Academic journal article Economics & Sociology

Multiple-Criteria Evaluation of Quality of Human Capital in the European Union Countries

Academic journal article Economics & Sociology

Multiple-Criteria Evaluation of Quality of Human Capital in the European Union Countries

Article excerpt

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Quality of human capital (QHC), both at microeconomic and macroeconomic level, is currently considered as the main growth factor in developed economies. The process of creation of high value added in the reality of global competitive knowledge-based economy is not possible without constant effort to improve the QHC. Thus, from the long term perspective effective policies supporting multifactor development of the QHC in the context of knowledge-based economy make the condition for keeping global competitiveness of every developed economy. In the European economy it has been stated as one of the most important aims of the Europe 2020 strategy (Balcerzak, 2015, pp. 190-2010; European Commission, 2010; Hobza & Mourre, 2010). However, the economic role of the QHC is not only crucial form the perspective of long term macroeconomic development. For example in the short term it influences the situation on the labour markets (Müller-Fraczek & Pietrzak, 2011, pp. 205-209; Pietrzak & Balcerzak, 2016a; Balcerzak (ed.), 2009; Balcerzak & Zurek, 2011, pp. 3-14), the economic and social cohesion of regions and cities (Wilk et al., 2013, pp. 124-132; Pietrzak et al., 2014, pp. 135-144) or countries fiscal sustainability (Balcerzak et al., 2016, pp. 483-496; Balcerzak and Rogalska, 2016, pp. 271-282). Thus, the research on the QHC is important both form long and short term perspective.

In the EU all governments implement national strategies that should support improvement of the QHS. In this context, it is necessary to compare countries' results, which can be useful for pointing the best practices and effective policy guidelines in the field. Thus, the main objective of the article is to provide a multiple-criteria analysis of the QHC in the EU countries at macroeconomic level. In the research the special attention is given to the results obtained by new member states of the EU. The research was based on the Eurostat data for the years 2001-2012. Furthermore, the analysis was done for two sub-periods 2001-2007 and 2007-2012. This approach enables to provide some insight on the probable influence of the global financial crisis on the changes of the QHC in the European economy.

Additional operational aim of the paper is to provide input data on the QHC that can be used in econometric modeling of macroeconomic determinants of development and growth of European economies (see Pietrzak & Balcerzak, 2016b; Balcerzak & Pietrzak, 2016a, 2016b; Balcerzak & Pietrzak, 2015, pp. 93-106; Balcerzak, 2009, pp. 711-739). The article is a continuation of previous research of the author in the field (Balcerzak & Pietrzak, 2016c; Balcerzak, 2011, pp. 456-467).

1. Data and Selection of Diagnostic Variables

The QHC analyzed form macroeconomic perspective must be treated as complex multivariate phenomenon. It should be quantified with application of taxonomy tools and multiple-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) methodological approach (see: Balcerzak & Pietrzak, 2016d; Kunasz, 2009, pp. 35-48; Pawlas, 2009, pp. 21-31; Pietrzak & Balcerzak, 2016c; Wronowska, 2009, pp. 32-45; David, & Goddard Lopez, 2001).

In the case of every multiple-criteria analysis the most significant problem is the choice of diagnostic variables that are used in the quantification of a given phenomenon. It must be stressed that the final results are always strongly influenced by the choice of the diagnostic variables (Gostkowski, 1972, pp. 15-17). This is especially important in the case of difficult to measure and quite often qualitative factor such as the QHC. As a results, in the first stage based on the review of literature related to previous research on the QHC a set of preliminary variables was selected, which in the second stage were verified with the application of formal taxonomic criteria of information value (Zelias (ed.), 2000, pp. 127-133). …

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