Budgeting for Social Equity: Exploring the (Nearly) Unknown

36 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2022

See all articles by Bruce McDonald

Bruce McDonald

North Carolina State University

Sean McCandless

School of Management and Policy

Date Written: February 21, 2022


Public administration has become increasingly concerned with social equity in recent years; however, the incorporation of social equity into the budget process has remained under-explored. In this study, we explore social equity budgeting at the local level. Based on interviews with local government budget directors and analysis of documents, we develop a framework of social equity budgeting that explains the factors—systemic, societal, political, managerial, legal, and others—involved in a local government’s adoption of social equity priorities in the public budgeting process. We identify several themes underlying successful adoption of a social equity lens in budgeting: broad grassroots efforts, receptive elective leaders, extended community engagement, buy-in by public administrators, and continual discussion of how to measure social equity.

Keywords: Social Equity, Public Budgeting, Local Government Finance

Suggested Citation

McDonald, Bruce and McCandless, Sean, Budgeting for Social Equity: Exploring the (Nearly) Unknown (February 21, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4040299 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4040299

Bruce McDonald (Contact Author)

North Carolina State University ( email )

School of Public and International Affairs
Campus Box 8102
Raleigh, NC 27695
United States
919-515-2481 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.brucemcdonald.com

Sean McCandless

School of Management and Policy ( email )

Springfield, IL 62703
United States

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