Some contemporary additions to my 1998 paper on integration

The paper in question:

Seven pages of statistical data linked below were appended to the 14-page paper. Some additional oral remarks to the written text included the following.

Was the surgery of transition a rational choice? In a most important sense there was not any choice. The surgery was indispensable for an adjustment to the conditions of survival in a global economy. But there were also several destructive adjustment processes. The surgery might have been done in a better way. Actually, some healthy tissues were cut off that meant negative discontinuity. Some sick organs were left intact that meant negative continuity. Nevertheless, the improvement is significant. Hungary is among the leaders in speed of economic-social-political transformation. The leaders in change are also leaders in growth.

The changeover occurs high costs. The new members will be unable to abide by the Maastricht criteria for a middle-long period of time.The advanced part of Europe may slow down the process of transformation or may speed it up. Recently the Community is allocating its transfers mainly to its old member states. The Community seems to be unwilling to invest more into its prospective new members because of the vested interests of net receivers in countries having adhered to the Community in previous expansions. But with some more (additional) allocations to new members a support multiplicator would work and induce more national accumulation and international private capital influx. As far as EU assistance is limited, new members should be allowed to reach European conditions in a flexible way which doesn’t mean that the period of necessary changes would be stretched along for an infinite number of years.

Following the oral presentation some 70 messages asked for more copies of the written text.

Links to the Appendix pages from A thru F (appa thru appf):






My 1998 paper on integration

East-Central Europe on the Eve of EU Enlargement

Paper for the 1998 ISA Convention (Minneapolis MN, USA)

1. Integration and systemic changes

Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic may acquire full EU membership within some years. Their recent efforts on the way from association to accession are aimed at applying integration measures pertaining to their economic and social performance, policy, regulation and institutions. I thought it would be proper to present here a sketchy review of some similarities and some particulars of their foreign economy reorientation and internal transformation. Some comparative data are also appended to this text. The first data group on the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland (I) consists of average long-term indicators and their annual change for the last couple of years. The second one (II) covers an intermediate period of 1991-1994, the third (III) – 1995. (II. and III. with data on Slovakia.)

The recent westward integration drive of the subregion is a logical corollary of systemic changes which began back in 1989. By this transition the nations in question started to acquire an integration compatibility with their Euro-atlantic partners. There are two levels of integration compatibility. The first one consists of steps that ­- from a general economic rationality viewpoint – long ago should have been introduced. The second level contains measures pertaining more specifically to EU regulations.

Steps toward the EU assume a respective drive for enlargement that was discussed on the Intergovernmental Conference. [1] Still after the Amsterdam summit in many respects a decisive attitude is yet to be adopted, but it is definitely acknowledged that the three nations are prepared for beginning talks about their EU accession. Enlargement will involve medium-term costs and lasting benefits both for the European Union EU and its new members, but the comparative weakness of the latter calls for EU assistance. As a matter of fact the recent fifth expansion deals with a zone of small and medium sized countries with less advanced economies than the EU average. Previous expansions also included some similar nations, but the recent one is the first to deal with several former East-block states. (German reunification was a special case.) Because of its scope and its diversity, it has to be preceded by more important changes than the previous ones.

In addition to and in connection with the deepening of the Union, EU will have to address the implications of the increased number of members. Still more flexibility is needed so as to give enough time to the new member states to attain integration conditions gradually. The actual accession should take place only in sequences. Block treatment is excluded in respect of the above named three countries either. Their background and process of social transformation is characterized by some general as well as special features. That calls for some historical reviews.

As a common historic feature, the three nations in question have been demonstrating their socio-cultural affinity with the West for many centuries. Early in this millennium, or in Dante’s time in spite of some Eastern-type phenomena they gradually diverged from the developmental models existing just across the divide line between civilizations, in the Byzantine-orthodox and the Islamic areas. This distinction was preserved even afterwards, when these countries have developed also differences from the West in their patterns of social action, economy, political systems and the way of life. After 1948 they fell under Soviet domination and, later, Soviet implosion was a first condition and general background of their transition.

Another resemblance pertains to the present state of affairs. Social transformation has attained a crucial point of no return, even if the new system has not fully developed yet. The situation is far from being an ideal one, but democracy is stabilized, market economy is operating. There is continuity in legality, owing to which the process of transition is characterized by relative peace and stability. Economic and political freedom were won by democratic elections and in that sense the end of the old regime was much better than its start.

Rule of law, real separation of powers, individual freedom, human rights and property rights have already been established. They are at the root of the very existence, and meaning of any present and future governments, not excluding ones assuming a socialist tinge. Political conflicts are being fought through in parliamentary forms at the same time when, in some Balkan states changes have included explosion of violence and ethnic-religious hatred left a whole area with still smoldering ruins of social, economical and environmental disasters. In Central Europe the former Czech and Slovak Federation has disintegrated due to national differences but the process was smooth. In these circumstances a recent high degree of ethnic homogeneity, of no value in itself, has been an important asset of the three Central European countries on the eve of their EU membership.

The Euro-Atlantic and global implications of changes are demonstrated, inter alia, by the operation of non-European multinationals in the subregion, OECD membership of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, and the invitation extended to these countries to adhere to the North-Atlantic defense community. There are also trans-systemic (not transition-specific) corellative links and similarities of this area with the rest of Europe: the evolving digitalization of life or the restriction of growth of expenditures on welfare are international attributes of a global transformation process. The same is true concerning the fight against drug abuse, terrorism, money laundering, nuclear trade, etc.

Economic conditions are the main concern both from the viewpoint of transformation and integration compatibility. Macro-economic situation was by no means attractive over the 90s. The firms of the subregion lost from one day to another about two thirds of their East-European trading partners and markets for products, that could not be sold elsewhere. Equally the supply of commodities and raw materials from these markets dried up . The impact of war in former Yugoslavia was anything but beneficial, (especially for Hungary bordering with the territory of the tumultuous Southern Slavic area).

In light of these events, a degree of versatility of the three nations’ economic-cultural potential was demonstrated by their transition achievements. Denationalization of most assets was essential for the economic transformation. Industrial restructuring, evolving services, rising productivity are salient indicators of change. Growth is resumed. There have emerged millions of small entrepreneurs to become a most important accelerating factor of development. Large international companies, even criticised for some negative consequences, greatly contributed to capital imports and economic growth. There was a considerable shift (reorientation) of foreign trade to Western Europe. The latter now accounts for about 2/3-3/4 of exports. The export boom didn’t last for long and the terms of trade worsened but an actual trade integration into Europe was completed in two years. An attached chart (Chart 1.) on composition of trade by partner covers not only the three nations in question but also other transition economies. The real exchange rates of the three countries and Russia – influencing their trade performance – are reflected in Chart 2. Medium to long-term financial flows of all countries in transition are presented in Chart 3. Separate studies should be devoted to the latter, which is an increasingly influential factor of transitional economies.

Preparing for full membership goes hand in hand with a profound economic and social change i.e. a process which is in short and medium term jeopardizing stability. Prospective EU members have been receiving some financial transfers from the Community. As associates they have been getting PHARE benefits that, coordinated with other assistance, IMF stand-by loans, World Bank benefits, EBRD investments are helping defray a part of transition costs and making a substantial contribution to the preparation of integration conditions. In spite of this the main onus of changes is born by the three countries themselves. An unbearable burden would endanger not only their economic and political stability, but the whole process of peaceful European development. EU assistance is limited but there are other ways and means to avoid a part of transformation costs. In accordance with the above mentioned temporal-historical approach, instead of giving money EU may give time to its new members. I mean graduality. Of course, the period of necessary changes may not and should not be stretched along for an infinite number of years. And EU expenditures may not be excluded from the scenario. Just the rule must be applied: if EU is unable to assist in changes exceeding national potential, it should tolerate a more moderate speed of integration.

2. Some national particulars

At the beginning of changes, in 1990, the GDP per capita indicator, as compared to the Austrian level, was 30.4 for Poland, 37.8 for Hungary, and 50.4 for the Czech (and Slovak) Republic [ 2, p. 5.], which was an evidence of differences in their level of economic development. This gap remained in relation to Austria. A special feature of Poland was that a profound and lasting crisis beginning in the late 70s preceded the systemic changes. In the other two countries the recession came later, but to reduce it to a “transformational crisis” (and nothing more ) would be a simplification. A distinct feature of Hungary is a model of its society historically different of the Soviet Communism as a result of substantial reforms. With the introduction of a new economic mechanism in 1968 the economy reached a degree of adaptability to domestic needs and international markets. The reforms, even if they were partly reversed and failed to reach a critical mass, indeed helped to modernize and open the economy. In the 1980s the reforms already were unable to mitigate the decrease of the economic performance

Some peculiarities of the three countries stemmed from the respective extent of their previous openness. Their “endowment” of international indebtedness was highly different. The Czech Republic boasting of the best economic indicators at the beginning of the transition was much less indebted than the other two nations. Poland had more debt and needed relief yet in the 80sThe per capita indebtedness was the highest in Hungary, but the country managed to avoid rescheduling.

The privatization process was also different. In the Czech Republic large domestic financial institutions with the majority votes in the hands of state agencies or their holdings were the main agents of acquisition. The latter was mediated by coupon privatization while private capital was the main actor of privatization in Hungary.

Decisive privatization moves and the business environment were the main two factors due to which Hungary attracted a fairly good share of working capital imports, per capita the highest in the subregion. The country could not avoid some ill-conceived and ill-administered economic measures. Some data on Poland’s performance in this field are appended. They cover inflow of foreign capital and its sectoral structure.

Despite Hungary’s impressive privatisation record and lead in attracting investment GDP rose at an estimated 2 per cent in 1995, (at about 1% in the following year) well below the 5-7 % in Poland and the Czech Republic. Inflation was slightly over 20 % in Poland and below 10 %. in the Czech Republic. The Hungarian rate was 28.2 % in 1995 [ 14 ] and remained high in 1996. More specifically some aspects of this nation’s experience will be dealt with in the next section.

