AbstractThe budget forms the legal basis of government spending. If a budget is not in place at the beginning of the fiscal year, planning as well as current spending are jeopardized and government shutdown may result. This paper develops a continuous-time war-of-attrition model of budgeting in a presidential style-democracy to explain the duration of budget negotiations. We build our model around budget baselines as reference points for loss averse negotiators. We derive three testable hypotheses: there are more late budgets, and they are more late, when fiscal circumstances change; when such changes are negative rather than positive; and when there is divided government. We test the hypotheses of the model using a unique data set of late budgets for US state governments, based on dates of budget approval collected from news reports and a survey of state budget o¢ cers for the period 1988-2007. For this period, we find 23 % of budgets to be late. The results provide strong support for the hypotheses of the model.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series EPRU Working Paper Series with number 2010-04.
Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2010
Date of revision:
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government budgeting; state government; presidential democracies; political economy; late budgets; fiscal stalemate; war of attrition;
Other versions of this item:
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
- H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
- H83 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Public Administration
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-05-02 (All new papers)
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- Andersen, Asger Lau & Lassen, David Dreyer & Nielsen, Lasse Holbøll Westh, 2014. "The impact of late budgets on state government borrowing costs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 27-35.
- Asger Lau Andersen & David Dreyer Lassen & Lasse Holbøll Westh Nielsen, 2010. "The Impact of Fiscal Governance on Bond Markets: Evidence from Late Budgets and State Government Borrowing Costs," EPRU Working Paper Series 2010-11, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
- Andreas Bernecker, 2014. "Divided We Reform? Evidence from US Welfare Policies," CESifo Working Paper Series 4564, CESifo Group Munich.
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