The impact of fiscal decentralization on infant mortality rates: Evidence from OECD countries
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.
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Volume (Year): 73 (2011)
Issue (Month): 9 ()
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