Budgetary Devices for Spending Prone Ministers and Bureaucrats
In this paper I study asimple game of the budgetary process. Thegame has three players. A spending proneminister, who proposes a budget, a primeminister, who accepts or vetoes, and abureaucrat who provides non-verifiableinformation about policy. The bureaucratis appointed by the spending minister. Ishow that in this setting public spendingis excessive. This result stems from theproposal power of the minister, and hisincentive to appoint a spending pronebureaucrat. Next, I examine two devices forcontrolling public spending: binding budgettargets imposed by the prime minister, anddelegating veto power to a spending aversefinance minister. It is shown that thelatter device is more effective than theformer device to curb a spending proneminister, because it not only reduces theproposal power of the spending minister,but also induces him to appoint lessspending prone bureaucrats.