Academic journal article Economics & Sociology

Modernising Consumption in Poland in the Eu Background in 2004-2012

Academic journal article Economics & Sociology

Modernising Consumption in Poland in the Eu Background in 2004-2012

Article excerpt


On the 1st of May 2004 Poland became a legitimate member state of the European Union (EU). A fifteen-year period of application that was initiated at the beginning of the systemic transformation in Poland came to an end. However, the times of uncertainty and discussions about what that membership would offer and how that would affect particular spheres of the socio-economic life including consumption did not finish. Changes observed in consumption of averagely and highly developed countries of the European Union that we could witness in the pre-accession period were characterised by a rapid and qualitative increase in consumption and transformations in the way needs were satisfied. Then the following question could be asked: Will consumption in Poland be similar to its European Union equivalent in its level and structure? Moreover, nobody knew if new consumption in Poland was going to be modern, i.e. consumption that was sustainably improved in its volume related, qualitative and quantitative dimensions consumption that would contribute to improvement in the way population needs were satisfied and that would comply with general assumptions of developing societies.

At present, after a decade of our EU membership, it is important to identify changes in consumption of Polish households in the background of the European Union in the context of modernising the very consumption, which is the major goal of this article. Predominantly, it is necessary not only to provide facts, information and data but also to analyse and interpret them. It is important to identify directions of evolution of consumption in Poland in the post- accession period.

The research subject scope covers a household sector in Poland and in the EU. The timespan refers to 2004-2012. This means that with reference to the latest changes that describe the tenth year of the Polish membership in the European Union, statistical data were not available.

In this work the following assumption was adopted: we would be able to discuss a process of modernising consumption if observed changes in consumption showed some improvement in the way needs were satisfied and if those changes stemmed from knowledge and information based development.

To meet the objective set, information that came from secondary sources was used. A research method applied involved a descriptive analysis with some elements of a quantitative analysis. Measures adopted in this research originate from Eurostat databases and they include the following:

- indexes of household final consumption expenditure;

- indexes of the consumer expenditure structure including a food index and a free choice expenditure index;

- indexes of equipping households with personal computers (in %); and

- indexes of households' access to the Internet and the broadband Internet (in %).

It is worth paying attention to the fact that particular points that make up this article do not address the whole group of issues discussed. These issues are of really complex and multi- layer nature. They refer to consumption in its value related, qualitative and quantitative understanding, qualitative changes in consumption, changes in systems of needs and the way such needs are satisfied, and many other problems. All such issues may also be discussed in the context of different consumption entities including a macro-entity, i.e. total population in a particular country, population of households, and population of selected groups of households or individual consumers. Taking into consideration some necessity to focus on so many different aspects, the author of this paper was somehow forced to present the phenomena discussed in the selective way, thus highlighting elements that are the best to demonstrate the very nature of changes observed in consumption in Poland in the period subject to research and in the background of the European Union countries, i.e. EU-27. Therefore, adoption of some specific examples of changes in consumption by the author was intentional. …

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