Intergovernmental Transfers: The Vertical Sharing Dimension
There are two dimensions to the structure of an intergovernmental transfer: the vertical share and the horizontal share (Bahl and Linn, 19921). The vertical share is the total pool of funds to be allocated to subnational governments, while the horizontal shares are the amounts received by eligible local governments. Most research (and most political attention) is devoted to the latter. The subject of this paper is vertical sharing. We have three goals. The first is a quantitative analysis of trends and cross-country variations in vertical sharing. In particular, we are interested in what explains the vertical share and whether there has been an increase in the importance of intergovernmental fiscal transfers and in the question of what explains the cross-country variations in this importance. The second is a description of the range of the practice in vertical sharing. Finally, we offer some criteria by which the impact of vertical sharing might be evaluated.
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