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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Time horizons in budgeting

Public policy-makers operate with all measures of time horizon. They make short-term decisions as well as investments intended to benefit several generations. Though popular myth and public choice theory concur that politicians have their eyes fixed on nothing but the next election, there is a great deal of evidence to the contrary. As a rule there is a blend of time-frames and perspectives in the same actor. Attention leaps back and forth between the proximate and the distant. In their time orientation, elected officials share the ambivalence and volatility of their electorates. “A week is a long time in politics”, Harold Wilson once famously claimed when accused of inconsistency...

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