Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. J. Kevin Corder

Second Advisor

Dr. John Clark

Third Advisor

Dr. Susan Hoffmann

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


My research will entail examining the budget processes of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Fairfield, California. The difference between these two cities and their budgets is that Fairfield implemented an expenditure control budget, and Kalamazoo operates with a traditional budget. The purpose of this Master’s Thesis is to compare and contrast Fairfield's performance with their expenditure control budget to Kalamazoo, a city of approximately the same size in terms of population, square mileage, and local governance as Fairfield, but operates with a traditional city budget.

This study revisits the empirical claims made by Osborne and Gaebler (1992), which illustrates Fairfield, California as a successful model for budget innovation and performance. This study promises to advance our empirical understanding of how these innovative budgets work and to extend theoretical approaches to reinventing government that have proliferated in public administration over the past 15 years. Much of the prior empirical work that this research project entails is anecdotal and limited. The research that I carry out permits a long-term test of some of the claims made about the effects of entrepreneurial budgeting - claims that were initially made with only a few years experience.