Pathways to Citizen Participation: Participatory Budgeting Policy Choice by Local Governments

Skip Krueger, HyungGun Park


The existing literature on participatory budgeting – as one means of citizen participation in local governance – tends to focus on how to stimulate citizen participation in the budget process, and primarily aims to descriptively explain the magnitude of participation or the adoption of specific policy approaches. We investigate participatory budgeting from an institutional perspective and empirically evaluate the choices that local governments make in adopting a specific set of rules for including citizens in the budget process. We suggest that the choice of the type of participatory budgeting policy is predicated on the partisanship of policymakers, the administrative capacity of local government, and citizen’s experience with other forms of direct democracy. To test these hypotheses, we collect information on 224 local governments in South Korea from 2004 to 2013. For each city, we identify the type of participatory budgeting policy they adopt and evaluate that choice in an empirical model. The results provide evidence that the partisanship of local policymakers and the administrative capacity of the local government are associated with different choices about the inclusion of citizens in the budget process.



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Chinese Public Administration Review (ISSN 1539-6754, Online ISSN 2573-1483)  is published by the Institute for Public Service at Suffolk University - Boston.