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Budget Processes: Theory and Experimental Evidence

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ehrhart, Karl-Martin & Gardner, Roy & von Hagen, Jürgen & Keser*, Claudia, 2004. "Budget Processes: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 04-57, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  • 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 listed on IDEAS

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    1. Claudia Keser & Roy Gardner, 1999. "Strategic behavior of experienced subjects in a common pool resource game," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 28(2), pages 241-252.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Dietrichson, Jens & Ellegård, Lina Maria, 2011. "Institutions promoting budgetary discipline: evidence from Swedish municipalities," Working Papers 2011:8, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 05 Aug 2014.
    2. Thomas Demuynck, 2015. "Statistical inference for measures of predictive success," Theory and Decision, Springer, pages 689-699.
    3. Gebhard Kirchgassner, 2002. "The effects of fiscal institutions on public finance: a survey of the empirical evidence," Chapters,in: Political Economy and Public Finance, chapter 9 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. 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.
    5. Wehner, Joachim, 2006. "Legislative institutions and fiscal policy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25509, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. 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.
    7. Gebhard Kirchgassner, 2002. "The effects of fiscal institutions on public finance: a survey of the empirical evidence," Chapters,in: Political Economy and Public Finance, chapter 9 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. 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 313-332, September.
    9. Feige, Christian & Ehrhart, Karl-Martin & Krämer, Jan, 2014. "Voting on contributions to a threshold public goods game: An experimental investigation," Working Paper Series in Economics 60, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Department of Economics and Business Engineering.
    10. Itay Ringel & Asher Tishler, 2011. "The Government Budget Allocation Process and National Security: An Application to the Israeli–Syrian Arms Race," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Conflict, chapter 6 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. Jens Dietrichson & Lina Ellegård, 2015. "Institutions improving fiscal performance: evidence from Swedish municipalities," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(5), pages 861-886, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • H61 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Budget; Budget Systems

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