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The impact of fiscal decentralization on infant mortality rates: Evidence from OECD countries

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  • Jiménez-Rubio, Dolores

Abstract

This study re-examines the hypothesis that shifts towards more decentralization would be accompanied by improvements in population health on a panel of 20 OECD countries over a thirty year period (1970–2001). Decentralization is proxied using a conventional indicator of revenue decentralization and a new measure of fiscal decentralization that reflects better than previous measures the existence of autonomy in the decision-making authority of lower tiers of government, a crucial issue in the decentralization process. The results show a considerable and positive effect of fiscal decentralization on infant mortality only if a substantial degree of autonomy in the sources of revenue is devolved to local governments. The proportion of health care expenditure on GDP and, in particular, education, were found to have a larger contribution to the reduction of infant mortality in the sample of OECD countries analysed over the period of study.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

Volume (Year): 73 (2011)
Issue (Month): 9 ()
Pages: 1401-1407

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Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:73:y:2011:i:9:p:1401-1407

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Keywords: Fiscal decentralization; Infant mortality; OECD countries; Error Correction Model;

References

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Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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  1. Dolores Jimenez Rubio, 2011. "The impact of decentralization of health services on health outcomes: evidence from Canada," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(26), pages 3907-3917.
  2. Aurélie Cassette & Sonia Paty, 2010. "Fiscal decentralization and the size of government: a European country empirical analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 143(1), pages 173-189, April.
  3. Filmer, Deon & Pritchett, Lant, 1999. "The impact of public spending on health: does money matter?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 49(10), pages 1309-1323, November.
  4. Robalino, David A. & Picazo, Oscar F. & Voetberg, Albertus, 2001. "Does fiscal decentralization improve health outcomes? - evidence from a cross-country analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2565, The World Bank.
  5. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
  6. Khaleghian, Peyvand, 2004. "Decentralization and public services: the case of immunization," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 163-183, July.
  7. Uchimura, Hiroko & Jütting, Johannes P., 2009. "Fiscal Decentralization, Chinese Style: Good for Health Outcomes?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 1926-1934, December.
  8. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
  9. Montero-Granados, Roberto & de Dios Jiménez, Juan & Martín, José, 2007. "Decentralisation and convergence in health among the provinces of Spain (1980-2001)," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(6), pages 1253-1264, March.
  10. William Nickell, 2006. "The CEP-OECD Institutions Data Set (1960-2004)," CEP Discussion Papers dp0759, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  11. Rodden, Jonathan, 2003. "Reviving Leviathan: Fiscal Federalism and the Growth of Government," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(04), pages 695-729, September.
  12. Ebel, Robert D. & Yilmaz, Serdar, 2002. "On the measurement and impact of fiscal decentralization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2809, The World Bank.
  13. D. Cantarero & Marta Pascual, 2007. "Analysing the impact of fiscal decentralization on health outcomes: empirical evidence from Spain," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(2), pages 109-111.
  14. Dan Stegarescu, 2005. "Public sector decentralisation: measurement concepts and recent international trends," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 26(3), pages 301-333, September.
  15. Dolores Jiménez-Rubio & Peter C. Smith & Eddy Van Doorslaer, 2008. "Equity in health and health care in a decentralised context: evidence from Canada," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(3), pages 377-392.
  16. Nadir Habibi & Cindy Huang & Diego Miranda & Victoria Murillo & Gustav Ranis & Mainak Sarkar & Frances Stewart, 2003. "Decentralization and Human Development in Argentina," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 73-101.
  17. Oates, Wallace E., 1993. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Development," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(2), pages 237-43, June.
  18. Or, Zeynep & Wang, Jia & Jamison, Dean, 2005. "International differences in the impact of doctors on health: a multilevel analysis of OECD countries," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 531-560, May.
  19. Jon H. Fiva, 2005. "New Evidence on Fiscal Decentralization and the Size of Government," CESifo Working Paper Series 1615, CESifo Group Munich.
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