Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Political Science & Public Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Blue Wooldridge

Second Advisor

Dr. Tracy Tuten Ryan


Public budgeting has become a central artifact of American government – the principal means for establishing and implementing policy. Modern public budgeting was introduced in the early Twentieth Century as an adaptation of objects of revenue and expenditure budgeting used in commercial businesses. Since then - over a hundred years - a series of budget reform movements have sought to overcome a major drawback to this model: the lack of a direct link between revenues and expenditures and any measure of the quality or quantity of public benefits derived from budget allocations. While a number of major budget reforms have come and gone (or came and stayed), that provided additional information on government activities linked to allocations, little research has been done to assess whether this new information has actually been used in the legislative budget decision making process, and if so, whether it influenced final budget decisions. Framing theory holds that information about a problem presented in different ways will be perceived as a different problem by decision-makers. Using framing theory as a theoretical basis, a laboratory experiment was conducted, where groups using budgets differently framed budget documents deliberated over an identical budget scenario. It was found that the nature of the debate did vary based on type of framed budget, but that the final allocations were not significantly different.This document was prepared using Microsoft WORD 2003


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008