2018 / Accepted: 12 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract
The implementation of environmental taxation is one of the most important issues of environmental policy in Europe. To approach this matter, the paper aims to analyse the determinants of environmental taxation revenue for European countries. Besides investigating the most explored determinants, such as
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The implementation of environmental taxation is one of the most important issues of environmental policy in Europe. To approach this matter, the paper aims to analyse the determinants of environmental taxation revenue for European countries. Besides investigating the most explored determinants, such as those related to production, consumption and environmental quality, particular attention is paid to some non-trivial factors. Firstly, we analyse the importance of the institutional context that is crucial for policy enforcement. Secondly, we consider the consumption of rapidly obsolescent goods, such as information and communication technology (ICT) goods characterised by intensive waste generation. Finally, the importation of final goods as a consequence of production offshoring is taken into account. The results demonstrate that the above-mentioned determinants have a heterogeneous impact on environmental taxation revenue in EU Western countries and EU Eastern countries, which can be due to a still weak institutional context of the latter economies and their peculiar patterns of development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollution and Economic Development)
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Fiscal Decentralization on Accountability, Economic Freedom, and Political and Civil Liberties in the Americas
Received: 4 October 2017 / Revised: 27 December 2017 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 1 February 2018
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Abstract
This paper analyzes the impact of fiscal decentralization on accountability, economic freedom, and political and civil liberties in the Americas. The findings indicate that decentralization initially hampers but eventually enhances accountability and political and civil liberties, in line with the hypothesized positive correlation
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This paper analyzes the impact of fiscal decentralization on accountability, economic freedom, and political and civil liberties in the Americas. The findings indicate that decentralization initially hampers but eventually enhances accountability and political and civil liberties, in line with the hypothesized positive correlation between greater fiscal autonomy and a more inclusive, participatory government. The impact of fiscal decentralization on economic freedom, however, runs counter to expectations. Decentralization seems to initially bolster freedom, but it eventually constrains it, proving that greater accountability and political and civil liberties do not necessarily lead to greater economic freedom. When Canada and the US are excluded and the analysis is done with developing American nations only, the behavioral pattern regarding how fiscal decentralization affects the principal variables intensifies, noting that in developing countries the impact of fiscal decentralization is likely to be more consequential. Full article
Open AccessArticle What Determines Lean Manufacturing Implementation? A CB-SEM Model
Received: 18 May 2017 / Revised: 8 December 2017 / Accepted: 18 December 2017 / Published: 5 February 2018
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Abstract
This research aims to ascertain the determinants of effective Lean Manufacturing (LM). In this research, Covariance-based Structural Equation Modeling (CB-SEM) analysis will be used in order to analyze the determinants. Through CB-SEM analysis, the significant key determinants can be determined and the direct
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This research aims to ascertain the determinants of effective Lean Manufacturing (LM). In this research, Covariance-based Structural Equation Modeling (CB-SEM) analysis will be used in order to analyze the determinants. Through CB-SEM analysis, the significant key determinants can be determined and the direct relationships among determinants can be analyzed. Thus, the findings of this research can act as guidelines for achievement of LM effectiveness, not only providing necessary steps for successful implementation of lean, but also helping lean companies to achieve higher level of lean cost and time savings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Government Debt and Other Determinants on Economic Growth: The Greek Experience
Received: 12 December 2017 / Revised: 21 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 5 February 2018
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Abstract
This study empirically investigates the relationship between economic growth and several factors (investment, private and government consumption, trade openness, population growth and government debt) in Greece, where imbalances persist several years after the financial crisis. The results reveal a long-run relationship between variables.
