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Budget Processes and Commitment to Fiscal Discipline


  • International Monetary Fund


This paper develops a political-economy model of the budget process focusing on the common pool problem of the public budget. We show that the externality arising from the fact that public spending tends to be targeted at individual groups in society while the tax burden is widely dispersed creates a bias towards excessive expenditures and debt. This bias can be reduced by introducing elements of centralization in the budget process, that is, institutional structures that strengthen a comprehensive view of the budget over the particularistic view of the spending ministers and the members of parliament. Using examples from EC countries, we show how budget processes lack or possess such elements. We then present empirical evidence supporting the claim that centralizing elements reduce the deficit bias. The last section concludes with models for reform of the budget process.

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  • International Monetary Fund, 1996. "Budget Processes and Commitment to Fiscal Discipline," IMF Working Papers 96/78, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:96/78

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sophia Gollwitzer, 2011. "Budget Institutions and Fiscal Performance in Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 20(1), pages 111-152, January.
    2. Arturo Galindo & Carlos Scartascini & J. Mark Payne & Robert Daughters & Alberto Melo & Koldo Echebarría & Eduardo Lora & Gabriel Filc & Alejandro Micco & Alberto E. Chong & Ugo Panizza & Juan Benavid, 2007. "The State of State Reform in Latin America," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 59578 edited by Eduardo Lora, February.
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