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Fiscal determinants of empowerment

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  • Raich, Uri
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    Abstract

    Empowerment of local governments and citizens is a primary object of decentralization. Using the analytic lens of empowerment, the author explores the nature of decentralized governance and how this type of structure is likely to be more or less empowering. His primary concern is fiscal decentralization, specifically the association between fiscal determinants and the degree of empowerment of both citizens and local governments. The author's main argument is that both the revenue and expenditure characteristics of local public finances have an effect on the degree of empowerment. His hypothesis is that in a context of decentralized local governance, empowerment is most likely to occur when three conditions prevail: low costs of participation, largeand flexible budgets, and a high proportion of tax revenues from a local base. But these ingredients for empowerment will not necessarily produce outcomes that are progressive and pro-poor. The author contrasts the intrinsic and the instrumental approaches to empowerment, but he does not assess the impact of empowerment on instrumental outcomes. For this hypothesis to support an instrumentalist perspective on empowerment, further empirical work must be conducted.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3705.

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    Date of creation: 01 Sep 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3705

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    Keywords: National Governance; Banks&Banking Reform; Municipal Financial Management; Public Sector Economics&Finance; Urban Economics;

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    1. World Bank, 2004. "India : Fiscal Decentralization to Rural Governments," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14674, The World Bank.
    2. Rajaraman, Indira & Vasishtha, Garima, 2000. "Impact of grants on tax effort of local government," Working Papers 00/1, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
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    Cited by:
    1. Independent Evaluation Group, 2008. "Decentralization in Client Countries : An Evaluation of World Bank Support, 1990-2007," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6543.
    2. Ruth Alsop & Mette Bertelsen & Jeremy Holland, 2006. "Empowerment in Practice : From Analysis to Implementation," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6980.

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