Fiscal decentralization and macroeconomic management
The purpose of this paper is to address a central question in fiscal federalism - whether or not fiscal decentralization implies serious risks for fiscal discipline and macroeconomic management for the nation as a whole. This paper addresses this important issue by drawing upon the existing evidence regarding macro management and fiscal institutions in federal and unitary countries. This is supplemented by cross country regression analysis plus the analysis of two case studies: the Brazilian federation and the unitary regime in China. The main conclusion of the paper is that decentralized fiscal systems offer a greater potential for improved macroeconomic governance than centralized fiscal regimes. This is because the challenges posed by fiscal decentralization are recognized and they shape the design of countervailing institutions in federal countries to overcome adverse incentives associated with incomplete contracts or the “common property” resource management problems or with rent seeking behaviors. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006
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