Working issues

Water privatisation in the context of transition


Zsolt Boda and Gábor Scheiring:

Water privatisation in the context of transition

"Privatisation was to be the key to creating a healthy economy with competent companies that provide jobs for people and
pay taxes, rather than being dependent upon state policies and subsidies. Just a few years into the transition to a marketeconomy,
however, Hungarians have discovered that private ownership does not necessarily mean efficiency, and that the
argument of additional investment is also questionable. The process of water privatisation well illustrates the pitfalls of
privatisation."  Read more »

The Institutional Background of Hungarian Trade and Development Policy


Réka Hunyadi, Gábor Scheiring:
The Institutional Background of Hungarian Trade and Development Policy

"The relationship of trade, development and sustainability and their impact on each other make up a subject that has significant international literature, while being practically unheard of in Hungary, and we may add perhaps, in the rest of the post-socialist countries. The tasks brought about by the transition took the whole capacity of social scientists, politicians and NGOs – there were no more time left for this important issue. At the same time, the framework of the new democracy being "established", the institutional network of market economy being solidified, the task of surveying the impact of trade on sustainable development cannot be postponed any longer."  Read more »

Global Environmental Commons and the Need for Ethics


Zsolt Boda:

Global Environmental Commons and the Need for Ethics*

"An important, although very controversial, development has occurred in the past decade about how to manage the global environmental commons. According to this approach, the “tragedy of the global commons” should be avoided through the extensive use of market-based instruments, and the privatisation of the commons. This paper examines some aspects of this phenomenon and argues that an economics approach to the commons should be subordinated to a genuinely ethical one. In this approach the concept of the commons does not signify simply an area where the coordination mechanism of the market is somehow imperfect, but have an intrinsically normative content."

*Published in Society and Economy, Vol. 25, No. 2, 2003, pp.213-224.  Read more »

Conflicting Principles of Fair Trade


Zsolt Boda
Conflicting Principles of Fair Trade*

From the Abstract:

"This paper concerns the interpretations of the concept of fair or equitable trade; a concept which gained some currency and political support in the 1970s and which seemed to disappear in the wave of trade liberalization. However, recently the free trade dogma, being a constitutive element of economic globalization, has been thoroughly scrutinized and criticised by the globalization critics; and the concept of fair trade has been reintroduced in both academic and political discourse. This paper intends to give a historic overview, as well as an analytic account of fair trade concepts..."

*Published in Business Ethics Papers, No. 3, Business Ethics Center, Budapest University of Economic Sciences, January 2000  Read more »