Politics as a Polycentric Order in Practice: The U.S. Federal Budget System
The Journal of Public Finance and Public Choice, Forthcoming
21 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2018
Date Written: June 2018
Civics students from time immemorial have been taught that there is a strict hierarchy within legislative bodies. In the case of the United States, this view would suggest that Congress is at the center of all legislative decisions and that Congress is responsible for all legislative decisions made. This monocentric view, however, obfuscates much detail regarding the true nature of political decision-making. Abandoning this simplistic view in favor of a richer, polycentric model that emphasizes the role of committees and legislative processes removes this obfuscation and sheds light on the source of the disconnect between the observed outcomes and the stated preferences of the American public. This paper develops such a model, particularly with respect to budgeting and spending processes in the U.S. Senate.
Keywords: Tax Policy, Public Finance, Political Decision-Making
JEL Classification: B53, D72, H21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation