Applications for Economics Finance and Management Research Paper

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¶ … Economics Finance and Management

In 1958, six of the most powerful European countries formed an alliance that was called the European Economic Community. These initial countries were France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Luxembourg and the formation was the incipient form of the European Union. Gradually, more countries joined the Union, which is today formed from a total of 27 states.

The European Union is now facing dramatic challenges as a result of the internationalized economic crisis, which affects its stability. The majority of the problems are raised by the situations in Greece, followed by instabilities in Italy and Spain. At the moment, a possibility is being discussed for the usage of the Euro -- the currency of the European Union -- to be restricted. Major decisions have yet to be made.

The future of the EU is uncertain, but the union strives to develop and implement measures which restore its economic stability. Still, aside from its problems, the non-member states of Europe continue to adhere to the EU and intensify their efforts to comply with the regulations imposed and become member states of the European Union.

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In this setting, a question is being posed relative to the reasons as to why the non-EU countries wish to become member states, even if the union is now facing severe challenges and its currency and economic stability are threatened. The answers are complex, including an increased access to financial resources, the liberalization of circulation from the country to other EU member states, all which would lead to increases in the living standards and well-being of the population.

Research Paper on Applications for Economics Finance and Management Assignment

The current project strives to further investigate this hypothesis by comparing the quality of the social life in four of the six initial member states of the EU, with those in three states which are currently striving to adhere to the European Union. The comparison would as such be conducted between France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, on the one hand, and Iceland, Croatia and Turkey on the other hand. The expectation is that the quality of social life in the first four states is increased and that the latter three strive to become member states so that their own quality of social life can also increase.

2. Data description

The data to be used in the analysis proposed is secondary information, retrieved from the forth round of the European Social Survey, conducted in 2008. The information relevant to the question posed is presented below. In other words, the table below reveals various indicators of the quality of the social life in the seven countries selected for analysis.

Note: the data in the Survey of the European Union contained detailed information on the answers provided by each respondent. The data integrated throughout this project is a simplified version of the respective source, with the variables having been established based on the estimation of a mean value from the answers provided by the respondents in the survey.

Netuse = Personal use of internet / e-mail / world wide web -- It is expected that the higher levels of this indicator reveal higher quality of the social life as the people are better educated to use the internet and have an increased access to computers and the web.

Polintr = How interested is the population in politics. A higher level of this indicator reveals higher levels of education among the population, who is able to follow and understand politics. This is indicative of high social conditions, through better access to education and politics understanding.

Trstlgl = Trust in the legal system. Countries with better developed economic and social systems are often characterized by a well developed legal system, in which the population trusts. Socially and economically weak states often reveal less performant legal systems, which are subsequently less trusted by the population.

Stflife = The levels of satisfaction the population reveals in regard to life as a whole. The higher values of this indicator reveal higher social and economic living conditions, whereas in less economically and socially developed states, the values would be expected to rank lower.

Stfedu = The state of education in the country, at the present time. In socially and economically developed states, education would rank higher as the quality of the educational act would be increased, as would be the access to education.

Stfhlth = The state of healthcare within the country, at the present time. In countries better developed from the social and economic standpoint, the quality of the medical act would be increased to the increased quality of it, as well as the increased access of the population to healthcare.

Freehms = The ability of the gay population to live as they wish. This also indicates the levels of social development through the acceptance and lack of discrimination of non-traditional life styles.

Scnsenv = The use of modern science to solve environmental problems. This indicator is more so linked to technological development, but high levels of technologic development within the country positively impact the levels of social development.

Happy = The actual level of happiness and contempt regarding the life of the individual. The population in better developed states would be expected to reveal higher levels of happiness.

Aesfdrk = The levels of safety felt by the individuals when walking alone at night. The expectation is that the of the levels of this indicator to be higher in more socially and economically developed states, where crime rates would be lower, and the population would feel safer.

Health = The health of the individual as perceived by themselves (subjective health). Similar to most indicators, the values for this index are expected to be higher in more developed states, where the people are able to better access information and medical services, and are as such in a better shape.

Schtaut = The schools teach children to obey authority. In most developed nations, the educational institutions place an increased emphasis on creativity and freedom, to stimulate the learning process. In less socially developed regions nonetheless, the educational emphasis would sometimes fall on obedience.

Wmcpwrk = The women in the country are expected to reduce their paid work in order to take care of their families. In the less socially developed states, this indicator would be higher, as the gender inequality is still high.

Mnrgtjb = The access of males to jobs should be increased in comparison to the access of women to jobs, especially when jobs are scarce. High values of this indicator once again reveal low levels of gender equality and social development.

Slvpens and slvuemp = The living standards of the pensioners and the unemployment, with the expectation that these would be increased in better developed states, and decreased in states which are less developed from the social and economic standpoint.

Yngfnjb = The opportunities for the young population to find the first full time job. This would be expected to be increased in better developed countries.

3. Multivariate analysis

Croatia, Turkey and Iceland are currently increasing their efforts to adhere to the European Union, and a presumption in this sense is represented by the fact that they do so in an effort to increase their social living standards. In other words, it was initially believed that the quality of social life in the EU member states -- hereby represented by France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands -- was superior to that in the candidate states. This hypothesis would be addressed with the aid of multivariate analysis, represented at this stage by the analysis of concepts through descriptive angles, as these best apply in the context of social studies.

a) Personal use of the internet

The usage of the internet is rather similar in France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and Iceland. It is however less used in Croatia and Turkey. This indicates that from this criterion, Iceland is already as developed as the EU member states and is adhering for other reasons.

b) Interest in politics

The interest in politics is rather linear throughout the totality of the seven states assessed, being only slightly higher in Belgium. This feature indicates that the interest in politics is not necessarily one of the most powerful indicators of social development, but it might in fact represent a personal choice and a generalized lack of interest in politics, throughout the entire globe.

c) Trust in the legal system

At the level of the legal system, most trust is revealed in Belgium and Turkey, followed by France and the Netherlands, and Germany. Iceland and Croatia do however reveal low levels of trust in the legal system, meaning that the adherence to the EU could help improve this sector.

d) Satisfaction with life as a whole

The people most satisfied with their lives live in Belgium, followed by the inhabitants of Netherlands and France, and eventually Belgium. At the level of the candidate states, their levels of happiness are somewhat different. Specifically, the people in Iceland are just as happy as the French and the Dutch.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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