Intellectual predecessor (1928–1949): Hungarian Economic Research Institute. Founder director (until its liquidation) was István Varga. Its employee was Bela Balassa who obtained world fame later.

Direct predecessor (1966–1992): Economic Research Institute. It was established as part of the reform of the planned economy attached to the Hungarian Central Statistical Office.

GKI Economic Research Co. (1992–): Several employees of Economic Research Institute (that was dissolved by the government) as well as banks, employer organisations and 154 renowned economists established GKI Economic Research Co. in October, 1992. At present nearly 90 per cent of the shares are owned by the management of GKI.

Affiliates (2001–): In 2001 and 2002 GKI was developed into a group of companies.

GKI is the majority shareholder of the following affiliations: