NameRhee, Dong-Young (author), Callahan, Kathe (chair), Riccucci, Norma M. (internal member), Loeb, Peter D. (internal member), Schachter, Hindy L. (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - Newark,
SubjectPublic Adm. (SPAA),
Budget process--United States,
Budget--United States--Econometric models
DescriptionA recurring theme in the field of public budgeting is the conflict between descriptive and normative theory. The literature related to descriptive theory suggests that factors, such as politics, the bureaucracy and economic conditions may dominate the public budget process. However, the current performance-based budgeting strategies are based on normative theory, which assumes performance information will have a direct impact on public sector resource allocations. This study examines this theme in the context of the latest performance-based budgeting effort implemented at the federal level of government: the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART). To inspect whether performance information has any impact on budget decisions in Congress, an analytical model that combines various factors based on the both normative and descriptive theories was developed. The model includes political, fiscal, and bureaucratic factors cited in the descriptive literatures, and performance data provided by PART. Specifically, the research question is: Does the performance information contained in PART ratings have an impact on congressional budget appropriations? Through a series of regression analyses utilizing PART data across 688 programs in 24 federal agencies for a 4 year period, this study reveals that performance information influences congressional appropriations in significant but limited ways. The impact of performance information depends on the magnitude of the descriptive theory factors. Data analysis shows that PART not only provides evidence that performance-based budgeting can work in certain situations, but also implies it being rhetoric where the influence of performance information differs depending on the specific circumstances whether political, fiscal, or bureaucratic. The findings from this research include: 1) Performance information is vulnerable to political preferences, such as partisan goals, stakeholder pressure, and constituent needs. 2) The influence of PART is constrained by federal fiscal conditions. 3) Bureaucratic manager type dictates the patterns of performance and budget integration. Identifying and understanding the specific conditions under which performance information is the basis for resource allocations, in particular budget decisions in Congress, has implications for improving performance-based budgeting systems. When such conditions become clear, the normative theory of basing resource allocation on measurable indicators will be more realistic and powerful.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Dong-Young Rhee
CollectionGraduate School - Newark Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.