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This study empirically investigates the relationship between economic growth and several factors (investment, private and government consumption, trade openness, population growth and government debt) in Greece, where imbalances persist several years after the financial crisis. The results reveal a long-run relationship between variables. Investment as private and government consumption and trade openness affect positively growth. On the other hand, there is a negative long-run effect of government debt and population growth on growth. Furthermore, the study addresses the issue of break effects between government debt and economic growth. The results indicate that the relationship between debt and growth depends on the debt breaks. Specifically, at debt levels before 2000, increases in the government debt-to-GDP ratio are associated with insignificant effects on economic growth. However, as government debt rises after 2000, the effect on economic growth diminishes rapidly and the growth impacts become negative. The challenge for policy makers in Greece is to halt the rising of government debt by keeping a sustainable growth path. Fiscal discipline should be combined with the implementation of coherent, consistent and sequential growth-enhancing structural reforms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Adult Learning, Economic Growth and the Distribution of Income
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 11 January 2018 / Accepted: 21 January 2018 / Published: 12 February 2018
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Abstract
Technological change causes three consequences: it guarantees economic growth, it requires employees to acquire more skills and human capital, and it increases inequality if employees are not capable adapting to new technologies. The second consequence makes it almost necessary for employees to learn
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Technological change causes three consequences: it guarantees economic growth, it requires employees to acquire more skills and human capital, and it increases inequality if employees are not capable adapting to new technologies. The second consequence makes it almost necessary for employees to learn during their whole working life, thereby accelerating technological change. Accordingly, the OECD (the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) and many governments supports the idea of lifelong learning, but it remains unclear how to finance the education of adult students who are working efficiently. In this paper, we use an overlapping generation model with human capital accumulation and inequality to derive a mechanism which reduces income inequality and provides an incentive for all adults to invest more in education. As a consequence, the growth rate of per capita income will increase and income inequality will be reduced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Education and Health in Economic Development)
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Open AccessArticle Social Security and Fighting Poverty in Tunisia
Received: 21 October 2017 / Revised: 25 January 2018 / Accepted: 30 January 2018 / Published: 19 February 2018
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Abstract
The objective of this study was to examine the role of social security in fighting poverty in Metlaoui, Tunisia, using survey data collected between July 2012 and January 2014, covering 200 poor households. We used questionnaire data, which gave a thorough analysis of
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The objective of this study was to examine the role of social security in fighting poverty in Metlaoui, Tunisia, using survey data collected between July 2012 and January 2014, covering 200 poor households. We used questionnaire data, which gave a thorough analysis of the reactions, behavior, and strategies adopted by poor households as a result of various forms of risk. Social security has an effect on a number of different areas, including health, education, housing, and income. Our methodology explored both complete and partial risk-sharing, to investigate the impact of social security schemes on the strategies adopted by households to cope with economic shocks. The estimation results of different models showed that social security could help social security-covered households choose less costly strategies to cope with risks. However, the role of social security remains insufficient, given that covered households had less confidence in its services and they adopted strategies of self-insurance or income smoothing. Overall, the results showed that social security plays an important role in Metlaoui, but it remains insufficient, especially for households that are not covered by social security and are suffering from heavy health expenditures. Full article
Open AccessArticle Changes in Natural Disaster Risk: Macroeconomic Responses in Selected Latin American Countries
Received: 29 November 2017 / Revised: 31 January 2018 / Accepted: 1 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
This paper studies the theoretical effects of changes in disaster risk on macroeconomic variables in five Latin American economies. It compares country-specific variants of the New Keynesian model with disaster risk developed by Isoré and Szczerbowicz (2017). Countries with higher price flexibility, such
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This paper studies the theoretical effects of changes in disaster risk on macroeconomic variables in five Latin American economies. It compares country-specific variants of the New Keynesian model with disaster risk developed by Isoré and Szczerbowicz (2017). Countries with higher price flexibility, such as Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, are found to be relatively less vulnerable to disaster risk shocks, as compared to Chile and Colombia in particular. Overall, the analysis suggests that increases in the probability of natural disasters over time may have significant macroeconomic effects, beyond the direct impact of actual disaster occurrences themselves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Hazards and Economic Development)
