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Crisis and Sustainability: Responses from Different Positions

14th Annual Conference of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Sofia, 7-8 October 2011

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Edited By George Chobanov and Jürgen Plöhn

The volume contains an editorial and nine contributions to the proceedings of the 14 th international conference of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration at Sofia University. The first part reflects on the persistent monetary, fiscal and economic crisis in the EU and other OECD countries. The second part deals with specific answers to economic challenges by municipalities and enterprises, treating clusters, NPM and M&A. In a broad sense, the third part is dedicated to sustainable development, including a theoretical, a predominantly political and a practice oriented contribution. The articles are written by authors from five nations: Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the USA. In the background of each position, there is a certain national tradition; the authors use theoretical as well as empirical approaches. The volume encompasses ten figures and eleven tables.

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ANDREAS SCHOLZ-FLEISCHMANN: INFRASTRUCTURE ECONOMY AS A NUCLEUS FOR MORE SUSTAINABILITY

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INFRASTRUCTURE ECONOMY AS A NUCLEUS FOR MORE SUSTAINABILITY ANDREAS SCHOLZ-FLEISCHMANN (BERLIN, GERMANY) The infrastructure economy of the 19th century has laid the basis of to- day´s power supply nets, traffic tracks and pipelines. These decisions are very long term - even if they were not originally made with sustainabil- ity in mind. Infrastructure companies today must be aware of the im- portance of their actions for sustainability. More than that - they should be a driver of innovation and sustainability since they remain the basis for many other corporate and investment decisions. Infrastructure companies in the public sector have a special responsi- bility, because they do not have to serve the interests of private share- holders. Instead, these public companies are responsible to their public owners – the citizens, represented by politicians – and have to serve the overall interests of a community. The environmental and social impacts of large investment decisions are prominent issues today. When projects do not communicate properly about these topics, or even fail to take them into consideration, they can run into difficulties. A consequence of many new technologies is that consumers, as well as producers, wait for the development of a related infrastructure. Con- sumers will, for example, hinge their willingness to purchase electric or hybrid vehicles on “affordable“ car prices and a network of charging sta- tions. Affordable prices in turn depend on the fact that cars can be pro- duced in large scale. The motor vehicle industry will base their own de- cisions...

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