From Democratic to Authoritarian Populism: Comparing Pre- and Post-2010 Hungarian Pension Policies

Ádám, Zoltán and Simonovits, András (2019) From Democratic to Authoritarian Populism: Comparing Pre- and Post-2010 Hungarian Pension Policies. Acta Oeconomica, 69 (3). pp. 333-355. DOI

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We compare the pre- and post-2010 Hungarian political regimes through the lens of pension policies. We label the pre-2010 regime as democratic populist because it was characterized by fi scally irresponsible policies, yet it maintained the system of checks and balances and the rule of law. In contrast, we call the post-2010 regime authoritarian populist as it has employed authoritarian political techniques while maintained popular legitimation through regular elections. To substantiate the difference between the two periods from an economic viewpoint, we compare pre- and post-2010 pension policies to fi nd important differences as well as surprising similarities. In particular, we analysed the following fi ve policy aspects: (a) reform and partial privatization of the governmentrun pension system, (b) policies on the statutory (normal) and the effective (average) pension age, (c) indexation, (d) progression in benefi ts calculations and progressivity in the personal income tax, and (e) contribution rates. Based on ideological preferences, we argue that one would expect the pension system to become fi nancially more sustainable but less redistributive after 2010 in comparison to the preceding period. Yet, we fi nd that although pro-poor redistribution through the pension system has indeed been curtailed, fi scal sustainability has not improved due to the erratic policies.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:public pension systems, private pension systems, pension policy, authoritarian populism, democratic populism, Hungary
JEL classification:H55 - Social Security and Public Pensions
P16 - Capitalist Institutions; Welfare State
P48 - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
Divisions:Faculty of Economics > Department of Comparative Economics
Subjects:Social welfare, insurance, health care
ID Code:5804
Deposited By: Ádám Hoffmann
Deposited On:10 Jul 2020 10:07
Last Modified:10 Jul 2020 10:07

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