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Open AccessArticle Size, Value and Business Cycle Variables. The Three-Factor Model and Future Economic Growth: Evidence from an Emerging Market
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 14 February 2018 / Accepted: 14 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
The paper empirically investigates three different methods to construct factors and identifies some pitfalls that arise in the application of Fama-French’s three-factor model to the Pakistani stock returns. We find that the special features in Pakistan significantly affect size and value factors and
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The paper empirically investigates three different methods to construct factors and identifies some pitfalls that arise in the application of Fama-French’s three-factor model to the Pakistani stock returns. We find that the special features in Pakistan significantly affect size and value factors and also influence the explanatory power of the three-factor model. Additionally, the paper examines the ability of the three factors to predict the future growth of Pakistan’s economy. Using monthly data of both financial and non-financial companies between 2002 and 2016, the article empirically investigates and finds that: (1) size and book-to-market factors exist in the Pakistani stock market, two mimic portfolios SMB and HML generate a return of 9.15% and 12.27% per annum, respectively; (2) adding SMB and HML factors into the model meaningfully increases the explanatory power of the model; and (3) the model’s factors, except for value factor, predict future gross domestic product (GDP) growth of Pakistan and remain robust. Our results are robust across sub-periods, risk regimes, and under three different methods of constructing the factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Efficiency and Anomalies in Stock Markets)
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Open AccessArticle Modeling the Construction Sector and Oil Prices toward the Growth of the Nigerian Economy: An Econometric Approach
Received: 10 October 2017 / Revised: 28 December 2017 / Accepted: 31 January 2018 / Published: 7 March 2018
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Abstract
This study empirically examined the interrelationship between the construction sector, oil prices, and the actual gross domestic product (GDP) in Nigeria. Using annual economic data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the OPEC Annual Statistical Bulletin, and econometric statistics, we found that
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This study empirically examined the interrelationship between the construction sector, oil prices, and the actual gross domestic product (GDP) in Nigeria. Using annual economic data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the OPEC Annual Statistical Bulletin, and econometric statistics, we found that although very strong positive and significant correlations exist between the construction sector output and total GDP output (0.934), the construction sector output and oil prices (0.856), and the total GDP output and oil prices (0.822), these linear relationships only exist for a short time. However, these relationships do not result in any direct causal influence on each other, except for the uni-directional Granger causal relationship that flows from the total GDP output to the construction sector output, which implies that economic activities of other major non-oil sectors stimulate the construction activities in Nigeria. Thus, we argue that neither the construction sector nor the oil prices directly influence the aggregate economy; rather, the other sectors’ activities stimulate the construction sector in Nigeria. Two policy recommendations for achieving the Federal Government’s medium term Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) are suggested: (1) the Nigerian government should de-emphasize overreliance on the oil sector through policy readjustment and (2) an urgent need for economic diversification in Nigeria exists, since we revealed that an increase in the aggregate GDP output is due to the activities of other non-oil sectors. Full article
Open AccessArticle Sustainability Performance of an Italian Textile Product
Received: 16 October 2017 / Revised: 16 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 12 March 2018
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Abstract
Companies are more and more interested in the improvement of sustainability performance of products, services and processes. For this reason, appropriate and suitable assessment tools supporting the transition to a green economy are highly necessary. Currently, there are a number of methods and
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Companies are more and more interested in the improvement of sustainability performance of products, services and processes. For this reason, appropriate and suitable assessment tools supporting the transition to a green economy are highly necessary. Currently, there are a number of methods and approaches for assessing products’ environmental impact and improving their performances; among these, the Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) approach has emerged as the most comprehensive and effective to achieve sustainability goals. Indeed, the LCT approach aims to reduce the use of resources and emissions to the environment associated with a product’s life cycle. It can be used as well to improve socio-economic performance through the entire life cycle of a product. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Life Cycle Costing (LCC) and Social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA) are undoubtedly the most relevant methodologies to support product-related decision-making activities for the extraction and processing of raw materials, manufacturing, distribution, use, reuse, maintenance, recycling and final disposal. While LCA is an internationally standardized tool (ISO 14040 2006), LCC (except for the ISO related to the building sector) and S-LCA have yet to attain international standardization (even if guidelines and general frameworks are available). The S-LCA is still in its experimental phase for many aspects of the methodological structure and practical implementation. This study presents the application of LCA and S-LCA to a textile product. The LCA and S-LCA are implemented following the ISO 14040-44:2006 and the guidelines from UNEP/SETAC (2009), respectively. The functional unit of the study is a cape knitted in a soft blend of wool and cashmere produced by a textile company located in Sicily (Italy). The system boundary of the study includes all phases from cradle-to-gate, from raw material production through fabric/accessory production to the manufacturing process of the product itself at the Sicilian Company. Background and foreground processes are taken into account using primary and secondary data. The analysis evaluates the environmental and social performances related to the specific textile product, but also outlines the general behaviour of the company. The case study also highlights pro and cons of a combined LCA and S-LCA to a textile product in a regional context. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Impacts of Domestic and Foreign Direct Investments on Economic Growth in Saudi Arabia
Received: 27 January 2018 / Revised: 22 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 19 March 2018
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Abstract
This paper investigates the causal links between domestic capital investment, foreign direct investment (FDI), and economic growth in Saudi Arabia over the period 1970–2015 by using the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) bounds testing to cointegration approach. The fully modified ordinary least squares (FMOLS),
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This paper investigates the causal links between domestic capital investment, foreign direct investment (FDI), and economic growth in Saudi Arabia over the period 1970–2015 by using the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) bounds testing to cointegration approach. The fully modified ordinary least squares (FMOLS), dynamic ordinary least squares (DOLS), and the canonical cointegrating regression (CCR) are employed to check the robustness of the ARDL long run estimates. The results show that in the long term there are negative bidirectional causality between non-oil GDP growth and FDI, negative bidirectional causality between non-oil GDP growth and domestic capital investment, and bidirectional causality between FDI and domestic capital investment. FDI affects negatively domestic capital investment in the short run, whereas domestic capital investment affects negatively FDI in the long run. Both finance development and trade openness affect positively non-oil GDP growth, FDI inflows and domestic capital investment in the long run. The findings are important for Saudi policy makers to undertake the effective policies that can promote and lead domestic and foreign investments to enhance economic growth in the country. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Environmental Consequences of Growth: Empirical Evidence from the Republic of Kazakhstan
Received: 8 November 2017 / Revised: 24 February 2018 / Accepted: 7 March 2018 / Published: 19 March 2018
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Abstract
The main objective of this paper is to examine the effect growth has on CO2 emissions in Kazakhstan, controlling for energy consumption, in the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) cointegration framework. We find that the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesis seems to hold
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The main objective of this paper is to examine the effect growth has on CO2 emissions in Kazakhstan, controlling for energy consumption, in the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) cointegration framework. We find that the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesis seems to hold for Kazakhstan; this effect at a low level of income increases CO2 but at a high level decreases it. We also find that energy consumption increases CO2 emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollution and Economic Development)
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Other

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Open AccessCase Report Localization of SDGs through Disaggregation of KPIs
Received: 4 November 2017 / Revised: 5 February 2018 / Accepted: 6 February 2018 / Published: 5 March 2018
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Abstract
The United Nation’s Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) pick up where the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) left off. The SDGs set forth a formidable task for the global community and international sustainable development over the next 15 years. Learning from the
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The United Nation’s Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) pick up where the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) left off. The SDGs set forth a formidable task for the global community and international sustainable development over the next 15 years. Learning from the successes and failures of the MDGs, government officials, development experts, and many other groups understood that localization is necessary to accomplish the SDGs but how and what to localize remain as questions to be answered. The UN Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goals (UN IAEG-SDGs) sought to answer these questions through development of metadata behind the 17 goals, 169 associated targets and corresponding indicators of the SDGs. Data management is key to understanding how and what to localize, but, to do it properly, the data and metadata needs to be properly disaggregated. This paper reviews the utilization of disaggregation analysis for localization and demonstrates the process of identifying opportunities for subnational interventions to achieve multiple targets and indicators through the formation of new integrated key performance indicators. A case study on SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation is used to elucidate these points. The examples presented here are only illustrative—future research and the development of an analytical framework for localization and disaggregation of the SDGs would be a valuable tool for national and local governments, implementing partners and other interested parties. Full article
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