1. bookVolume 8 (2021): Issue 55 (January 2021)
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2543-6821
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30 Mar 2017
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access type Open Access

Editorial: Special Edition of the Central European Economic Journal to Mark the 70th Birthday of Prof. Tomasz Żylicz

Published Online: 20 Aug 2021
Volume & Issue: Volume 8 (2021) - Issue 55 (January 2021)
Page range: 176 - 179
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2543-6821
First Published
30 Mar 2017
Publication timeframe
1 time per year
Languages
English
Letter from the Guest Editor

This special edition of the Central European Economic Journal is dedicated to Professor Tomasz Żylicz, to mark his 70th birthday this year – 2021.

Professor Żylicz is widely recognised as one of Poland's most distinguished economists. The focus of his scholarly work has been on the field of environmental economics, and while this classification seems natural today, it is worth noting that Professor Żylicz pioneered the development of this discipline in Poland and internationally at a time when environmental economics and ecological economics, as branches of neoclassical economics, were in their infancy.

Professor Żylicz's work gained international recognition in the early years of the post-Soviet transformation, which was almost unheard of for Polish economists at that time. The influence of his mathematical education can clearly be seen in his writings (a rigorous scientific apparatus), along with his familiarity with state-of-the-art scholarship, which was enhanced by his academic visits to the United States and Sweden. In his work, Professor Żylicz energetically espoused the latest themes in world literature, and his writings were perceived as an important voice from Central Europe. They signalled that this part of Europe was seeing the development of a strong academic centre that was devoted to researching the interface between economics and the environment, which would give the opportunity for the post-Soviet Bloc countries to manage their natural resources more rationally.

Professor Żylicz has also been practically involved in the relationship between economics and the natural environment. This includes his work as Director of the Economics Department at the Polish Ministry of Environment, and later as Advisor to the Minister. He has sat on (and in many cases chaired or vice-chaired) the scientific committees of numerous bodies, including the European Environmental Agency, the Polish Institute for Environmental Protection, the Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics, national parks and other important institutions. He was member and chair of the Polish Science Policy Committee and State Council for Environmental Protection. He was involved in creating and administering (including as chair) the Polish EcoFund, through which Polish foreign debt to Paris Club countries was converted into financing for environmental protection projects evaluated and approved by the Fund. He participated in the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, including as the main author of its reports on mitigating changes in the climate. He has edited Environmental and Resource Economics, Ecological Economics, Ambio, and the International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology, and from 2013 to 2019 he was Editor-in-Chief of the Central European Economic Journal (published until 2016 under the title Ekonomia). He served in the role of expert at the Harvard Institute for International Development and the Polish Academy of Sciences. He founded the Warsaw Centre for Ecological Economics, which has integrated the growing number of Polish researchers in this field, catalysed academic collaboration, facilitated the undertaking of ambitious scholarly projects and provided specialist consultation to public sector bodies and non-governmental organisations. For more than a decade, he headed the Chair of Microeconomics in the Faculty of Economic Sciences (FES) at Warsaw University, and in 1999–2012 he served as FES’ vice-dean and then dean.

The wide-ranging academic and practical activities of Professor Żylicz – his pioneering scholarship and popularising work, the very broad spectrum of subjects he has addressed and methodologies used, his insistence on thorough theoretical foundations coupled with a strong emphasis on empirical and applied research, leading to practical implementation – have meant that he has had a profound impact on the study of economics. His legacy is visible in the work of the successive younger generations of Polish economists nurtured by him, including those whose professional lives are devoted to environmental economics and nature policy, resulting in notable success in their academic work and public activities both within Poland and around the world.

I am privileged to count myself among those for whom Professor Żylicz has been a formative influence. I first came into contact with the Professor when I applied for doctoral studies at the Faculty of Economic Studies in Warsaw. I found his love for the natural world contagious and I quickly became convinced that economics can make a great contribution to its protection and to the more beneficial management of its resources. More than anything else, however, the Professor opened the doors for me to the world of real scholarship. It was thanks to him that I was able to involve myself in research projects shoulder-to-shoulder with outstanding foreign scholars, attend challenging courses for doctoral students and receive grants for research abroad. Consequent to these opportunities, I discovered what academic work is really about, and how it is done by the best scholars, with whom I was able to build valuable relationships. Further, even after my doctorate, as my career has progressed, I have always been able to count on the Professor's counsel and support. I am deeply grateful to him for everything he has contributed to my life and work.

