11. NATIONAL INCOME AND ITS
DISTRIBUTION

CONCEPTIONAL DEFINITIONS AND PROBLEMS

The total value of the income and product of a country can be established either by the summation of the incomes accruing to the factors of production during, say, a year (income approach), or by the summation of the expenditure on the national product created during a year (product or expenditure approach). As distinct from the measurement of the two basic flows indicated above, a third way consists in the summation of the value added (or of the incomes originating) industry by industry, building up to a total covering the economy as a whole (income by "industrial origin," computed from the output or income side). These approaches should yield the same total after certain adjustments. The variations of this total from year to year and the shifts in the share of its components indicate both the performance of the economy as a whole and the ways in which its various parts are related to one another.

Numerous conceptual and statistical problems are involved in the definition of "incomes" and "national product" and, hence, in the establishment of national income computations. In the case of Hungary, three types of data are available: (1) two sets of data for the interwar years, one excluding and one including estimates for some specific services; (2) planned estimates for the "period of reconstruction" up to 1949, as well as official estimates of actual income data up to 1947/48; (3) official percentages on the increase and distribution of income for the period of the first development plan, 1950/54, and various estimates derived from these percentages.

The first set of prewar data has been computed by Frigyes von Fellner.1 In the Fellner approach, national income is defined as the

____________________
1
Frigyes von Fellner, "Le Revenu National de la Hongrie Actuelle", Bulletin de l'Institut International de Statistique, XXV, No. 3, p. 367 ff.; von Fellner, "Das Volkseinkommen, Seine Statistische Erfassung und sein heutiger Stand in Verschiedenen Laendern", in Der Internationale Kapitalismus und die Krise, Festschrift fuer Julius Wolf ( Stuttgart, 1932).

-214-

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