OECD Journal on Budgeting

The OECD Journal on Budgeting is 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, academics and experts in the field 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.

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What are budgeting's purposes?

Comments on OECD's principles of good budgetary governance

OECD’s Recommendation of the Council on Budgetary Governance makes a substantial contribution to discussion of good budgetary practice by synthesising much common understanding while updating it to recognise some lessons from the experience of the Great Recession. Yet its implicit understanding of the purposes of budget processes has weaknesses both as policy and political analysis. The policy understanding overemphasises the importance of budget totals relative to budget details. The political understanding is as top-down as the policy view. Although budgets might be seen as contracts between citizens and the state, in a representative system they are better seen as treaties among citizens negotiated through politics. The Recommendation barely recognizes the existence of and challenges from political conflict.

JEL classification: H00, H60, H61

Keywords: Balance, fiscal policy, information, representation, top-down, United States


JEL: H60: Public Economics / National Budget, Deficit, and Debt / National Budget, Deficit, and Debt: General; H61: Public Economics / National Budget, Deficit, and Debt / National Budget; Budget Systems; H00: Public Economics / General / Public Economics: General
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