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A Review of the Empirical Evidence on the Effects of Fiscal Decentralization on Economic Efficiency: With Comments on Tax Devolution to Scotland

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  • Paul Hallwood

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Ronald MacDonald

    (University of Glasgow)

Abstract

This paper reviews the existing empirical evidence on tax decentralization ("tax .devolution") from central government to sub-central government. Sub-central government is taken to be levels above the local level: such as within the UK at the level of Scottish government/executive in Edinburgh, and at the provincial government level in Canada or Spain. Our interpretation of the literature is that there is increasing empirical support for the proposition that tax decentralization helps in promoting economic efficiency and economic growth. It is noted that a distinction must be drawn between tax decentralization and spending decentralization. Where tax decentralization follows spending decentralization - as would be the Scottish case, any adverse economic effects emanating from spending decentralization cannot be blamed on tax decentralization. Indeed, as we argue elsewhere, tax decentralization has the potential of correcting any negative economic effects caused by spending decentralization.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2008-46.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2008-46

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Related research

Keywords: tax decentralization; tax devolution; taxes and economic efficiency; taxes and economic growth;

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References

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  1. Brennan,Geoffrey & Buchanan,James M., 2006. "The Power to Tax," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521027922, April.
  2. Adam, Antonis & Delis, Manthos D & Kammas, Pantelis, 2012. "Fiscal decentralization and public sector efficiency: Evidence from OECD countries," MPRA Paper 36889, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. P Hallwood & R.MacDonald, . "A Restatement of the Case for Fiscal Autonomy (or: The Barnett Formula - a formula for Rake's Progress)," Working Papers 2006_14, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  4. R W Bahl & S Nath, 1986. "Public expenditure decentralization in developing countries," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 4(4), pages 405-418, August.
  5. Ulrich Thießen, 2000. "Fiscal Federalism in Western European and Selected Other Countries: Centralization or Decentralization? What Is Better for Economic Growth?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 224, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  6. Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge & McNab, Robert M., 2003. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 1597-1616, September.
  7. Josep Lluís Carrion-i-Silvestre & Marta Espasa & Toni Mora, 2008. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth in Spain," Public Finance Review, , vol. 36(2), pages 194-218, March.
  8. Philip Grossman, 1989. "Fiscal decentralization and government size: An extension," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 62(1), pages 63-69, July.
  9. Stansel, Dean, 2005. "Local decentralization and local economic growth: A cross-sectional examination of US metropolitan areas," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 55-72, January.
  10. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1997. "I just ran four million regressions," Economics Working Papers 201, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  11. Akai, Nobuo & Sakata, Masayo, 2002. "Fiscal decentralization contributes to economic growth: evidence from state-level cross-section data for the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 93-108, July.
  12. Robert J. Barro, 1988. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 2588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Stegarescu, Dan & Büttner, Thiess & Behnisch, Alexej, 2002. "Public Sector Centralization and Productivity Growth: Reviewing the German Experience," ZEW Discussion Papers 02-03, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  14. Fritz Breuss & Markus Eller, 2004. "The Optimal Decentralisation of Government Activity: Normative Recommendations for the European Constitution," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 27-76, 03.
  15. Jon H. Fiva, 2006. "New Evidence on the Effect of Fiscal Decentralization on the Size and Composition of Government Spending," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 62(2), pages 250-280, June.
  16. Xie, Danyang & Zou, Heng-fu & Davoodi, Hamid, 1999. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth in the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 228-239, March.
  17. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2001. "The Effects of Fiscal Institutions on Public Finance: A Survey of the Empirical Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 617, CESifo Group Munich.
  18. Raj M. Desai & Lev M. Freinkman & Itzhak Goldberg, 2003. "Fiscal federalism and regional growth : evidence from the Russian Federation in the 1990s," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3138, The World Bank.
  19. Lee, Young & Gordon, Roger H., 2005. "Tax structure and economic growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 1027-1043, June.
  20. Ronald MacDonald & Paul Hallwood, 2004. "The Economic Case for Fiscal Federalism in Scotland," Working papers 2004-42, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
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