Characteristic features of the welfare system and the possibilities of its reform
The article sums up the main findings of the economic policy study made in the framework of the HungarianInternational Blue Ribbon Commission. The starting point is that:1. under the circumstances of transition to market economy a protective social network is needed that protects the losers of the transition from grave impoverishment; 2. the social expenditures are higher than can be undertaken under the present conditions of the Hungarian economy, moreover they are tending to grow automatically; 3. the welfare system inherited from the socialist system is unable to provide a protective network for the poor, while it allocates a considerable part of the welfare outlasys to more welloff people and, finally, it stimulates wasting in certain fields. This is why a fundamental reform of the present welfare system is necessary. The study examines the programmes of the welfare system one after the other: 1. the pension system, 2. the family supports, 3. sickpay, 4. unemployment aid, 5. social aid, 6. health care, 7. education, 8. the housing programmes. The study comprises verbatim the recommendations approved by the Blue Ribbon Commission.
Gipsy children in schools, gipsy adults on the labour market
The study relies on the macrolevel educational statistics of the Ministry for Education relating to gipsy and nongipsy children. It traces the school career of gipsy children through two decades (1970-1993). It is examined whether the chances of gipsy children for further studies changed from the early seventies at every stage of the school system. The study lays great emphasis on comparing the chances for further studies and the dropping out of gipsy and nongipsy children. It also stresses that the history of schooling should be evaluated embedded into the history of changes in the state of the Hungarian labour market, in a context also measuring the changes in the value of knowledge.
International competitiveness and environmental policy
The theoretical survey presented in the article discusses environmental protection in the light of the traditional and newer theories. it First of all seeks an answer to the question whether environmental regulation merely deteriorate the competitiveness of nations, reduce the volume of international trade, as is alleged by many, or the opposite is true.
Unemployment, employment and output at the time of the Great Depression
The article reports on the results of an empirical investigation which attempted to find the interrelations between the rate of unemployment and GDP as well as employment in a special period: in the years 1929-1938. Namely, as regards the characteristics of development, this period resembles the now prevailing Hungarian conditions. An important finding of the investigation is that in the ten countries covered by the analysis the decline in economic growth was everywhere accompanied by a significant rise in the rate of unemployment which was of the same order in every country. In fact, for the elasticity of employment with respect to GDP a similar estimate was arrived at even under the present Hungarian conditions.