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Devolution dynamics of Spanish local government

  • Maria Teresa Balaguer-Coll
  • Diego Prior
  • Emili Tortosa-Ausina

Over the last few years, there has been a devolutionary tendency in many developed and developing countries. In this paper we propose a methodology to decompose whether the benefits in terms of efficiency derived from transfers of powers from higher to municipal levels of government (the ‘economic dividend’ of devolution) might increase over time. This methodology is based on linear programming approaches for efficiency measurement. We provide an application to Spanish municipalities, which have had to adapt to the European Stability and Growth Pact as well as to domestic regulation seeking local governments’ balanced budget. Results indicate that efficiency gains from enhanced decentralization have increased over time. However, the ways in which these gains accrue differ across municipalities—in some cases technical change is the main component, whereas in others catching up dominates.

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Article provided by Pion Ltd, London in its journal Environment and Planning A.

Volume (Year): 42 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (June)
Pages: 1476-1495

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Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:42:y:2010:i:6:p:1476-1495
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  1. DE BORGER, Bruno & KERSTENS, K. & MOESEN, Wim & VANNESTE, Jacques, 1992. "Explaining differences in productive efficiency: An application to Belgian municipalities," SESO Working Papers 1992003, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  2. Martins-Filho, Carlos & Yao, Feng, 2008. "A smooth nonparametric conditional quantile frontier estimator," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 143(2), pages 317-333, April.
  3. Balaguer-Coll, Maria Teresa & Prior, Diego & Tortosa-Ausina, Emili, 2007. "On the determinants of local government performance: A two-stage nonparametric approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 425-451, February.
  4. Maria Teresa Balaguer-Coll & Diego Prior & Emili Tortosa-Ausina, 2010. "Devolution dynamics of Spanish local government," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 42(6), pages 1476-1495, June.
  5. DE BORGER, Bruno & KERSTENS, Kristiaan, 1994. "Cost efficiency of Belgian local governments: A comparative analysis of FDH, DEA and econometric approaches," SESO Working Papers 1994002, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  6. Victor M. Giménez & Diego Prior, 2007. "Long- and Short-Term Cost Efficiency Frontier Evaluation: Evidence from Spanish Local Governments," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 28(1), pages 121-139, 03.
  7. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Robert McNab, 2001. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0101, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  8. Ulrich Thießen, 2003. "Fiscal Decentralisation and Economic Growth in High-Income OECD Countries," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 24(3), pages 237-274, September.
  9. Emili Tortosa Ausina & Diego Prior & María Teresa Balaguer-Coll, 2006. "Decentralization And Effiency In Spanish Local Goverment," Working Papers. Serie EC 2006-02, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  10. Pilar Beneito López & Amparo Sanchis Llopis & María Engracia Rochina Barrachina, 2009. "The role of learning in innovation: in-house versus externally contracted R&D experience," Working Papers. Serie EC 2009-11, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  11. Francisco Requena & Guadalupe Serrano & Joan Martín Montaner, 2009. "The effects of immigration on the productive structure of Spanish regions," Working Papers. Serie EC 2009-01, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
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