Synopses & Reviews
The large and persistent deficits observed in many countries and the reform efforts undertaken to strengthen fiscal discipline have been the focus of an active and ongoing research program in political economy. This book draws together contributions from two competing approaches seeking to explain why deficits emerge and persist, the partisan approach and the institutionalist approach. The individual chapters, originally written for a research conference of the Center for European Integration Studies at the University of Bonn, extend previous research and present new empirical evidence. The book also reports on three cases of institutional reform of the budget process in Belgium, Canada and Sweden. Presenting the current frontier of international comparative research in public finance and identifying important elements of the design of budgeting institutions, the book is of interest for the research community studying the political economy of public budgeting and for practitioners in governments and international organizations alike.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Acknowledgements. Part I: Partisan Politics and Debt. 1. On the Redistributive Property of Budget Deficits; L. Lambertini. 2. Parliamentary Dynamics and Fiscal Policy; A. Baldini. 3. Electoral and Partisan Manipulation of Public Debt in Developed Democracies, 1956-90; R.J. Franzese, Jr. Part II: Parliamentary Institutions, Formal Budget Restraints and Fiscal Discipline. 4. The Role of Parliamentary Committees in the Budgetary Process Within Europe; M. Hallberger. 5. Fiscal Constitutions, Fiscal Preferences, Information and Deficits: An Evaluation of 13 West-European Countries 1978 - 95; L. Helland. 6. Information and Public Spending: An Empirical Study of Budget Processes in the US States; R. Strauch. 7. Fiscal Institutions in US States; B. Knight, A. Levinson. Part III: Three Cases of Institutional Reform. 8. Reforming Budgetary Institutions: Swedish Experiences; P. Molander. 9. Institutional Reforms and Belgian Fiscal Policy in the 90s; G. Stienlet. 10. A Case of Institutional Endogeneity? A Study of the Budgetary Reforms of the Government of Alberta, Canada; R.D. Kneebone, K.J. McKenzie. Index.