Medium-term trends on the agrarian world markets
Developments of the agrarian world market are constantly in the focus of professsional interest. Professional experts are mainly interested in the daily events, the short-term market situtuation, yet an understanding of the related changes cannot dispense with an analysis of longer-term perspectives, nor with forecasts of expected changes in the factors determining developments of the agrarian world market in the medium and longer run. In the second half of the nineties debates about the expected developments on the agrarian world market have again revived. The results of forecasts are frequently contradictory. Opinions are divided on whether the world’s food production will be able to satisfy – and under what conditions – the additional demands of a growing population. The theme of the study is to survey the debates about the expected situation of the agrarian world market in the next three decades, analysis of the factors determining expected developments of the market, complemented with a summary of the consequences for Hungary of probable changes.
Indicators of fiscal policy
The applicability of traditional statistical categories of shortage is linked to several conditions, e.g. to the assumption that the extent of price level rise is not considerable or, if it is, the actors of economic life are not influenced by the money illusion. Relative to that, an analytical indicator may be built on models relying on more realistic assumptions. But the complexity of the model may impair comparability. In the interest of securing comparability the study surveys those analytical indicators which are known in wider international circles, briefly presenting the theoretical frameworks in which the indicators can be interepreted.
Transformation of the Swedish welfare system
The Swedish welfare system – the best known representative of the social-democratic institutionalized welfare system and of the North-European welfare model relying on full employment – has palpably exhausted its possibilities by the end of the nineties. The problems of the system have become manifest in the economic recession of the nineties, of a dimension hardly experienced ever since the Great Depression in the developed world. Under its impact (beginning in the late eighties, but mainly in the nineties) the system has undergone repeated, wide and deep changes. Some experts already tolled the bell over the Swedish model, the Swedish welfare state. Others emphasized rather adjustment of the system to the changed circumstances and called attention to the unavoidable welfare costs of the adjustment. The changes in the trend of the Swedish social policy in the last decades have indeed been significant and deep, but the validity of classifying the Swedish welfare system as of the social democtratic institutional type can not yet be questioned today, although the Swedish model has no doubt significantly shifted into the direction of the liberal model if compared to its former self. There can be no doubt that the reforms of the nineties have opened a new chapter in the history of the Swedish welfare system yet, for the time being, it is not justified to speak about the end of the welfare state, its pulling down or collapsing.
Researching university as reflected by financing
In the former socialist countries, thus also in Hungary at the turn of the millennium, restoration of the traditional rank of university research has to be implemented together with a change of university model. One of the objectives of the article is to give a picture of the characteristic features of this process observable through the financing structure. The available data only allow a partial analysis of the research connection system of universities. To be able to answer further questions new informations and of different type would be needed, e.g. longer time series. The other target of the article is of methodological type: it wishes to contribute to solving the measurement problems of R and D activity using the analytical experiences of the administrative stock of data. It is, namely, a qualitative improvement of the information system that could also contribute to the process that Hungarian universities may become competitive research universities and to their adequate functioning.
Fiscal policy in the European Economic and Monetary Union
With the launching of the 3rd phase of the EMU the monetary policies of the participant countries will be under the control of a supranational institution. However, fiscal policy is still regulated by the eleven national governments. Yet the given autonomy in handling fiscal policies cannot endanger the stability of a monetary union. In order to keep them under some form of control the national governments need to co-ordinate their economic policies. Analysing the Treaty on European Union and the Stability and Growth Pact we wish to highlight the need for establishing consistent fiscal policies, the possible boundaries of co-operation, the efficiency of excessive deficit financing, the consequences of indebtedness, and the future shape of a common budget.