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New Evidence on the Effect of Fiscal Decentralization on the Size and Composition of Government Spending

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  • Jon H. Fiva

Abstract

This paper adds to the literature by utilizing improved data on tax revenue decentralization to reexamine the relationship between fiscal decentralization and the size of government. An econometric analysis using panel data from 18 OECD countries shows that fiscal decentralization matters for both the size and the composition of government spending. Tax revenue decentralization is associated with a smaller public sector, while expenditure decentralization is associated with a larger public sector. The results indicate that the former effect is driven by a reduction in social security transfers, while the latter effect is driven by increased government consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Jon H. Fiva, 2006. "New Evidence on the Effect of Fiscal Decentralization on the Size and Composition of Government Spending," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 62(2), pages 250-280, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(200606)62:2_250:neoteo_2.0.tx_2-2
    DOI: 10.1628/001522106X120659
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Oates, Wallace E, 1985. "Searching for Leviathan: An Empirical Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 748-757, September.
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    3. Lars P. Feld & Gebhard Kirchgaessner & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2010. "Decentralized Taxation and the Size of Government: Evidence from Swiss State and Local Governments," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 27-48, July.
    4. Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2002. "Decentralization and corruption: evidence across countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 325-345, March.
    5. Fiva, Jon H. & Rattso, Jorn, 2006. "Welfare competition in Norway: Norms and expenditures," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 202-222, March.
    6. repec:cup:apsrev:v:72:y:1978:i:04:p:1243-1261_15 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Faguet, Jean-Paul, 2004. "Does decentralization increase government responsiveness to local needs?: Evidence from Bolivia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 867-893, March.
    8. Keen, Michael & Marchand, Maurice, 1997. "Fiscal competition and the pattern of public spending," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 33-53, October.
    9. Philip Grossman, 1989. "Fiscal decentralization and government size: An extension," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 62(1), pages 63-69, July.
    10. Ebel, Robert D. & Yilmaz, Serdar, 2002. "On the measurement and impact of fiscal decentralization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2809, The World Bank.
    11. Pranab Bardhan, 2002. "Decentralization of Governance and Development," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 185-205, Fall.
    12. John Anderson & Hendrik van den Berg, 1998. "Fiscal Decentralization and Government Size: An International Test for Leviathan Accounting for Unmeasured Economic Activity," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 5(2), pages 171-186, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Makreshanska, Suzana & Petrevski, Goran, 2016. "Fiscal decentralization and government size across Europe," MPRA Paper 82472, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Paul Hallwood & Ronald MacDonald, 2008. "A Review of the Empirical Evidence on the Effects of Fiscal Decentralization on Economic Efficiency: With Comments on Tax Devolution to Scotland," Working papers 2008-46, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    3. Michael, Bryane & Popov, Maja, 2011. "The Size and Structure of Government," MPRA Paper 53283, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. repec:kap:iaecre:v:17:y:2011:i:2:p:134-156 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Lars Feld, 2014. "James Buchanan’s theory of federalism: from fiscal equity to the ideal political order," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 231-252, September.
    6. Köppl Turyna, Monika & Pitlik, Hans, 2016. "Do equalization payments affect subnational borrowing? Evidence from regression discontinuity," MPRA Paper 73749, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Reingewertz, Yaniv, 2014. "Fiscal Decentralization - a Survey of the Empirical Literature," MPRA Paper 59889, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Agnese Sacchi & Simone Salotti, 2017. "The influence of decentralized taxes and intergovernmental grants on local spending volatility," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(4), pages 507-522, April.
    9. Maura Francese & Massimiliano Piacenza & Marzia Romanelli & Gilberto Turati, 2011. "Understanding Inappropriateness in Health Care: The Role of Supply Structure, Pricing Policies and Political Institutions in Caesarean Deliveries," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1439, European Regional Science Association.
    10. Antonis Adam & Manthos Delis & Pantelis Kammas, 2014. "Fiscal decentralization and public sector efficiency: evidence from OECD countries," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 17-49, February.
    11. Davide Furceri & Agnese Sacchi & Simone Salotti, 2016. "Can Fiscal Decentralization Alleviate Government Consumption Volatility?," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 27(4), pages 611-636, September.
    12. José M. Alonso & Judith Clifton & Daniel Díaz-Fuentes, 2015. "Did New Public Management Matter? An empirical analysis of the outsourcing and decentralization effects on public sector size," Public Management Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(5), pages 643-660, May.
    13. Johann Bröthaler & Michael Getzner, 2011. "Fiscal Autonomy and Total Government Expenditure: An Austrian Case-study," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 17(2), pages 134-156, May.
    14. He, Qichun, 2015. "Fiscal decentralization and environmental pollution: Evidence from Chinese panel data," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 86-100.
    15. Grisorio, Maria Jennifer & Prota, Francesco, 2015. "The short and the long run relationship between fiscal decentralization and public expenditure composition in Italy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 113-116.
    16. Jia, Junxue & Guo, Qingwang & Zhang, Jing, 2014. "Fiscal decentralization and local expenditure policy in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 107-122.
    17. Jason Sorens, 2014. "Fiscal federalism, jurisdictional competition, and the size of government," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 354-375, December.
    18. Paolo Liberati & Agnese Sacchi, 2013. "Tax decentralization and local government size," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(1), pages 183-205, October.
    19. Agnese Sacchi & Simone Salotti, 2016. "A Comprehensive Analysis of Expenditure Decentralization and of the Composition of Local Public Spending," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(1), pages 93-109, January.
    20. 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.
    21. Arze del Granado, F. Javier & Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge & McNab, Robert M., 2012. "Decentralized Governance and Preferences for Public Goods," MPRA Paper 42459, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal federalism; subcentral fiscal autonomy; size of government; composition of government;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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