While in the decade prior to 2010 Hungarian local governments had been a notorious contributor to budgetary slippages and growing public indebtedness, the sector’s balance has subsequently turned to positive in the context of a wide-ranging centralisation effort and the corresponding revamp in subnational financing arrangements. The fiscal indicators therefore, prima facie, point to a transformation of a regular sinner into a source of stability. Based on a detailed account of the recent reform steps and the preliminary assessment of their first impacts, this study argues that it is too early to conclude that the observed positive developments are the structural results of the measures taken over the last five years. The enacted institutional streamlining, the new debt authorisation rule and the increased tapping of the local tax potential should all have a lasting positive impact on public finances. Nonetheless, the intended efficiency gains due to economies of scale in service provision are not yet apparent, insofar as no reduction has been achieved in the headcount of the concerned branches. Moreover, the observed non-differentiation in the debt assumption may raise the spectre of moral hazard for the municipalities in the longer run.
This paper tests new implications of the asymmetric tax competition model on diesel excise taxes. We extend the standard tax competition model by replacing the unit demand assumption with iso-elastic demand. As a result, not only the level of the equilibrium tax, but also the slope of the tax reaction function depends positively on the size of the country. The new implication is tested on panel data in first differences for 16 countries of Western Europe. The results provide strong evidence for strategic interaction in the setting of diesel excises and confirm the effect of country size on the response to tax changes in neighbouring countries. Strategic interaction between EU countries intensified in the mid-1990s and drove small European countries to set lower diesel tax rates. These results explain why the EU’s minimum tax policy has failed to harmonise diesel tax rates.
Research to date has focused mainly on the soft budget constraint syndrome in the corporate sector and in the credit system. This article concentrates on the hospital sector. It describes the motivations and the contradictory nature of the behaviour of the patient, the physician, the hospital director, the politician and the hospital owner. The motivations explain the reasons behind the strong inclination to overspend and the tendency of softening budgetary limits. The burden of overspending and debt is pushed upward at each level of the decision-making and financing processes. This article covers the relationship between the various ownership types (state, non-profit and for-profit non-state ownership types) and the soft budget constraint syndrome. Finally, it looks at the phenomenon from normative aspects: the favourable and unfavourable consequences of the hardening of the budgetary limit and how normative dilemmas are reflected in the minds of the participants of the events.
The paper presents a comprehensive overview of the public health system in the separatist Trasnistrian region of Moldova, an analytically unorthodox undertaking, as this entails looking at the health system of a fragile breakaway state-like entity, a set of circumstances that — rather inevitably, it seems — may define certain basic features of the health system at hand. Attention will be dedicated to outlining the main challenges the region's public health system faces, for instance, concerning the spread of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and SARS-CoV-2. Studying the impact of the coronavirus pandemic can especially serve as a litmus test of the available capacities in Transnistria to deal with public health challenges: facing a novel pathogen, and the related disease and epidemic which threaten to overburden the local institutions. A key question examined here, through the example of Transnistria, is the degree to which international support to the region and the increasing cooperation with the internationally recognized state of Moldova are indispensable for public health security in the unrecognized state.
This paper evaluates the efficiency of Active Labour Market Policies (ALMPs) in the European Union (EU). The paper first reviews the main trends governing the evolution of the European Social Fund (ESF) since its creation. The ESF promotes public expenditure in ALMPs in order to foster social cohesion across the EU. In order to test to what extent this strategy can be backed up by facts, we estimate the impact of public expenditure on ALMPs on the employment rate using panel data from 28 European countries (1985–2011), taking into account the endogeneity of the explanatory variables and the dynamic behaviour of their relationship. Results support the hypothesis that expenditure in ALMPs is more beneficial for employment than aggregate public expenditure. In addition, we show that periphery countries observe a larger efficiency of their ALMPs. These results support the recent policy strategy undertaken by the European Commission to raise the budget devoted to ESF in Member States experiencing higher unemployment rates.
The series of adverse shocks of both economic and political character that Europe has suffered since 2008, the last of them coming from the Brexit referendum, revealed numerous institutional gaps and asymmetries in the EU integration architecture. They originate from the voluntary nature of the EU project and the necessity to obtain unanimous approval of all member states to take new integration steps. To increase the resilience of the EU project against current and future shocks, its major institutional gaps and asymmetries should be addressed as quickly as possible. In this paper, we use the theory of fiscal federalism and subsidiarity principle to set the agenda of the EU reform. This includes the identification of areas such as completing the EMU and Schengen projects, foreign, security, and defence policies, environmental and climate change policies where further integration can offer substantial returns to scale and better provisions of global and pan-European public goods. On the other hand, there are also areas such as agriculture policy, products, services and labour standards, and fiscal surveillance rules, where deregulation in favour of market forces could ease business environment and make EU regulations less bureaucratic. Developing integration beyond the traditional economic sphere will also have an impact on the size of the EU budget, balance of power between the EU governing bodies (a bigger role of the European Parliament) and the democratic legitimacy of the EU project.
The paper discusses the reasons and possible resolutions of the contradictions in the Hungarian local government system, and proposes methods to resolve them. The nature of the Hungarian system cannot be described by classical normative theories of fiscal federalism. The operation of Hungarian local governments is determined rather by the decentralisation of conflicts stemming from the reduction of state responsibilities, and the resulting municipal behaviour. The second generation theory of fiscal federalism pays particular attention to the institutional guarantees of fiscal discipline shown by the lower levels of government sector. Actors in the Hungarian system, a system that functions as a ‘conflict container’, try to offset the financial pressures, weighing heavily on them by borrowing and by contingent liabilities. While central government has transferred new duties to local governments from year to year, it has reduced the amount of fiscal subsidies. Until a long-term comprehensive reform is implemented, consequent risks must be treated in the short run, as well.
The regeneration potential of pearl millet, a crop which is of vital importance for farmers in semi-arid tropical regions, was evaluated in a 12 × 12 line × tester cross involving six male sterile (A) lines from five systems of cytoplasmic-genic male sterility, namely two male sterile lines from system A1 (MS81A1, MS8A1), and one each from A2 (Pb313A2), A3 (Pb402A3), A4 (MS81A4) and A5 (MS81A5), the six corresponding maintainer (B) lines 81B1, 8B1, Pb313B2, Pb402B3, 81B4and 81B5, and twelve restorer (R) lines, namely H90/4-5, H77/833-2, G73-107, CSSC46-2, 77/245, 78/711, 77/273, ICR 161, ISK48, 77/28-2, 77/180 and Raj 42. The 24 parents and 144 crosses were grown separately in contiguous blocks in a randomized block design with two replications in three treatments each in 2000 and 2001 at the Research Farm, Bajra Section, Department of Plant Breeding, CCS HAU, Hisar. The plot size was 2.5 m × 0.45 m with 10 cm intra-row spacing. The genotypes (A lines, B lines, R lines, A × R crosses, B × R crosses), sowing dates, years, year × sowing date and genotype × treatment interactions (direct and reciprocal) exhibited significant differences. The comparison of mean performance of the early-sown non-ratooned crop vs. ratooned (cut, regenerated) vs. late-sown unratooned crop treatments revealed that both the grain and dry fodder yields and the major yield-contributing characters exhibited little reduction in the ratoon crop, while the total tillers at maturity and the effective tillers increased in the ratoon crop in comparison to the direct-sown crop. Additional green fodder yields of 189.63 g and 144.02 g per plant, harvested 40 days after sowing (DAS) in the ratoon crops in 2000 and 2001, respectively, and similar grain and dry fodder yields emphasized the utility of cutting and regeneration in pearl millet. The ratooning ability of genotypes, assessed from the ratio of the performance of various characters in ratoon and early and late sown unratooned crops for yield and major yield components was high for a number of lines, testers and hybrids. Most of the hybrids involved one or two parents with good regeneration potential. Sufficient genetic variability was observed for regeneration and ratooning ability, which was found to be under genetic control, suggesting that regeneration potential could be incorporated in genotypes with high yield. A base population developed from promising parents and crosses can be improved by cyclic breeding.