Decentralization and Accountability: The Curse of Local Underdevelopment
AbstractDecentralization of provision of public services has been an important item in the agenda of developing countries. While some scholars and practitioners argue that decentralization is associated with improvements in provision due to higher accountability, others note its potential pitfalls. In particular, decentralization to local communities characterized by poverty, low levels of education, and inequality may lead to low accountability and higher susceptibility to political capture. This paper explores these dynamics empirically, taking advantage of the fact that in Brazilian municipalities primary education is provided by schools under municipal as well as under state management. The performance of these two types of school in the same municipalities is compared in terms of their levels of inputs and the efficiency of service delivery using non-parametric data envelopment analysis (DEA). The results suggest that there are indeed drawbacks to decentralization in municipalities where inequality is higher and education and political participation are lower.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number IDB-WP-397.
Date of creation: Jun 2013
Date of revision:
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
- H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Luis Daniel Martinez).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.