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  • 1 University of Debrecen Doctoral School of Economic Science Debrecen Hungary
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In this paper we aim to investigate what role fiscal cycles played in the development of the Hungarian state budget balances since the change of regime in 1989 until the parliamentary elections held in 2010. The literature has found that political budget cycles (PBC) are more typical in less developed countries with a shorter period of experience with democratic institutions, like the post-socialist transition economies. Nevertheless, empirical studies point out that this phenomenon has been disappearing over time. By testing the six parliamentary elections in Hungary until 2010, we show that discretional governmental actions of pork barrel spending were apparent more or less in almost each election period, peaking in the last decade. The most typical form of the fiscal cycles in Hungary proved to be social transfers to households including old-age benefits, family support or price subsidies, but also public sector wages were subject to PBC. As a result, state budget balances were significantly shaped by the cyclical movements of fiscal laxity and restrictions, resulting in strong fluctuations in fiscal balances and an overall high budget deficits in the two decades under review.

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Editor-in-chief: Balázs SZENT-IVÁNYI

Co-Editors:

  • Péter MARTON (Corvinus University, Budapest)
  • István KÓNYA (Corvinus University, Budapest)
  • László SAJTOS (The University of Auckland)
  • Gábor VIRÁG (University of Toronto)

Associate Editors:

  • Tamás BOKOR (Corvinus University, Budapest)
  • Sándor BOZÓKI (Corvinus University Budapest)
  • Bronwyn HOWELL (Victoria University of Wellington)
  • Hintea CALIN (Babeş-Bolyai University)
  • Christian EWERHART (University of Zürich)
  • Clemens PUPPE (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)
  • Zsolt DARVAS (Bruegel)
  • Szabina FODOR (Corvinus University Budapest)
  • Sándor GALLAI (Corvinus University Budapest)
  • László GULÁCSI (Óbuda University)
  • Dóra GYŐRFFY (Corvinus University Budapest)
  • György HAJNAL (Corvinus University Budapest)
  • Krisztina KOLOS (Corvinus University Budapest)
  • Alexandra KÖVES (Corvinus University Budapest)
  • Lacina LUBOR (Mendel University in Brno)
  • Péter MEDVEGYEV (Corvinus University Budapest)
  • Miroslava RAJČÁNIOVÁ (Slovak University of Agriculture)
  • Ariel MITEV (Corvinus University Budapest)
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  • Petrus H. POTGIETER (University of South Africa)
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