Fiscal institutions

Authored by: Joachim Wehner

Routledge Handbook of Comparative Political Institutions

Print publication date:  April  2015
Online publication date:  April  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415630887
eBook ISBN: 9781315731377
Adobe ISBN: 9781317551799


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The last two decades have seen a substantial growth in the comparative literature on the design of fiscal (or budget) institutions and their effects. Fiscal institutions are the rules and procedures that govern the budgetary process. The budgetary process covers the development of a draft budget by the executive, legislative review and approval, the execution of the budget during the fiscal year, and the production of annual accounts and their audit. For instance, the rules of the budgetary process determine whether the finance minister, prime minister, or president can impose ceilings on spending bids by individual line ministers, while amendment powers in relation to tax and spending bills determine the scope for legislators to influence budgetary choices. Such rules and procedures are often codified in law, but they can also be deeply entrenched conventions.

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