OECD Journal on Budgeting

The OECD journal on public sector budgeting, published three times per year. It draws on the best of the recent work of the OECD Working Party of Senior Budget Officials (SBO), as well as special contributions from finance ministries, and makes it available to a wider community in an accessible format. The journal provides insight on leading-edge institutional arrangements, systems and instruments for the allocation and management of resources in the public sector. Now published as a part of the OECD Journal subscription package.

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The metamorphoses of performance budgeting

Performance budgeting (PB) emerged more than 60 years ago as a key driver of budgetary innovation in the United States. Due to its often lofty goals, PB initiatives were rarely successful, but have instead reappeared, in different forms and with new labels.

This article focuses on contemporary PB transformations, explains their rationale and objectives, and assesses their prospects in eight sections. Due to the fact that PB defies standardisation and countries differ in their approaches, the versions discussed here do not fit all venues, nor would all observers agree that they are sufficiently distinguishable from one another to warrant distinctive labels. PB, however, has some basic features that cut across all its mutations, though the way they are framed or applied may differ among the various approaches.

JEL classification: H60, H61, H68

Keywords: Budget allocation, budget framework, expenditures, implementation, line items, performance budgeting


JEL: H61: Public Economics / National Budget, Deficit, and Debt / National Budget; Budget Systems; H68: Public Economics / National Budget, Deficit, and Debt / Forecasts of Budgets, Deficits, and Debt; H60: Public Economics / National Budget, Deficit, and Debt / National Budget, Deficit, and Debt: General
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