IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Economics Of Fiscal Decentralization


  • Duc Hong Vo


There is no complete overview or discussion of the literature of the economics of federalism and fiscal decentralization, even though scholarly interest in the topic has been increasing significantly over recent years. This paper provides a general, brief but comprehensive overview of the main insights from the literature on fiscal federalism and decentralization. In doing so, literature on fiscal federalism and decentralization is grouped into two main approaches: 'first generation approach' and 'an emerging second generation approach'. The discussion generally covers the two notions of fiscal decentralization: 'fiscal autonomy' and 'fiscal importance' of subnational governments as the background of the most recently developed index of fiscal decentralization in Vo. The relevance of this discussion to any further development of a fiscal decentralization index is briefly noted. Copyright © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Duc Hong Vo, 2010. "The Economics Of Fiscal Decentralization," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(4), pages 657-679, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:24:y:2010:i:4:p:657-679

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paul Joskow & Jean Tirole, 2007. "Reliability and competitive electricity markets," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(1), pages 60-84, March.
    2. Barker, Terry & Ekins, Paul & Foxon, Tim, 2007. "Macroeconomic effects of efficiency policies for energy-intensive industries: The case of the UK Climate Change Agreements, 2000-2010," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 760-778, July.
    3. Severin Borenstein & Stephen Holland, 2005. "On the Efficiency of Competitive Electricity Markets with Time-Invariant Retail Prices," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(3), pages 469-493, Autumn.
    4. Young, Denise, 2008. "When do energy-efficient appliances generate energy savings? Some evidence from Canada," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 34-46, January.
    5. Sanstad, Alan H. & Howarth, Richard B., 1994. "`Normal' markets, market imperfections and energy efficiency," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(10), pages 811-818, October.
    6. Metcalf, Gilbert E., 1994. "Economics and rational conservation policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(10), pages 819-825, October.
    7. Jaffe Adam B. & Stavins Robert N., 1995. "Dynamic Incentives of Environmental Regulations: The Effects of Alternative Policy Instruments on Technology Diffusion," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 43-63, November.
    8. Lori Bennear & Robert Stavins, 2007. "Second-best theory and the use of multiple policy instruments," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(1), pages 111-129, May.
    9. Boonekamp, Piet G.M., 2007. "Price elasticities, policy measures and actual developments in household energy consumption - A bottom up analysis for the Netherlands," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 133-157, March.
    10. Dermot Gately & Hiliard G. Huntington, 2002. "The Asymmetric Effects of Changes in Price and Income on Energy and Oil Demand," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 19-55.
    11. Louis-Gaëtan Giraudet & Philippe Quirion, 2008. "Efficiency and distributional impacts of tradable white certificates compared to taxes, subsidies and regulations," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 118(6), pages 885-914.
    12. Hausman, Jerry A & Joskow, Paul L, 1982. "Evaluating the Costs and Benefits of Appliance Efficiency Standards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 220-225, May.
    13. Grubb, M. J., 1990. "Communication Energy efficiency and economic fallacies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(8), pages 783-785, October.
    14. Goulder, Lawrence H. & Parry, Ian W. H. & Williams III, Roberton C. & Burtraw, Dallas, 1999. "The cost-effectiveness of alternative instruments for environmental protection in a second-best setting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 329-360, June.
    15. Fischer, Carolyn, 2008. "Emissions pricing, spillovers, and public investment in environmentally friendly technologies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 487-502, March.
    16. Gilbert E. Metcalf & Kevin A. Hassett, 1999. "Measuring The Energy Savings From Home Improvement Investments: Evidence From Monthly Billing Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 516-528, August.
    17. Jerry A. Hausman, 1979. "Individual Discount Rates and the Purchase and Utilization of Energy-Using Durables," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 33-54, Spring.
    18. Jaffe, Adam B. & Stavins, Robert N., 1994. "The energy paradox and the diffusion of conservation technology," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 91-122, May.
    19. Manuel Frondel & Jorg Peters & Colin Vance, 2008. "Identifying the Rebound: Evidence from a German Household Panel," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 145-164.
    20. Ang, B. W., 1999. "Is the energy intensity a less useful indicator than the carbon factor in the study of climate change?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(15), pages 943-946, December.
    21. Awerbuch, Shimon & Deehan, William, 1995. "Do consumers discount the future correctly? : A market-based valuation of residential fuel switching," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 57-69, January.
    22. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2004. "The Social Discount Rate," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1257-1268, December.
    23. Munns, Diane, 2008. "Modeling New Approaches for Electric Energy Efficiency," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 20-26, March.
    24. Torstein Bye & Annegrete Bruvoll, 2008. "Multiple instruments to change energy behaviour: The emperor's new clothes?," Discussion Papers 549, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    25. Mundaca, Luis, 2007. "Transaction costs of Tradable White Certificate schemes: The Energy Efficiency Commitment as case study," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 4340-4354, August.
    26. Peter Grosche & Colin Vance, 2009. "Willingness to Pay for Energy Conservation and Free-Ridership on Subsidization: Evidence from Germany," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 135-154.
    27. Train, Kenneth, 1985. "Discount rates in consumers' energy-related decisions: A review of the literature," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 10(12), pages 1243-1253.
    28. Zhou, P. & Ang, B.W., 2008. "Decomposition of aggregate CO2 emissions: A production-theoretical approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 1054-1067, May.
