"SECTORAL ANALISES AND SECTORAL POLICY" — INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

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  • "SECTORAL ANALISES AND SECTORAL POLICY" INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCEAuthor(s): . VgsSource: Acta Oeconomica, Vol. 12, No. 3/4 (1974), pp. 391-398Published by: Akadmiai KiadStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40728303 .Accessed: 10/06/2014 03:51

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  • Acta Oeconomica Vol. 12 (3-4), pp. 391-398 (1974)

    REVIEWS

    B. VGS

    "SECTORAL ANALISES AND SECTORAL POLICY" - INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE*

    The organizers of the conference had the following three aims: - to give a survey of the problems and actual knowledge of sectoral analyses, - to gather comprehensive information about actions taken on basis of sec-

    toral analyses on both the micro- and the macro-levels, - to provide a forum for the representatives of different countries to exchange

    their experience. The lively interest aroused is shown by the fact that about half of the partici-

    pants (35 persons) came from foreign - 6 socialist and 12 non-socialist - countries. After the opening address of State Secretary /. Hetnyi, First Vice Pres-

    ident of the National Planning Office, 22 papers were discussed. Five further papers were distributed, but not discussed, since their authors were not present. Half of the

    papers were submitted by representatives of socialist countries, with four Hungarian specialists among them. Beside plenary meetings discussing the papers also group discussions were included in the programme. Owing to their informal nature, they provided good opportunities for direct discussion of questions related to the subject. The findings of the conference were summarized at the closing session by

    Roman, Director of the Research Institute for Industrial Economics of the Hun-

    garian Academy of Sciences. In his opening address I. Hetnyi spoke about the differences in the con-

    ceptual interpretation of the "sector", as well as about the limitations of this term and the necessity of its use. He emphasized separately the requirements which demand to draw the limits of sectors as a practical task. In this context he briefly outlined the tasks and system of Hungarian economic control and planning, the direction and

    perspectives of Hungarian economic development, and, in addition, how the central

    development programmes and the support of the progressive sectors are connected to all that.

    The papers and the relevant discussions gave account of the problems of the two far-reaching subjects mentioned in the title and of the related international ex-

    perience.

    * The conference was held in Budapest between 19th - 22nd April 1974, organized jointly by the European Association of National Productivity Centres, and the Research Institute for Industrial Economics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (the Hungarian member of the Association.)

    Acta Oeconomica 12, 1974

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  • 392 REVIEWS

    Sectoral analyses

    In the course of the conference four main types of sectoral analyses were at the centre of interest: examination of the economic structure by sectors, comparison of the efficiency of sectors, analysis of the development and perspectives of sectors, and the examination of the inner structure of sectors.

    All of the papers were reflective of the idea that sectoral analyses were needed not only for the foundation of the development of individual sectors. Namely, a sec- tor shouldn't be analysed in itself separated from other spheres of the economy, not considering at least the sectors directly connected to it. At the same time, the demand was expressly formulated that the analyses must provide such information as will help decision-making in the given sector.

    According to their conception the papers are to be divided into two different groups. The two differed in whether it was the potentials for increasing national-level productivity, or those for increasing enterprise profitability that must be explored for guaranteeing an adequate economic growth and for the formulation of a corre- sponding sectoral policy. The real problem out of which this difference of concep- tions arises consists in that the growing profitability of an enterprise or of a group of enterprises does not necessarily guarantee the growth of productivity on the national level.

    Everybody agreed, however, that the most important questions of sectoral analyses are the weak structural points of sectors and branches, the factors influenc- ing the structure of sectors and their effects, and the future development of the sec- tors (enterprises, group of enterprises).

    Mikls Simrs (Economic Research Institute) paper, reporting on the analysis of relative sectoral efficiency illustrates clearly the differences between the two conceptions mentioned above. A method already tested in practice was pre- sented. It is suitable, first of all, for analysing the sectors relative to each other. In this study economic efficiency is considered as a measure for ranking the sectors. The tool of measurement is a complex efficiency indicator, which evaluates each sector on the basis of net income relative to capital and wages-inputs.

    Computations based on this indicator demonstrated remarkable differences between the competitive industrial branches covered by the analysis. The results have shown that the efficiency ranking of industrial branches is fundamentally de- termined by the net income produced. In the course of the research computations were made - beside home market prices - with prices received on markets of socialist and capitalist countries. These have shown that on the basis of domestic prices there is a smaller dispersion of sectoral efficiency between industrial branches.

    Several papers were read about the applicability and problems of mathemati- cal methods in sectoral examinations. D. M. Kazakevitch (Soviet Union) gave a summary survey of the mathematical and methodological experiences gained in his country in the theoretical and practical work connected with the simulation and Op-

    tera Oeconomica 12, 1974

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  • REVIEWS 393

    timization of the development of productive sectors. D. van Vynsberghe (Belgium) gave account of the theoretical and methodological problems arising in the course of linking sectoral with regional points of view in input-output analyses. For illustration he used the results of actual investigations that had covered the Brabant province in Belgium.

