The economic role of public sector completely changed during the period following the social transition. It had, however, some antecedents. The economic change-over started with the economic reform in 1968, when the state shifted from the planned-command economy to economic regulation system which increased the proportion of indirect means of economic management and the independence of participants. This process has been accelerated in the 1990s. The privatization has basically put an end to direct economic role, but the influence on the economy has grown due to the greater role of income transfers (subsidies). There are still, however, some areas - primarily the health care, pension system and higher education - where the role of the state is significant and there are intense debates about the transformation of sub-systems. Due to the transformation process, Hungary today is a capitalist market economy, but the judgement of the role of public sector, the demand on it is often as wide as in the socialist era. As regards the quality of public sector, however, the level of countries more developed than Hungary is expected, but the degree of income centralization cannot be increased. The presentation intends to give a review of the processes following the Hungarian social transition, evaluates the changes of role of public sector in the economy and in the social environment which have significant influence on it.
Istvan Takacs, Szent Istvan University (for postal address contact the journal editor).
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