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Who Controls the Budget: The Legislature or the Executive?

27 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2006  

Ian Lienert

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Date Written: June 2005


Country-specific factors prevent a strong linear relationship between the legislature`s budgetary powers and the extent of its separation from the executive. Electoral and voting systems, bicameralism, constitutional and legal constraints, voluntary contracts of political parties, and long-standing traditions all influence the relative budgetary powers of executives and legislatures. Differences in the legislature`s budgetary authority in twenty-eight countries with five different forms of government are examined. It is concluded that differences in budgetary powers within a particular form of government are as great as those between different forms of government.

Keywords: Legislature, executive, separation, presidential, parliament, budget, power

JEL Classification: E62, H11, H30, H50, H61, H83, K10, K40, P48, P51

Suggested Citation

Lienert, Ian, Who Controls the Budget: The Legislature or the Executive? (June 2005). IMF Working Paper, Vol. , pp. 1-27, 2005. Available at SSRN:

I. Lienert (Contact Author)

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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