The Hungarian "Exception": Lessons in Political Economy
Could Hungary's experience as a European Union member state be instructive? During the past decade the country's macroeconomic policies were characterized by sharp changes first under a socialist and later under a center-right government. George Kopits, Wilson Center Senior Scholar and former chair of Hungary's Fiscal Council, will assess the country's fiscal and monetary policies, as well as its overall economic performance and institution-building efforts against the backdrop of the deepening European financial crisis. Kopits will focus on these aspects of the "reforms" currently under way in Hungary, which have caused it to seek financial assistance from IMF twice since the onset of the global financial crisis.The presentation will conclude with lessons learned from the Hungarian experience.
George Kopits is a Wilson Center senior scholar and former chair of the Fiscal Council of the Republic of Hungary—elected unanimously by Parliament in February 2009, as well as a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Previously he served as a member of the Monetary Council of Hungary's National Bank. Kopits has also held positions at distinguished institutions, including the U.S. Treasury Department and the International Monetary Fund. In addition to his involvement in fiscal and monetary policymaking in Hungary and the United States, he headed technical assistance missions on various economic policy issues to Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Indonesia, Madagascar, Mexico, Peru, and Ukraine. Kopits has served as a technical advisor to the authorities of Argentina, China, Colombia, India, Israel, Korea, Nigeria, Thailand, United Kingdom and Venezuela. He has held visiting academic appointments at Bocconi, Budapest, Cape Town, Johns Hopkins, Siena, and Vienna universities. Kopits is the author of more than sixty publications, and has been awarded the Heller Farkas and Popovics prizes for contributions in economics and finance. Currently, he is an adjunct faculty at the Central European Univresity. Kopits holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Georgetown University.