Sebők Miklós - Berki Tamás: Punctuated Equilibrium Through Autocracy and Democracy: An Analysis of Hungarian Budgeting Between 1868 and 2013

Abstract: The paper investigates the dynamics of budgeting and its explanatory factors in Hungary on a new database encompassing 155 years. Previous work for the period between 1991 and 2013 demonstrated that year on year changes in budgetary allocations by policy topics show a leptokurtic distribution. This distribution of policy changes is widely associated with the notion of punctuated equilibrium. We extend this analysis to cover over one and a half century of Hungarian budgetary history. Based on a database of 2892 spending category observations we confirm that punctuated equilibrium is the best theoretical description when considering all available budgetary data in Hungary. We also analyzed the impact of political regimes on budgetary dynamics. Here we confirmed the informational advantage hypothesis which states that democracies will show lower level of kurtosis than other political regimes. This finding is also in line with the results of available comparative studies.

Language: english


The manuscript is available here.