3. The Hungarian experience

Already in 1990 major trade liberalization moves were made in conformity with WTO ( then GATT ) rules on abolition of non-tariff restrictions. A newly introduced set of laws was aimed at harmonizing the Hungarian system with international norms. Some of the most important acts of economic legislation were to guarantee the investments against nationalization and enable foreign companies to repatriate in convertible currencies their capital and profits. This legislative direction was continued over the nineties. [3]

As far as bad news are concerned, the GDP was decreasing for 5 years. Ill-conceived policies have much contributed to the worsening of the situation at least in the fields of agriculture, public finances and indebtedness that went on growing, up to 1996.

In 1991-1992 Hungarian macro-policy could still boast of some stability improvements and in this respect the nation was indeed doing relatively well in comparison with some of its neighborhood. It was during this period that the bulk of foreign trade shifted to Western Europe. [4, 1992,7.] International current accounts were balanced, inflow of foreign working capital was continuous.

But GDP decreased by 20% from 1989 to 1992, industrial output decreased by about 1\4 and the rate of unemployment reached about 13% [5, March 1992]. In 1991 inflation and interest rates reached more than 35%, and the maximum tax rate on personal income was 50%. In connection with a slower rise of consumer prices (at about 23%) in 1992 the tax ceiling was 40% and nominal interest rates were also lowered. But state deficit was the highest ever recorded in Hungary. Pending on the methodology of calculation it was estimated at 6-8 percents of the GDP. [4, 1992, N 12 ] As all indicators of output worsened, money supply increased in 1992 by 25% [5]. While the excess money was supplied to the government the access of the business sphere to credits was restricted [5]. More than 63% of the GDP was concentrated in various funds of the central government, state social security and municipal authorities [6]. The government failed to begin reforms in this field. Still for five more years this indicator remained high.

The speed of liberalization was somewhat exaggerated in view of the actual level of development of the country while the depreciation of the Hungarian currency was insufficient.

There were some signs of economic recovery, partly at the expense of economic equilibrium in 1993. The balance of payments drastically worsened in 1993 to attain a deficit about$ 3.5 Bn. That was partly a result of decreasing agricultural production and exports. There remained also serious imbalances in the state budget [ 7, N 4.]. Inflation was checked at 22.5 % as compared with the previous year’s 23 %.

Along with transition processes a profound degradation in average living standards was underway. The fact itself was tolerated conditionally by the public only within a perspective of economic growth in not too distant future. A change of administration was to take place about the middle of 1994. Data for the first half of 1994 showed continuing growth and continuing disequilibrium. [ 8 ] For the first 5 months on the base of the same period of 1993 industrial output volume reached 108 , investments, 150. Gross international debt was increasing and so was state budget deficit. These imbalances did not stop under the new government. Disequilibrium culminated at the end of 1994. The deficit of the balance of payments amounted to about $ US 4 Bn and the deficit of the state budget to HUF 340 Bn. The same trends continued in the first quarter of 1995. They were stopped as a result of sweeping austerity measures and a sharp turn in the economic policy of the government [ 9 ].

The quantitative stabilisation targets included a cut in the balance of payments deficit to $ US 2.5 Bn. ( by 1.5 Bn. ), a cut of the state budget deficit to HUF 200 Bn. ( by 140 Bn. ), a cut in the number of state employees by 15 %. and aimed at a 27% rate of inflation. [ 10 ] Stabilization tools included currency depreciation of 9% at once and continuing on a sliding scale (appr. 15% on a yearly base.)

A temporary 8% import tariff supplement was introduced. Car import tax increased and reserve requirements for banks were raised. Credit demand of the total public sector was to be limited to the extent that could be covered mostly by household savings.

Comparative data on 1994 and 1995 [ 12 ] showed that in result of austerity measures while in 1994 export sales reached 83% of the 1985 level, in 1995 they reached 99.3%, i.e. practically equalled the latter. But employment went on shrinking. On the base of 1990, from 1994 to 1995, consumer prices changed from 241.6 to 309.7. State deficit was reduced by about 40% in 1995. A major foreign capital influx came in December 1995. Net debt at the end of 1995 amounted to $ US 16.8 Bn. of which the state debt was only 11 Bn. [ 13 ].

In 1995 reducing the general government budget deficit was given high priority in the economic strategy of the government. A reduction in real wages (appr. 12 %) was contended by the government to have contributed into income reallocation to savings and improvement of competitiveness of Hungarian products. But the reduction of real wages was exaggerated, it hindered growth and collecting more state revenues. The ratio of net external debt to foreign currency revenues was indeed reduced. A combination of high state debt, high interest rates and inflation, as well as high taxes have depressed economic growth. It may be added, that a major decline in the public sector deficit was up to the end of 1996 hindered by growing interest liabilities of the state budget. There remained a need for substantial narrowing of state benefits. While Hungary’s GDP per capita was a fifth of the OECD average, the share of GDP it spent on welfare was 1.4 times higher [ 14 ]. Around a third of state spending was channelled through the countrywide pension and health funds and central government had to finance their deficits [ 15 ].

In 1996 the stabilisation policy was sustained, large foreign capital inflows came, but the economic growth was marginal, about 1 %. Inflation was slower than in 1995, but remained at a high, 23,6% level. The management of the pension and health care funds remained unefficient. A fundamental reform of pension system was enacted in 1997. Indicators of a substantial growth recovery in 1997 are attached to this text as a last-minute update.

A whole system of tools is necessary to apply so that economic growth gradually accelerate and reach the annual EU countries’ average. Hungarian minuses in this respect were concentrated in earlier years when changes were achieved at the expense of negative growth, increasing unemployment and monetary disequilibria. Now there exist some achievements in restructuring, stabilisation, privatization and marketisation. These factors are contributing to achieving the economic conditions for EU membership.


Summing up, it has to be recognised that integration is not only to provide new prospects but also require different patterns of behavior from all the business and public actors. It comprises a gradual advancement from low competitiveness and poor international performance to a developed market economy.

By way of just mentioning the following problems may be enumerated.

Full EU membership requires the adoption of some more harmonisation changes in addition to those implemented already.

The issue of preferences in agricultural market accession is very complicated. Even the possibility of social unrest is present in some regions in this sector.

Some indicators of inflation and deficit of current account exceed the EU Maastricht threshold and the three nations are not yet able to lastingly abide all these requirements.

Monetary equilibrium may be sustained neither as a simple result of decision-making, nor as a pure consequence of self-clearing market workings, but rather as a trend stemming from the interaction of business with monetary policy. Within some years the countries have to achieve full liberalization of capital movements.

4/ References

1. Commission Opinion. Reinforcing political union and preparing for enlargement. Brussels, February 1996

2. Comparaison internationale des produits intérieurs bruts en Europe 1990. Nations Unies, New York et Geneve, 1995. p 5.

3 Hungarian Rules of Law in Force (HRLF), 1992-1996

4. Monthly Bulletin of Statistics (Statisztikai Havi Közlemények.) Központi Statisztikai Hivatal. 1992.

5. National Bank of Hungary. Monthly Reports, 1992.

6. Minister of Finances. Report to the Parliament, August, 27, 1991.

7. Monthly Reports of the National Bank of Hungary ( Magyar Nemzeti Bank Havi Jelentések) 1994

8. MTI Press Release (MTI Hirek) 04/26/94 and 05/11/94

9. Government decree 1023/1995, Magyar Közlöny, 22 March 1995

10. Népszabadság, 16 March 1995

11. Napi Gazdaság, 16 March 1995

12. Monthly Bulletin of Statistics (Statisztikai Havi Közlemények) 1996/1. Központi Statisztikai Hivatal.

13. Népszabadság, March 22, 1996

14. Financial Times, March 12, 1996

15. Social and Labor Market Policies in Hungary, OECD, 1995

Capital and Money in Hungary (3)

My 1991 London paper as cited in 2014.11.30. 12:01 Italo Romano

Second Part


2.1. Economic performance and capital

A second brief remark on a question of first principles is surmised to be appropriate at this point. (The first has been made at the beginning of the previous part. Neither one is meant to say that all the rest derives from them.) One reason for considering monetary equilibrium conditions within the network of capital phenomena is the dependence of successful long-term stabilisation efforts on the regulating impact of profit motivation. There is a negative feedback between prices and market competition which is modified but not eliminated by monopolies. Technical progress with its intellectual requirements is an exigency for every actor of business life interested in getting hold of assets with added value returns. The latter is an attribute of an asset in its quality of capital. In a capital economy private market actors are the main risk- bearers and inefficient activities are eliminated on this elementary (micro) level. It is fool-proof in this crucial respect even if the profit maximisation is not an exclusive pattern of behaviour. /cf.1.7./ Efficiency remains a first principle of a capital-money-market system even if its functioning is consciously restricted with regard to labour participation /cf.1.1./ and long- term capital requirements /cf.1.4./The expansion of this system so that it embraces public welfare goods and services remains a contorversial issue. Here marketisation and demarketisation follow each other in a cyclical way.

In a command system the economic organisations are interested in getting hold of assets in the quality of the latter as production factors in general but not in their specific quality of profit- making factors. Without profit motivation and market there is no capital. Asset formation is called ‘capital investments’, assets are treated in many ways as if they were capital, even capital/production ratios are computed. Technical progress requirements and the intellectual tasks related to it are commanded from above, on behalf of an antiintellectual in its nature establishment. /cf.1.8/ Some workings of capital are simulated but nothing can substitute for the profit drive as an incentive of the economic performance. Accordingly, the system is not fool-proof on the level of national economy being the main risk bearer instead of the market actors themselves. For the last two decades the Hungarian economy has not been a traditional command one. Economic reforms amounted to the beginning of systemic change. Economic performance nevertheless remained weak because of the lack of capital stimuli of development and technical progress. It was not fool-proof either. For some 20-30 years there existed, in terms of animal-farm connotations, quite a number of dinosaur-like big enterprises with net incomes syphoned out of the state budget. That was equal to syphoning away net revenues from more efficient producers thus restricting their investments. Output volume and pattern developed independently of comparative advantages. Lack of competitiveness resulted in a downward shift of overall efficiency. Income- producing capacities of the national economy were not enough to sustain growth and welfare.

