“Defining the Long-term Development Trends of Countries in East-Central Europe in the Context of Political Cycles”, Miklós Szanyi and Gyula Szabó (IWE CERS, Hungary)

Historical development patterns are uneven. There are windows of opportunity for countries on the periphery to catch-up, others may lose momentum. Using the Maddison database accelerating and decelerating periods can be found. This paper compares the development trends of six East-Central European (ECE) countries with the average of highly developed countries, and three successfully catching-up countries. A methodological novelty of the paper is the usage of enveloping curves. The approach is based of Ferenc Jánossy’s seminal work on the long-term development trendlines of countries, which are interpreted as historic growth potential indicators. ECE growth performance is also compared to their own long-term potentials. The development pattern is interpreted in the mainstream political concepts of the various historical epochs. The analysis concludes that ECE region’s growth performance is more successful in state-permeated management of slack periods. Liberal epochs’ accelerated growth of highly developed countries could not be followed.

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