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Does decentralization reduce income inequality? Only in rich states

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  • Tarkan Cavusoglu

    () (Department of Public Finance, Hacettepe University, 06800 Beytepe, Ankara, Turkey;)

  • Oguzhan Dincer

    () (Department of Economics, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790, USA;)

Abstract

We investigate the relationship between fiscal decentralization and income inequality using data from U.S. states over three and a half decades. Our study contributes to the literature in several ways in terms of empirical methodology and specification. First, we take into account integration and cointegration properties of the data and estimate the cointegrating relationship between fiscal decentralization and income inequality using Fully Modified Ordinary Least Squares, following Pedroni (2000). Second, we investigate the direction of the causality. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we investigate if the relationship between fiscal decentralization and income inequality is conditional on income in each state. We find that fiscal decentralization does reduce income inequality, but only in rich states. We also find that causality runs from fiscal decentralization to income inequality, not the other way around.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:82:1:y:2015:p:285-306
    DOI: 10.1002/soej.12047
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/soej.12047
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Xiaohua Chen & Xinyi Zhang & Yuhua Song & Xueping Liang & Liangjun Wang & Yina Geng, 2020. "Fiscal Decentralization, Urban-Rural Income Gap, and Tourism," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(24), pages 1-1, December.
    3. Robert F. Salvino & Gregory M. Randolph & Geoffrey K. Turnbull & Michael T. Tasto, 2019. "The effects of decentralization on special interest groups," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 181(3), pages 191-213, December.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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