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Fiscal Decentralization: A Remedy for Corruption?

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  • G. Gulsun Arikan

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Abstract

This paper examines the effect of fiscal decentralization in a country on the level of corruption. Using a tax competition framework with rent-seeking behavior, it is shown theoretically that fiscal decentralization, modeled as an increase in the number of competing jurisdictions, leads to a lower level of corruption. This result is then tested using a small, cross-country data set. The empirical results are not very strong, but they suggest that the hypothesized relationship between decentralization and corruption may indeed exist.

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  • G. Gulsun Arikan, 2004. "Fiscal Decentralization: A Remedy for Corruption?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 11(2), pages 175-195, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:11:y:2004:i:2:p:175-195
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    1. Randall W. Eberts & Timothy J. Gronberg, 1988. "Can competition among local governments constrain government spending?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q I, pages 2-9.
    2. Edwards, Jeremy & Keen, Michael, 1996. "Tax competition and Leviathan," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 113-134, January.
    3. Nelson, Michael A, 1987. "Searching for Leviathan: Comment and Extension," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 198-204, March.
    4. Bucovetsky, S., 1991. "Asymmetric tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 167-181, September.
    5. Alberto Alesina & Beatrice Weder, 2002. "Do Corrupt Governments Receive Less Foreign Aid?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1126-1137, September.
    6. International Monetary Fund, 1997. "Corruption and the Rate of Temptation; Do Low Wages in the Civil Service Cause Corruption?," IMF Working Papers 97/73, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2002. "Decentralization and corruption: evidence across countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 325-345, March.
    8. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119.
    9. Huther, Jeff & Shah, Anwar, 1998. "Applying a simple measure of good governance to the debate on fiscal decentralization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1894, The World Bank.
    10. Panizza, Ugo, 1999. "On the determinants of fiscal centralization: Theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 97-139, October.
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