Newsletter of TARKI Social Research Institute - January 2017.
Reliable data * Careful analyses * Value-oriented professionalism
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Dear Reader,

Together with our best wishes for 2017, please receive news from Tarki Social Research Institute. 2016 was a very busy year with many exciting research findings, workshops and thought provoking public debates. Just a few of our topics below: the new Social report on Hungary, the finished Tarki Household Monitor Survey, exciting developments in various Horizon2020 projects. We are proud that our colleagues also reach hights beyond work: watch out the news about our colleague achieving 5th place in the Rio Paralympic games! In 2017 we are heading towards carrying out new waves of three flagship international surveys (ESS, ISSP and SHARE) in Hungary, each contributing to all-European comparative research. Our goal, as always, is to answer questions that are relevant to European societies, as well as to Hungary.

We wish to continue the mission and wish to have a very fruitful and challenging new year with our researcher community as well.

István György Tóth, Director, in the name of the entire Tarki team

A new episode in the story of the Hungarian Social Report: the 2016 edition is out now

Tárki’s biannual Hungarian Social Report has been published in October 2016. Since its first publication in 1990, the report aims to give a balanced overview on the Hungarian social trends and processes of the past two years. The report of 2014 was published through crowdfunding, only by civil support, which shows the need for evidence-based, objective analysis of social trends in Hungary. In 2016, the report was again financed by the Ministry of Human Resources. The studies of the 2016 Social Report present a comprehensive picture on the most important trends and figures of the Hungarian social, economic, and political scene.

The Social Report 2016 reports on improving labor market situation but also highlights risks of misinterpreting data on public works. It is underlined that the Hungarian economy appears to be dual, with a well-functioning sector dominated by multinationals while domestic industries and SME-s showing signs of struggle. Other papers warn about increased corruption risks and weak competition in public procurements – with structural funds being at higher than average risk. Chapters on social structure highlight that income and wealth inequality is at a relatively modest level, but the average living standard is at a low level, there is a narrow and weak middle class and a large deprived segment of the society. For the first time the report includes estimates of the Hungarian wealth distribution. The chapters on health and education systems explore urgent needs for reform to tackle large health inequality by education subgroups and also to improve the (currently very weak) capacity of the education system to alleviate intergenerational transmission of disadvantages.

More on the chapters in English is available here.

Chapter downloads media coverage, history of the Social report is available here in Hungarian.

Chapter based on Tárki data asks “Is Hungary still in search for its middle class?”

A new book on how middle classes in 15 European countries develop after the economic crisis, by the International Labour Organization (ILO), titled Europe's disappearing middle class? Evidence from the world of work was published in October, 2016 by Edward Elgar Press. The volume examines how the middle class has been affected by the changes in the labor market, social dialogue, conditions of work, wages and incomes of the past 20 years. The volume includes 15 country-specific chapters, from which the Hungarian report is based on Tárki surveys.  Although inequality of incomes is not larger in Hungary than it is in an “average” EU country and the share of middle income groups is also similar to the average in Europe, by measures broader than income, the middle classes in Hungary are narrow in terms of people and weak in terms of wealth and income reserves of middle income people. The chapter explains why is this.

Hungarian chapter summary is available here.

Click here for the English book summary.

Tárki paper on CCT presented at UN expert group meeting

The paper "Conditional cash transfers in high-income countries and their impact on poverty and human capital accumulation" at UN headquarters on 2 June 2016 by Márton Medgyesi, senior researcher at Tárki. The Expert Group Meeting, organized as part of the preparations for the fifty-fifth session of the Commission for Social Development (planned to be convened early February 2017) supports the work of the Commission for Social Development, one of the functional commissions of the Economic and Social Council of the UN. The study presented was commissioned in 2013 by the European Commission DG EMPL to investigate how the EU can best promote better investment in children, and what policy instruments can help break the intergenerational transmission of poverty. In particular, the aim of the study was to explore the extent to which conditionality introduced into cash transfer programmes can help improve the reach of human capital investment for children under 18 years of age, according to the practices of the various Member States.

Read about the Study on Conditional cash transfers and their impact on children here.

 The Tárki Household Monitor Survey

The research of Tárki Household Monitor 2015-2016 focusing on the coping strategies of the households during and after the crisis has been finalized and the summary book about the findings will soon be published. (Monitor is a Tárki initiative, a cross-sectional household survey carried out about every two years in Hungary from 1998 to present and its purpose is to provide a reliable assessment of the changes in the stratification of society and in social inequality.)