All this resulted in a creeping, and, after some time, gallopping inflation. Price rises escalated from a 7% average in the mid 80-ies to 16% in 1988, to 17% in 1989 and to 29% in 1990. /20/ The recent rate is estimated at more than 35%. As there exists a trade-off between the balance of payments and inflation the payments situation became better last year. While in 1989 the balance showed a 1,5 billion dollar deficit, in 1990 there was a modest surplus. (Ibidem.) But, as a result of domestic inflation it cannot be a lasting achievement.While the drive to achieve an ever better competitive performance is a longterm condition of a dependable and relatively stable economic environment inflation should not be explained away by the absence of this powerful motivation. Price stability existed in the fifties and sixties. Business is on an upward slope recently but so is inflation. Equilibrium depends also on how macro-policy meets the requirements of capital towards money supply.

2.2. Capital requirements towards money

It is well-known that market forces alone cannot stabilise the economy without proper macro-policy measures. An expectation- climate promoting capital accumulation and investments can be created only by a complex approach of which the relation of money and capital is an essential component. Capital as a determining factor of money-supply requirements is overlooked by one-sided analysis of money. There are autonomous value-preservation consequences of the capital stock. For example, accelerated depreciation-amortisation increasing after-tax profits leads to changes in velocity of circulation. The ceteris paribus rule applies here as well as in the whole of this paper. The relation of the volume side and the price side of productive capital is a determinant of the equilibrium of commodity markets, which is a main component of the overall equilibrium. Dynamic effects emanating from inner characteristics of capital pertain to the purchasing power of money. Efficiency and competitiveness exert a powerful impact on the dual /price and volume/ capital structure asynchronity of which is one of the roots of inflation. Some other parameters of capital structure are quoted below.

On the recent stage of development the exposure of market actors to a number of non-market influences distorts security prices. Under such conditions capital ratios provide an independent measure of assessment in supplement to security prices. In particular, capital ratios are widely in use for the analysis of bank activity. For example,the ratio of share capital to the total of assets. Regulating authorities control this ratio in narrow brackets. In the U.S.A., it should be within the brackets of 6%-12%. The larger the bank the smaller the ratio. In London clearing bank groups, between 1976-1983, total capital measured both against deposits and liabilities oscillated around 7%. Free equity capital measured against banking assets oscillated around 2%. /21/ These ratios in normal conditions provide some leverage for regulation in a degree necessary in a market economy. If that degree is not complied with, quantitative and institutional changes are called for.

Financial markets are the precondition of fiscal, monetary and credit incentives applied in conformity with international practice and requirements of business life. For example,necessary regulatory functions,such as open market operations or reserve requirements presuppose financial markets in the absence of which monetary flows can be influenced only through taxation or direct price and wage controls which increase market imperfections and interfere with property interests. Programs for coming decades should include monetary scenarios based on the growing role of long-term treasury bonds and other state-backed securities. These market instruments finance the budget deficit through increasing government debt. Long-term bonds may provide a yield producing, value preserving, profitable reservoir of wealth for private investors. Beside real estate and private securities, state bonds are also elements of wealth as an object of decisions on what is the advantageous allocation of individual financial resources. As elements influenced by open market operations they are instrumental in regulation of money supply.

2.3. Liquidity versus transactional approach

Monetary dynamics are partially under the impact of capital creating functions of the banking system. A well-known distinction between money demand and credit demand is adopted here. Credit demand expresses the needs of economic actors investing/spending more than their resources allow. Money demand is determined by transactional, liquidity and saving requirements. In Hungarian practice the main monetary aggregate is the stock of all liabilities of the banks minus intrasystem claims and foreign exchange.(M3) With set-aside or frozen deposits deducted from M3 one arrives at M2. Deducting from this long-term deposits gives M1. These definitions /in conformity with the definition of Hicks, 4./ rely on the liquidity approach, viz. on how quickly an asset can be brought into circulation. The most liquid asset is cash, not much different are current account balances. Equilibrium interests require that transactional needs are distinguished from the above. These needs derive from the fact that income and expenditure of economic units do not coincide in time. This asynchronity is bridged by transactional reserves which is causal foundation that the latter be selected within the M1 as subject to special regulation. The other part of recent M1, namely other assets up to one-year liquidity may be separated into some special aggregate.

The significance of all this is connected with deficit financing at high speed of inflation. The surplus of printed money which goes together with the increase of state expenditures has no autonomous mechanism of disappearance like the one in the case of credits created by banks. Increasing transactional needs are able to absorb a part of this surplus. Deficit financing beyond this level can be thought of as money- diluting emission. The proposition is that in Hungary inflation comes about mainly in result of this factor. Main economic indicators may be quoted as evidence. /21/ While additional working capital credit in l989-1990 was 148 billion net government credit took 99 billion Forints from the banking system or approximately 40% of credit growth since other items were not significant.

2.4. Redistributive effects

One of the main effects of inflation is the redistribution of real income. The owners of production factors try to compensate inflation by raising factor prices. The latter restricts the real demand for capital goods and though in accordance with the above paragraph aggregate nominal demand will not diminish partial equilibrium may be restored. But there are also actors of final consumption who are not owners of production factors. Among them the inactive population and governmental or any other public agencies insofar as their expenditures on health, education, social welfare and the like are financed by the state budget. Price rises diminish the real value of their respective budgets. That has, in itself, a boosting effect on their deficits and creates pressures on the whole of public finances. There is no negative feedback between deficit financing and inflation. The self-reinforcing effects of inflation increase even more if the government tries to compensate to a considerable degree the diminishing real purchasing power of final users who are not owners of production factors. Indexation which is a controversial practice even in conditions of creeping inflation, at galopping speeds works to the effect of further speeding up inflation itself. Price, wage, welfare, interest rate or tax measures are unable to stabilise the economy if they are taken in isolation. And even if they are taken together,but in a fictitious independence from their underlying conditions: their impact on the money supply and its impact on them, the state of savings and their trend,the speed and structure of growth , expectations,etc. The responsiveness of the economy to the same measures, e.g. 1%-point change in interest rates is quite different in different situations. As regards gallopping inflation, it puts in another perspective even the governing principles commonly agreed at in a normal setup.

As briefly mentioned above /cf.2.1./ marketisation is a controversial issue in the realm of public welfare services. Capitalization is a distinct matter and may be introduced independently of the above controversy. For example it offers some inflation shelters for the inactive population in the form of pension funds. Up to now pensions were paid from the state budget, with all problems resulting from that. There was no pension capital. The financial sources of pensions were accumulated on a yearly basis from old age security payments on behalf of active employees and from taxes. Under a planned new system anyone can make old age security payments into the pension fund he likes. The fund acts as capital, as a long-term investment fund subject to portfolio management. Long- term nature of these funds determines that a fair share of them would go into real estate business. Under specific circumstances of gallopping inflation the chances for preserving the real wealth in this form are better than in other forms. Pension funds may provide a part of purchasing power for privatisation of state enterprises especially in the service sector. They by no means can mitigate inflation in general but may be instrumental in preserving the purchasing power of pensions.

2.5. A diagnostic phase

Some exclusive schools of economic thought have offered one-causal therapies for curing the diseases of recession and inflation. These cannot be successful forever. Their application results in improvements for discrete periods of time. In scientific theory the purity of the main attitude is a precondition of creating a logically consistent system as a single, descriptive or presciptive, positive or explanatory approach to the object of investigation.

Macropolicy creates mixtures by taking and processing a multitude of components in order of attaining some particular objective. But, as in chemistry, it is not enough to have a variety of components. Their relative weight, the sequence of the operations and the temperature in which they take place must be set up in a conceptually proper way. A balanced mixed approach poised to slow inflation in a considerable degree may not be reduced to a composition with 2-3-4 elements. It is a matrix of tools applied to a matrix of circumstances. It needs to make use of a number of various schools of economic thought which all would be wrong if taken alone because each of them one-sidedly operates in a restricted zone of regulatory power of respective fiscal and monetary, expectational and supply side, exchange rate and securities market instruments. In 1980 Professor Samuelson said he could not see any plausible application of his theoretical synthesis which had performed perfectly when he was an invited member of the Council of Economic Advisers. The theory was designed so that it could not be utilised in stagflation.

The above is to draw attention to an example of researchers’ self- reserve. As it has been mentioned their analysis like a software exists independently of its users. In way of self-reflection one may admit that it is independent also of the new suggestions made by the researchers themselves. If they try to apply their knowledge beyond its radius of action this amounts to assigning a job to a software which does not contain a related algorithm. To try to answer questions unanswerable because of lack of necessary information would mean the same. No one from outside the science is authorised to pass critical judgments on the views of the specialists. Self-reserve controls their assessment-making within the limits of their competence. And that is not just a moral question. As a scientist should mind the quality of a microscope which is placed between him or her and the investigated object, similarly an economist is obliged to be conscious of the relevance of available analytical tools.

This paper is not conceived so as to give a whole therapy. To try to do so would amount to the pretension that a proper diagnosis has already been done. Strategic schemas are indeed being built on this assumption which does not hold. The analytical phase attained so far is a pre-therapeutic one, i.e. that of diagnosis no matter how badly the economy would need a real cure. A relevant diagnosis often consists some elements of the treatment. The point of the above is that this should not be exaggerated. If it is then no matter how much one would like to be a doctor he may all right become the sickness itself.

2.6. Some features of a general diagnosis

It hardly needs to be said that circumstances in Central and Eastern Europe differ from whatever situations experienced before in the West. To draw attention to that Economics as a generalised understanding based on past situations is unable to cover this new one is not to underrate the significance of the tools of this science. What may be questioned is their direct applicability to a whole new situational matrix which does not fit into the system of assumptions of traditional economics as they are represented by neoclassical, keynesian-neokeynesian, monetarist, and neo- neoclassical schools.

