Budget Right and Democracy: Empirical Evidence from OECD Countries
The right to budget, means that the public has a say in the determination of expenditures and revenues, which are public financial decisions. In this context, the existence and effective functioning of the budget right is a definite expression of the will of the people in a country. Democracy, on the other hand, is a form of government in which sovereignty, including financial decisions, belongs to the people. In the historical process, as the right to budget has developed, democracies have also developed. The budget right has been used for many years on behalf of the people, by the representatives elected by the people. However, in periods when representative democracy is in crisis, the use of the budget right is damaged. In the light of the relevant literature, this study argues that democracy and the right to budget express interrelated and complementary processes. The increase in democratic values facilitates the establishment and use of the budget right. Based on the idea that there is a democracy deficit in an environment where the right to the budget cannot be exercised, an answer is sought in the dimension of democracy to the question of how the right to the budget can be improved. Evidence is provided that the implementation of transparency, participation and accountability, which is linked to the basic principles of democracy and strengthens the right to the budget, both strengthens the democratic structure and facilitates the exercise of the right to the budget.In this study, the effect of democratic values on the right to the budget was examined through an empirical analysis. The data of 19 OECD member countries on the open budget index, democracy index, political stability index, per capita income variables for the period 2012-2021 were analyzed through panel regression analysis. As a result of econometric analysis, a positive and significant relationship was found between budget transparency and democracy. It has been observed that the relationship between budget transparency and democracy, which expresses the research subject and the main hypothesis, is supported. It has been concluded that more democratic countries provide more budget transparency and consequently facilitate the use of the budget right. Similarly, a positive and significant relationship was found between other independent variables discussed in the study and budget transparency, and evidence was obtained that these factors also contribute to the budget transparency process.
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