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Fiscal federalism and macroeconomic governance : for better or for worse?

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  • Shah, Anwar

Abstract

In analyzing the institutional environment for macroeconomic management, the author discusses monetary policy, fiscal policy, and subnational borrowing. In analyzing the macroeconomic dimensions of securing an economic union, he discusses the regulatory environment, tax coordination, transfer payments and social insurance, intergovernmental fiscal transfers, and regional equity. Finally, he discusses the challenges of globalization and draws lessons from experience about fiscal reform in developing countries. Among them: 1) Monetary policy is best entrusted to an independent central bank with a mandate for price stability. 2) Fiscal rules accompanied by"gatekeeper"intergovernmental councils or committees provide a useful framework for fiscal discipline and coordination of fiscal policy. 3) The integrity and independence of the financial sector contribute to fiscal prudence in the public sector. 4) To ensure fiscal discipline, governments at all levels must be made to face the financial consequences of their decisions. 5) Societal norms and consensus about the roles of various levels of government and limits to their authority are vital to the success of decentralized decisionmaking. 6) Tax decentralization is a prerequisite for subnational access to credit markets. 7) Higher-level institutional assistance may be needed to finance local capital projects. 8) An internal common market is best preserved by constitutional guarantees. 9) Intergovernmental transfers in developing countries undermine fiscal discipline and accountability while building transfer dependencies that cause a slow economic stagnation of fiscally disadvantaged regions. 10) Periodic review of jurisdictional assignments is essential to realign responsibilities with changing economic and political realities. 11) Finally, and contrary to a common misconception, decentralized fiscal systems offer more potential improved macroeconomic governance than do centralized fiscal systems.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2005.

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Date of creation: 30 Nov 1998
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2005

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Related research

Keywords: Municipal Financial Management; Banks&Banking Reform; Public Sector Economics&Finance; National Governance; Payment Systems&Infrastructure; Municipal Financial Management; Economic Stabilization; National Governance; Banks&Banking Reform; Public Sector Economics&Finance;

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References

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  1. Cukierman, Alex & Webb, Steven B & Neyapti, Bilin, 1992. "Measuring the Independence of Central Banks and Its Effect on Policy Outcomes," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(3), pages 353-98, September.
  2. Prud'homme, Remy, 1995. "The Dangers of Decentralization," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 10(2), pages 201-20, August.
  3. Jun Ma, 1995. "Macroeconomic management and intergovernmental relations in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1408, The World Bank.
  4. Anwar Shah, 1996. "A Fiscal Need Approach to Equalization," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 22(2), pages 99-115, June.
  5. Sheikh, Munir A & Winer, Stanley L, 1977. "Stabilization and Nonfederal Behaviour in an Open Federal State: An Econometric Study of the Fixed Exchange Rate, Canadian Case," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 195-211.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Roy Bahl & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2013. "Sequencing Fiscal Decentralization," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(2), pages 641-687, November.
  2. Anwar Shah & Theresa Thompson & Heng-fu Zou, 2004. "Decentralising the public sector: The Impact of Decentralisation on Service Delivery, Corruption, Fiscal Management and Growth in Developing and Emerging Market Economies: A Synthesis of Empirical Evi," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 2(1), pages 10-14, October.
  3. Maria Balaguer-Coll & Diego Prior & Emili Tortosa-Ausina, 2010. "Decentralization and efficiency of local government," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 571-601, December.
  4. Ligia Melo B., . "Impacto de la Descentralización Fiscal sobre la Educación Pública Colombiana," Borradores de Economia 350, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  5. Jaime Bonet, 2004. "Descentralización fiscal y disparidades en el ingreso regional: la experiencia colombiana," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO SOBRE ECONOMÍA REGIONAL 002282, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ECONOMÍA REGIONAL.
  6. Jin, Hehui & Qian, Yingyi & Weingast, Barry R., 2005. "Regional decentralization and fiscal incentives: Federalism, Chinese style," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1719-1742, September.
  7. Chang Woon Nam & Rüdiger Parsche, 2001. "Municipal Finance in Poland, the Slovak Republic, the Czech Republic and Hungary: Institutional Framework and Recent Development," CESifo Working Paper Series 447, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Jorge Martínez-Vázquez & Robert M. McNab, . "Fiscal Decentralization, Macrostability And Growth," Working Papers 11-03 Classification-JEL , Instituto de Estudios Fiscales.
  9. Iqbal, Nasir & Nawaz, Saima, 2010. "Fiscal Decentralization and Macroeconomic Stability: Theory and Evidence from Pakistan," MPRA Paper 27184, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Jaime Bonet, 2006. "Desequilibrios regionales en la política de descentralización en Colombia," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO SOBRE ECONOMÍA REGIONAL 002293, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ECONOMÍA REGIONAL.
  11. Joaquín Mauricio Zuleta Arango & Lisandro López Marín & Daniel Sánchez García, 2010. "Descentralización Y Disparidades Económicas Territoriales En Colombia (1990-2005)," Observatorio de la Economía Latinoamericana, Grupo Eumed.net (Universidad de Málaga), issue 130, April.
  12. Shah, Anwar, 2004. "Fiscal decentralization in developing and transition economies: progress, problems, and the promise," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3282, The World Bank.
  13. Juan David Barón Rivera & Adolfo Meisel Roca, 2003. "La descentralización y las disparidades económicas regionales en Colombia en la década de 1990," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO SOBRE ECONOMÍA REGIONAL 002975, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ECONOMÍA REGIONAL.
  14. repec:idb:brikps:4018 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Peter Friedrich & Anita Kaltschütz & Chang Woon Nam, 2004. "Recent Development of Municipal Finance in Selected European Countries," ERSA conference papers ersa04p288, European Regional Science Association.

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