IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ays/ispwps/paper1008.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Moving Beyond Expenditures: Reevaluating the Way We Test Theories of Fiscal Federalism

Author

Listed:
  • Cameron A. Shelton

    (Robert Day School of Economics and Finance, Claremont McKenna College)

Abstract

This paper reviews the literature on the effects of fiscal decentralization on the magnitude and composition of expenditures. There is consistent evidence that vertical imbalance leads to larger general government. The evidence on the effects of balanced decentralization is mixed, depending a great deal on the sample and the fiscal federal margin in question. Theory and case studies suggest such heterogeneity in the comparative effectiveness of fiscal decentralization is due to heterogeneity in the institutional environment by which citizens gather information, register preferences, and monitor officials. Unfortunately, quantifying this institutional heterogeneity remains elusive. More troubling, there is sufficient distance between recorded expenditure and the quality of service delivery that using the former to assess the efficacy of fiscal decentralization is surely inadequate. We then review those studies which progress beyond measures of expenditures to measures of outcomes. Here too, the results of fiscal decentralization vary a great deal and the determinants of that variation remain elusive. There is thus room for clever work highlighting the conditions delivering effective monitoring thereby enabling successful fiscal decentralization.

Suggested Citation

  • Cameron A. Shelton, 2010. "Moving Beyond Expenditures: Reevaluating the Way We Test Theories of Fiscal Federalism," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1008, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper1008
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://icepp.gsu.edu/files/2015/03/ispwp1008.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal Federalism; fiscal decentralization; decentralization;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper1008. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Paul Benson). General contact details of provider: http://aysps.gsu.edu/isp/index.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.