PERFORMANCE BUDGETING AND THE USE OF PERFORMANCE INFORMATION AT THE LINE MINISTRY LEVEL: THE CASE OF CHILE
Martinez Guzman, Juan Pablo
Joyce, Philip G
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Many governments around the world have introduced performance budgeting reforms. Despite numerous research papers, lack of clarity remains on whether performance budgeting leads to increased use of performance information for decision-making. This dissertation first analyzes that relation through a meta-analysis of studies of performance budgeting in more than 80 different countries. The findings support two claims found in recent literature: performance budgeting tends to have a greater impact on line ministries than on the executive cabinet and the legislature; and it is not only relevant for resource allocation, but also for management during budget execution. Another finding is that most of the studies do not present any research framework. Consequently, the meta-analysis ends by building a research framework. Motivated by those findings, this dissertation provides an in-depth examination of the case of Chile, which has a longstanding performance budgeting system. The case study is based on a structured comparison of eight units of analysis: four line ministries (selected based on size) and two programs within each line ministry (selected based on availability of performance information). The analysis is based on the research framework proposed in the meta-analysis and uses the process-tracing methodology. The study has three objectives: (1) testing a research framework, (2) having a better understanding of line ministries, and (3) discussing the findings in the context of Latin America. The results confirm the claim that line ministries are the most likely to use performance information, and that performance information is more prominent during budget execution. The results provide important considerations about performance budgeting at the line ministry level. First, centralized information systems may have a limited impact. Instead, decision-making relies on institutional- and program-level monitoring systems internal to each organization. Second, there are intrinsic characteristics that determine how difficult it is to implement performance budgeting. Two examples are the size of line ministries and the types of goods and services that they provide. Finally, the support from those in managerial positions is a critical success factor. The dissertation ends with policy recommendations for Chile, implications for other countries, and a proposed research framework for future studies.