    A.S. Nekrasov (Soviet Union) summarized the problems of the optimal planning of the power economy by relying on the experience of such work in his country. He stressed especially that the extreme diversity of this branch and the high complexity of its internal and external relations necessitate a system approach and the application of a model system that makes use of the tools supplied by economic mathematics. Solving the problem answers had to be sought to two interrelated problems: how to find the optimum proportions in the development of the power economy branches, and how to provide for a fast raising of the level of fuel- and energy exploitation.

    The model is built on a division of the general planning tasks of a given period into a hierarchic system of tasks, differentiated according to regions and sectoral characteristics. The model system consists of three subsystems: models of the na- tional economy, of the sectors, and of the regions. The author pointed out that the system as a whole must be in harmony with the actual structure of the power economy, as well as with the total and partial power balances.

    A similar view was expressed in the paper about the prognostic models of the long-range development of the machine building industry and about the experience of the application of these models, that may be generalized. This paper was submit- ted by a Czechoslovak group of authors: M. Mares, A. Hrbek, B. Valova and K. Stransky. An analysis in a similar field was the subject of l Harne9 s (Denmark) study, presenting the structural analysis of a trade association uniting machine building and metal-working enterprises and the rationalisation measures taken as a result.

    Good examples for the analyses of the inner structure, development and perspective of sectors, as well as for the differences in the purposes of analyses are provided by the papers of B. Lindvig (Norway), D. Ibielski (GFR), and the joint authors E. Ilijev-A. V. Kuntchev (Bulgaria).

    In his introduction, B. Lindvig summarized briefly the sectoral investigations carried out by the Norwegian Productivity Institute (NPI). Then he went on to report on the complex study of the baking industry, one of the most important works.

    The examination, carried out with the cooperation of ministries, professional associations and the trade union, treats (in the form of partial studies) the marketing problems of the branch, the structure of production, the revision of bakeries' book-keeping, laws and agreements affecting the bakeries (the effects of their changes on the sectoral structure), the characteristic features of technological de- velopment and the question of distributing the products.

    Acta O econmica 12, 1974

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  • 394 REVIEWS

    It appears from the results - as underlined by the author - that the next task is to elaborate such suggestions as will promote the formulation of a sectoral policy to serve the fulfilment of social, economic and consumers' demands.

    D. Ibielskfs paper approached the interrelations of sectoral analysis and sec- toral policy from the side of sectoral analyses, and summarized the results of so- called group-studies. The Productivity Centre of the German Federal Republic (RKW) has been working out such studies covering groups of enterprises since the early 1960s. These studies analyse in the first place the problems of small- and medium-sized enterprises belonging to the same sector, and seek for possibilities to increase the efficiency of such enterprises. Results of the analyses so far accom- plished show that in order to explore these possibilities it is expedient to concentrate attention on the following three spheres of problems: analysis of market potentials and of marketing functions; evaluation and forecasting of technological develop- ment, and exploration of the possibilities for employing the new techniques; elab- oration of measures aimed at raising the level of management.

    As an example, the author presented in detail the examination covering the china- and pottery industry of the GFR carried out in 1971-72.

    E. Ilijev and V. Kuntchev reported on the methods of sectoral analyses con- cerned with Bulgarian industry. Then they presented the examinations carried out in 1971-72 on the cotton and textile industry. The analysis covered the efficiency in- terrelations of concentration and specialization of the sector by relying on actual book-keeping and statistical indicators. The authors compared the indicators - grouped according to the size of enterprises - and analysed also the regional location of the industry. It was underlined that, in the present phase of economic development in Bulgaria, the purpose of sectoral analyses is to explore reserves that can help to increase the efficiency of social production, and to promote the utilization of such reserves. A similar account was given in the paper of R. Hesgr (Turkey) about sec- toral studies carried out by the Turkish Productivity Centre. The authors' group: P. dos Santos, A. Pries and L. Paulo (Portugal) presented a paper treating productiv- ity analyses in the Portuguese industry.

    Sectoral policy

    The majority of the papers treated the problems of sectoral policy. It must be remarked, however, that a sharp line cannot be drawn in this respect, since - as shown by the preceding - the analyses themselves are closely related to the policy in- fluencing sectors: they aid, exactly, the formulation of such a policy.

    As regards the idea of sectoral policy, a common point of view has practically developed: sectoral policy is to be interpreted as the central (state) policy concerning sectors or the whole economy. The problem of interpreting structural changes and structural policy was closely related to this concept. The papers read and the discus-

    Acta Oeconomica 12% 1974

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  • REVIEWS 395

    siofs allow to draw 'he conclusion that structural change means such movements within the economic structure as are the joint results of social and economic factors. On the other side, structural policy contains those central or government efforts that are directed toward achieving, i. e. carrying through, structural changes in certain industries, certain areas, and in certain enterprises.

    The studies tried to present the questions of developing individual sectors and their inner structure, and the general and selective tools of sectoral policy not only in general terms but on basis of practical experience in different countries. The question of product pattern was given particular emphasis, as well as the idea that the intensive support of a sector will bring about the required result only in case each investment and development programme is implemented in time and on adequately up-to-date level. As regards the inner structure of sectors, the size and organization of enter- prises, regional structure, competition, and the various means of increasing produc- tivity were of primary interest.

    The social aspects of sectoral policy were stressed in tie studies, among them first of all the import...

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