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The impact of fiscal decentralization on infant mortality rates: Evidence from OECD countries

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  • Jiménez-Rubio, Dolores

Abstract

This study re-examines the hypothesis that shifts towards more decentralization would be accompanied by improvements in population health on a panel of 20 OECD countries over a thirty year period (1970–2001). Decentralization is proxied using a conventional indicator of revenue decentralization and a new measure of fiscal decentralization that reflects better than previous measures the existence of autonomy in the decision-making authority of lower tiers of government, a crucial issue in the decentralization process. The results show a considerable and positive effect of fiscal decentralization on infant mortality only if a substantial degree of autonomy in the sources of revenue is devolved to local governments. The proportion of health care expenditure on GDP and, in particular, education, were found to have a larger contribution to the reduction of infant mortality in the sample of OECD countries analysed over the period of study.

Suggested Citation

  • Jiménez-Rubio, Dolores, 2011. "The impact of fiscal decentralization on infant mortality rates: Evidence from OECD countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(9), pages 1401-1407.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:73:y:2011:i:9:p:1401-1407
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.07.029
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Castro, Marcelo Araújo & Mattos, Enlinson & Patriota, Fernanda, 2016. "Spatial spillovers and political coordination in public health provision," Textos para discussão 417, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    2. David Bartolini & Agnese Sacchi & Domenico Scalera & Alberto Zazzaro, 2018. "The closer the better? Institutional distance and information blurring in a political agency model," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 146, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
    3. Mattos, Enlinson & Ribeiro, Fernanda Patriota Salles, 2015. "Unconditional transfers goes to health? Evidence from Brazilian municipalities," Textos para discussão 376, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).

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