Basing on critical analysis of Latvia households’ consumption expenditure structure during the period from 2003 until 2010, the authors have identified the main tendencies of changes and characterized the main macroeconomic indicators, which have seriously influenced the consumption structure during different phases of economic cycle. The authors have applied econometric methods to characterize the correlation of particular consumption expenditure groups’ proportion with households’ consumption expenditure. The analysis enabled the authors to detect, which consumption expenditure groups exactly are the most important for ensuring the welfare level, and E. Engel’s regularity was also discussed in this respect. The analysis of the data obtained in scope of the households’ member survey enabled the authors to identify the main directions of consumer behaviour changes during the economic recession period and present proposals for improvement of consumption as a significant indicator of country’s welfare and sustainable development.
Hemp is a very valuable plant because each part of it can be used in many ways. It can be used to produce innovative products for building construction, chemical industry, medicine, textile production, consumption, and agriculture. In the article, the authors have aggregated the information about hemp cultivation and processing sector development in the European Union and Latvia and have described its cultivation possibilities, technological processes, and processing capabilities. The aim of the present article was to reveal the topicalities of hemp industry development in the European Union and Latvia. The tasks of the research were to present an overall description of hemp industry development trends in the European Union and to characterize hemp industry development in Latvia focusing on the national support activities and hemp cultivation and processing opportunities. The authors of the article have performed an extensive secondary data analysis to summarize the most important activities that should be done at the national scale to further enhance the development of hemp industry in Latvia.
The European Union data surveys give evidence of the growing trend of population ageing in the Member States. The aim of the study was to analyse the social structure of population in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in comparison with the average population in the EU-27 and present recommendations for policy makers for further improvement of the social policy development in these countries. The authors used monographic method to study theoretical aspects of society aging and welfare and statistical data analysis of secondary data aggregated by Eurostat reports, Eurobarometer survey and databases of national institutions. The analysis of the society aging indicators in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland clearly shows that the policy makers of these countries so far have been mainly focusing on unpopular measures – either increasing taxes or raising the retirement age, which have caused citizens’ dissatisfaction with the existing social policy that does not provide any hopes for the existing and becoming pensioners to approximate to successful aging. The authors consider that the national institutions responsible for society’s welfare issues should further encourage socially innovative solutions by finding unusual ideas for obtaining multidimensional support, including the assistance provided by policy-makers and involving local agents to enhance inclusion of the aged population in the labour market, especially in creating jobs for themselves, being able to retain employment as temporary workers or being encouraged to work in other professions.
Economic and social indicators need to be given more importance in the management of results-oriented rural social infrastructure (RSI) in order to become an integral measure in the monitoring of country’s development. The research aim – to prepare and test a methodology for the assessment of RSI condition in order to ensure the territorial cohesion. The following objectives have been set out: 1) to summarize theoretical aspects of rural social infrastructure development in the context of social territorial cohesion; 2) to prepare a methodology for the assessment of RSI; 3) to reveal inequalities and critical areas of Lithuanian RSI development. The analysis of Lithuanian RSI data revealed differences in RSI development in different rural regions which negatively affect Lithuania’s competitiveness and social territorial cohesion. While the articles notes that there have been some positive changes in the use of investment projects over the last couple of years, it also indicates that management of RSI availability and accessibility with respect to locations and sectors is not optimal.