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Newsletter 2/2019

April - June

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Project updates

Health gap: post-socialist Central and Eastern Europe vs. Western Europe. Anikó Bíró and Réka Branyiczki investigated the origins of the health gap between post-socialist central and eastern Europe and western Europe. As they discovered, health disparities existed even before the transition, however, stressful periods, financial difficulties and job losses around the transition lead to worsening health conditions at older ages. Read the publication of the principal researcher of the Health and Population research team.

 Momentum Grant of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, July 2018 — June 2023

Family benefit system and fertility in Hungary. Principal researcher Ágnes Szabó-Morvai jointly with researchers of HÉTFA Research Institute measured the effect of various economic factors and family policies on fertility in Hungary. Their results clearly show that those elements of the family benefit system which target these areas have slight but significant fertility effect. We find that factors related to reemployment probability after childbearing, i.e. current female employment, nursery school availability and flexible work possibilities significantly increase birth probabilities. Also, the increase of disposable income due to family tax credit, as well as the better availability of housing due to home ownership support have a positive impact on fertility. Read the report

Evaluation of family policy measures and their impact on fertility, supported by the Representation of the European Commission in Hungary NP/2018-10/BUD

Innovation by improving research infrastructure. The Resinfra@DR project with the specific objective of improving framework conditions for innovation is formally closed on June 30 2019. On the final conference in Wien Attila Havas presented his findings under Dialogues on research infrastructure issues in the Danube macro region.

Achievements: In 2015 a core group of enthusiasts from agencies, ministries and research organisations in the Danube macro-region have developed the idea for ResInfra@DR. Following this vision, the project’s partnership included main actors contributing to strategic decisions in the context of research infrastructures. The project activities in nine partner countries invited a wide range of stakeholders for mutual learning actions and the co-development of a set of guidance documents according to specific needs, furthermore, a successful training series, which contributed to needs based capacity building and training materials. Read the final newsletter of the project.

Facilitating macro-regional scope and link up to socio-economic actors of Research Infrastructure in the Danube Region (2017-2019), supported by Interreg, Danube Transnational Programme

Women in the Hungarian labour market. Institute of Economics recentlypublished its annual volume The Hungarian Labour Market, 2018. This year the yearbook addresses the topic of the status of women in the Hungarian labour market with invaluable insights, analyis and statistics of their participation, employment, unemployment, wages, the glass ceiling, share of management positions, work-family policies, gender specific school performance differences and many more. The volume and its statistical data is openly accessible on the website of the institute.

The Hungarian Labour Market (2017-2018) supported by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Ministry of Finance

Chinese-Hungarian economic relations. Within the CEE region, Hungary’s relations with China have been unique in several ways. They are unique in a historic sense, since Hungary was one of the first countries to formally recognize China, and the Hungarian government started to re-establish relations with China in the early 2000s, well before the other CEE countries. Furthermore, they are unique in a political sense, since Hungarian governments, regardless of political orientation, have been working on developing relations with China for almost two decades, and Hungary was the first in the region to adopt an official government strategy towards Asia its “Eastern Opening policy”. In the final volume of the project Comparative analysis of the approach towards China: V4+ and One Belt One Road Ágnes Szunomár and Tamás Peragovics assess the Chines-Hungarian economic cooperation. They elaborate on the trade relations, investment relations, main investment trends and projects and the current state of governmental screening toward foreign investment in Hungary. Read the final volume

The project was supported by the International Visegrad Fund, Partners: Prague Security Studies Institute (CZ), Institute of Asian Studies (SK), Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence (SRB), Center for International Relations (PL)

Publication highlights

Bakonyi Zoltán – Muraközy Balázs: Centralization of strategic decisions during the Great Recession. Managerial and Decision Economics: the International Journal of Research and Progress in Management Economics Vol. 40. No. 4. 2019. p. 394-413.

We use a survey dataset of more than 14,000 manufacturing firms from seven European countries in order to examine changes in the degree of centralization that followed the Great Recession in 2009. We document three findings. First, we find that a larger fall in sales is associated with a tendency to centralize. The finding is consistent with a theoretical prediction that organizations facing substantial demand shocks are more likely to centralize. Second, we show that the change in the level of centralization during the crisis was accompanied by other decisions characteristic of short‐term optimization. Third, we show that increased centralization has led to slower postcrisis growth even when controlling for the size of the shock and other decisions taken during the crisis. Read more

Bakucs Zoltán – Fertő Imre – Benedek Zsófia: Success or waste of taxpayer money? Impact assessment of rural development programs in Hungary. Sustainability Vol. 11. No. 7. 2019. p. 1-23.