The data has been collected in autumn 2015 and in spring 2016 and can be already found in the TÁRKI databank. Also, the data will be archived in the Luxembourg Income Study next year. Outputs of the project include working papers on the methodology and the survey design, two working papers estimating the coverage of Monitor data at the bottom and at the top of the income distribution and a summary book about the findings on household coping strategies during hardship, including responses related to employment, consumption, saving and indebtedness, and investment in human capital.

The project had been financed by the National Research, Development and Innovation Office (OTKA), and its first results will be soon published.

Studies on the working of the Hungarian social service delivery

On the request of State Secretariat of Social Issues and Inclusion (Ministry of Human Capacities) Tárki prepared research papers on three topics: The first shows findings on the social situation of those who receive care allowance. The second research analyses the reasons behind the reduction of beneficiaries of regular child care support between 2010 and 2014. The third study analyses the changing system of municipal aid which has been in force since March 1, 2015. Results in the form of the Szociálpolitikai Monitoring Tanulmányok (Reports on Social Policy Monitoring) has been published by the Ministry of Human Capacities. The book in Hungarian is available here.

Currently running new evaluations on the operation of various social services include reports on the reformed day care services for disabled people and on the recently established, small-area level family and child welfare centers.

ASEF: Evaluation of the Asia-Europe Migration Project

Tárki has carried out the evaluation of Asia-Europe Migration Project in 2016, commissioned by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF, Singapore), funded by the EU and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.

The project aimed to explore the situation of labor migrants in Europe and Asia, particularly focusing on social policies in sending and receiving countries, which was summarized in the publication "A Triple Win in Migration: Ensuring Migrant Workers’ Rights to Protect All Workers".

Inclusive Growth Research Infrastructure Diffusion (FP7, InGRID –, 2013-2017) concludes in January 2017

The project aims to integrate and to innovate existing, but distributed European social sciences research infrastructures on ‘Poverty and Living Conditions’ and ‘Working Conditions and Vulnerability’ by providing transnational data access, organizing mutual knowledge exchange activities and improving methods and tools for comparative research. Tárki, as a partner in this project leads the “Poverty and Living Conditions Pillar” and develops the Integrated Poverty and Living Condition Indicator System (IPOLIS) a major source for statistical data on vulnerable groups like children, the youth and the elderly.

Tárki, as a key partner in the InGRID project led the “Poverty and Living Conditions Pillar” and developed IPOLIS, which is a major source for statistical data on vulnerable groups like children, the youth and the elderly. A data visualization tool is attached to IPOLIS and will be launched publicly soon.

A report on the Roma was also produced by the Tárki staff on the feasibility to integrate them into the quality of life frame of IPOLIS and on the available data infrastructure in this field.  

István György Tóth and András Gábos will join the final conference in Brussels on 17 January. The aim of the conference is to evaluate the status of the research infrastructure and to improve and enlarge it.

Privatisation and Mortality in Post-Communism: A Multi-Level Indirect Demographic Analysis (PrivMort, ERC  2011-2017) was completed in Hungary and the filed is to be completed in Russia

A large scale, three countries (Hungary, Russia and Belarus) empirical study of the effects of the privatization and transition experiences on mortality, financed by the European Research Council Executive Agency, Host Institution being the University of Cambridge.

Tárki joined as a partner in 2013 and is responsible for conducting the Hungarian fieldworks, managing the tenders of subcontractors then coordinating the international surveys in Russia and Belorussia. Since March 2014 three large scale surveys have been conducted in Russia (VCIOM), Belarus (SIMST) and Hungary (Tárki) with more than 60.000 interviews altogether.

Thanks to the success of the fieldworks, the project has continued to grow over the last 3 years and in 2016 the research team carried out new town-level and nationally representative surveys in Hungary and in Russia (still in process) to improve the quality of the future studies. While results of the surveys in Belarus and Hungary are accepted by the Host Institution and already under analysis, Russian fieldwork needs more time. Based on the schedule of the project Russian fieldwork will end in February 2017.

Strategic Transition for Youth Labour in Europe (STYLE, FP7, 2014-2017): final book to come

Tárki is a main partner of the consortium that carries out the Strategic Transitions for Youth Labour in Europe project (STYLE) under the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission.  STYLE aims to examine the obstacles and opportunities affecting youth employment in Europe.
Researchers from Tárki prepared, submitted and published several working papers within the project, out of which some are already available.

One line of research (followed together with researchers from the University of Turin and the London School of Economics) aimed at identifying the role of family drivers of youth unemployment and adulthood transitions (WP8).

Filandri, M., A. Gábos, M. Medgyesi, I. Nagy and T. Nazio (2016): The role of parental material resources in adulthood transitions. STYLE Working Papers, WP 8.4. CROME, University of Brighton, Brighton. Read the Working Paper here.