    29. Woods, James, 2008. "What people do when they say they are conserving electricity," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1945-1956, June.
    30. Daan van Soest & Erwin Bulte, 2001. "Does the Energy-Efficiency Paradox Exist? Technological Progress and Uncertainty," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 18(1), pages 101-112, January.
    31. David S. Loughran and Jonathan Kulick, 2004. "Demand-Side Management and Energy Efficiency in the United States," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 19-44.
    32. Boardman, Brenda, 2004. "New directions for household energy efficiency: evidence from the UK," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(17), pages 1921-1933, November.
    33. Banfi, Silvia & Farsi, Mehdi & Filippini, Massimo & Jakob, Martin, 2008. "Willingness to pay for energy-saving measures in residential buildings," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 503-516, March.
    34. Sue Wing, Ian, 2008. "Explaining the declining energy intensity of the U.S. economy," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 21-49, January.
    35. Hassett, Kevin A. & Metcalf, Gilbert E., 1995. "Energy tax credits and residential conservation investment: Evidence from panel data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 201-217, June.
    36. Paul L. Joskow & Donald B. Marron, 1992. "What Does a Negawatt Really Cost? Evidence from Utility Conservation Programs," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 41-74.
    37. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
    38. Peter C. Reiss & Matthew W. White, 2005. "Household Electricity Demand, Revisited," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 853-883.
    39. Langniss, Ole & Praetorius, Barbara, 2006. "How much market do market-based instruments create? An analysis for the case of "white" certificates," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 200-211, January.
    40. Brons, Martijn & Nijkamp, Peter & Pels, Eric & Rietveld, Piet, 2008. "A meta-analysis of the price elasticity of gasoline demand. A SUR approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 2105-2122, September.
    41. A. Greening, Lorna & Greene, David L. & Difiglio, Carmen, 2000. "Energy efficiency and consumption -- the rebound effect -- a survey," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6-7), pages 389-401, June.
    42. Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2008. "An Empirical Analysis of Energy Intensity and Its Determinants at the State Level," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 1-26.
    43. Lijesen, Mark G., 2007. "The real-time price elasticity of electricity," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 249-258, March.
    44. Maximilian Auffhammer & Carl Blumstein & Meredith Fowlie, 2008. "Demand-Side Management and Energy Efficiency Revisited," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 91-104.
    45. Roca, Jordi & Alcantara, Vicent, 2001. "Energy intensity, CO2 emissions and the environmental Kuznets curve. The Spanish case," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 553-556, June.
    46. Hanley, Nick & McGregor, Peter G. & Swales, J. Kim & Turner, Karen, 2009. "Do increases in energy efficiency improve environmental quality and sustainability?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 692-709, January.
    47. Kenneth B. Medlock, 2009. "Energy Demand Theory," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Energy, chapter 5 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    48. Koomey, Jonathan G. & Sanstad, Alan H., 1994. "Technical evidence for assessing the performance of markets affecting energy efficiency," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(10), pages 826-832, October.
    49. Martin Baughman & Paul Joskow, 1975. "The Effects of Fuel Prices on Residential Appliance Choice in the United States," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(1), pages 41-49.
    50. Hassett, Kevin A. & Metcalf, Gilbert E., 1993. "Energy conservation investment : Do consumers discount the future correctly?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 710-716, June.
    51. Zografakis, Nikolaos & Menegaki, Angeliki N. & Tsagarakis, Konstantinos P., 2008. "Effective education for energy efficiency," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 3216-3222, August.
    52. Brookes, Leonard, 2000. "Energy efficiency fallacies revisited," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6-7), pages 355-366, June.
    53. Mizobuchi, Kenichi, 2008. "An empirical study on the rebound effect considering capital costs," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 2486-2516, September.
    54. Schipper, Lee & Ting, Michael & Khrushch, Marta & Golove, William, 1997. "The evolution of carbon dioxide emissions from energy use in industrialized countries: an end-use analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(7-9), pages 651-672.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Lukas Mergele, 2016. "Are there gains from decentralizing public employment offices?," Working Papers 2015020, Berlin Doctoral Program in Economics and Management Science (BDPEMS).
    2. Petretto Alessandro, 2013. "Need Equalization Transfers and Productive Efficiency of Local Governments," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 25-46.
    3. Emilie Caldeira & Martial Foucault & Gregoire Rota-Graziosi, 2015. "Decentralization in Africa and the nature of local governments’ competition: evidence from Benin," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(6), pages 1048-1076, December.
    4. Christian Melly, 2012. "Local Government Indebtedness and Debt Management in Switzerland. Causes and Consequences," Public Finance Quarterly, State Audit Office of Hungary, vol. 57(2), pages 164-172.
    5. repec:spr:qualqt:v:51:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s11135-016-0386-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Lisa Grazzini & Alessandro Petretto, 2012. "Voting on devolution in a federal country with a bicameral national system," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 51-72, March.
    7. Fiorenza Carraro & Andrea Zatti, 2012. "Decentralized environmental taxation: a preliminary assessment," Chapters,in: Carbon Pricing, Growth and the Environment, chapter 3, pages 33-49 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Michele Cincera & Antonio Estache & Wolf Alexander, 2012. "Would Less Fiscal Decentralization Reduce Public Sector Size across Sectors in Europe ?," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2012-028, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    9. Andrea Zatti & Fiorenza Carraro, 2013. "Environmental taxation and municipal fiscal federalism: remarks and perspectives on the Italian case study," ECONOMICS AND POLICY OF ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2013(2), pages 61-92.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:24:y:2010:i:4:p:657-679. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.