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2020 januárjától a MT/DP Műhelytanulmányok és a Budapest Working Papers sorozat egybeolvadt, és a továbbiakban KRTK-KTI Műhelytanulmányok cím alatt közli az intézet kutatóinak tudományos munkáját. A KRTK-KTI Műhelytanulmányok célja, hogy hozzászólásokat, vitát generáljanak, nem mentek át szakmai ellenőrzésen.

Szerkesztő: Hajdu Tamás

A megszűnt sorozatok tanulmányai az alábbi linkeken érhetőek el:

MT/DP műhelytanulmányok

BWP műhelytanulmányok

A rational pension reform package: Hungary, 2025



As part of the Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP, 2023), the Hungarian government pledged to reform the pension system. The main themes are sustainability and adequacy. The pension plan is to be discussed publicly and put into law by March 2025. The last detailed official pension study was the 2016-discussion paper of the Hungarian National Bank which should be updated. The present study is a private work which may contribute to the improvement of the current pension system. The current and the projected states of the Hungarian pension system are outlined, and then simple and complex reforms are formulated. Naming just two reform steps, I start with the simplest step: the return to public discussion steered by a revitalized Fiscal Council and end with the most complex: the introduction of the flexible (variable) retirement age.


The development of the Central and Eastern European venture capital market in Europe



The working paper examines the role and development of the Central and Eastern European venture capital sector in the five years between 2016 and 2020. This period includes both the end of the recovery after the economic crisis in 2008 and the downturn due to the coronavirus crisis in 2019. A statistical analysis of venture capital funds and investments in the CEE region confirms that, while the overall position of the region in Europe did not change over the period under review, the differences between countries in the region increased sharply. The northern part of the region rivals the most developed countries in Europe, the central part is driven by an abundance of public resources, while the venture capital sector in the south is only in its infancy. The size of the venture capital funds in the region is far below the European average, so the start-ups only have a chance to become successful if they are involved in the international flow of venture capital. The role of the government in the funds in the region is extremely high, but the selection between companies is therefore not based solely on market considerations. Rent-seeking behaviour goes against the essence of venture capital. As a result of the deterioration of the global political and economic situation, the entire Central and Eastern European region is losing its ability to attract capital.


Egy észszerű nyugdíjreform csomag: Magyarország, 2025



Egy EU kezdeményezés miatt a magyar kormányzatnak szoros ütemterv szerint ki kell dolgoznia egy cselekvési tervet, amelynek része egy nyugdíjreform is. A tervet nyilvánosan meg kell vitatni, majd törvénybe iktatni. Az utolsó nyilvános és részletes nyugdíjtanulmány MNB műhelytanulmányként 2016-ban jelent meg, amely az azóta bekövetkezett változások miatt szükségképpen felfrissítésre vár. Addig is érdemesnek láttam egy észszerű nyugdíjreform-csomagot felvázolni, amely a jelenlegi rendszert hatékonyabbá és méltányosabbá tenné. Először a mai helyzetet körvonalazom, majd az egyszerűbb és a bonyolultabb reformok irányait mutatom be. Itt csak azt említem meg, hogy vissza kellene térni a 2008 és 2010 közti Költségvetési Tanács gyakorlatához, amelynek Titkárságán kiváló szakemberek serege dolgozott a nyugdíjreformhoz hasonló kérdéseken. A megvalósíthatóság politikai feltételeivel nem foglalkozom.


Accident-Induced Absence from Work and Wage Ladders



How do temporary spells of absence from work affect individuals’ labor trajectory? To answer this question, we augment a `wage ladder’ model, in which individuals receive alternative take-it-or-leave-it wage offers from firms and potentially suffer accidents which may push them into temporary absence. In such an environment, during absence, individuals do not have the opportunity to receive alternative wage offers that they would have received had they remained present. To test our model’s predictions and to quantify the importance of foregone opportunities to climb the wage ladder, we use linked employer-employee administrative data from Hungary, that is linked to rich individual-level administrative health records. We use unexpected and mild accidents with arguably no permanent labor productivity losses, as exogenous drivers of short periods of absence. Difference-in-Differences results show that, relative to counterfactual outcomes in the case of no accidents, (i) even short (3-12-months long) periods of absence due to accidents decrease individuals’ wages for up to two years, by around 2.5 percent; and that (ii) individuals reallocate to lower-paying employers. The share of wage loss due to missed opportunities to switch employers is between 7-20 percent over a two-year period after returning to work, whereas at most 2 percent is due to occupation switches. Our results are robust to (a) instrumenting absence with having suffered an accident, (b) exploiting the random nature of the time of the accident, and (c) within-firm matching of individuals with and without an accident and subsequent absence spell.


In utero shocks and health at birth: the distorting effect of fetal losses



Research on the effect of in utero shocks on health at birth may be influenced by in utero selection. This study outlines a conceptual framework and shows that the results of the standard empirical approach are biased if (i) the exposure changes the probability of fetal death and (ii) health differences exist between deceased and surviving fetuses. Furthermore, an empirical example is provided to illustrate, the potential importance of fetal selection. Examining the impact of heat on birth weight, I find that accounting for fetal selection substantially increases the heat effect compared to the standard approach. These results suggest that incorporating the distorting effect of fetal losses into the estimations may be critical in some cases to provide more informed guidance for public policy.


