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Budget Processes: Theory and Experimental Evidence

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  • Ehrhart, Karl-Martin

    ()
    (Universitaet Karlsruhe)

  • Gardner, Roy

    (Indiana University and ZEI, University of Bonn)

  • von Hagen, Jürgen

    (University of Bonn, Indiana University, and CEPR)

  • Keser*, Claudia

    (IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, New York)

Abstract

This paper studies budget processes, both theoretically and experimentally. We give a sufficient condition for top-down and bottom-up budget processes to have the same voting equilibrium. Furthermore, at a voting equilibrium, it is not always true, as often presumed, that a top-down budget process leads to a smaller overall budget than does a bottom-up budget process. To test the implications for budget processes of voting equilibrium theory, we conduct a series of 128 voting experiments using subjects in a behavior laboratory. The experimental evidence from these experiments is well organized by voting equilibrium theory, both at the aggregate level and at the individual subject level. In particular, subjects display considerable evidence of rationality in their proposals and votes. More complete information and fewer spending categories lead to greater predictive success of voting equilibrium theory, and reduce the time needed to reach a budget decision.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim in its series Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications with number 04-57.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 03 Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:04-57

Note: Financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 504, at the University of Mannheim, is gratefully acknowledged.
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References

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  1. Eckel, Catherine & Holt, Charles A, 1989. "Strategic Voting in Agenda-Controlled Committee Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 763-73, September.
  2. Claudia Keser & Roy Gardner, 1999. "Strategic behavior of experienced subjects in a common pool resource game," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 241-252.
  3. James M. Poterba & Jürgen von Hagen, 1999. "Introduction to "Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance"," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 1-12 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. von Hagen, Jurgen & Harden, Ian J., 1995. "Budget processes and commitment to fiscal discipline," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 771-779, April.
  5. Poterba, James M. & von Hagen, Jurgen (ed.), 1999. "Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226676234, February.
  6. Hallerberg, Mark & von Hagen, Jürgen, 1997. "Electoral Institutions, Cabinet Negotiations, and Budget Deficits within the European Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 1555, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Selten,Reinhard, . "Properties of a measure of predictive succes," Discussion Paper Serie B 130, University of Bonn, Germany.
  8. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1996. "Budget Deficits and Budget Institutions," IMF Working Papers 96/52, International Monetary Fund.
  9. James M. Poterba & Jürgen von Hagen, 1999. "Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pote99-1, octubre-d.
  10. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, December.
  11. Mark Hallerberg & Jürgen von Hagen, 1999. "Electoral Institutions, Cabinet Negotiations, and Budget Deficits in the European Union," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 209-232 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1995. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(1), pages 1-31, March.
  13. Marcel Boyer, 1999. "Les Expos, l'OSM, les universités, les hôpitaux : Le coût d'un déficit de 400 000 emplois au Québec = Expos, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Universities, Hospitals: The Cost of a 400,000-Job Shortf," CIRANO Papers 99c-01, CIRANO.
  14. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1994. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," NBER Working Papers 4637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. McKelvey, Richard D, 1979. "General Conditions for Global Intransitivities in Formal Voting Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1085-1112, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Sutter, Matthias, 2003. " The Political Economy of Fiscal Policy: An Experimental Study on the Strategic Use of Deficits," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 116(3-4), pages 313-32, September.
  2. Joachim Wehner, 2006. "Legislative institutions and fiscal policy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25509, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Dharmapala, Dhammika, 2006. "The Congressional budget process, aggregate spending, and statutory budget rules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 119-141, January.
  4. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2001. "The Effects of Fiscal Institutions on Public Finance: A Survey of the Empirical Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 617, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Grigorescu, Adriana & Balalia, Alina Elena, 2009. "The involvement of the European Union in funding the member states during the economic crisis period," MPRA Paper 25130, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Dietrichson, Jens & Ellegård, Lina Maria, 2011. "Institutions promoting budgetary discipline: evidence from Swedish municipalities," Working Papers 2011:8, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 20 Dec 2012.

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