(Un)Able to handle disadvantageous socio-demographical processes? Analysis of the performance of development policy - a case study of Hungary

Peter Balogh, University of Szeged

In our planned presentation we wish to introduce some empirical results of our research concerning the social effects of development policy. It is regarded obvious that the EU-accession of Hungary in 2004. seemed to be a remarkable opportunity and a great challenge at the same time: the transferred and modified development policy and the related funds becoming available made it possible for the governments of the country to reach different kind of objectives. Some of these objectives concerned (1) different aspects of the economy (e. g. increasing competitiveness), the (2) development of physical infrastructure (e.g. public traffic network development), (3) environmental issues (e.g. building/developing wastewater-management systems) and directly the (4) human resources (e.g. increasing the level of employment, education or special training of the disadvantaged social groups) of the country. We found it interesting to explore empirically the effects of these governmental objectives – paying special attention to the social dimension of the results: we analyze the composition of the development funds allocated in the light of social-demographical indicators. The analysis is conducted on different territorial levels (micro-regions and counties of Hungary), and we investigate the effect of different socio-demographical factors on the capacity to attract development funds – on the project level, too. In the course of data analysis we employ (1) regression models to estimate the effects, and (2) different indicators of concentration (e.g. Hirschman-Herfindahl Index, Robin Hood Index) in order to explore and demonstrate the differences – inequalities – of the patterns of development fund absorption. According to the results the development funds tend to be allocated with higher possibility and higher amount to territories with more developed human infrastructure, that is, the development policy can not be regarded successful in reaching the objective of helping to catch up disadvantaged social groups.

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Presented in Poster Session 3