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The consequences of fiscal decentralization on poverty and income equality

Author

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  • Cristian F Sepulveda
  • Jorge Martinez-Vazquez

Abstract

Many countries around the world are currently pursuing policies for poverty reduction and the improvement of income distribution, and most of them are also implementing fiscal decentralization reforms. Although, separately, fiscal decentralization, poverty, and the distribution of income have been the subjects of extensive theoretical and empirical research, to date we have little understanding of what may be the impact of fiscal decentralization on poverty and inequality. We set out to shed some light on those relationships. We describe the possible channels through which fiscal decentralization might affect poverty and income inequalities and carry out an empirical analysis using panel data for a large number of countries. We find that fiscal decentralization may have significant effects on poverty and inequality. In particular, fiscal decentralization appears to lead to increases in the poverty measures we use, but it also appears to reduce income inequality if the general government represents a significant share of the economy (20% or more).

Suggested Citation

  • Cristian F Sepulveda & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2011. "The consequences of fiscal decentralization on poverty and income equality," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 29(2), pages 321-343, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envirc:v:29:y:2011:i:2:p:321-343
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    Cited by:

    1. Jorge Martínez-Vázquez & Violeta Vulovic & Blanca Moreno Dodson, 2012. "The Impact of Tax and Expenditure Policies on Income Distribution: Evidence from a Large Panel of Countries," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 200(1), pages 95-130, March.
    2. Sarah Flèche, 2015. "Distaste for Centralization: Evidence from a Quasi-Natural Experiment in Switzerland," CEP Discussion Papers dp1383, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    3. Ramírez, Juan Mauricio & Díaz, Yadira & Bedoya, Juan Guillermo, 2017. "Property Tax Revenues and Multidimensional Poverty Reduction in Colombia: A Spatial Approach," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 406-421.
    4. Fabio Sánchez & Irina España, 2013. "Estructura, Potencial y Desafíos del Impuesto Predial en Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 011893, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    5. repec:jns:jbstat:v:237:y:2017:i:3:p:225-273:n:5 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Stossberg Sibylle & Blöchliger Hansjörg, 2017. "Fiscal Decentralisation and Income Inequality: Empirical Evidence from OECD Countries," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 237(3), pages 225-273, June.
    7. Tarkan Cavusoglu & Oguzhan Dincer, 2015. "Does decentralization reduce income inequality? Only in rich states," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 285-306, July.
    8. Reingewertz, Yaniv, 2014. "Fiscal Decentralization - a Survey of the Empirical Literature," MPRA Paper 59889, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. repec:oup:jecgeo:v:17:y:2017:i:6:p:1209-1249. is not listed on IDEAS
    10. 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.
    11. Caroline-Antonia Goerl & Mike Seiferling, 2014. "Income Inequality, Fiscal Decentralization and Transfer Dependency," IMF Working Papers 14/64, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Cristian Sepulveda & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2012. "Explaining property tax collections in developing countries: the case of Latin America," Chapters,in: Decentralization and Reform in Latin America, chapter 7, pages iii-iii Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. Gustavo Canavire-Bacarreza & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Bauyrzhan Yedgenov, 2017. "Reexamining the determinants of fiscal decentralization: what is the role of geography?," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(6), pages 1209-1249.
    14. Hernandez-Trillo, Fausto, 2016. "Poverty Alleviation in Federal Systems: The Case of México," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 204-214.
    15. Irina N. Ilina & Carol S. Leonard & Evgenij E. Plisetskij, 2014. "Russian Regional Resilience: Finance, Cooperation And Resource Abundance (A Case Study Of Khanty-Mansiysk)," HSE Working papers WP BRP 15/PA/2014, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    16. Juan Mauricio Ramírez & Yadira Díaz & Juan Guillermo Bedoya, 2014. "Decentralization in Colombia: searching for social equity in a bumpy economic geography," WORKING PAPERS SERIES. DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 011557, FEDESARROLLO.
    17. Yasna Cortés Garriga & Dusan Paredes Araya, 2013. "The Common Municipal Fund: What is the role in the convergence of local incomes?," Documentos de Trabajo en Economia y Ciencia Regional 45, Universidad Catolica del Norte, Chile, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2013.
    18. Makreshanska, Suzana & Petrevski, Goran, 2016. "Decentralization, fiscal transfers and income inequality in Central and Eastern European countries," MPRA Paper 82181, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 16 Oct 2017.
    19. Baja Daza, Gover & Villarroel Böhrt, Sergio & Zavaleta Castellón, David, 2012. "Diseño institucional e incentivos implicitos en la descentralización Boliviana (1994-2008)
      [Institutional design and implicit incentives in Bolivia's decentralization model (1994-2008)]
      ," MPRA Paper 48598, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. repec:pid:journl:v:55:y:2016:i:4:p:781-802 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. José Roberto Afonso & Sulamis Dain & Vivian Almeida & Kleber Castro & Ana Cecília Faveret, 2012. "Reflections on two decades of social-spending decentralization," Chapters,in: Decentralization and Reform in Latin America, chapter 4, pages iii-iii Edward Elgar Publishing.

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