The paper by Márton Medgyesi and I. Nagy on income sharing and spending decisions of youth living with parents (which will be published as chapter of the Handbook on Youth Unemployment within the frame of the STYLE project) has been presented during the poster session at European Population Conference held in Mainz, 31 August 2016- 3 September 2016.

As part of the workpackage on vulnerable voices an cultural barriers (WP9), Gábor Hajdu and Endre Sik aimed to answer the question whether work values are different between birth cohort and if so, how they changed during the last decades.

Hajdu, G. and E. Sik, (2015). Searching for gaps: are work values of the younger generations changing?, STYLE Working Papers, WP9.1. CROME, University of Brighton, Brighton. The paper will be chapter for the Handbook on Youth Unemployment to be published later this year as the main deliverable of the STYLE project. It was presented at ISSP Annual Conference on 1 May 2016 in Kaunas, Lithuania.


Tárki and Hungary is back in the SHARE project. The Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) is a multidisciplinary and cross-national panel database of micro data on health, socio-economic status and social and family networks of approximately 123,000 individuals aged 50 or older (more than 293,000 interviews). Currently SHARE covers 27 European countries and Israel.

After a successful survey wave back in 2010-2011 we are ready to continue data collection in wave 7 of the project. Tárki has finished the two test runs on a sample of approx. 100 panel and refresher respondents, the pretest and the field rehearsal during the summer and autumn, 2016. The main survey, when 3000 panel individuals will be contacted, is carried out between March and September 2017.

Hungary joined SHARE-ERIC as a full member based on the decision of the Hungarian National Research, Development and Innovation Office in autumn, 2016. Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences was selected as Hungary’s scientific partner, meanwhile Tárki and the Institute prepared a framework contract on SHARE collaboration.

Upcoming Hungarian Survey Waves of the International Social Survey Project

The International Social Survey Program (ISSP) is the largest comparative social research project launched in 1984 by research institutes in West-Germany, the United States, Great Britain, and Australia. Since 1984, ISSP has grown to 48 nations. Hungary was among the first participate countries who joined to the project in 1986 (with Italy and Austria). According to the agreement between the participant countries each research organization funds the data collection own, there are no central funds. In the last few years we managed to continue ISSP in Hungary, with completing the surveys of 2014-2016 (on citizenship, work orientations and role of government). The surveys in 2017 (on social networks and resources) and in 2018 (religion) will follow the established practice, i.e. creating comparative Hungarian data to almost all European and several – mostly OECD - countries all over the world. The project received funding from the Hungarian National Science Foundation (OTKA).

Tárki staff is active in fielding the 8th wave of the European Social Survey in Hungary and it also works on designing a new module for the 9th wave in Europe

The European Social Survey is a cross-national survey that measures attitudes, beliefs and behavioral patterns of different groups of European societies since 2011. After successful completion of previous Hungarian surveys, Tárki was awarded to carry out the Hungarian fieldwork of the wave 8 in 2017.

In addition to the 2017 field, Tárki researchers were invited (as a member of an international consortium) to design a separate a module on social justice for inclusion in the European Social Survey Wave 9 questionnaire. The new module will be fielded from September 2018 with data available in late 2019.

Prof Iván Szelényi received two Doctor Honoris Causa titles in June 2016

Iván Szelényi, board member and advisor of Tárki received two Doctor Honoris Causa titles. On the 10 June, the European University Institute in Firenze and on the 24 June the representatives of the Central European University in Budapest awarded Iván. Congratulations!

With a 5th place finish in the 2016 Paralympic Games, Krisztina Dávid achieves the best Hungarian result in air pistol shooting

Tárki’s IT master Krisztina Dávid finished at the 5th place in 40 shots air pistol competition at the Paralympic Games in Rio in August, 2016. Despite the stressful conditions and the high stakes involved, she performed better and better during the game and achieved Hungary’s best ever performance in air pistol shooting. The long period before the Olympics was reported by the Hungarian newspaper Index, which you may read here in Hungarian. We are looking forward to see her further achievements!

Last but not least… Tárki was awarded for Excellent Business Brands prize in Hungary

In 2016 Tárki won the award for Excellent Business Brand of MagyarBrands again. The MagyarBrands program aims to draw attention to the worthy representatives of the Hungarian intellectual work. The Excellent Business Brand is decided by the independent Committee based on quantifiable criteria of the identity, reputation, brand strategy, tradition and reliability of the businesses. Please visit for more information about the program.

Hello! I am Orsolya Szabó and I have just joined Tárki as an office manager. From now on I am responsible for this newsletter and if you have any feedback please send it to

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