CENTRAL GOVERNMENT BUDGET PRACTICES AND TRANSPARENCY: AN INTERNATIONAL COMPARISON
Article first published online: 17 AUG 2007
2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 85, Issue 3, pages 667–716, September 2007
How to Cite
BASTIDA, F. and BENITO, B. (2007), CENTRAL GOVERNMENT BUDGET PRACTICES AND TRANSPARENCY: AN INTERNATIONAL COMPARISON. Public Administration, 85: 667–716. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9299.2007.00664.x
- Issue published online: 17 AUG 2007
- Article first published online: 17 AUG 2007
- Date received 18 August 2005. Date accepted 26 January 2006.
From an international perspective, a relationship between public sector transparency and better economic and social outcomes is something that is increasingly acknowledged. In terms of lack of transparency in budget reports both bureaucratic model and fiscal illusion theory have been argued as explanations. To assess transparency in budget practices we analyse to what extent a sample of 41 countries are meeting OECD requirements according to its Best Practices for Budget Transparency document (OBP). We find an average OBP fulfilment of 56.4 per cent. Transparency is negatively correlated with corruption and positively correlated with economic development. Countries receiving external financial and technical support meet fewer OBP recommendations than countries not receiving it. Considering the political framework, both progressive and conservative governments reach similar transparency levels. OECD members do not significantly fulfil more OBP suggestions than non-members. In respect of 4 variables: transparency, corruption, democracy and development, four clusters of countries arise: top-performing, low transparency-developed, low transparency-developing and worst-performing.