It has been mentioned that East-European history has produced mutant societies /cf.1.8./ The mutants, inter alia, were antieconomical or noneconomical societies. Under the necessary impact of the past on the present this feature continues to exist well into the post-mutant stage of the nations in question. This scheme gives by no means an exhaustive picture but inasmuch as it is relevant one may ask if Economics can be applied to a non- economical situation. Assumptions on the state of affairs should  be made explicitly anyway. If the violation of behaviourial rules has been built into the cellular information system of the organism then the immediate cure must not concentrate on the application of these same rules because the governing principles of the organism had changed. The importance of the impact of deficit financing on investments, monetary aggregates on trade cycles, or taxes on supply side need no restating. But not any of the well-known cures making use of these cross-relations could have been conceived so as to be able to overcome the non-traditional disease of Central and Eastern Europe. This is demonstrated e.g. by the fact that the situation is neither Keynesian nor monetarist.

2.7. Non-Keynesian situation

Hungary is not in a keynesian recession situation where effective demand ought to be increased so as to reduce incompletely utilised capacities and manpower reserves. Certainly both of the latter exist but the nation is interested in further reducing inefficient capacities and therefore growing unemployment – however hated by everyone – should be tolerated. That even substantial unemployment benefits cost less than maintaining the production culture which existed up to now is not a relief for people who are to lose their jobs. But this cost-benefit explanation is just an emasculated rhetoric in this case. It is absolutely impossible to preserve the old structure. Therefore the recent state of the national economy calls for some more recession, not for the recession itself but in order to get rid of its uneconomic structural elements. The impact of relative wage and productivity level on the growth of unemployment which according to the actual shape of the Phillips- curve trades off with the price index is an essential determinant of macropolicy. In Hungary employment level was maintained in an artificial way and against any indications of the Phillips curve for a whole decade which amounted to compelling the national economy to support a situation which it could not afford. An inflation of significant speed has been going on for several years but unemployment has begun to grow by hundreds of thousands only in this year. Without inflation it could have reached even a third of the labour supply or more. Or else, without unemployment the price index could have approached a hundred per cents or more. Both would cause social unrest, nor the recent situation can last long.

There are two powerful economic exigencies which call for curbing the inflation. The first one is the long-term equilibrium of the balance of payments. In short term the price index trades off with the balance of payments. /cf.2.1./ More specifically, it exerts its impact through the trade balance. Payment problems resulted in accumulation of a heavy debt burden in time when inflation was relatively moderate. Recently the debt service absorbs a significant share of domestic savings. In 1989 and 1990 only the foreign income part of the debt service (interest payments) required more than 1600 millions of US dollars each year.// The savings can be transformed into foreign payments through the expansion of exports in general and net exports in particular. This is likely to boost inflation. The trade-off will work in a reverse way: while corroborating payments and debt situation it will add to the inflationary pressures. In other terms it will stimulate imports and slow down exports and result in worsening the trade balance situation.

The second one is the contrast of gallopping inflation with the long term interests of capital expansion, saving and accumulation. Efforts to involve more foreign capital into privatisation may come down to jejune rhetoric when elementary conditions of financial stability are lacking. Capital does not fear uncertainty or risk. But gallopping inflation generates an environment of unpredictability which is unbearable to business. Couragious risk- takers would go on with investments, but the bulk of medium-sized enterprises would rather stay off. Insofar as the crisis is multi-dimensional a multicausal approach to its treatment is indispensable. However the multitude of influencing factors should not be identified with a multitude of objectives of the operation. Factors are many, but, beyond 30% slowing down the inflation must be the objective in terms of macro- monetary policy. Beyond that speed the price expectations appear to have a propensity to remain positive, the price index can double the next year, treble in the second year and so on. Growth incentives of the inflation are switched off at this speed. Self- accelerating effects are switched on /cf.2.4./

2.8. Non-monetarist situation

It has been demonstrated that this recession is not a classical Keynesian one /cf.2.7./ A complementary suggestion is that excess money supply gives no enough ground to assess the situation as a whole as a classical Friedmanite one either. Here a simple terminological difference between monetarist and monetary applies. The former designates one school of economic thought while the latter the related elements of the market system and the macro-policy regulation.

Monetary policy should rely partially on monetarist measures because of the existence of the mentioned excess supply of money. In the eighties more purchasing power was created then required for circulation. Velocity of money circulation was influenced by money creation for deficit financing as against crediting. With growing trade balance deficits, money creation for the needs of net imports was based on growing foreign debts. In general, there was more
purchasing power than goods and services at actual prices. And there was more import than export.

Monetary regulation should have played an important role in reversing these inflationary pressures. But in the late eighties one-sided monetarist decisions were made on the base of an explicit strategy of monetary restriction. Thus not only the purchasing power but also the goods supply was reduced. Practically the measure amounted to restrictions in short-term crediting which had caused a liquidity crisis that halted immediately much of production and service before an agreement to stop the shock-therapy of money supply reduction was achieved.

The monetary policy was wrong at least in two respects. First, that some enterprises othervise efficient became abruptly insolvent. The second fault concerned inefficient ones which were surmised to ‘deserve’ insolvency. But the treatment of this problem was beyond the field of monetary policy. As a market function it could have been achieved by means of bankruptcy, takeovers, mergers, sanation,etc. Here monetary policy tried to take up tasks which fell outside its province. By weakening supply incentives it aggravated inflation.

Another problem is the restricted relevance of the monetarist approach itself. It can be questioned if there is such thing as a monetarist situation. If, as it is experienced in Hungary, a part of the money-diluting emission follows price increase then the latter did not come about as a consequence of increased money
supply. It could happen as a result of positive inflationary expectations. It might have been the consequence of tax increases, shortages of commodities, exchange rate evolutions, wage rise or a host of other factors.

Inflation itself with all the halfmeasures being taken against it at a high speed may become a factor of further inflation owing to its self-generating effects. /2.4.,2.7./Inflation not only restricts real purchasing power of buyers but also allocates more money with sellers, so that aggregate demand may continuously exceed supply and accelerate inflation itself. Nevertheless, to perceive it like a ‘causa sui’ would be equal to some mythical belief in its superhuman nature.


2.9. An appraisal

For the time being inflation remains the main evil of the internal economy. The record of the recent administration in dealing with this evil is unacceptable. Nor opposition programs contain any serious antiinflationary strategies. This issue has been practically excluded from debates because the opposition cannot promise any viable alternative. So it is not partisan politics that dominate the problem in question. Then what does? Must be the policies of specialised government agencies whose operations are claimed to be dictated by professional views.

National Bank representatives every now and then make statements to the effect that they follow a tight monetary policy. No doubt, they indeed try to do so according to their strategy. But tight money policy concerns mainly the private sector and interest rates on saving accounts and bonds remain well under consumer price index /cf.2.1./ while the latter is considerably higher than that of industrial sales. Industrial price index was 105, 115 and 121 % in l988, 1989 and 1990 respectively. Recently it is likely to speed up.

The rediscount rate of the central bank was respectively 10.5, 14.0 and 20%. /23/ These ones and short term refinancing rates werelinked to the slower growth of industrial prices. But they influenced saving interest rates which actually remained about 10% points below the price index. As a result, net Forint deposits of individuals diminished in real terms. Their nominal sum was 279 Bn HUF in 1988, 297 Bn HUF in 1989 and 360 Bn HUF in 1990. /24/

The fact of negative real interest rates on savings accounts and bonds while inflation is gallopping indicates a fault built in a crucial element of the regulatory system. Regulators and legislators alike are culpable for the situation, naturally,not in legal sense.

Is it not a pretentious claim to say that everybody is wrong but the author of this paper? Though the question is not relevant to the subject of the argument it may not be ignored. Many experts propound antiinflationary strategies. And a number of public executives share the same views. But the decision power rests with bodies the policy of which is unsatisfactory in this field. Other fields have not been analysed in this paper.

In a situation which is neither Keynesian nor Friedmanite monetarism is the underlying theory of Hungarian macroequilibrium policy while its practical behaviour is dominated by two opposite onesidednesses: a monetarist and an inflationary bias. Let us compare that with the British policy of eighties which had begun also from a monetarist strategic stance. The latter was subordinated to the main task of overcoming inflation. When it did not work it was abandoned mercilessly: further antiinflationary policy was conducted by thumb-rule and lost its monetarist character. In contrast to this Hungarian policy lost its antiinflationary character.

The British antiinflationary record while it may also be not quite satisfactory is uncomparably better than the Hungarian one (<5% as against >35% in 1991). When speaking of the price index one does not passes a judgment on the whole economic let alone political strategy. But how dares one compare so remote situations as that of Great Britain and Hungary? May it be noticed that situations are not being compared at all at this point. Inflation is the matter under review. Gallopping inflation should be checked in any situation. If it is not it will worsen any situation in any country.

The necessity to have a mixed approach does not mean that every mix is good. In this case the concrete system of measures is blamed not for its eclecticism but for its lack of impulses to curb positive price expectations. The definition of objectives is too wide in scope. It is claimed that besides stabilization efforts the monetary policy “should assist structural transformation, stimulate exports, the search for foreign markets…” /25/ All this appears to be too much at the recent speed of inflation the curbing of which represents the first condition for achieving any other economic and social goals. Monetary policy may promote a variety of aims not directly but through its recent specific task concerning the purchasing power of money. This task has to be supported by maintaining foreign solvency. The recent indication for any administration willing to invite more capital in, is to drive the excess money out.

Capital and Money in Hungary (2)

Capital and Money in Hungary  (continued)

My 1991 London paper as cited in 2014.11.27. 21:29 Minnesota

1.5. Financial capital in Eastern Europe

Everybody seems to agree on that Eastern Europe badly needs working capital imports but few analysts deal with the development of financial markets as their precondition. Financial markets are the realm of financial capital existing in interaction with working capital. Capital value expressed by stock prices is different from the reproduction and goodwill value of real assets. The ratio of stock exchange value and reproductory value is an important regulator of real investments. /12/ Generous tax exemptions and other measures have created incentives for working capital import into Hungary. Lack of normal telecommunication, bureaucracy and transitional risks create obstacles which can be counterbalanced only by seducing financial conditions.

