‘Statistics’ Magazine, issue 2/2018

The National Statistical Institute informs users of statistical information that No. 2/2018 ‘Statistics’ Magazine is published on the NSI’s website. The issue is in Bulgarian language with summaries in Bulgarian, English and Russian and includes sections as follows:
  • Theory and Methodology of the Statistical Surveys
  • Statistical surveys and analyses
  • The Bulgarian statistics in three centuries
  • Information, reviews, consultations

The section Theory and Methodology of statistical surveys incudes the article:

  • Five key statistical dimensions for the socio-economic development of Bulgaria before and after accession to the European union - author Dr. Bogdan Bogdanov, Deputy President of the National Statistical Institute - Sofia
This article is intended to familiarize the reader with basic measures of socio-economic development before and after Bulgaria's accession to the European Union.

In general, the basic and brief conclusions of the analysis of the five main measurers of the economic situation in Bulgaria are as follows:

  1. Data from GDP changes during the period under review do not allow a firm conclusion to be made for a sustainable positive impact on the welfare of the population in the country. Obviously, trends are influenced by the EU situation. Stiglitz notes: ‘The euro area GDP, with a correction for inflation, has been stagnating for over a decade. GDP in 2015 was only 0.6% above that for 2007’.
  2. With regard to employment and unemployment, it should be noted that after 2007, the figures show a decrease in the number of employed. At the same time, there is a tendency towards a decrease in the number of unemployed persons after the country's entry into the EU.
  3. Household income and expenditure data show no positive changes in the financial situation of households in the country relative to economically developed countries.
  4. The data for the next measure - inflation, show that before the country's entry into the EU it is higher than in the period afterwards.
  5. The data on poverty estimates show that our country has not had any significant success after the EU accession to reduce the phenomenon of poverty.

Measures of the economic situation over the period under review mutually influence each other and correlate. To a great extent, these relationships and dependencies are influenced by many other negative factors such as hidden economy, emigration and demographic crisis.

The section Statistical surveys and analyses includes the articles:

  • Economic growth and unemployment in Bulgaria - empirical evaluations of the Okun's law- author Prof. Vassil Tsanov, Institute for Economic Research at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

The article explores the impact of economic growth on unemployment in Bulgaria. A dynamic econometric model based on the differential approach of the Okun's law has been developed. Two variants of dependence for a comparative analysis of the results have been evaluated. The rolling regression approach is applied to assess the stability of the relationship over time. The results obtained can be summarized in three main conclusions: first, there is a negative impact of economic growth on unemployment; secondly, the two models give different estimates of the impact strength, and third, the relationship between them is not stable and changes over time depending on the dynamics of economic development.

Key words: Okun's law, unemployment, economic growth

JEL classification: Е24, Е27, Е32, Е37

  • About the accuracy of evaluations for the number of the population of Bulgaria in some past historical periods - author Prof. Dimitar Arkadiev, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the Arts

The article examines the problem of the accuracy of the estimates of the population of Bulgaria in some more remote periods in the past. The discussion is limited to the population of Medieval Bulgaria. A source base for its determination is virtually absent. Therefore, methods and approaches developed by different authors are applied.

Answers are provided to some questions about the methods applied to estimate population numbers. These questions are asked by participants in web forums discussing the topic. The overall answer is that there is no single model describing the change in the number of the population. Each model has varied time, country, region and other limitations.

Therefore, the country-specific estimates received often contain big errors. Provided are examples with the assessment of the population of Medieval Bulgaria. Given are some models suggested by Josiah Cox Russell. They were built on the basis of households’ registration data from England in 1086. On some occasions, these models deliver good results, and in others, they do not. This is explained by the differences in the development of England and Bulgaria in the studied age.

  • Measurement - the unregulated problem in empirical studies carried out with the aid of statistical instrumentary - author Assoc. Prof. Margarita Lambova, Economics Institute - Varna

Reflections regarding measurement, measuring scales and measurement theories are presented, and on this basis, in accordance with the set objective, are revealed some issues, the non-compliance with which could lead to the logical insolvency of the results of empirical studies carried out with the aid of statistical instrumentary.

