Estonian Discussions on Economic Policy Eesti majanduspoliitilised väitlused: Majanduspoliitika teooria ja praktika. <br />Estnische Gespräche über Wirtschaftspolitik: Theorie und Praxis der Wirtschaftspolitik.<br/> In English bis 2015: Discussions on Estonian economic policy: Theory and practice of economic policy. en-US The publication Estonian Discussions on Economic Policy uses the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. With the delivery of a paper, the author grants to the Board also the right to publish the paper in the journal. The journal has set no obstacles or prohibitions to the authors for the future, and according to the current practice, authors subsequently use their paper as they consider it appropriate. Authors are personally responsible for the content, correct spelling and formatting of their publications. (Matti Raudjärv) (Heiki Epner) Mon, 15 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0200 OJS 60 Contingent Valuation as a Tool for Environmental Economic Accounting: Case of Estonia The article deals with the possibilities of including non-market ecosystem services into official statistics. Current statistical standard and the GDP calculated on the basis of it do not take into account the value of ecosystem services and therefore the contribution of ecosystems. In recent years (2020–2021) has taken place the revision of System of Environmental-Economic Accounting– Experimental Ecosystem Accounting (UN SEEA EA), aimed at developing a standard for statistics on ecosystem services. Statistics Estonia also participates in this process, using as an input to the experimental statistics of ecosystem services (among other data) the results of the contingent valuation study conducted by the author on the monetary value of ecosystem services of Estonian forests, wetlands and urban areas. The total annual willingness to pay for forest ecosystem services is about 23.9 million euros, for wetland services 12.3 million euros and for urban areas 17.3 million euros. The most important services considered by the respondents were regulatory services. Also, the relative importance of individual services by respondents were examined separately. It turned out that people value ecosystem services aimed at the physical-chemical quality of the environment more than the increase in welfare resulting from personal contact with ecosystems. Üllas Ehrlich Copyright (c) Thu, 04 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0200 European Policy against Corona: Adequate Restrictions or a Kind of Hygienic-Totalitarism? The corona pandemic is keeping the world under its spell: time for an economic and political stocktaking. The article covers the following topics: Why is the current pandemic leading to such harsh government responses worldwide and also in industrialized countries? Is the reason for this a deadly pandemic or is it rather a neoliberal cost-minimizing health care system that saves costs ignoring any consequences for its efficiency? Are the previous harsh measures of the countries' governments to restrict social and economic life scientifically epidemiologically analyzed and thus expedient, or is the state acting primarily fear-based: So is the sense of proportion given to all the measures to combat the pandemic that deeply interfere with our social freedoms? What will be the central economic costs of the economic and social lockdown and thus the consequences for our economy, for our civil rights and our free society? Wolfgang Eibner Copyright (c) Thu, 04 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0200 Expansion of Capacity Development of Local Self-Government in Georgia The article identifies and analyzes the problems of local self-government bodies of the Samegrelo-Upper Svaneti region of Georgia. The main problems of local authorities are: low financial opportunities, distrust of the population to the authorities, a narrow base of their own income and a very weak connection with the local population. Purpose of the study is to identify opportunities and ways to solve the problems of local self-government to ensure the successful socio-economic development of the Same-grelo-Upper Svaneti region. The research method is based on the use of the conclusions of the installation Theory of Set (attitude) (D. Uznadze, 1949). To identify opportunities for expanding the self-government's own income, the following surveys, interviews and questionnaires were conducted with the local population in 08. 2018-08. 2019. The results were processed by the SPSS computer program. 402 local residents of cities and villages of the Samegrelo-Upper Svaneti region participated in the survey and questionnaire. Analyzing the data obtained, we were able to draw the following conclusions: public confidence in the institution of local self-government of the is very low. This leads to unsatisfactory self-organization of the population. Population activity could ensure citizens' participation in solving local development problems, but this is not happening yet: despite mistrust of local authorities, the population nevertheless showed a willingness to pay local taxes: we are considering the possibility of collecting payments (within reasonable limits) as a way to stimulate communication population with local government. To increase confidence in the municipal government, it is necessary to stimulate the attitude of citizens towards control over local self-government, which will also ensure self-organization of the population. Assistance in the development of forms of self-organization of the population and tools for managing local self-government should become an important part of the regional economic policy of the state. In this regard, it is necessary to expand and clarify the motivation of the local population of the Samegrelo-Upper Svaneti region. A survey of the local population of Samegrelo-Upper Svaneti showed that the majority of citizens are willing to pay in order to increase local incomes. In the interests of local authorities and the entire population and, if possible, to control the purposefulness of the use of payments, citizens are ready to participate in the economic development of the region. The highest level of willingness to pay for services is observed in cities, where the living standards and incomes of the population are much higher than in villages, where the same indicators are lower: there is a positive relationship between the willingness to pay local taxes and payments depending on age, level of education, employment and permanent residence: the highest level of willingness to pay contributions is found by those respondents who, if they turn to local authorities for help, are satisfied with the assistance they provide. This once again shows how important it is to motivate the population to communicate with local authorities in order to build trust in them. The study was conducted before the pandemic, however, the data coming from the Samegrelo-Upper Svaneti region allow us to conclude that holding democratic local elections is of particular importance for strengthening self-organization of control and trust in local authorities: The problems associated with the COVID 19 pandemic have strengthened communication with local self-government, but also created new forms of confrontation related to the refusal of vaccination. The effective work of local self-government in the Samegrelo-Upper Svaneti region depends on the process of reducing the confrontation, holding democratic local elections and improving the well-being of the region. Irina Gogorishvili, Erekle Zarandia, Ivane Javakhishvili Copyright (c) Thu, 04 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0200 Rahastamine ja palgad Eesti kõrgkoolides ning konkurentsivõime The paper presents the general background of financing of Estonian institutions of higher education, the related salary system and its impact on competitiveness. Proceeding also from the positions of the European Union, the role of strong trade unions in salary negotiations is emphasised. The need for the reform of doctoral studies, changes in the salary rules and implementation of a new academic career model are discussed. Also introduction of an academic basic salary, i.e. basic financing has an important role, in order not to rely on only financing and security of salaries afforded by grants. Several discussions are presented through which the decision should be adopted whether to continue providing free education or to return to studies with tuition fees, above all for full-time students (if they have completed their curriculum). It is the position of the authors that Estonian institutions of higher education should not adopt studies with tuition fees just now, as the payers of the fees are relatively poor. We can apply tuition fees in studies when we become more wealthy. The paper is not based on surveys conducted and does not present research results but mainly describes the current situation – the current situation in economy and education and the related problems and possible solutions. Matti Raudjärv Copyright (c) Thu, 04 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0200 Peatoimetaja pöördumine Copyright (c) Thu, 04 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0200 Begleitwort des Chefredaukteurs Copyright (c) Thu, 04 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0200