This book provides an introduction to the positive theory of the budgetary process based on the theory of public choice. Although budgetary institutions are very diverse, both between and within countries, the author identifies key elements in the budgetary process that are common to all forms of representative government. The book develops a step-by-step model that can be used to explain and predict budgetary decisions in existing institutions, as well as to analyze institutional change, including cost budgeting and various forms of privatization.
'... Kraan's book represents an impressive and innovative example of how a general shift from normative to positive analysis may shape our insight into complex fiscal matters ... The author is among the very few who have at their command mathematical skill and knowledge of economic theory as well as political and administrative experience ... He explains the material in a way which makes it accesssible also to the non mathematically trained practioners in the field: the main text presents the arguments verbally, supported by very helpful graphical illustrations, whereas technical material is relegated to appendices.' Robert K. Von Weizsacker, The Economic Journal