The magnitude of the budget deficit in Hungary has recently become one of the most urgent problems of economic policy, endangering both the target date of entry into the Euro zone and sustainable growth. The recent apparent difficulties of consolidation raise the question of how the chronic high deficit can be explained. The study answers by examining the political-economy literature on deficit, which has tended recently to emphasize the importance of institutional regulation, rather than economic factors. The main conclusion offered by a survey of Hungary's system of regulation is that the weaknesses of the budget process allow short-term interests to dominate in decision-making, so that in times of slowing growth and political tensions, the tendency to deficit is much increased. Reform of the public-finance regulations is therefore essential to creating a balanced budget in the long term.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.