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Comparison of the Redistribution Level and Structure of Functional Expenditure in the Visegrád Countries


  • Gábor P. Kiss

    () (National Bank of Hungary)

  • Róbert Szemere

    (National Bank of Hungary)


Our study aims to compare the level of redistribution, and expenditure structure of the Visegrád countries in the period between 1995–2010. For the purpose of comparability, the new methodology presented in the study filters out those components of total expenditures, which are exogenous in the short term from the perspective of economic policy makers. Of these, the most significant are the interest payments determined by the level of indebtedness and interest rates, tax payments within the general government, and EU subsidies running through the budget. Beyond this we defined a structural indicator for medium term expenditure developments, which filters cyclical effects from the corrected data, and also spreads the government’s capital expenditures out within the electoral cycle. The disaggregated figures highlight that compared to the other countries of the region, the excessive level of expenditure was increased by the growth of social expenditures in the period between 2002–2006 in Hungary. Afterwards, cuts were made to the additional expenditure by reducing public health care and general public services expenditure. The total adjusted Hungarian expenditure level fell short of the regional average in 2010. At the same time, Hungary had the highest level of social expenditures and the lowest level of healthcare expenditures in the region.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:pfq:journl:v:57:y:2012:i:1:p:116-139

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Tomasz Jedrzejowicz & Gabor Kiss & Jana Jirsakova, 2009. "How to measure tax burden in an internationally comparable way?," NBP Working Papers 56, Narodowy Bank Polski, Economic Research Department.
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    More about this item


    redistributive effects; government expenditures; public health care; budget deficit; debt; functional expenditure structure; health care;

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • H6 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt


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