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Punctuations and agendas: A new look at local government budget expenditures

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  • Meagan M. Jordan

    (Institute of Government, University of Arkansas, Little Rock)

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    Abstract

    Punctuated equilibrium theory (PET) is an agenda-based theory that offers a theoretical foundation for large budget shifts. PET emphasizes that the static, incremental nature of agendas is occasionally interrupted by punctuations. These punctuations indicate shifts in priority among the agenda items, and with those agenda shifts come trade-offs. This article expands the discussion of punctuated budgets to the level of local government by determining that local government expenditures have the characteristics espoused by the punctuated equilibrium theory. The article also determines the frequency of punctuations and the probability for future punctuations. The findings show that some budget functions and policy types are more prone to punctuations and, therefore, have a less stable agenda. The practical significance of extending PET to local government budgeting is the implication on planning, forecasting, and the agenda-setting process. © 2003 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/pam.10136
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

    Volume (Year): 22 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 345-360

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:22:y:2003:i:3:p:345-360

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    Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/34787/home

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    1. David M. Cutler & Douglas W. Elmendorf & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 1993. "Demographic Characteristics and the Public Bundle," NBER Working Papers 4283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. James M. Poterba, 1996. "Demographic Structure and the Political Economy of Public Education," NBER Working Papers 5677, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Jansen, Dennis W & de Vries, Casper G, 1991. "On the Frequency of Large Stock Returns: Putting Booms and Busts into Perspective," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(1), pages 18-24, February.
    4. Afsaneh Assadian, 1995. "Fiscal Determinants Of Migration To A Fast-Growing State: How The Aged Differ From The General Population," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 25(3), pages 301-316, Winter.
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