The effectiveness of support directed to less developed regions is a timely question more than halfway through the 2014–2020 programming period. We present an analysis of the impact of rural development support on the well-being of Hungarian LAU1 regions between 2008 and 2013. The aim was to measure the overall impact of all of the Rural Development Funds, covering all measures within the program. Two indices of local well-being were used: the multi-dimensional, local-variables-based Regional Development Index that measures the overall level of regional development and a simple, migration-based index as a proxy for perceived quality of life. Generalized propensity score matching, and difference-in-differences estimation techniques were employed to evaluate the impact of subsidies. Irrespective of how the amount of support was calculated, the measure of local well-being, or the methodology employed, the impact was not significant, and was sometimes even negative. This casts doubt on the effectiveness of Rural Development Policy in Hungary. Read more

Deák András:  From interdependence to vulnerability: EU-Russia relations in finance. In: Raik, Kristi – Rácz András (eds.): Post-Crimea shift in EU-Russia relations: from fostering interdependence to managing vulnerabilities. Tallinn: Rahvusvaheline Kaitseuuringute Keskus (RKK), 2019. pp. 162-181.

The transformation and cooling in EU-Russia relations since 2014 have received considerable academic and political attention, from both the EU and Russian sides. However, a lot less light has been shed on how the post-2014 situation has affected relations in the defence industry, even though several major EU companies ran significant projects with Russian firms before the sanctions. This chapter seeks to answer two main questions. First, to what extent are the EU and Russia still dependent on each other in the field of defence industry cooperation and arms supplies in the post-2014 era? Second, while the sanctions introduced in 2014 constituted a fundamental turning-point in some aspects of EU-Russia relations, it needs to be examined whether the same is true for the defence industry. Read more

Zrubka Zsombor – Beretzky Zsuzsanna – Hermann Zoltán – Brodszky Valentin – Gulácsi László – Rencz Fanni – Baji Petra – Golicki Dominik – Prevolnik-Rupel Valentina – Péntek, Márta: A comparison of European, Polish, Slovenian and British EQ-5D-3L value sets using a Hungarian sample of 18 chronic diseases. European Journal of Health Economics Vol. 20. Suppl. 1. 2019. p. 119-132.

In the Central and Eastern European region, the British EQ-5D-3L value set is used commonly in quality of life (QoL) studies. Only Poland and Slovenia have country-specific weights. Our study aimed to investigate the impact of value set choice on the evaluation of 18 chronic conditions in Hungary. Read more





Sass Magdolna: Post-transition multinationals. Journal of Comparative Economic Studies, Vol. 13. 2018. p. 39-64.

Since 1990, there have been many locally-owned and/or controlled firms in the Central and Eastern European post-socialist countries that have been successfully internationalised through foreign direct investment.  The article, which presents preliminary results from a work in progress, attempts to define a typology of these firms to better understand and explain which companies are able to invest abroad. Relying on an industry-based view, the literature on emerging (state-owned) multinationals, and detailed company case studies, the article distinguishes four main types of foreign investors, each with distinct characteristics.  This typology may help us to better understand the similarities and differences between post-transition multinationals and multinational firms originating from developed or emerging countries.  Furthermore, it may improve understanding of newly emerging multinational companies, both in terms of the capabilities of these firms and the institutional and economic environment that supports internationalisation. Read more

Timár Judit: Feminist Interventions: Central and Eastern Europe. In: Orum, Anthony M. (eds.): The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Studies. New York – Oxford: John Wiley and Sons Ltd., 2019. p. 591–596.

Feminist perspectives were introduced into urban and regional studies in Central and Eastern Europe only after the fall of state socialism and seem to be taking a long time to become widespread in the region. Mapping gendered space was a typical means of introduction in a number of countries. Analyses of new social roles that evolved, as well as spatial processes such as suburbanization that emerged and gathered momentum in the postsocialist era, were other common types of “early” research with a gender perspective. Researchers, mainly of a younger generation, have been addressing issues like urban spaces and representations of the body, homosexuality, heteronormativity, or fear since the 2000s. The number of studies presenting the gendered nature of space and society as a matter‐of‐course phenomenon is on the rise. Read more



Upcoming conference presentations

N. Rózsa Erzsébet: Is a Westphalien peace arrangement possible in the Persian Gulf? The social construct behind war and peace, Gulf Research Meeting, King’s College, Cambridge UK, 15-18 July

Németh Brigitta: Network effects in internal migration, 5th International Conference on Computational Social Science, Amsterdam, Netherland, 17-20 July

Zádor Zsófia: Effect of the 2004 EU accession on patent quality in the Central Eastern European Region, 4th workshop of the Young Economic Geographers Network – Regional Development and Peripheral Regions, Umea, Sweden, 20-21 August

Dr. Gábor G. Szabó – Dr. Zsolt Baranyai: To co-operate or not co-operate: empirical results and theoretical implications of a nationwide survey among Hungarian agricultural producers, ICA – CCR European Research Conference, Berlin, Germany, 21-23 August

Kónya István: Interest premium and external position: a state dependent approach és Labor shares in the EU – sectoral effects and the role of relative prices EEA/ESEM, Manchester, UK, 26-30 August

Lakócai Csaba: Local currencies in France: a spatial representation, 59. ERSA Congress “Cities, regions and digital transformations: Opportunities, risks and challenges, Lyon, France, 27-30 August

Nagy Erika, Nagy Gábor: Consumption-centred urban restructuring as a source for citizenship? Understanding state-society relations in a peripheral context. The Annual International Conference of the Royal Geographical Society and the  Institute of British Geographers, London, UK, 28-39 August

Bisztray Márta: The effect of foreign-owned large plant closures on nearby firms, EARIE Conference, Barcelona, Spain, 30 August – 1 September

Kálmán Judit Olga: Gender Differences in Effects of Labor Market Status on Subjective Well-Being Across European Welfare Regimes; Public works program in Hungary: allocation mechanism, resources and mobility effects, ESPANet Europe Conference, Stockholm, Sweden, 5-7 September

Lőrincz László: Network effects of in Hungarian Internal Mobility, 4th European Conference on Social Networks, Zürich, Switzerland, 9-12 September

Juhász Sándor, Tóth Gergő, Lengyel Balázs: Brokering the core with periphery: collaboration networks and individual success in the Hungarian film industry, 4th European Conference on Social Networks, Zürich, Switzerland, 9-12 September

Ádám Kerényi: One world, two internets – Where should the European countries stand?, INET YSI, Institute of New Economic Thinking, Young Scholars Initiatives, Warsaw, Poland, 11 September

Bisztray Márta: The effect of FDI on local suppliers: evidence from Audi in Hungary, ETSG 2019, European Trade Study Group, Bern, Switzerland, 12-14 September

Czirfusz Márton: Spatial fix der Arbeit im gegenwärtigen ungarischen Akkumulationsregime. Deutscher Kongress für Geographie 2019, Kiel, Germany, 25.– 30 September

Czirfusz Márton, Pósfai István, Pósfai Zsuzsanna: Geographische Prozesse der Gentrifizierung und Verdrängung in Ungarn von 2001 bis 2011. Deutscher Kongress für Geographie 2019, Kiel, Germany, 25.– 30 September

Judit Timár: Opening Keynote Lecture on „Struggles of Feminist Geography Against Changing Hegemonies in Central and Eastern Europe,  5th European Geographies of Sexualities Conference, Prague, Czech Republic, 26-28 September

Havas Attila: Innovation indicators: their relevance for assessing innovation performance, advancing theory development, and assisting policy formation, EAEPE 31st Annual Conference, Warsaw, Poland, 12-15 September

Kerényi Ádám: Brave new digital world – The power of information, EAEPE 31st Annual Conference, Warsaw, Poland, 12-15 September

Nemes Gusztáv: Cultural heritage in the ‘genius loci’ – local attraction and place attachment in a rural tourism destination, 5th Heritage Forum of Central Europe, Krakow, Poland, 19-20 September

Reizer Balázs: Wage Structure, Employment and Efficienc, EALE Conference, Uppsala, Sweden, 19-20 September

Kerényi Ádám: Brave new digital world – The power of information, World Interdisciplinary Network for Institutional Research (WINIR), Lund, Sweden, 19-22 September

Tölgyessy Péterné Sass Magdolna: Just look behind the data, Chinese FDI in CEE, Employee relations in Asian subsidiaries in Hungary: home or host country factors dominate, 6th AIB-CEE Chapter Conference, Kaunas, Lithuania, 25-27 September

Nagy Erika, Nagy Gábor: The visible hand in the making of CEE periphery: state agency and unfolding multiple dependencies in non-metropolitan industrial enclaves in Hungary. 8th International Urban Geographies of Post-communist States Conference, University of Belgrade, Serbia, 25-29 September

 Editor: Zsuzsa Balaban















































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