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Considerations on the Evolution of the National Budget Functions: From Internal Relevance to External Value


  • Alessandro Giosi


The paper is concerned with the interrelationship between the national budget, the role of the State in the economy and the public financial situation existing during different historical periods beginning with the unification of Italy. The paper examines the functions of the national budget during the Liberal, Corporatist and Republican periods, and how these have changed as a result of institutional changes, and developments in the socio-economic situation which have influenced economic policy. We focus particularly on the public accountancy reform of 1923-1924 which, in combination with administrative reform, contained some important innovations. The system that emerged is found to have been clearly connected with that of the previous period, the innovations being based on the tenets of liberal ideology and the efficiency of the public administration. In this context the centralisation of the General Accounting Office in 1923 is seen as the result of actions begun during an earlier period. On the other hand, the national budget continued to carry out the functions of regulating the relationship between the various sections of the Government. Nevertheless, although the necessity was felt at this time to control the financial flows, it is only with the advent of the Republican State that the budget takes on an instrumental role in influencing the economy. During the Republican period, the relationship between the institutions and the economy changed, with public finance becoming the hub of economic development and the national budget developing a new function, with the use of government spending for macroeconomic purposes.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Giosi, 2007. "Considerations on the Evolution of the National Budget Functions: From Internal Relevance to External Value," Accounting History Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 63-85.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:acbsfi:v:17:y:2007:i:1:p:63-85 DOI: 10.1080/09585200601127673

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ingrid Jeacle, 2005. "Accounting and the Construction of Taste: Standard Labour Costs and the Georgian Cabinet-Maker," Abacus, Accounting Foundation, University of Sydney, vol. 41(2), pages 117-137.
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    5. Aida Sy, 2005. "Resurrecting the social Pacioli: ethics, gender and other silences," International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 2(4), pages 441-449.
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