This primer succinctly summarises key theoretical concepts in fiscal choice for both practitioners and scholars. The author contends that fiscal choice is ultimately a choice of both politics and economics. The book first introduces budget institutions and processes at various levels of government, which restrict budget decision makers' discretion. It also explains budget decision makers' efforts to make rational resource allocations. It then shows how and why such efforts are stymied by the decision makers' capacity and institutional settings. The book's unique benefit is its emphasis on all the essential topics, with short, module-type chapters which can be read in any order.
Preface PART I. BUDGET PROCESS AND INSTITUTIONS 1. Executive Budgeting System 2. Legislative Budgeting System 3. Line-Item Veto 4. Balanced Budget Requirements 5. Tax and Expenditure Limits 6. Rights-Based Budgeting 7. Divided vs. Unified Governments and Fiscal Choice PART II. RATIONAL APPROACHES TO RESOURCE ALLOCATION 8. Zero-Based Budgeting 9. Performance-Based Budgeting 10. Performance-Based Budgeting: Challenges 11. Cost-Benefit Analysis: Measurements and Time Values 12. Activity-Based Costing PART III. INFORMATION CAPACITY AND BUDGET CHOICE 13. Bounded Rationality and Budgetary Incrementalism 14. Stable Interactions Among Budget Actors 15. Disproportionate Information Processing 16. Budget-Maximizing Bureaucrats PART IV. PUBLIC CHOICE AND TAXATION 17. Public Goods and Public Choice 18. Taxation: Revenue Collection and Efficiency 19. Taxation: Equity and Politics of Taxation 20. Measures of Fiscal Capacity and Stress PART V. INTERGOVERNMENTAL FISCAL RELATIONS 21. Intergovernmental Grants: Rationales and Types 22. Intergovernmental Grants: Fiscal Impacts PART VI. MACRO-BUDGETING 23. Macroeconomic Theories: Classical, Keynesian, and New Approaches 24. Macroeconomic Policies: Fiscal Policy, Monetary Policy, and New Policy Suggestions 25. Congressional Macro-Budgeting 26. Mechanics of Debt Management PART VII. NEW APPROACHES TO BUDGET AND FINANCE 27. Emerging Topics