CIRIEC Nº 80 April 2014
Recent proposals for European VAT reform and their impact on social economy entities
Authors: Marta Moya-Angeler Pérez-Mateos
Keywords: Non-profit entities, third sector, value added tax, Green Paper, foundations, cooperatives, NGOs.
Econlit Keywords: H250, H710, K340, L330, L740, N640.
The specific rules concerning implementation of Value Added Tax in non-profit social economy organizations are a profoundly complex subject, bearing in mind the constant changes that have been made in terms of the Social Economy Act (Law 5/2011) and the recent and ongoing proposals of the European Commission’s Green Paper on the future of VAT. This paper analyzes the current situation experienced by these entities, including the existing problems concerning their Value Added Tax treatment, and ends with the proposals made by both the European Commission and other stakeholders and how they affect the third sector in its VAT operations.
The specific economic and legal framework for social entrepreneurs. A comparative study of different countries
Authors: Tiziana Priede Bergamini, Cristina López-Cózar Navarro y Ángel Rodríguez López
Keywords: Social entrepreneurship, legal framework, corporate form, innovation, change.
Econlit Keywords: L290, M130, M190.
The Spanish legal system distinguishes between typically for-profit corporations (such as corporations or limited liability companies) and “non-commercial” enterprises, typically aligned with the social economy (such as cooperatives). However, other countries like the United States or the United Kingdom have developed composite structures capable of combining a clearly commercial operation with the achievement of social goals, such as benefit corporations or community interest companies. The European Commission’s Social Enterprise Initiative provides for the creation of a more favorable legal framework to promote these companies. This paper aims to analyze how this framework has developed in different countries, describing the main types of company that meet this need. Given the current economic situation in Spain, it is very important that the public administration provide the legal impetus to support social entrepreneurs, as these entrepreneurs seek to solve social problems in an innovative and efficient manner.
Entrepreneurial orientation of agri-food cooperatives engaged in export activity
Authors: Felipe Hernández Perlines
Keywords: Entrepreneurial orientation, international entrepreneurial orientation, export activity, agri-food cooperatives, contingent theory, PLS.
Econlit Keywords: D210, F230, F200, L260, M310.
This study examines the entrepreneurial orientation (EO) of agri-food cooperatives that engage in export activities. Using the PLS (partial least square) technique to test the hypotheses made it possible to conduct an analysis based on the principal components and on variance. The model was run in two steps. The first step confirmed that entrepreneurial orientation (measured by innovativeness, proactiveness and risk taking) was positively related to the export activities of the agri-food cooperatives (entrepreneurial orientation explained 23% of export activity). The second step, applying contingent theory, found that in larger sized cooperatives that operated in more dynamic environments the effect of entrepreneurial orientation on export activity was greater, explaining 29.7% of the variance.
Spanish cooperatives and economic cycles. A comparative analysis
Authors: Cándido Román Cervantes
Keywords: Cooperatives, evolution, economic cycles, trends, gross domestic product, legislation, Spain, Europe.
Econlit Keywords: N100, N600, P130, E230, J430.
The aim of this study is to identify the behaviour of Spanish cooperatives in relation to economic cycles from the mid-twentieth century to the early years of this century. It will show how the cooperatives responded to the structural transformations of the Spanish economy as the impact of internal political changes and the greater openness of the country, culminating in Spain’s entry into the European Economic Community, altered the regulatory framework affecting cooperative enterprises. The reader will see how cooperative enterprises have responded to the fluctuations in the Spanish economy, which sectors of productive activity have been affected most and how the modernisation that resulted in the emergence of larger companies began. It also aims to discover whether cycles of cooperative formation relate to periods of expansion or contraction in the Spanish economy and which economic models and mutual-aid societies have responded best in times of economic hardship and job losses.
Characteristics and explanatory factors in early agricultural cooperatives, exemplified by a Catalan winegrowing region
Authors: Jordi Planas
Keywords: Agricultural cooperatives, social conflict, landowners, peasants, viticulture, agrarian history.
Econlit Keywords: Q130, J540, D740.
The aim of this article is to outline the main characteristics and factors that explain the development of agricultural cooperatives in the early twentieth century, taking the example of a Catalan winegrowing region. The study of a small region allows us to use information from many different sources to correct the deficiencies (quantitative and qualitative) of the available Spanish statistics on the creation and development of agricultural cooperatives. As a result, we can give a clearer and more accurate explanation of their chronology, the different associative models and the impact of social conflict on the cooperative movement. We show that the cooperative movement was more dynamic in winegrowing areas and deeply rooted in local conflicts. Although agricultural cooperatives possessed very different features, two models can be distinguished: one backed by wealthy landowners and the other arising among peasant smallholders, underlining the social division in rural communities.
Social Financing Alternatives for Social Economy Enterprises: Coop57
Authors: Glòria Estapé-Dubreuil and Consol Torreguitart-Mirada
Keywords: Cooperatives, Social Economy Enterprises, Microfinance Institutions, Financial Services, Ethical Banking.
Econlit Keywords: G210, P130, M140.
This paper focuses on the ethical and solidarity financial project of a Spanish cooperative. Coop57 is a provider of financial services, allocating its own financial assets to fund viable projects of the social economy organizations. The success of the cooperative is linked to its savings program, attracting both individuals and social economy enterprises and organizations seeking a double bottom line: earning profits from their deposits, while also helping build a more human and inclusive economy. The paper analyzes the main activity of Coop57 during the years 2001-2012. In this period, an increasing number of loans have been granted to the social economy enterprises, in an increasingly widespread area encompassing now seven different regions of Spain. We study the main characteristics of the loans as well as of the borrowers, to see the extent to which Coop57 has in fact build a real funding alternative for the social economy at a time when the traditional banking system has substantially reduced its total investments.
Corporate social investment: corporate volunteering in Spain
Authors: Antonia Sajardo Moreno y Mª Antonia Ribas Bonet
Keywords: Corporate social investment, corporate volunteering, corporate social responsibility, matching gift, outdoor outreach, campaigns, skilled volunteering, virtual microvolunteering, team building.
Econlit Keywords: M140, D640, L310.
The purpose of this paper is to study corporate volunteering through both theoretical and practical analysis of the situation in Spain. It outlines the conceptual framework and classification employed, the positive effects and synergies that flow from corporate volunteering and models and strategies for its development, then presents the main data on the extent and the reality of corporate volunteering in Spain.
The Social Security Reserve Fund and the Future of Pensions
Authors: Marina Anido Crespo, Mercedes Mareque Álvarez-Santullano y Francisco López-Corrales
Keywords: Reserve fund, Social Security, pay-as-you-go system, pensions reform.
Econlit Keywords: H550, H750, G230.
The Spanish Social Security Reserve Fund is designed to meet the needs of the system with regard to contributory benefits. This study examines the evolution and current status of the Reserve Fund and discusses its role in the sustainability of the public pension system. Although the Reserve Fund contributes to the solvency of the Social Security system, it no longer guarantees the future viability of the system. Due to the economic crisis, the first withdrawal from the Fund was made in 2012, eleven years earlier than expected in the most recent official projections of the system’s incomes and expenses, made in 2008. Through comparative analysis with other European countries, we have arrived at a series of recommendations to turn the Reserve Fund into a key element in the financial sustainability of the Spanish pension system.