The emphasis is mainly on the problems related to the quality of the numerical projection of the empirical facts and with the level of scaling when working with indirectly observable properties with natural gradation of the meanings measured by pseudo-quantitative indicators. JEL: C10

The section The Bulgarian statistics in three centuries includes the article:

  • Prof. Stefan Stanev - an outstanding scientist and public figure - authors Prof. Polya Angelova, Economic Academy ‘D. A. Tsenov’ - Svishtov, and Velichko Petrov, Economic Academy  ‘D. A. Tsenov’ - Svishtov

In this article, the life and creative path of Prof. Stefan Todorov Stanev - a remarkable scientist, patriotic and dedicated functionary of the Bulgarian statistical thought, forever connected his life with Svishtov and the Economic Academy ‘D. A. Tsenov’. Prof. Stanev's multilateral activity identifies him as a university lecturer, an outstanding researcher in the field of statistics and economics, politician, diplomat and prominent public person.           

The results of his long-time scientific and lecturing activities and his significant achievements in statistical theory and practice are presented. Key themes of the wide range of issues investigated by one of the most prominent Bulgarian statisticians over the last few decades have been outlined. Studies that have an impact on the development of statistical science in the country and far beyond its boundaries.

With his active presence in the activities of the specialized international statistical structures, Prof. Stanev supports the formation of the state policy in the field of statistics and the development of statistical thought in Bulgaria as an active researcher, methodologist, administrator and long-time editor-in-chief of ‘Statistics’ magazine.

In the section Information, reviews, consultations is presented the information:

  • 85th edition of the Statistical yearbook of Bulgaria - authors Antoaneta Ilkova, National Statistical Institute - Sofia, and Zdravka Bobeva, National Statistical Institute - Sofia

At the end of May 2018, the 85th edition of the Statistical Yearbook of the Republic of Bulgaria was issued. On the anniversary, we prepared a brief historical mosaic of retrospectives and first statistical observations, which have been published in the most authoritative edition of the National Statistical Institute. Their appearance in the Bulgarian literary heritage enables the governmental institutions to make decisions and put them on practice; the academic community to develop and deep the scientific knowledge and all interested users to enhance their personal statistical culture and awareness.

The beginning of the Statistical Yearbook’s compilation in Bulgaria has been started in 1909 as the first edition was published in 1910. ‘To compile in one publication the annual statistics on all branches of life in Bulgaria was a necessity, equally imposed all the time by the Directorate of Statistics and by the state needs and by the public interests’, wrote in the Preface of the first edition the then Chief Director - Kiril Popov.

In order to enrich the 85th edition of the Yearbook, in line with the traditional forms of distribution - printed and on CD, we used the capabilities of new technologies and created a special application - Statistical Yearbook 2017 in infographics. Through it, we offer the users a different view of the statistical information. The current state and changes in socio-economic and cultural life in Bulgaria are not presented in the traditional way with tables and text, but through infographics - images, graphics and other means of visualization. We hope that in this way we will make the information provided easier to understand for the youngest users and help them to realize the importance and meaning of numbers in modern life.

  • District heating and cooling systems - author Antoniya Parvanova, National Statistical Institute - Sofia

With the entry into force of the Directive 2012/27/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on energy efficiency, Member States have the obligation until 30 April each year to report data to the European Commission on the district heating and cooling systems. According to the requirements, 2016 is the first reporting year for which data will be provided. Until now, there was no common European system for reporting of district heating and cooling systems. With regard to the new reporting obligation, a questionnaire was developed, including definitions, instructions and practical examples. It is expected that the new questionnaire will ensure the production of high quality, reliable and comparable statistics on district heating and cooling systems for all countries of the European Union.

  • Participation in the education course of the European statistics program (ESTP) on ‘Price index and index of physical volume in the official statistics - theory and practice’ (luxembourg, 3 - 6 july 2017)) - author Kameliya Popova, National Statistical Institute - Sofia

The main objective of the course was to explain methodological and practical questions about the application of price indices and physical volume indices as measures in official statistics. Experts from 17 statistical institutes took part in it.

The content of the course was divided into five themes:

  • Introduction - key macroeconomic indicators such as consumer price indices and gross domestic product indices that are widely used in country monitoring and economic development were presented;
  • Approaches for target indexes - the three main approaches were presented: fixed (associated with a particular basket), test and economic;
  • Chain indices - the main sub-indices and the techniques for calculating the time series were presented. An overview of the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices and the Regulations in this area was made;
  • Specifications of the Elementary Aggregate Indices - the various levels of aggregation and the formula for calculating low-level aggregates were presented and discussed;
  • Special cases - Various replacement methods for product substitution and disappearance of the product from the market and quality assessment methods were presented and discussed when there was a change in quality between the missing product and the substitute product.