Type
Article
Titre
A General Empirical Law of Public Budgets: A Comparative Analysis
Dans
American Journal of Political Science
Auteur(s)
JONES Bryan - (Auteur)
BAUMGARTNER Frank - Department of Political Science (North Carolina Univ.) (Auteur)
BREUNIG Christian - (Auteur)
WLEZIEN Christopher - (Auteur)
SOROKA Stuart - (Auteur)
FOUCAULT Martial - Centre de recherches politiques de Sciences Po (Auteur)
FRANÇOIS Abel - Laboratoire de recherche en gestion et économie (Auteur)
GREEN-PEDERSEN Christoffer - Department of Political and Social Sciences (EUI) (Auteur)
KOSKI Chris - (Auteur)
MORTENSEN Peter Bjerre - (Auteur)
VARONE Frédéric - Département des sciences politiques et des relations internationales (Auteur)
WALGRAVE Stefaan - University of Antwerp (Auteur)
Éditeur
US : Wiley-Blackwell
Volume
53
Numéro
4
Pages
855 - 873 p.
ISSN
00925853
Résumé
EN
We examine regularities and differences in public budgeting in comparative perspective. Budgets quantify collective political decisions made in response to incoming information, the preferences of decision makers, and the institutions that structure how decisions are made. We first establish that the distribution of budget changes in many Western democracies follows a non-Gaussian distribution, the power function. This implies that budgets are highly incremental, yet occasionally are punctuated by large changes. This pattern holds regardless of the type of political system—parliamentary or presidential—and for level of government. By studying the power function's exponents we find systematic differences for budgetary increases versus decreases (the former are more punctuated) in most systems, and for levels of government (local governments are less punctuated). Finally, we show that differences among countries in the coefficients of the general budget law correspond to differences in formal institutional structures. While the general form of the law is probably dictated by the fundamental operations of human and organizational information processing, differences in the magnitudes of the law's basic parameters are country- and institution-specific.

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