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Essentials of Fiscal Sociology

Conception of an Encyclopedia

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Edited By Jürgen G. Backhaus

The issue whether fiscal sociology is ripe for an encyclopedia is the hidden agenda of this project. The authors are international experts from the old and the new world, from Italy to Estonia, the Netherlands to Russia, and of course, the United States. The essays cover both, the history of fiscal sociology and recent and future issues, such as the making of the Estonian constitution, which emphasizes fiscal austerity, and the emerging European constitution.

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Constitution And The Development Of Organic Budget Law In Estonia Ringa Raudla

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Abstract The paper examines the impact of the 1992 Constitution on the development of the organic budget law in Estonia since 1993. The case study argues that the Constitution of Estonia has played a sig- nificant role in shaping the major changes made to the organic budget law. As a result of the constitu- tional review procedures and constitutional deliberations in the parliament, the budgetary autonomy of the constitutional institutions has increased. While amendments made to the organic budget law have augmented the budgetary powers of the cabinet and constrained the role of the parliament, the Constitution has had a mitigating impact on both of these tendencies, preventing the adoption of more extreme solutions. 1. Introduction A growing body of literature in the field of constitutional political economy is concerned with how constitutions impact on budgetary policies and outcomes. A large number of studies have focused on the influences of constitutional features (parliamentarism versus presidentialism, proportional versus majoritarian elec- toral rules, and unicameral versus bicameral legislatures) on budgetary choices (levels of expenditure, taxation, budget deficit and public debt)1. Another stream of literature examines the impacts of constitutional fiscal rules (for example, bal- anced budget provisions, borrowing restrictions and debt limits) on budgetary outcomes.2 A third line of research discusses the importance of budgetary insti- tutions – usually outlined in organic budget laws – in explaining budgetary disci- pline. Budgetary institutions are a set of rules that guide the decision-making pro- cess in formulating, approving and implementing the budget. They can be...

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