The Impacts of Fiscal Openness: A Review of the Evidence

March, 2015 | By Paolo de Renzio and Joachim Wehner (GIFT) and the International Budget Partnership

Fiscal transparency and participation in budgeting are widely promoted and enshrined in an increasing number of international standards and norms. This paper provides the first structured review of the impacts of “fiscal openness” interventions, based on a database of 38 empirical studies that:

  • empirically evaluate a causal claim about the impact of an element of fiscal openness;
  • have achieved publication as a peer-reviewed academic article, or as a book with an academic press or well-known commercial publisher; and
  • are of sufficient length to qualify as a substantial piece of original research.

The authors elaborate on some aspects of these criteria and note the resulting set of studies for this review. They also examine empirical work that focuses, or otherwise makes a significant contribution to, the evaluation of a causal argument about the impact of fiscal transparency or participation in budgeting.



impacts of fiscal openness gift ibp 2015.pdf

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Paolo de Renzio

Senior Research Fellow, International Budget Partnership

Paolo de Renzio joined the International Budget Partnership in October 2010 as Senior Research Fellow and is based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His research agenda covers a broad range of topics, including budget transparency and accountability, equity and justice in budgeting, taxation and tax expenditures, among others. He also supports the team producing the Open Budget Survey. Prior to joining the IBP, Paolo worked as a Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute; as an economist and policy advisor in Papua New Guinea’s Ministry of Finance; and as a UNDP public sector specialist, lecturer, and independent consultant in Mozambique. He has been a consultant for the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the European Commission, and for a number of bilateral donor agencies and international NGOs. Paolo holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Oxford, where his research focused on the impact of donor policies on budget reforms in developing countries. He also holds an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from ‘Bocconi’ in Milan, Italy.

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