The Labor Market Effects of Disability Benefit Loss



Disability benefits are costly and tend to reduce labor supply.  While costs can be reduced by careful targeting, correcting past eligibility rules or assessment procedures may entail welfare costs. We study a major reform in Hungary that reassessed the health and working capacity of a large share of beneficiaries. Leveraging age and health cutoffs in the reassessment, we estimate employment responses to loss or reduction of benefits. We find that among those who left disability insurance due to the reform, 57% were employed in the primary labor market and 38% had neither employment nor benefit income. The consequences of leaving disability insurance sharply differed by pre-reform employment status. 62% of those without pre-reform employment did not work after exiting disability insurance, whereas this ratio was only 14% for those who had some employment in the pre-reform year. The gains of the reform in activating beneficiaries were small and strongly driven by pre-reform employment status. This points to the importance of combining financial incentives with broader labor market programs that increase employability.


Geographic and Socioeconomic Variation in Healthcare: Evidence from Migration



We study variation in healthcare utilization across geographies and socioeconomic groups in Hungary. Exploiting migration across geographic regions and relying on high-quality administrative data on healthcare use and income we show that the role of place-specific supply factors is heterogeneous across types of care and across socioeconomic groups. Overall, place-specific factors account for 68% of the variation in outpatient spending and 35% of the variation in drug spending, but almost none of the variation in inpatient spending. Place effects explain four-fifth of outpatient spending variation for non-employed working-age individuals, but less than two-fifth for individuals with above-median wage incomes. There is a positive association between place effects and outpatient capacity, especially for low-income individuals. These results suggest that access to healthcare varies especially for low-income people even in a context with universal coverage.


The Incentive Effects of Sickness Benefit for the Unemployed – Analysis of a Reduction in Potential Benefit Duration



In Hungary, employees could claim sickness insurance benefit within 3 days of job-loss, which would enable them to extend their benefit duration by up to 90 days. The maximum number of days of this ‘passive sickness benefit’ was halved in 2007. We first investigate whether claiming passive sickness benefit was related to the monetary advantage relative to claiming unemployment insurance benefits. Then, we explore the effect of potential benefit duration on the transitions to stable employment relying on the variation induced by the policy change. Relying on high quality longitudinal matched administrative data we can estimate these relationships while using controls for employment histories and healthcare spending. On the one hand, we find that passive sickness benefit claiming behavior was indeed correlated with the financial gains. On the other hand, we find only a very small and insignificant immediate effect on transitions to employment when maximum benefit duration was cut by 45 days. However, we find that job finding hazard on the week after benefit exhaustion increased more for individuals who were not on sick leave just prior to job-loss. Our finding is suggestive that a non-negligible proportion of this group were subject to moral hazard.


Inequalities in regional excess mortality and life expectancy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe



Using data for 201 regions (NUTS 2) in Europe, we examine the mortality burden of the COVID-19 pandemic and how the mortality inequalities between regions changed between 2020 and 2022. We show that over the three years of the pandemic, not only did the level of excess mortality rate change considerably, but also its geographical distribution. Focusing on life expectancy as a summary measure of mortality conditions, we find that the variance of regional life expectancy increased sharply in 2021. This was due to a much higher-than-average excess mortality in regions with lower pre-pandemic life expectancy. While the life expectancy inequality has returned to its pre-pandemic level in 2022, the observed life expectancy in almost all regions is far below that expected without the pandemic.



Regional diversification and labour market upgrading: Local access to skill-related high-income jobs helps workers escaping low-wage employment



This paper investigates how the evolution of local labour market structure enables or constrains workers as regards escaping low-wage jobs. Drawing on the network-based approach of evolutionary economic geography, we employ a detailed individual-level panel dataset to construct skill-relatedness networks for 72 functional labour market regions in Sweden. Subsequent fixed-effect panel regressions indicate that increasing density of skill-related high-income jobs within a region is conducive to low-wage workers moving to better-paid jobs, hence facilitating labour market upgrading through diversification. While metropolitan regions offer a premium for this relationship, it also holds for smaller regions, and across various worker characteristics.


The Great Rush



This paper provides a summary of the latest advancements in generative artificial intelligence using large language models over the past six months. The impact of this breakthrough remains uncertain, but it is evident that GPT is a General-Purpose Technology (GPT) that will significantly alter various aspects of our economy and society in ways that are yet to be fully comprehended. While it is essential for the government to regulate GPT technology, it is inevitable that the technology will continue to expand and evolve at a rapid pace. There is no doubt that every corner of the new world if it exists at all, will be covered by millions of forms of artificial intelligence. The taming of AIs and successful social and personal cooperation with domesticated AIs could ensure our survival and prosperity in that world. Whether or not AIs are capable and willing to cooperate will populate the new world is neither an individual nor a national matter. But how a country and its people fare in the new world is more so.


Társadalmi különbségek a gyermekek egészségi állapotában Magyarországon a 21. század második évtizedében



Tanulmányunk a magyarországi gyerekek egészségi állapotában fennálló társadalmi különbségeket vizsgálja a 2010-es években. Az elemzésekhez összegyűjtöttük és egységes statisztikai keretbe rendeztük azokat az adminisztratív és kérdőíves adatforrásokat, amelyek alapján feltárhatóak a gyerekek egészségi állapotában tapasztalható társadalmi egyenlőtlenségek és lehetséges okaik. Vizsgálatunk rámutat arra, hogy a gyermekek egészsége milyen nagy mértékben függ össze azzal, hogy milyen társadalmi közegbe születtek, hogy milyen életkörülmények és jövedelmi viszonyok között élnek, illetve hogy milyen viselkedési sajátosságokkal rendelkeznek ők maguk és a szüleik.