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Fiscal decentralization, public spending, and economic growth in China

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  • Zhang, Tao
  • Zou, Heng-fu

Abstract

The authors of this report use data on China to demonstrate how the allocation of fiscal revenue and expenditures between central and local governments has affected economic growth since reforms that began in the late 1970s. They find a higher degree of fiscal decentralization associated with lower provincial economic growth over the past 15 years in China. This implies that fiscal reforms begun in China in the early 1980s have probably failed to promote the country's economic growth. This result is consistently significant and robust in their empirical examinations, and is surprising in light of the argument that fiscal decentralization usually contributes positively to provincial or local economic growth.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 67 (1998)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 221-240

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:67:y:1998:i:2:p:221-240

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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References

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  1. Heng-fu Zou, 1994. "Taxes, Federal Grants, Local Public Spending, and Growth," CEMA Working Papers 78, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  2. Prud'homme, Remy, 1995. "The Dangers of Decentralization," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 10(2), pages 201-20, August.
  3. Zou Heng-fu, 1994. "Dynamic Effects of Federal Grants on Local Spending," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 98-115, July.
  4. Peltzman, Sam, 1980. "The Growth of Government," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 209-87, October.
  5. Barro, Robert J., 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogeneous Growth," Scholarly Articles 3451296, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Shantayanan Devarajan & Vinaya Swaroop & Heng-fu Zou, 1996. "The composition of public expenditure and economic growth," CEMA Working Papers 77, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  7. Bird, Richard M., 1993. "Threading the Fiscal Labyrinth: Some Issues in Fiscal Decentralization," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(2), pages 207-27, June.
  8. Bird, Richard & Wallich, Christine, 1993. "Fiscal decentralization and intergovernmental relations in transition economics : toward a systematic framework of analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1122, The World Bank.
  9. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992. "A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-63, September.
  10. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  11. Edward M. Gramlich & Harvy Galper, 1973. "State and Local Fiscal Behavior and Federal Grant Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 4(1), pages 15-66.
  12. Feder, Gershon, 1983. "On exports and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1-2), pages 59-73.
  13. Oates, Wallace E., 1993. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Development," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(2), pages 237-43, June.
  14. Bahl, Roy W. & Wallich, Christine, 1992. "Intergovernmental fiscal relations in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 863, The World Bank.
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