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Decentralisation and development in post-socialism: local characteristics and outcomes in post-socialist Bulgaria


  • Mieke Meurs


Over the past two decades decentralisation of government has been widely promoted by international development organisations. In former socialist economies, where governance had been extremely centralised, decentralisation seemed a way to build economic efficiency and improve public sector governance from the bottom up. This article examines the experience with decentralisation in Bulgaria at the end of its first decade. It finds that the characteristics of local governments varied greatly and evaluates the impact of varying local government characteristics on economic and social outcomes. There is some evidence that local government characteristics do have a significant impact on performance, but this is impact is outweighed by inherited, historical differences in economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • Mieke Meurs, 2008. "Decentralisation and development in post-socialism: local characteristics and outcomes in post-socialist Bulgaria," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(1), pages 11-32.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:pocoec:v:20:y:2008:i:1:p:11-32
    DOI: 10.1080/14631370701865706

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Angell, Alan & Lowden, Pamela & Thorp, Rosemary, 2001. "Decentralizing Development: The Political Economy of Institutional Change in Colombia and Chile," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199242313.
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