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Fiscal Decentralization and Public Sector Employment: A Cross-Country Analysis




This paper investigates the relationship between public sector employment and fiscal decentralization. We develop a theoretical framework modeling the interactions between the central and sub-national executives regarding the level of public employment at the central and sub-national government levels. In our empirical work, based on a large cross-country dataset, we find that, ceteris paribus, the level of total public sector employees in a country increases with its level of fiscal decentralization. Even though central government employment decreases with decentralization, this is more than fully offset by the increase in employment at the sub-national level accompanying decentralization. Our empirical results also indicate that the relationship between GDP per capita and public sector employment is not monotonic but quadratic, that total public sector employment is higher in unitary countries vis-à-vis federal countries, and that public employment increases with the country’s international economic openness.

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  • Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Ming-Hung Yao, 2009. "Fiscal Decentralization and Public Sector Employment: A Cross-Country Analysis," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0903, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper0903

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:hpe:journl:y:2016:v:219:i:4:p:137-160 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Juan Luis Gómez-Reino & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2013. "An international perspective on the determinants of local government fragmentation," Chapters,in: The Challenge of Local Government Size, chapter 2, pages 8-54 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    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. World Bank, 2011. "Lao PDR Public Expenditure Review," World Bank Other Operational Studies 20265, The World Bank.
    5. Silvia GOLEM & Lena MALEŠEVIC PEROVIC, 2014. "An Empirical Analysis of the Relationship between Fiscal Decentralization and the Size of Government," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 64(1), pages 30-58, February.
    6. Sebastian G. Kessing & Chiara Strozzi, 2012. "The Regional Distribution of Public Employment: Theory and Evidence," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 079, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    7. Alfred Wu & Mi Lin, 2012. "Determinants of government size: evidence from China," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 255-270, April.
    8. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2013. "Fiscal Decentralization in Peru: A Perspective on Recent Developments and Future Challenges," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1324, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    9. Makreshanska, Suzana & Petrevski, Goran, 2015. "Fiscal Decentralization and Inflation in Central and Eastern Europe," MPRA Paper 77596, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 16 Mar 2017.
    10. Makreshanska, Suzana & Petrevski, Goran, 2016. "Fiscal decentralization and government size across Europe," MPRA Paper 82472, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Michael, Bryane & Popov, Maja, 2011. "The Size and Structure of Government," MPRA Paper 53283, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Bartolini, David & Ninka, Eniel & Santolini, Raffaella, 2017. "Tax Decentralisation, Labour productivity and Employment," MPRA Paper 81070, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. David Cantarero & Patricio Perez, 2012. "Decentralization and regional government size in Spain," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 11(3), pages 211-237, December.

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    fiscal decentralization; public sector employment; public sector size;

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