Though Hungary boasts of the highest among newly emerging democracies speed of direct foreign investments the volume of their inflow is lagging behind the needs. The overruling of some takeovers already done somewhat worsened the whole climate for capital involvement. But securities markets remain all the time bearish owing to the high speed of inflation and not to some penniwise financial import policy measures. Financial markets are to be built up not only out of domestic savings which are poor but also by way of international capital involvement. Working capital imports are by no means the only alternative to growing indebtedness. Import of financial capital should be relied on to a much higher degree. This factor requires development of financial markets, which, for the beginning would not surely be ‘efficient’ ones. But if their regulation complies with business requirements exposure to foreign capital inflows might help them soon to attain a necessary degree of clearing power. So if policy-makers want to have efficient markets, first they should promote the development of any markets. And if they want to have more working capital imports they should create incentives also to non-working i.e. financial capital imports.

The above cannot be attained without letting all the national capital work and bring profits to the investors who should be able to reallocate their funds to business activities with expected higher returns. Financial markets are the most powerful instruments of capital reallocation. And corporate structure of industry and service /cf.1.2./ (cf. marks cross-references to this paper) is the most eminent purpose for their existence.

1.6. Corporations

In accordance with some earlier analyses in a 1981 public discussion this writer brought forward a proposal for transformation of state enterprises into corporations. A book in line with this idea in application to the then existing and now anachronistical situation was published in 1983 and its shorter English version in 1984. /13/ Some professional conclusions have been reproduced in quite a few economic documents of both the recent administration and its opposition. A system of business enterprises based on the functional division between owners and enterpreneurs was the gist of the proposed practice. The bearing of the risk that goes with investments was selected as a base of enterpreneurial gain or loss. Reducing of the state property and confining the state activities to macro-economic policy, a social safety-net, resarch-development and environmental issues were said to be preconditions for this type of business culture. The proposal offered a wide factor liberalisation program on the level of risk takers. If the managers were willing to pay higher wages they would have to withdraw funds from some other allocations, e.g. investments providing there was an adequate monetary policy. As regards capital involvement the managers were to attain the same wide range of autonomy as in production and employment decisions. The establishment of a bond and stock exchange was also propounded in 1981. The above was concluded by an initiative to establish a Bank of emission functioning independently of the government. Proposals on currency convertibility were made earlier.

The above mentioned strategy envisaged reducing the complex form of collective ownership by incorporation to the simple form of individual ownership. Thus state property might have attained a new character: it were to act in relation to other owners as a single individual. /Legal experts created a complementary theory to the effect that if the enterprizes are incorporated the state ceases to be an owner as an actor of public law. It can retain its holdings as a subject of private law./ Securities are the proper titles of ownership for profit oriented private owners. As any other owner the state is interested in dividends, bonds and shares prices, yields, etc. This sector may be significant in Central and Eastern Europe, where, apart from some other reasons, due to constraints to domestic purchasing power and limited foreign interest in real investments the state will remain a largest owner of assets in some industries for a long time to come. The strategy propounded in the early eighties /see above/ included practical suggestions on the issue. The majority of corporations would belong to portfolio firms and investment banks with the controlling package of them remaining in some cases with government institutions within a stepwise system of participation. This pattern cannot give an overall solution to the problem of state enterprises. It can be efficient only in the framework of extensive business relations as their partial but not dominating sector.

The privatisation of a considerable part of the state property remains an exigency. As it appears against the background of specific circumstances it is distinct from its theoretical model. To take it in the only context of abstract theory when arguing for or against a given decision in a given country would not be quite appropriate. An explicitly theoretical line of thought will be referred to under the next subheading.

1.7. Privatisation

Although no limitations to privatisation can be found in neoclassical theory /14/ no exclusive importance to property issues is attributed either. As evidenced by international comparisons the relative efficiency of public as against private ownership depends on a variety of factors, incl. the efficacy of capital market monitoring, the way of the public decision-making and the managerial market. /15/

Profit maximisation is considered as an ultima ratio of decisions concerning privatisation. In contrast to this ultima ratio there is strong evidence for that firms deviate from strict neo-classical behaviour viewn as short-run profit maximisation. That is explained partially by game theory and neo-institutional theory. /16/ In capital theory the wealth-preserving function is no less important so that what used to be considered as a single motivation is broken down /with respect to profit flows and capital stocks/ into profit maximisation and risk diversity maximisation /cf.1.4./ This ramification applies also to the above issue. It is not meant to define the exact boundaries of remaining state property but gives it a capital-orientation. Apart from public goods and providing externalia for the private business the remainder of the state property itself should function in a businesslike way represented not only by profits but also by capital gains.

The dilemma of state versus private would be oversimplified without a historical reflection. According to the analysis of economic backwardness from a historic perspective made by A.Gerschenkron in Western Europe individual private capital, in the East the state and in some other, mainly central regions business banks were the engine of accumulation and industrialisation. Banks represent private but as typical not individual capital. Although not any typology is of exclusive validity this one seems to apply with some necessary modifications. When individual capital is weak and state capital slopes downward, financial mediators /and not only banks/ may acquire a considerable place in ownership and redistributive relations.

That role of state which is predicted to remain more important than in Western countries can also be performed by way of public participation in bank ownership. Mixed ownership is another option in addition to privatisation or nationalisation.

Even in some most developed countries there is a link between crediting and ownership. A good part of firms relies on the same bank in every respect. A work quoted above /16/ has proved on grounds of Swedish evidence that a bank that is a principal creditor of a firm is likely to become its main supporter also in bond issuance and ownership contracts. Antitrust or general antimonopolistic regulation prohibits only the excesses in this relations. Long-term principal bank relations are associated with high rates of technical progress for example in Japan where firms rely to much less extent on equity capital then the American ones. Comparisons between France and Great-Britain /15/ show somewhat similar differences.

In Central and Eastern Europe the speed of privatisation relates also to specific circumstances of countries in question which pertains to the multidisciplinary theory of transformation.

1.8. Process of transformation

In Central and Eastern Europe several types of changes are going on. Systemic changes represent one type. Under the heading of another type is a secular evolutionary process of modernization including moving away from peripherical situations,from authoritarian rule that was in existence well before it flourished in one-party states. Some Weberian secularisation aspects of modernisation were even forcefully promoted. But the Luhmanian requirement regarding the economy as a functionally autonomous social subsystem was not lived up to. This is regarded even a more general failure than the one embodied in distorted ownership relations./17/

The third type of change is connected with achieving high technological standards, developing postindustrial features of a modern society based on information. One has to bear in mind the new quality of capital briefly referred to /cf.1.1./. It has been unrecognisably different from its previous untransformed versions. The modus operandi has preserved its essential nature but in the context of a new social organism. Its important regeneration in a century and especially in the last fifty years gives a powerful impetus to the development of this social pattern also in other parts of the world. As a consequence, the appeal of capital is to be taken in account as the environment of transformation of the Eastern half of Europe.

A fourth type is represented by the swift restructuring of the whole world: the international aspect which, in the highly sensitive European space comprises many new security problems. Even apart from them this continent is going to acquire a new identity. The E.C. membership may double in ten years. With the republics of former Eastern federal states it may treble within some years after the end of the millenium.

The fifth type of change is the worsening standard of life that is not unnaturely a most sensitive and dangerous issue. It began in the early eighties /in Hungary/. It is the background of social and political upheavals in Eastern Europe.

These processes interact. They have prompt, short run and long-range sequential layers which also intermingle. These inter-temporal, inter-spatial, and inter-dimensional cross-relations are not to be forgotten when one thinks of the specifics of each process. Change always supposes also continuity even if they combine differently in dramatic and epic phases. Continuity does not relate to everything: there are vectors that must cease to exist. The ‘command’ systemic vector belongs here in our time.

East-European history has produced a type of mutant societies which, in some crucial aspects, are not related to the same classificational dimension as the ‘feudal’ or ‘capitalist’ ones are. Particularly, in feudal times an antiintelectual establishment was not anachronistic like the one in the XX-th century. The animal-farm tale has been supplemented by new actors. The policies of the rhinoceros-like nomenclatura most perfectly personified by some soviet leaders of the seventies and eighties sometimes looked like a purposeful attempt to prove the historical inadequacy of the whole setup.

Mutation notwithstanding the past is not described exhaustively by it. The life of nations was richer than that. One cannot state that in 40 or 70 years of a nation’s life everything was evil. A mutant developmental path was not unrelated to its previous history even if it may not be explained away by earlier events. Analysis includes efforts to avoid biases of ideological thinking in terms of absolute priorities. The market system is better in comparison with the command one but there is no such thing as a perfect system. Nor the market can function without some public regulation. Pure systems anyway exist only in abstraction. In reality they always combine. Market does not combine with the command system but with regulating impulses coming from outside of it.

Politicians as against researchers incl. political scientists sometimes identify the transition to a new system with any important issues on agenda. Systemic dimension, however crucial, is not the only one. It cannot explain such simple things as different economic performance across European country borders, not to mention the Japan phenomenon. An exclusively systemic approach reflects a European way of thinking. For a major part of the world underdevelopment and starvation remain the first problem. From that some ‘command appeal’ emerges and remains in existence whenever the populace can be convinced that there is more food under dictatorship. If there is neither food nor democracy nothing remains of this belief. Command society eliminated, other dimensions or vectors continue, no matter how one likes them. For example, nationalism. But economists should warn first of all against miserable material conditions. Ethnic violence is linked not only to cultural traditions. Well to do people rarely have propensity to kill each other on grounds of ethnic diversity.

By social transformation we mean an extremal in its complexity historic matrix. From this angle the systemic change proper is but a part of a whole and, consequently, should not substitute for the whole.

