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Fiscal decentralization and macroeconomic management


  • Anwar Shah



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

Suggested Citation

  • Anwar Shah, 2006. "Fiscal decentralization and macroeconomic management," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 13(4), pages 437-462, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:13:y:2006:i:4:p:437-462 DOI: 10.1007/s10797-006-8948-1

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Di Porto Edoardo & Revelli Federico, 2009. "Central Command, Local Hazard and the Race to the Top," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 200909, University of Turin.
    2. Oto-Peralías, Daniel & Romero-Ávila, Diego & Usabiaga, Carlos, 2013. "Does fiscal decentralization mitigate the adverse effects of corruption on public deficits?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 205-231.
    3. Norman Gemmell & Richard Kneller & Ismael Sanz, 2013. "Fiscal Decentralization And Economic Growth: Spending Versus Revenue Decentralization," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(4), pages 1915-1931, October.
    4. Usman Mustafa, 2011. "Fiscal Federalism in Pakistan: The 7th National Finance Commission Awardand Its Implications," PIDE-Working Papers 2011:73, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
    5. Muhammad Shahbaz & Nanthakumar Loganathan & Nooreen Mujahid & Amjad Ali & Ahmed Nawaz, 2016. "Determinants of Life Expectancy and its Prospects Under the Role of Economic Misery: A Case of Pakistan," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 126(3), pages 1299-1316, April.
    6. Iqbal, Nasir & Nawaz, Saima, 2010. "Fiscal Decentralization and Macroeconomic Stability: Theory and Evidence from Pakistan," MPRA Paper 27184, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Amjad Ali & Nooreen Mujahid & Yahya Rashid & Muhammad Shahbaz, 2015. "Human Capital Outflow and Economic Misery: Fresh Evidence for Pakistan," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 124(3), pages 747-764, December.
    8. Raffaele Lagravinese & Paolo Liberati & Agnese Sacchi, 2016. "The growth and variability of local taxes: An application to the Italian regions," Working Papers. Collection B: Regional and sectoral economics 1601, Universidade de Vigo, GEN - Governance and Economics research Network.
    9. Santiago Lago-Peñas & Agnese Sacchi & Pablo Simon-Cosano, 2014. "Who honor the rules of federalism? Party system nationalization and fiscal performance," Working Papers. Collection A: Public economics, governance and decentralization 1409, Universidade de Vigo, GEN - Governance and Economics research Network.
    10. Philip Bodman & Harry Campbell & Kelly-Ana Heaton & Andrew Hodge, "undated". "Fiscal Decentralisation, Macroeconomic Conditions and Economic Growth in Australia," MRG Discussion Paper Series 2609, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    11. Patonov Nikolay Andonov, 2013. "Searching for A Restraint on the European Leviathan," Scientific Annals of Economics and Business, De Gruyter Open, vol. 60(2), pages 1-16, December.
    12. Md. Samsul Alam & Muhammad Shahbaz & Sudharshan Reddy Paramati, 2016. "The Role of Financial Development and Economic Misery on Life Expectancy: Evidence from Post Financial Reforms in India," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 128(2), pages 481-497, September.
    13. Makreshanska, Suzana & Petrevski, Goran, 2015. "Fiscal Decentralization and Inflation in Central and Eastern Europe," MPRA Paper 77596, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 16 Mar 2017.


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