This article assesses a rational-choice model of bureaucratic behaviour - the bureau-shaping model - as an explanation of budget-making in British local government. The bureau-shaping model is essentially a reconstructed rational-choice model of bureaucratic behaviour in liberal democratic states, which emerged from critiques of its rival budgetmaximising model. The explanatory power of the bureau-shaping model is significantly superior to the budget-maximising model. However, the explanatory power of the bureaushaping model is limited because, as a supply-side model, it cannot explain how budgets are demanded and controlled by political sponsors, who in turn are constrained politically. Budgetary decision-making takes place in a political arena where both supply and demand are mediated; a supply-side model, at best, can explain only half the budget-story.
Cope, S. (2000), "Assessing rational-choice models of budgeting--from budget-maximising to bureaushaping: a case study of british local government", Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 598-624. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBAFM-12-04-2000-B004
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2000 by PrAcademics Press