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Apples and oranges? A comparison of the public expenditure of the Visegrád countries


  • Gábor P. Kiss

    () (Magyar Nemzeti Bank (central bank of Hungary))

  • Róbert Szemere

    () (Magyar Nemzeti Bank (central bank of Hungary))


In this article, the average expenditure of Hungary is compared to that of the other three Visegrád countries. In Hungary, this expenditure is higher by 10 % of GDP, but one-quarter of this is attributable to higher interest expenses, and one-third to revenue factors which simultaneously increase both revenues and expenses. These revenue factors have a neutral impact in terms of the deficit, but they distort the comparison in respect of the levels of expenditure. For example, the tax content of public expenditures, the sales and fee revenues collected directly to cover the expenditures, and the size of EU subsidies – flowing through the budget – vary considerably from one country to the next. Two-thirds of the remaining 4-percentage point difference appears in relation to households’ cash transfers (pensions, family allowances). Hungary spends more on public services and economic subsidies, but less on the current and capital expenditure of healthcare institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Gábor P. Kiss & Róbert Szemere, 2009. "Apples and oranges? A comparison of the public expenditure of the Visegrád countries," MNB Bulletin (discontinued), Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary), vol. 4(1), pages 35-47, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:mnb:bullet:v:4:y:2009:i:1:p:35-47

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    Cited by:

    1. Gábor P. Kiss & Róbert Szemere, 2012. "Comparison of the Redistribution Level and Structure of Functional Expenditure in the Visegrád Countries," Public Finance Quarterly, State Audit Office of Hungary, vol. 57(1), pages 116-139.
    2. Gábor P. Kiss, 2014. "New Numerical Fiscal Rules for the Pension Balance," MNB Bulletin (discontinued), Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary), vol. 9(2), pages 56-65, July.

    More about this item


    government expenditure; public spending; Visegrad countries.;

    JEL classification:

    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies


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