1.9. A compensation problem.

The texture of national organism emerging from history determines also the social and economic contents of business culture and its implications on the speed of privatization. /cf.1.6./ Systemic transition, being a part of a whole /cf.1.8/, nevertheless is a complex issue in itself and is a deeper qualitative change than the one under way in Western societies. It is more extensive and intensive than any process of deregulation in market economies. The former include such a wide factor liberalisation as to allow the general transformation of property relations. In the field of capital movements the changes also exceed the problem of deregulation in a market economy, for deregulation is not as same as the development of financial market itself. Complexities of the situation may be demonstrated on the evidence of financial problems of denationalisation.

In Hungarian experience the revenue from privatisation is directed to the paying off state debt which is approximately 21 billion dollars or 1300 billion forints (1990 data). Some schemas of privatization credits were implemented. Refraining from the detailed examination of this process the compensation which is paid to former private owners instead of reprivatisation should be mentioned as a particularly sensitive issue linked to it.

Compensation is being paid in form of securities, it can be used for the purchase of new property. /19/ It limits state revenues from privatisation and somewhat slows down the above mentioned
paying off of the state debt. The opposition holds the view that all this is equal to diluting money because the securities can be sold while the government states that the measure does not touch upon macroeconomic equilibrium.

Both are in the wrong. The measure does not involve additional money supply or slow down economic growth which is slow /negative/ anyway. It is not a direct inflationary move. But it dilutes securities in the sense that for the same assets the state will be paid less money, because a part
of the securities will not be sold but distributed in the form of compensation. By limiting state revenues future equilibrium efforts may be weekened. To minimise this danger the compensation is gradualised in time, it will take about five years or more, owing to which it is not the compensation that will reduce the purchasing power of money but the diminishing of the latter will reduce the real sum of the compensation. The matter will boil down to a symbolic political gesture. But this is beyond the concern of economic researchers.

Európai munkanélküliség a múlt század végén

(Földes Károly:

Az európai munkanélküliség tényei és összefüggései. Tanulmányrészlet, 1999.)

1. Kiinduló helyzetfelmérés

Bevezető tájékozódásra alkalmasnak látszik a tárgy mértékrendjeinek, mennyiségi viszonyainak tanulmányozása. Ehhez az EU-térség mellett két nagyobb és két közepes lélekszámú tengerentúli ország mutatóit használom fel. (USA, Kanada, Japán, Ausztrália), továbbá egyes olyan európai országokét, amelyek nem minden statisztikai megfigyelés idején voltak, (csak az utóbbi időben lettek) EU tagok. Néhány kisebb EU tag egyes időszakokra vonatkozó jelzőszámait, helykímélés okán, nem nyomtatom ki.

A munkanélküliség összetett jelenségét néhány egyszerűbb elemre törekszem visszavezetni. Ehhez meg kell vizsgálni kapcsolatát más helyzeti és folyamati ismérvekkel. A kapcsolat lehet oksági, vagy ennél gyengébb, például funkcionális jellegű és egyszerűen rendezési összefüggés, ami minden további tanulmány alapját jelenti. Ezeket az egyes országok összehasonlítása alapján próbálom elkülöníteni. Ezután kerül sor az idősorok részletesebb vizsgálatára. Az első megközelítésben inkább az idősori átlagok országok közötti összehasonlítása történik, a másodikban pedig az időszakok közötti változásokon lesz a hangsúly. Mindezt egyfajta nyelvezet interspatiális és intertemporális elemzésként különbözteti meg. Talán elegendő, ha ehelyett földrajzi egységekre , illetve történelmi időpontokra , szakaszokra vonatkozó ismérvek összevetéséről beszélünk. Jelen esetben, míg az első feladat nehezebbnek, a második fontosabbnak ígérkezik, mert ez jelenti a fejlődési tendenciák vizsgálatát.

Kezdetként a nyolcvanas évek néhány országos mérőszámáról lesz szó.

Rövidítések: angol országnevek első két betűje, ill. AUS: Ausztrália, AU: Ausztria. GE: Németország (nyugati része), B+L: Belgium és Luxemburg. Forrás: The World Competitiveness Report, IMD-World Economic Forum, 1991. A részben eltérő

statisztikai felépítések miatt fejezetrészenként homogén forrásokból állítottam össze néhány adatsort míg a készen átvett táblázatokat a Függelék tartalmazza.

1.1 Reál GDP átlagos évi növekedése, 1983-1989 (a továbbiakban: növekedési ráta)

1.2 Foglalkoztatás átlagos évi növekedése, 1981-1989, %

1.3 Munkanélküliség az aktív lakosság %-ában, 1989

Ország 1.1 1.2 1.3
AUS 4.55 2.51 6.13
AU 2.54 2.24 3.16
B+L 2.64 0.16 8.60
CA 4.41 1.59 7.54
FR 2.56 0.26 9.38
GE 2.77 1.03 5.61
GR 2.27 0.47 7.89
IR 3.42 -0.46 15.63
IT 3.09 0.06 12.09
JA 4.60 1.17 2.29
NE 2.46 -0,43 7.37
SP 3.94 1.20 17.09
SW 2.62 0.70 1.35
UK 3.35 1.23 6.17
US 3.87 1.97 5.27

Az 1.1 oszlophoz képest a 81-82 es válságévek figyelembe vétele (amit jelen forrás nem tartalmaz) alacsonyabb átlagokat eredményez, de ez láthatólag nem szüntetheti meg a nagy különbséget az 1.1 és az 1.2 dinamikái között. A foglalkoztatás növekedése ebben az adatsorban többnyire 2-3 százalékponttal elmarad a “növekedési ráta” mögött. Ezt kielégítően magyarázza az alább kimutatott termelékenységi tényező (1.10). Ami az 1.3 oszlopot illeti, ez a jelek szerint nincs pozitív korellációban az előző két vektorral. Szóródási pontjai nem “sorakoznak” össze, akár az első, akár a második oszlop számsorát tekintenénk független változónak. Tehát tovább keresendő, hogy az eligazodás jelenlegi szakaszán még kaotikus mértékhalmaz (3.1) mögött van-e rend. Ehhez strukturális elemeket is ismerni kell. Egymással részben ellentétes irányu helyzet- és folyamatjelzőkről lehet szó, amelyek nagyobb csoportokban kezelhetők. Kezdjük a képzési csoporttal:

1.4 Vállalaton belüli átképzés eredményessége, rangsorszám

1.5 Képzési költség/fő, 1988, rangsorszám, + 15 évesnél idősebb analfabéták aránya

1.6 Egyetemet végzettek aránya, 1987

Ország 1.4 1.5 1.6
AUS 11 14 +1.0 7.52
AU 6 10 +na 4.76
B+L 9 13 +na 13.24
CA 20 3 +4.0 12.15
FR 18 11 +1.0 na
GE 3 12 +na 4.52
GR 15 22 +6.8 na
IR 8 18 +na na
IT 12 17 +2.9 4.58
JA 1 9 +na 11.53
NE 7 8 + na 4.01
SP 16 19 + 4.6 3.05
SW 5 4 +na 10.86
UK 22 15 +1.0 15.75
US 17 6 +0.5 19.19

Az 1.4 mutatóban elért előkelő helyezés csak néhány országban járt együtt alacsony , vagy közepes munkanélküliséggel (JA, GE, SW, NE) . A kiugró munkanélküliségi ráták többnyire összefüggésben állnak az 1.5, 1.6 és 1.7 oszlop kiugróan kedvező vagy kedvezőtlen mutatóival, amelyek viszont az általános fejlettségi szinthez kapcsolódnak, (hajlékonyan, l. pl. a kanadai analfabéták nagy arányát.) A szigorúbb mérésekhez nagyobb adatbázisra van szükség, de itt már előtűnik némi minőségi és mennyiségi rend, amely szerint például, ha az alacsony képzettségi szintű országok GDP-je a többinél gyorsabban növekszik, akkor ez az összes munkanélküliségre ceteris paribus növelően hat az illető országcsoporton belül.

A strukturális jellemzők következő alcsoportja a nők és fiatalok helyzetével kapcsolatos.

1.7 A női munkaerő aránya a gazdaságban, %, 1989

1.8 24 évnél fiatalabb munkanélküliek aránya , %, 1988

1.9 Szolgáltatói szektor aránya a foglalkoztatottak között, %, 1988

Ország 1.7 1.8 1.9
AUS 40.20 42.63 67.80
AU 40.50 31.20 54.50
B+L 41.10 30.00 68.72
CA 43.90 29,76 69.80
FR 42.50 30.11 62.90
GE 39.30 22.70 56.10
GR 36.90 42.80 46.20
IR 30.50 38.32 56.80
IT 36.20 49.53 57.70
JA 40.10 25.09 58.00
NE 38.30 44.87 68.80
SP 33.80 42.10 53.10
SW 48.00 36.07 66.70
UK 42.00 29.43 68.00
US 44.50 36.98 70.20

A nők munkanélküliségi rátája magasabb, mint a férfiaké, ezért az utóbbi évtizedekben elért nagyobb arányuk emeli az általános munkanélküliségi mutatót is. Más típusú mutatószám a munkanélkülieken belüli arány ( az utóbbiak között jelenleg az európai régióban a férfiak vannak többségben, ami a ciklus következő szakaszában megszűnhet). Egy ilyen típusú jelzőszámot a tábla a fiatalokra nézve tüntet fel. Magas mértékét

feltehetőleg elviselhetőbbé teszi, hogy a képzési lehetőségekkel is nagyobb arányban élhetnek, tehát a perspektívájuk ezért is jobb, mint az 50 éven felülieké. Végül, itt szerepel a női munkát az átlagosnál nagyobb mértékben alkalmazó szolgáltatási szféra aránya az összes foglalkoztatotton belül.

Az 1.2 pontra visszautalva, a termelékenységi faktorral folytatható a gondolatmenet.

