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Politische Rationalität und ökonomische Effizienz in der Haushaltspolitik


  • Rainer Pappenheim


Budgetary policy in the Federal Republic of Germany is viewed by many as being relatively inefficient as measured against the economic principle of Pareto-efficiency. It is shown that the "inefficiencies" in budgetary planning, execution and oversight can be related to the credible commitments that politicians want to give interest groups to ensure that the groups will support them in the future. To enhance political commitment, institutional arrangements - besides reputational considerations - play a decisive role. The incrementalistic budgetary planning process, the inflexible budgetary principles and the superficial budgetary control mechanisms all have commitment advantages, especially compared to so-called "rational" budgeting like the zero-base budgeting. If politicians are able to credibly commit themselves to deliver subsidies, regulations and similar measures to interest groups the groups will be likely to support them with money, information and votes. The author concludes that not only in budgetary policy but also in many other areas of political activity the question of credible commitment has to be considered to explain reality.

Suggested Citation

  • Rainer Pappenheim, 1998. "Politische Rationalität und ökonomische Effizienz in der Haushaltspolitik," Working Paper Series B 1998-11, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultïät.
  • Handle: RePEc:jen:jenavo:1998-11
    Note: Paper is written in german language.

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    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation


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