Rational Planning and Politicians' Preferences for Spending and Reform: Replication and Extension of a Survey Experiment

Bert George, Sebastian Deschmidt, Poul Aaes Nielsen, Martin Bækgaard

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Abstract

The rational planning cycle of formulating strategic goals and using performance information to assess goal implementation is assumed to assist decision-making by politicians. Empirical evidence supporting this assumption is scarce. Our study replicates a Danish experiment on the relation between performance information and politicians‘ preferences for spending and reform and extends this experiment by investigating the role of strategic goals. Based on a randomized survey experiment (1.484 Flemish city councillors) and an analysis of 225 strategic plans, we found that information on low and high performance as well as strategic goals impact politicians’ preferences for spending and reform.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Management Review
Volume19
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)1251-1271
ISSN1471-9037
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21. Oct 2017

Keywords

  • Rational planning
  • decision-making
  • performance measurement
  • strategic planning
  • survey experiment

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