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

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  • Anwar Shah

    (World Bank Group)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Anwar Shah, 2014. "Fiscal federalism and macroeconomic governance : for better or for worse?," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 15(1), pages 200-240, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cuf:journl:y:2014:v:15:i:1:shah
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Anwar Shah, 1996. "A Fiscal Need Approach to Equalization," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 22(2), pages 99-115, June.
    2. 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 353-398, September.
    3. Prud'homme, Remy, 1995. "The Dangers of Decentralization," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 10(2), pages 201-220, August.
    4. Jun Ma, 1995. "Macroeconomic management and intergovernmental relations in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1408, The World Bank.
    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, pages 195-211.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Iqbal, Nasir & Nawaz, Saima, 2010. "Fiscal Decentralization and Macroeconomic Stability: Theory and Evidence from Pakistan," MPRA Paper 27184, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Juan David Barón R. & Adolfo Meisel R., 2003. "La descentralización y las disparidades económicas regionales en Colombia en la década de 1990," COYUNTURA ECONÓMICA, FEDESARROLLO, September.
    3. Becerra, Ligia Melo, 2004. "Intergovernmental fiscal relations : the Colombian case," Economics PhD Theses 0304, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    4. Jorge Martínez Vázquez & Robert M. McNab, 2006. "Fiscal decentralization, macrostability and growth," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 179(4), pages 25-49, September.
    5. 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.
    6. Jaime Bonet, 2006. "Desequilibrios regionales en la política de descentralización en Colombia," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO SOBRE ECONOMÍA REGIONAL Y URBANA 002293, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ECONOMÍA REGIONAL.
    7. Hehui Jin & Yingyi Qian & Barry Weingast, 1999. "Regional Decentralization and Fiscal Incentives: Federalism, Chinese Style," Working Papers 99013, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
    8. Jaime Bonet Morón, 2004. "Descentralización fiscal y disparidades en el ingreso regional: La experiencia colombiana," Documentos de trabajo sobre Economía Regional y Urbana 49, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    9. 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).
    10. Ligia Melo Becerra, 2005. "Impacto De La Descentralización Fiscal Sobre La Educación Pública Colombiana," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 002802, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    11. Roy Bahl & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2013. "Sequencing Fiscal Decentralization," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(2), pages 641-687, November.
    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. 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," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 2(1), pages 10-14, October.
    14. 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.
    15. HoeJeong Kim & Hadi Salehi Esfahani, 2002. "Hiding Public Debt," Working Papers 0203, Economic Research Forum, revised 10 Jan 2002.
    16. Maria Balaguer-Coll & Diego Prior & Emili Tortosa-Ausina, 2010. "Decentralization and efficiency of local government," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, pages 571-601.
    17. Gerardo Licandro, 2000. "Las reglas de responsabilidad fiscal en el Uruguay," Documentos de trabajo 2000006, Banco Central del Uruguay.
    18. Jin, Hehui & Qian, Yingyi & Weingast, Barry R., 2005. "Regional decentralization and fiscal incentives: Federalism, Chinese style," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 1719-1742.

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