1.10 Gazdasági növekedés termelékenységgel fedezett hányada

Ország Arány(%)
AUS 24
AU -0.25


+/ Megjegyzés
B+L 114
CA 38
FR 87
GE 39
GR 65
IR 119
IT 95
JA 71
NE 115
SP 59
SW 62
UK 34
US 27

A fentinek az 1.2-vel való összevetése alapján olyan szóródás tapasztalható, amelyben a termelékenység alacsonyabb részarányaihoz, bizonyos elhajlások mellett, a foglalkoztatás gyorsabb ütemű növekedése tartozik. +/Ausztriában a termelékenység csökkent

2. Növekedési ráta, fejlettségi színvonal, munkanélküliségi ráta

Ebben a fejezetrészben a növekedést és a munkanélküliséget az 1977-1986 -os időszak országonkénti átlagos rátái jelzik, a fejlettségi színvonal mutatói 1983-ra vonatkoznak. Forrás : IMF World Economic Outlook, Washington D.C. October 1995

és Nemzetközi Statisztikai évkönyv, KSH 1986

Az előző tábláktól eltérően Belgium külön szerepel, Luxemburg nélkül.

2.1 Növekedési és munkanélküliségi ráta

2.2 Fejlettségi szint és munkanélküliség

2.3 Növekedési és munkanélküliségi ráta kombinációja

2.1 Munkanélküliségi ráta országonként

GDP növekedési ráta 0-5% 5-8% 8%-nál magasabb
3%-nál magasabb JA 2.4 CA 9.3

IR 11.6

2-3% US 6.2 FR 7.6

GR 6.5 UK 7.8

AUS 7.3 EU 7.8

IT 8.2
2%-nál alacsonyabb SW 2.6

AU 3.3

GE 5.8

NL 6.6

BE 9.6

SP 14.5

A címoszlop és a címsor által határolt 3×3 cellás téglalapon meghúzható két átló közül a bal felső – jobb alsó irányú egyenes fut keresztül azon a “normál” tartományon, amelyben a magas növekedés alacsony munkanélküliséggel jár (JA) és fordítva (BE, SP), míg a közepes növekedés közepes munkanélküliséggel jár. Az ide tartozó országoknak, köztük az EU egy részének mutatói a növekedési ráta emelkedésével csökkennek.

Ezzel szemben a bal alsó – jobb felső irányú átló alapján nem tárható fel logikai láncolat: a nagyobb munkanélküliség (CA, IR) általában nem a gyorsabb növekedés hatása. Azért “általában” nem, mert kis részben igen: a magasabb növekedési ráta, ha gyorsabb reálbér-növekedéssel jár, ösztönzi a munkapiaci kínálat kiterjedését, amit persze más tényezők rendszerint ellensúlyoznak. Kérdés marad tehát, hogy az első átló által nem érintett országokban mi a racionáléja a munkanélküliség alakulásának. Erről a 2.3 tábla ad majd bizonyos felvilágosítást. Az is tudható, hogy az első átló sem nyujt egyedüli magyarázatot a saját tartományában, tehát ott is vannak további hatások. A strukturális tényezőről már volt szó, ezen a helyen még a fejlettségi szint szerepét is latolgatni kell . A következő tábla csak az országokat sorolja be, a számokat az előző tábla tüntette fel.

2.2 Munkanélküliségi ráta

GDP/fő, 1983, USD 5%-nál kisebb 5-9% 9%-nál nagyobb
9000-nél nagyobb JA







5000-9000 AU UK


5000-nél kisebb GR IR


A táblázatból annyi direkt következtetés mindenképpen levonható, hogy a csekély munkanélküliségű országok között nem találunk szegényebbeket. Ennek fordítottja már nem igaz, nagy lehet a munkanélküliség gazdag országokban is, pl. Kanadában, Belgiumban sok az állástalan, A fejlettségi szint indirekt vonzatairól viszont részben már említés történt az 1.4, 1.5 és 1.6 adatcsoportok kapcsán. (Ehhez tartozik, hogy pl. a képzés csak célirányos szervezettségben emeli a foglalkoztatottak arányát.)


Ország Kombináció
AUS 21.17
AU 6.6
BE 11.52
CA 28.3
FR 16.72
GE 11.02
GR 4.95
IR 37.12
IT 22.14
JA 9.6
NE 10.56
SP 24.65
SW 4.2
UK 16.38
US 16.74

A két ráta lineáris kombinációja (szorzata) a GDP munkanélküliség miatti veszteségét jelenti, adott növekedés mellett, vagy azt, hogy adott munkanélküliség mellett minél nagyobb a növekedés, annál több “hiányzik” a GDP növekményéből. Ennek alapján a már tárgyalt normál átló útirányából kimaradó országok is folytonosan helyezkednek el a 2.1 értékeit keretező téglalap bal alsó sarkától kezdve, a következőképpen: 1/ alsó sor bal cella 2/ alsó sor középső cella 3/ középső sor jobb cella 4/ felső sor jobb cella. De ez még nem eléggé egyszerű megoldás, mivel két tényezőn alapul, használata nehézkes is lenne.

2.4 A kombináció egyértelmű rendje

Egyszerű algoritmust kínál egy q tört:



q: kvóciens, u: (unemployment rate) munkanélküliségi ráta, g: GDP növekedési ráta.

Ekkor az ebben az alfejezetben vizsgált 1977-1986-os időszakra a következők a q értékek:

Ország q
AUS 320
AU 485
BE 757
CA 293
FR 420
GE 500
GR 408
IR 277
IT 340
JA 244
NE 719
SP 505
SW 574
UK 440
US 348

A (100-u), vagyis az u komplementje 100-ra a “nem munkanélküliek rátájának” nevezhető. Más mint a foglalkoztatási ráta, mivel a nemzetközi statisztika nem ehhez a 100-hoz viszonyítja a foglalkoztatást, hanem a munkaképes korúakhoz. (Ezt tudva, elfogadhatjuk egyik foglalkoztatási mérőszámnak). Mit jelent a fenti komplement és a g – növekedési ráta – hányadosa? Azt, hogy egy százaléknyi növekedésre hány százalékpont “nem munkanélküli ráta” jut. Itt tehát egy differenciálhányados és egy megoszlási hányados arányáról van szó. Közgazdasági tartalmát tekintve ez a termelékenységi dinamikához kapcsolódó mérőszámok közé tartozik. A nevezőben szereplő g növelésével csökkenő q értékekhez jutunk. Az f(g,u) funkció szóródási egyenese a független változónak tekintett g növekedésével lejt, (a deviancia nem nagyfokú).

A fenti, országnézetű vizsgálódás hatótényezőit, egy idősor-nézetű megközelítésben is figyelni kell. Ezeknek a hatótényezőknek a jelenlegi összefoglaló elmélete a munkanélküliség természetes rátájával foglalkozik. A kifejezés nem túl szerencsés, de valós problémák állnak mögötte.

3. A munkanélküliség természetes rátája

Fellendülés idején is van munkanélküliség. 1/ Frikciós munkanélküliség. A munkába újonnan belépőknek és az állástalanná válóknak idő kell, míg elhelyezkednek, akkor is, ha ez sikerül. A régebben szándékosan otthon maradó, majd ujra állást kereső emberekre is ez vonatkozik. Ez az a tartály, amiből gazdasági expanziók munkaerő igénye kielégíthető. 2/ Technológiai munkanélküliség. A nem elég univerzális kiképzésű munkakínálat alkalmazkodása annál kevésbé elégséges, minél gyorsabb a műszaki fejlődés. A szükségessé váló újfajta képzettség és gyakorlottság híján állás nélkül maradók elhelyezkedése beruházás- és időigényes. Mivel a gyors átalakulás a versenyhelyzet javulását eredményezi, a munkanélküliségnek ez a növekedése, megfelelő szociális környezetben, pozitív szerepet játszó folyamatok korellátuma lehet. 3/ Az egyes országokra specifikus összetételi, képzési fejleményekről már részben volt szó. Bizonyos intervallumban emelő hatása van annak is, ha kedvező a munkanélküli ellátás. Lényeges a munkapiaci szabályozottság foka és magának a munkakínálatnak (pl. térbeli) immobilitása, amelyek növelően hatnak a munkanélküliségre. A bérek színvonalának hatását nem kell eltúlozni, de pl. a minimálbér merev szabályozása csökkentheti a tanulatlan munka iránti keresletet. – A fenti három tétel a strukturális munkanélküliség fogalmában összegezhető és állítható szembe a ciklikus munkanélküliséggel. A természetes ráta ennek a strukturális munkanélküliségnek a viszonyszáma. Csak empirikusan megbecsülhető adat, amely pl. az USÁ-ban 6% alatt van (legalábbis S.Fisher – R.Dornbush: Macroeconomics, 1983 alapján) az Európai Unióban pedig, később részletezendő okok miatt ennél magasabbra tehető.

Mivel statisztikai anyaggal dolgozunk, további megfontolásra érdemes, hogy a munkanélküliséget másként mérik, mint a foglalkoztatottságot. Az előbbi mérése a nemzetközileg elfogadott gyakorlatban háztartás-statisztikai módszerekkel történik. Kevés országban szorítkoznak csak a regisztrált munkanélküliség mérésére. A legtöbb helyen az amerikai módszert követik: a reprezentatív megfigyelés során, ha egy munkaképes korú az elmúlt két hét, vagy tíz nap alatt néhányszor keresett, de nem talált munkát, munkanélkülinek számít, függetlenül attól, hogy regisztrálták-e. Az illető korcsoporti adottságán belül döntő, hogy a pénzkereset határhaszna nagyobb-e számára, mint a teljes szabadidőé , vagy általánosabb megfogalmazásban, helyzete szükségessé és lehetségessé teszi-e a munkavállalást. A csoporton belül munkát nem találókból aggregálódik a munkanélküliségi ráta. – Ezzel szemben a foglalkoztatottságot a munkaképes korcsoportokhoz viszonyítják. Rátája a növekedési potenciál egyik fontos eleme, a hosszabb távú fejlődés szemszögéből talán fontosabb, mint a munkanélküliség, a munka- (munkaerő)piacnak, a munkaerő-mérlegnek azonban az utóbbi az eleme.

