Participatory Budgeting: Could It Diminish Health Disparities in the United States?

May 7, 2018

Participatory Budgeting (PB) – a democratic process where residents decide directly how to spend a portion of a public budget – is increasingly being implemented in U.S. municipalities. This commentary discusses three theoretical pathways by which PB could affect health disparities in local communities: by strengthening people’s psychological empowerment, by strengthening civic sector alliances and by (re)distributing resources to areas of greatest need. The commentary reviews research on PB’s implementation and outputs so far and outlines priorities for future research and practice.