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Fiscal Decentralization and Governance

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  • Yener AltunbaÅŸ
  • John Thornton

Abstract

The literature on the economics of fiscal decentralization stresses the potential for both positive and negative effects on governance in a country. Using a data set comprising sixty-four developed and developing economies and several different measures of fiscal decentralization, the authors find that countries in which a larger share of fiscal revenues and expenditures are located at the level of subnational governments appear to be less corrupt. The authors also find that the beneficial impact of fiscal decentralization on corruption is mitigated in the presence of mechanisms enforcing vertical administrative decentralization. The results indicate that fiscal decentralization appears to reduce corruption even in countries in which there is a high degree of political representation. The results are robust to alternative estimation methodologies and to specifications that control for the influence of variables that have been identified as affecting governance.

Suggested Citation

  • Yener AltunbaÅŸ & John Thornton, 2012. "Fiscal Decentralization and Governance," Public Finance Review, , vol. 40(1), pages 66-85, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:pubfin:v:40:y:2012:i:1:p:66-85
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thornton, John, 2007. "Further evidence on revenue decentralization and inflation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 140-145, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Smoke, Paul, 2016. "Looking Beyond Conventional Intergovernmental Fiscal Frameworks: Principles, Realities, and Neglected Issues," ADBI Working Papers 606, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    2. repec:bla:jecsur:v:31:y:2017:i:4:p:1095-1129 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Santiago Lago-Peñas & Agnese Sacchi, 2017. "The Impact Of Fiscal Decentralization: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(4), pages 1095-1129, September.
    4. Paul Smoke, 2013. "Why Theory and Practice are Different: The Gap Between Principles and Reality in Subnational Revenue Systems," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1313, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    5. Paul Smoke, 2014. "Why theory and practice are different: The gap between principles and reality in subnational revenue systems," Chapters,in: Taxation and Development: The Weakest Link?, chapter 9, pages 287-325 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Kumara, Ajantha Sisira & Handapangoda, Wasana Sampath, 2014. "Political environment a ground for public sector corruption? Evidence from a cross-country analysis," MPRA Paper 54721, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 22 Mar 2014.
    7. Keith Blackburn & Gareth Downing, 2015. "Deconcentration, Corruption and Economic Growth," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 209, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
    8. Takaaki Masaki, 2016. "The impact of intergovernmental transfers on local revenue generation in Africa Evidence from Tanzania," WIDER Working Paper Series 113, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal decentralization; governance; corruption; cross section; panel estimation;

    JEL classification:

    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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