Centralization, renationalization, redistribution

(Government's role in changing Hungary's ownership structure)

The paper discusses the shifts in Hungarian privatization strategies and in the role of the government in changing the ownership structure. Analyzing the forms of transformation, the goals and motivations of the participants (enterprises and government organizations) and the reasons for changing the main direction, it argues that the five years history of Hungarian privatization indicates the mixed and unstable character of the process. There has never been a uniform, homogeneous method of changing the ownership structure: market type techniques have been accompanied by central distribution of property.
The often changing governmental strategies, motivated predominantly by purely political considerations, show a clear tendency towards the re-establishment of centralized control of state organizations over the firms. The coming years can see an emergence of redistribution type solutions with highly dubious social and economic implications.

In: Strategic Choice and Path-dependency in Post-socialism, Jerzy Hausner, Bob Jessop, Klaus Nielsen eds., Edward Elgar, Brookfield 1995. pp. 287-308.