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Biennial Budgeting for the Federal Government: Lessons from the States


  • Charles Whalen

    (The Jerome Levy Economics Institute)


Proposals that would establish a two-year budget and appropriations cycle for the U.S. government have been offered by both Democrats and Republicans in recent years. This article analyzes the potential impact on such budgeting. The first section examines the budget period in theory and practice. The second section introduces federal biennial- budgeting proposals and the core arguments offered in support of this reform. The next three sections draw heavily on studies of state budgeting -- including a new biennial-budgeting survey prepared by the state of New Jersey -- to evaluate these arguments. The article concludes the federal budget process can be structure in a way that permits the advantages of biennial budgeting to outweigh its disadvantages.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Whalen, 1998. "Biennial Budgeting for the Federal Government: Lessons from the States," Macroeconomics 9810008, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:9810008 Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; prepared on IBM PC; to print on PostScript; pages: 37; figures: included

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rivlin, Alice M, 1984. "Reform of the Budget Process," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 133-137, May.
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    JEL classification:

    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics

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