TÁRKI produced a background study for the 1998 World Bank Poverty Assessment review of Hungary. The paper was part of a project that had three different elements. First, a new release of all the completed waves of the Hungarian Panel Study was prepared and, after it was supplemented by a new, comprehensive weighting system, this was handed over to the World Bank research team as the empirical foundation for their research. Second, a comprehensive overview was drawn up of longitudinal poverty trends in Hungary. That paper covered the most important issues of the dynamics of poverty and inequality in Hungary during the transition years. Third, TÁRKI carried out a cross-sectional survey of incomes and the labour-market position of Hungarian households in 1998. Under the contract, the dataset was released to the WB research team for its poverty assessment study. Data provision and analysis were provided to the Bank on a consultancy basis. The poverty assessment study for the World Bank was completed in 2001. TÁRKI produced background papers for the final report and provided the main source of data, which was Hungarian Household Panel survey. The World Bank team lead by Jeanine Braithwaite worked in close co-operation with our experts, István Tóth, Péter Szivós and Zoltán Fábián. The final report can be downloaded from the World Bank site (pdf) in two volumes.
Title: Hungary Long-Term Poverty, Social Protection, and the Labour Market. Report No. 20645-HU.
Abstract: This report documents the emergence of a group of long-term poor in Hungary. While growth will continue to be necessary to create well-paying jobs that would enable people to escape poverty, the long term poor are not likely to benefit from growth since they are detached from the labor market, socially excluded, and in many cases, facing discrimination which keeps them from reintegrating into the labor market. The long-term poor in Hungary are comprised of several distinct social groups: the homeless, rural population particularly those living in micro-communities, unemployed or withdrawn from the labor market, households with more than three children, single parent families, single elderly females, and the Roma. A third of the long-term poor are of Roma ethnicity, even though this group is only approximately 5 percent of the Hungarian population. The analysis of the labor market confirms the connection between long-term unemployment and long-term poverty. One of the messages of this report is that the Roma need good-paying jobs first and foremost. Many Roma villages are characterized by a cycle of dependency on state transfers. Reinsertion programs are needed to break this cycle. In the medium term, emphasis on providing high-quality general education to the Roma is needed. These challenges for Hungary are complicated by decentralization, which may lead to unequal treatment of the poor, with less financing available where social programs are most needed.
Download volume I. (external link, pdf)
Download volume II. (external link, pdf)