Fiscal Transparency: When and How Does it Lead to Improved Accountability?

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Decisions about “who gets what, when, and how” are perhaps the most important that any government must make. So it should not be remarkable that around the world, public officials responsible for public budgeting are facing demands to make their patterns of spending more transparent and their processes more participatory.Surprisingly, rigorous analysis of the causes and consequences of fiscal transparency is thin at best.

How and why do improvements in fiscal transparency and participation come about? How are they sustained over time? When and how do increased fiscal transparency and participation lead to improved government responsiveness and accountability? A new book, Open Budgets: The Political Economy of Transparency, Participation, and Accountability, edited by GEG researcher Paolo de Renzio with Sanjeev Khagram and Archon Fung, takes on these and other tough questions about fiscal transparency and participation.