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Punctuated equilibrium in democracy and autocracy: an analysis of Hungarian budgeting between 1868 and 2013

  • Miklós Sebők (a1) and Tamás Berki (a2)

The article investigates the dynamics of budgeting and its explanatory factors in Hungary based on a new database. 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 generally associated with the notion of punctuated equilibrium. We extend this analysis to cover over 155 years of Hungarian budgetary history. Our investigation of a database of 2580 spending category observations (covering the period between 1868 and 2013) lends support for the theory of punctuated equilibrium. We also analysed the impact of political regimes on budgetary dynamics. Here we provided empirical evidence for the validity of 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.

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European Political Science Review
  • ISSN: 1755-7739
  • EISSN: 1755-7747
  • URL: /core/journals/european-political-science-review
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