Mivel a munkapiaci kínálat nem azonos a demográfiai munkaerő potenciállal, van egy önálló kulcskategóriája, a labour force, a terjedő amerikai írásmód szerint: labor force. Más, mint az aktív népesség, amely az önállókat is magában foglalja. Munkavállalók a tagjai, akár van állásuk, akár munkanélküliek. Az így körülhatárolt munkapiaci kínálat nagysága a munkavállalási kedvtől is függ. Tehát a fogyasztási hajlamon és a beruházási (határ)hajlandóságon alapuló elemzés azon a ponton is kiegészítésre szorul, ahol döntő szerepet játszik a munkavállalási (határ)hajlandóság. Végül is, ez határozza meg a munkakínálat expanzióit és összehúzódásait. Ma már mindenütt lemondtak a teljes foglalkoztatásról, de fontosságot tulajdonítanak ennek, mint elméleti etalonnak. A modellek nagy része a teljes foglalkoztatás melletti output helyzetétől indul el. Ismerni kell tehát azt, hogy mihez képest teljes a foglalkoztatás. A keynesi foglalkoztatási arány nem a mai statisztika foglalkoztatottsági indexe. A “teljesség” nem az összes munkaképesre vonatkozott, de a munkavállalási hajlandóság elemzése kimaradt a vizsgálatból.

Ha pedig ezt bevonjuk a gondolkodásba, akkor kiderül, hogy a teljesen, vagy részben foglalkoztatandók köre maga is flexibilis. Ez két jelentékeny bonyodalom okozója. (1) Nem csak a munka iránti keresletet meghatározó beruházási multiplikátortól, monetáris és fiskális eszközöktől, inflációtól, stb. függ , hogy mekkora a munkanélküliség aránya, hanem attól is, hogy a potenciális munkaerő mekkora része jelenik meg tényleges munkaerő-eladóként. A munkának erre a kínálatára részben közvetve, részben közvetlenül szintén hatnak az említett kategóriák. Tehát a gazdaság teljesítményét egy olyan mércéhez kellett mérni, amely mérce maga is a teljesítményt befolyásoló eszközök hatása alatt változik. (2) A munka kínálata egy sor olyan tényező hatására is változik, amelyek ugyan nem függenek a keynesi kategóriáktól, tehát az előbbi pontban említett bonyodalom nem áll fenn, viszont a gazdaságon kívüli hatásokat tartalmaznak, mivel itt nem csak egy piac egyensúlyáról van szó, hanem emberekről.

Ennek a gyakorlati fontossága a következő. Tételezzük fel, hogy a gazdaság munkaerő igénye monoton módon növekvő, például évi egy százalékkal növekszik a munka iránti kereslet és a demográfiai forrás (munkaképes lakosság) is ugyanilyen arányban sokasodik. Ha most az utóbbin belül egy bizonyos időszakban a munkavállalási kedv és arány megnő és emiatt a munkakínálat évi két százalékkal lesz nagyobb, akkor a jelzett időszakban a munkanélküliségi ráta állandóan emelkedni fog. Ez nem tarthat a végtelenségig, de eltarthat több évig, amíg a működésbe lépett ellenható tényezők miatt a munkát keresők aránya alacsonyabb szintre áll vissza. Ennek is meglehet a saját ciklusa, csakhogy itt nem a konjunktúra-mozgás részeként végbemenő dinamikáról van szó. Mivel a “ciklikus” jelzőt , rövid említésekre célszerűbb az utóbbira fenntartani, a most körvonalazott mechanizmust jobb híján “kínálati munkanélküliségnek” nevezem. A “ciklikus” munkanélküliséggel szembeállított strukturális munkanélküliségbe ezt az elemet is bele kell foglalni ( a fejezet elején említett harmadik tétel részben már tartalmazza ), de az is egy terminológiai lehetőség, hogy külön csoportban szerepeljen. Ilyen módon a munkanélküliség természetes rátája a munkakínálat önálló dinamikájának hatását is tükrözi. Van-e további, nem ciklikus elem? – ez olyan kérdés, amelyre majd az idősorok elemzése alapján keresünk választ…

Lectures in Economics 10

Lectures following Rüdiger Dornbusch’ works (10)

National accounting
(shortened version)

Gross national product (GNP) is the total value of the economy’s output or production in a given period, such as a year. GNP is widely used as the basic measure of the performance of the economy in producing goods and services.
The circular flow diagram (Figure 4-1) showed that the economy’s output of goods and services generates the incomes received by owners of factors of production, because payments for purchases of goods and services eventually end up as wages and profits for the people who produce the goods . National income is the total income received by the economy’s factors of production. We study national income accounting in part because it provides us with definitions and measures of GNP and national income. But we also study it because it is necessary for our analysis of the determination of the levels of output, income, and employmentin later chapters. The tasks of this chapter is to show how national income is related to GNP.

This chapter starts by carefully deflning GNP and describing how it is measured. Then we focus on two important sets of relationships. First, there are the links between GNP, or output, and the incomes earned in the economy. Second, there are the links between expenditures on goods and services and the value of output produced. These relationships, too, are shown in Figure 4-1. The accounting relationships between output and income and between expenditures and output are the foundation for our first model of income and output determination, which will be set out in Chapter 6.

The measurement of GNP and the links among GNP, income, and spending take up most of this chapter. We also want to know how accurate our measurements are and for what purposes they are used. The chapter ends with a discussion ofthe uses made of GNP data, emphasizing the distinction between nominal and real (inflation-corrected) GNP and mentioning some shortcomings of GNP as a measure of the economy’s total output.


Gross national product is the market value of the goods and services produced within a given period by domestically owned factors of production.

We avoid double counting by focusing  on each firm’s value added. Value added is the increase in the value to be counted in GNP. But some of goods resulting from production output is not sold. Value added is calculated by deducting  from the value of the firm’s production the cost of the bought produced goods or raw materials and other inputs.

Table 5-1 illustrates this for the case of an automobile producer. Total sales by that producer were, say, $10 billion.  (Tire producer in parentheses)
$4 billion represents the value of the steel, tires, plastics, electricity, and other produced goods that were bought by the carmaker for use in automobile production; these are also called intermediate owners’ services goods. Deducting the cost of the intermediate goods, we see that the automobile producer’s value added was $6 billion.

AUTOMOBILE PRODUCER                                        (  TIRE PRODUCER
Value of goods produced $10 billion                     Value of production $350 million
Less: Cost of purchased                                                Less: Cost of purchased produced inputs
produced inputs
(steel, tires, (rubber, cord
electricity, etc.) 4 billion                                              150 million
Equals: Value added $ 6 billion                                  Equals: Value added $200 million)



Volunteer services, the value of housework, and do-it-yourself activities are not included because it is difficult to estimate the value of production located in the domestic economy, whoever owns them. Also excluded from GNP is the
value of illegal activities, such as illegal  gambling, and production that is concealed to avoid taxes. For instance, when a handyman asks to be paid in cash, it is quite likely  that the value of the service he performed will never be counted in GNP because he  will not report the payment as income. Such activities are part of what is called the underground economy, or the part of the economy that escapes the official statistics. Some  economists have estimated that the output of the underground economy is as much as  one-quarter of official GNP, but most estimates are closer to 3 to 5 percent of GNP.

Another point to note is that it is the value of goods currently produced that is part of GNP. Transactions in existing assets, for instance, houses, are not included. The value of an old house when it is sold is not a current productive activity of the economy, and so the value of the house is not included  in GNP. We would, though, include the
value of any brokerage services associated with the purchase and sale of the house, since the broker adds to the current output  of the economy by bringing buyer and seller  together. By comparison, when a new house is built, the value of the house is counted in GNP.

Finally, GNP measures the value of output produced by domestically owned factors of production. Part of the GNP is produced abroad. For instance, the income earned by an American working in Paris is part of U.S. GNP. Similarly, when an American company owns a factory in Germany and receives profits from its operation, those profits count as part of U.S. GNP. By the same argument, the income earned in the United States by factors of production owned abroad is not part of U.S. GNP.


(Thousands of 1979 Dollars)


GNP statistical estimates are made in two ways.One is obtained from the produce value,the other is obtained from the incomes earned by people.We recall from Figure 4-I that production and the value are closely related.

Bangladesh 90
China 260
EI Salvador 670
Syria 1,030
Argentina 2,230
Hungary 3,850
Italy 5,250
United States 10,630
Switzerland 13,920
Kuwait 17,100

Source: World Bank, World Development Report, 1981,
pp. 134-135.

Some of the numbers are hard to believe. Whereas per capita income in the United States was above $10,600 in 1979
in Bangladesh it was only $90. Americans could not live on so low an income. Probably the value of output produced in Bangladesh is above $90, because some output is produced by farmers who consume their own crops. But the GNP is so
low that people starve, and ill health leads to early  death. At the other end of the scale is Kuwait, whose oil production leads to per capita GNP being 60 percent higher than that in the United States.

l Macroeconomics is the study of the operation of the whole. The major macroeconomic issues are inflation, unemployment and growth and whether there is anything the government can do about them.
2 Macroeconomics is distinguished from microeconomics by taking into account the interactions between the decisions made by firms and households as summarized in Figure 4-1. Households supply the factors of production to firms, which use them to produce goods and services. In return for the services of the factors of production firms pay incomes to households, which are used by the households to buy the goods and services produced by the firms.
3 A reduction in purchases of goods by households can reduce employment of labor, reducing households’ incomes
thereby reducing spending on goods and services.  a most  important question to be studied is what mechanisms exist to prevent these from developing into major problems.
4 Growth is an increase in the production of goods and services. Growth may occur either when unemployed resources are put to work so that the economy moves from inside the PPF to tl when the PPF itself shifts out. The PPF may shift either when there are more factors of production or because existing factors come more productive.
5 The inflation rate is the rate at which prices of goods are rising. In the United States in the last 20 years prices have arisen. The inflation rate started out around 1 percent and has been above 13 percent since then. By international standards inflation has been low. Prices may also fall sometimes, in this case there is deflation.
6 A country that has faster growth than another will eventually have a larger real GNP, however far behind it started.
7 Unemployment in the U.S. economy has risen on from the seventies. In 1982 it stood at the highest level in the post
II WW period. Unemployment rates differ sharply among different countries. Youths and blacks have particularly high unemployment rates.