The paper introduces secondhand markets into our economic models the better to explain the demise of Say's Law in today's economics. It shows that hoarding any commodity can, under certain conditions, depress the economy, that unhoarding often stimulates it, and also explains why Keynesian employment policy is losing its effectiveness and why our economy seems to be becoming depression prone.
The liberalisation of imports had been an important part of the reform package which was expected to bring about an efficient competitive market relying on private property. Against the expectations of the conservative bureaucracy the programme of import liberalization was even faster implemented than the originaly planned - already tense - rate. The advantages soon appeared: shortages disappeared, wide assortments became available to both consumers and producers, and the latter fact also helped exports. Yet the Hungarian reform package differed from similar measures of other countries at two important points: first, a significant real revaluation took place, second, the level of customs duties diminished. Initially, these measures met with a weaker than expected resistance on part of the firms but, beginning with 1991, domestic producers and, particularly, the joint ventures exerted a growing pressure on authorities in the interest of introducing protectionist measures.
Subsidization policy is an element of agrarian policy, closely related to its other components, providing a basis for the efficient operation of the agrarian sector. In the given situation subsidization policy is also an instrument helping the building out and modernization of an agrarian system similar to the well organized ones in the advanced industrial countries, corresponding to the conditions of market economy. At the same time, helping the activities of agriculture and food processing depends on the available budgetary resources.
The subsidies have to provide a basis first of all for the self organizing forces of the agrarian sector, so that risktaking enterprising, successful in the long run, should gain ground. Thus, they have to support the building up of agrarian markets, an independent and efficient appearance of the actors on the market, better transparence of the partial markets and the improvement of information supply.
The article does not seek an answer to the question to what extent the Hungarian agrarian sector is supported or whether it is satisfactorily supported. It is related to the agarian policy analyses started in professional circles which try to explore the possible major components of the system of subventions or, rather the targets and methods of a system of subidization that could be more efficient than the existing one.
Relying on a crosssection analysis of the households' energy consumption in 19 OECD countries, the authoress has worked out a method suited for separating the energy consumption of households independent of the hidden economy from that related to it. The method allows to rank 20 market economies according to the share of the hidden economy. With certain conditions, the hidden economies of Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland in 1990 can also be fitted into this ranking. The results thus received show that the hidden economies of these East European countries are greater than those of any other market economy reviewed.
For the Hungarian economics of the seventies it appeared as if the questions related to consumer utility were given satisfactory answers acceptable by everyone. The definitive discarding of the cardinal utility notion, the onesided treatment of the relationship between the cardinal and the ordinal approach, the Debreu representation proving the viability of ordinal utility and the adoption of this line of reasoning without any outlook had become an almost obligatory thesis for the domestic scholars of microeconomics - not too many at that time. During the time passed since then the camp of those having more or less mastered the ideas of the above discipline has grown, yet, misteriously, the then established approach could not successfully be broken through. As a matter of fact, if we remain on the soil of ordinal utility in the strict sense, the armory of analyses preceding societal decisions becomes essentially poorer and the evaluation of economic decisions to be taken under conditions of uncertainty will be almost impossible. The article shows the historical development of the neoclassical notion of utility, its highly differing versions, the areas where the various notions are used as well as the latest approaches to utility. The readers' attention is called to the fact that economics does not possess such universal procedure which could give an answer to all questions raised. The instrument to be used has always to be chosen according to the nature of the problem.