Country Listing

Hungary Table of Contents



The means of production consist of all the material factors used to produce goods and include land, raw materials, and capital. In a traditional centrally planned economy, the state owns all the significant means of production outside the agricultural sector. The ruling party and the government planning bureaucracy exercise the functions of ownership and ration the means of production. In the agricultural sector, state, cooperative, and private forms of ownership coexist, but the state closely supervises and controls all key aspects of production.

In Hungary state ownership of the means of production still predominated in the late 1980s, although the government had broadened the scope of private and foreign ownership. The state has owned more than 90 percent of Hungary's agricultural land since its second collectivization campaign ended in the early 1960s. In industry, economic reformers wanted the state to delegate ownership functions to enterprises in the socialist sector or to independent holding companies whose only function would be to exercise ownership rights. (These companies would operate much the same way that incorporated companies in capitalist economies operate.) Hungary had abolished the system of formal central allocation of resources for all but a few goods, and enterprises generally had to purchase labor, raw materials, and other inputs to production and sell output on their own. The government began allowing Hungarian enterprises to form joint ventures with foreign firms in 1972. Subsequent laws made joint ventures even more attractive for foreign investors, and in some instances foreign firms could take more than a 50 percent stake.

Data as of September 1989