Intergovernmental Transfers and Municipal Finance in Colombia
AbstractFor the past fifteen years, Colombia has been engaged in a grand experiment in decentralization. Since 1986, subnational government spending has increased dramatically, as the regions have assumed greater control of health and education programs and other local services, and an increasing fraction of national revenues have been earmarked for transfer to lower-level governments. This paper examines fiscal data for a large number of Colombian municipalities for the 1985-99 period. Our first goal is to describe the effects of the transfer system on horizontal balance among municipalities. By our estimates, the fiscal capacities of Colombian municipalities differ substantially, which is a major challenge to designing an effective system of decentralization. Our second goal is to draw some inferences from the data about how the current system of transfers has affected the level of local taxation and spending, and the pattern of spending across functional categories. Our data cover a period that straddles the major reform in the allocation of municipal transfers that resulted from Law 60 in 1993. This permits a more accurate assessment of the effects of transfers than has been possible in previous research.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto in its series International Tax Program Papers with number 0403.
Length: 40 Pages
Date of creation: Mar 2004
Date of revision:
Columbia; decentralization; subnational taxes; local taxation;
Other versions of this item:
- Fabio Sánchez Torres & Michael Smart & Juan Gonzalo Zapata Giraldo, 2002. "Intergovernmental transfers and municipal finance in Colombia," WORKING PAPERS SERIES. DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 002915, FEDESARROLLO.
- O54 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean
- H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
- H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
- O18 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-11-22 (All new papers)
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