The federal budget's core and periphery: patterns of budget outcomes
Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management
Article publication date: 1 March 2005
Cluster analysis on detailed federal outlay data from fiscal year (FY) 1962 to FY 1995 shows instead of being incremental or not, the budget is both. Spending is initially volatile but becomes incremental over time and with political entrenchment. The theory of incrementalism needs to be updated to reflect this complexity. Also, patterns show that most spending falls into three main groups, which do not correspond to traditional budgetary classifications, and none of the patterns show any major shifts in response to process upheaval. This suggests (1) rethinking how to analyze budget data, and (2) while processes and decision-makers have changed, the decisions have not.
Berner, M. (2005), "The federal budget's core and periphery: patterns of budget outcomes", Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 437-470. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBAFM-17-04-2005-B002
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