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10 May 2010

Conditional cash transfers around the world and in Hungary

There is much room to improve efficiency of traditional poverty reduction instruments in Hungary. In search for a new track for thinking on poverty reduction, TARKI Social Research Institute is drafting a paper on the potential pros and cons of extending conditional cash transfer (CCT) programmes.

The existence and actual operation of wide range of transfer programmes (means tested and universal) in Hungary means a potential and a constraint at the same time. Also, due to the segregation process of the sizeable Roma population, a tendency towards the ethnicization of poverty is increasingly visible; deep poverty overlaps with the boundaries of ethnicity in many cases.

The Tarki paper will summarize international experiences from developing and developed countries as well as a few attempts from Hungary (based on desk research and literature surveys) and presents pros and cons of potential applications in various fields (e.g. health and education).

The recent World Bank publication on CCT programmes (Ariel Fiszbein and Norbert Schady: "Conditional Cash Transfers: Reducing Present and Future Poverty") is a reference work in the area. The event is organized around the presentation of the World Bank book by the authors, followed by the presentation of the messages of the Tarki paper, followed by invited comments and an open discussion.

Download the Tarki paper: "Active social policy tools, conditional cash transfers in the world and in Hungary" (in Hungarian)


I. Conditional transfer programmes: international experiences
9:30-9:50 Gordon Bajnai (Prime Minister of the Hungarian Republic): Break away from poverty: a mutual responsibility
9:50-10:10 Ariel Fiszbein (Chief Economist, Human Development, World Bank): Conditional cash transfers. Reducing present and future poverty
10:10-10:30 Arup Banerji (Director for Social Protection, World Bank): CCTs in the Context of Social Policy
10:30-10:50 Questions and comments
II. Conditional transfer programmes: peculiarities of the Hungarian experience

István György Tóth (director, TÁRKI): Conditional transfer programmes in developed countries, potential Hungarian adaption and dilemmas: major findings
11:30-12:00 Presentations of invited speakers:
Mária Herczog (Senior lecturer - Eszterházyi Károly College): CCT in kindergarten and school: pros- and cons
Gábor Kézdi (Associate Professor, Central European University): Increasing human capital investment with incentives
12:00-12:50 Questions, comments, discussion
12:50-13:00 István György Tóth (director, Tárki): Concluding remarks

Press release (in Hungarian) (pdf)