Professor Żylicz has been an authority, mentor, inspiration and example for many besides me. This issue of the Central European Economic Journal contains texts by just some of them. The subject matter is very varied, reflecting the broad spectrum of themes in environmental economics addressed by Professor Żylicz. Some articles have a more philosophical flavour, with theoretical reflection inspired by discussions with Professor Żylicz on the themes of rationality, education, sustainable development and society (Śleszyński, 2021), consideration of the significance of welfare and equality in environmental economics and policy (Górka and Thier, 2021), and retrospection on the development of environmental and ecological economics in Poland and worldwide, and Professor Żylicz's contribution to these disciplines (Czaja, 2021). Markowska (2021) analyses how the state of democracy, encompassing the rule of law and freedom in Poland, as measured by several of the most commonly used indicators, has impacted the Polish environmental protection policy, referencing a number of important examples of government actions over the past decade. The articles by Witajewski (2021) and Kiuila and Lewczuk (2021) have a more methodological character, based on the results of computable general equilibrium modelling. Witajewski (2021) decomposes the costs arising from increased taxation of coal-based energy generation technologies, which, due to declining productivity in these sectors and price rises, may impact consumers and employees in various ways. Kiuila and Lewczuk (2021) analyse possible developmental scenarios for the Polish energy sector, including an increased use of renewable energy sources, and evaluate the credibility of the government's ambitious targets for reduced emissions, as well as the effects of government policies on economic growth. The last two articles discuss the non-market valuation of environmental goods, an area of study which was another important focus of Professor Żylicz's scholarly work. Miłaszewski (2021) reviews Polish studies which have used a conditional valuation approach in relation to water quality improvement. Markiewicz (2021) presents pioneering Polish research into the value of a statistical life with reference to the cost-effectiveness thresholds for medical interventions applied in Poland.

I hope that you will find the articles in this special edition of the Central European Economic Journal both intellectually stimulating and sublimely enjoyable, and I earnestly anticipate that while considering the themes it contains you will also reflect on Professor Żylicz's influence on the theory and practice of environmental economics in Poland and throughout the world.

Mikołaj Czajkowski

Śleszyński, J. (2021). Reflections on Rationality, Utility, University, Mass Culture and Unsustainable Society. Central European Economic Journal, 8(55), p. 176 – 179. ŚleszyńskiJ. 2021 Reflections on Rationality, Utility, University, Mass Culture and Unsustainable Society Central European Economic Journal 8 55 176 179 10.2478/ceej-2021-0012 Search in Google Scholar

Górka, K., & Thier, A. (2021). The Issues of Justice in Economic and Environmental Policy. Central European Economic Journal, 8(55), p. 191–200. GórkaK. ThierA. 2021 The Issues of Justice in Economic and Environmental Policy Central European Economic Journal 8 55 191 200 10.2478/ceej-2021-0013 Search in Google Scholar

Czaja, S. (2021). Disputes Over the Concept of Ecological Economics and Environmental Economics in the Light of the Works of Professor Tomasz Żylicz. Central European Economic Journal, 8(55), p. 201–211. CzajaS. 2021 Disputes Over the Concept of Ecological Economics and Environmental Economics in the Light of the Works of Professor Tomasz Żylicz Central European Economic Journal 8 55 201 211 10.2478/ceej-2021-0014 Search in Google Scholar

Miłaszewski, R. (2021). Application of the Contingent Valuation Method in Water Resources Protection. Central European Economic Journal, 8(55), p. 212–218. MiłaszewskiR. 2021 Application of the Contingent Valuation Method in Water Resources Protection Central European Economic Journal 8 55 212 218 10.2478/ceej-2021-0015 Search in Google Scholar

Markowska, A. (2021). State of Democracy in Poland versus Environmental Protection. Central European Economic Journal, 8(55), p. 219 – 230. MarkowskaA. 2021 State of Democracy in Poland versus Environmental Protection Central European Economic Journal 8 55 219 230 10.2478/ceej-2021-0016 Search in Google Scholar

Witajewski-Baltvilks, J., & Boratyński, J. (2021). Workers or Consumers: Who pays for Low-Carbon Transition - Theoretical Analysis of Welfare Change in General Equilibrium Setting. Central European Economic Journal, 8(55), p. 231–245. Witajewski-BaltvilksJ. BoratyńskiJ. 2021 Workers or Consumers: Who pays for Low-Carbon Transition - Theoretical Analysis of Welfare Change in General Equilibrium Setting Central European Economic Journal 8 55 231 245 10.2478/ceej-2021-0017 Search in Google Scholar

Kiuila, O., & Lewczuk, E. (2021). Economic Dynamic Modeling of Climate Policy in Poland. Central European Economic Journal, 8(55), p. 246 – 255. KiuilaO. LewczukE. 2021 Economic Dynamic Modeling of Climate Policy in Poland Central European Economic Journal 8 55 246 255 10.2478/ceej-2021-0018 Search in Google Scholar

Markiewicz, O. (2021). Value of Life Year and Cost-Effectiveness Thresholds: The Case of Poland. Central European Economic Journal, 8(55), p. 256 – 268. MarkiewiczO. 2021 Value of Life Year and Cost-Effectiveness Thresholds: The Case of Poland Central European Economic Journal 8 55 256 268 10.2478/ceej-2021-0019 Search in Google Scholar

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