as playing a key role in participation effectiveness (Boschken, 1992, 1994; Franklin, 2001).
Others argue that, to have effective participation, public officials must pay attention to the
mechanisms used to gather input (Bryson, 1995; Simonsen & Robbins, 2000). Still others
claim that citizen input is valid only if participants have ranked their preferences and indi-
cated their willingness to pay (Glaser & Hildreth, 1996; Wilson, 1983). Our review of the lit-
erature aggregates the various prescriptions into four groups of factors thought to influence
effectiveness: the structure of the city, the types of participants, the mechanisms used to
foster participation, and the process itself.
To answer the research question about what factors make citizen participation in budget-
ing decisions effective,we start by reviewing the literature in these four areas. Next, we apply
these factors to the cases of two midwestern cities to see how robust the fit is between theory
and practice. This analytical exercise is also useful for identifying areas where cities can
make targeted changes to different variables to enhance the outcomes from participation in
budgeting. We suggest that changing some variables would entail a great deal of time and
effort by certain actors for little change in outcomes. On the other hand, administrative actors
can more easily change some variables and the results could exceed the costs. The contribu-
tion of this form of analysis is that we can test the predictive validityof the extant literature by
organizing it into the four factors. We can use the resulting model not only to explain why a
city achieves a certain level of outcomes but also to suggest where they can target
interventions to improve outcomes from participation processes.
NORMATIVE CONCLUSIONS REGARDING
CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN BUDGETING
Citizen participation in budgeting is a topic receiving much attention in the literature.
Empirical findings and normative prescriptions have simultaneously reached both comple-
mentary and contradictory conclusions. This section reviews literature on the four factors
commonly described as influencing the effectiveness of citizen participation.
Theorists claim that there are several characteristics of a city that make it likely that city
officials view citizen participation as a valuable activity. Three factors related to city struc-
ture have received the most continued attention in the literature: the size of the city, the form
of government, and the legal requirements governing formal opportunities that a city must
provide for citizens to speak about the budget. Concerning the size of the city, Ebdon (2002)
finds that larger cities are more likely to provide formal opportunities for citizen input than
are smaller cities. Part of the explanation for this practice may be that officials in smaller cit-
ies have more opportunity to interact with citizens during informal activities, such as social
club meetings or school activities (Saltzstein, 2003). Professional organizations such as the
International City and County Management Association (ICMA, 1999) and the National
Academy of Public Administration (NAPA,1999) have long touted the importance of citizen
participation, no matter the form of government. However, Kweit and Kweit (1981) suggest
that the city manager form of government, with the presence of a full-time professional
administrator, is more likely to seek citizen input than other forms of government.
Nalbandian (1991) confirms this with his conclusion that the manager has a “commitment to
Franklin, Ebdon / MODEL OF PARTICIPATION IN BUDGETING 169