Rational planning and politicians’ preferences for spending and reform : replication and extension of a survey experiment

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Bert George
  • Sebastian Desmidt
  • Poul A. Nielsen
  • Martin Baekgaard


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1251-1271
Journal / PublicationPublic Management Review
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


The rational planning cycle of formulating strategic goals and using performance information to assess goal implementation is assumed to assist decision-making by politicians. Empirical evidence supporting this assumption is scarce. Our study replicates a Danish experiment on the relation between performance information and politicians‘ preferences for spending and reform and extends this experiment by investigating the role of strategic goals. Based on a randomized survey experiment (1.484 Flemish city councillors) and an analysis of 225 strategic plans, we found that information on low and high performance as well as strategic goals impact politicians’ preferences for spending and reform.

Research Area(s)

  • decision-making, performance measurement, Rational planning, strategic planning, survey experiment

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