Centralization, Decentralization, and Conflict in the Middle East and North Africa
AbstractThis paper examines broadly the intergovernmental structure in the Middle East and North Africa region, which has one of the most centralized government structures in the world. The authors address the reasons behind this centralized structure by looking first at the history behind the tax systems of the region. They review the Ottoman taxation system, which has been predominantly influential as a model, and discuss its impact on current government structure. They also discuss the current intergovernmental structure by examining the type and degree of decentralization in five countries representative of the region: Egypt, Iran, West Bank/Gaza, Tunisia, and Yemen. Cross-country regression analysis using panel data for a broader set of countries leads to better understanding of the factors behind heavy centralization in the region. The findings show that external conflicts constitute a major roadblock to decentralization in the region.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4774.
Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 01 Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Fiscal decentralization; intergovernmental relations; Middle East and North Africa;
Other versions of this item:
- Mehmet Serkan Tosun & Serdar Yilmaz, 2010. "Centralization, Decentralization And Conflict In The Middle East And North Africa," Middle East Development Journal (MEDJ), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 2(01), pages 1-14.
- H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
- H87 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods
- N45 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Asia including Middle East
- O53 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-02-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-ARA-2009-02-14 (MENA - Middle East & North Africa)
- NEP-DEV-2009-02-14 (Development)
- NEP-PBE-2009-02-14 (Public Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Cosgel, Metin M. & Miceli, Thomas J., 2005.
"Risk, Transaction Costs, and Tax Assignment: Government Finance in the Ottoman Empire,"
The Journal of Economic History,
Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(03), pages 806-821, September.
- Metin M. Cosgel & Thomas J. Miceli, 2003. "Risk, Transaction Costs, and Tax Assignment: Government Finance in the Ottoman Empire," Working papers 2003-04, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2004.
- Panizza, Ugo, 1999. "On the determinants of fiscal centralization: Theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 97-139, October.
- Ebel, Robert D. & Yilmaz, Serdar, 2002. "On the measurement and impact of fiscal decentralization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2809, The World Bank.
- Metin M. Cosgel, 2004. "Efficiency and Continuity in Public Finance: The Ottoman System of Taxation," Working papers 2004-02, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2004.
- Arzaghi, Mohammad & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2005. "Why countries are fiscally decentralizing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(7), pages 1157-1189, July.
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