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The Infrastructure Gap and Decentralization

Author

Listed:
  • Luis Andres

    (World Bank)

  • Dan Biller

    (World Bank)

  • Jordan Schwartz

    (World Bank)

Abstract

This paper proposes an economic logic for underpinning decentralization in the infrastructure sectors. It starts by detailing the definition of the infrastructure gap and the methodologies to calculate it. It provides some global trends for developing countries in terms of the gap and briefly discusses financing possibilities for developing countries to address the gap. Then it turns to the discussion of the link between the infrastructure gap and decentralization, providing a typology infrastructure subsectors and possible jurisdiction of service provision. It briefly discusses the potential for raising local finances for provision and the relationship between poverty and provision. While it is very difficult to provide blanket recommendations on decentralizing the various sectors and respective subcomponents of infrastructure services, the paper offers a set of guidelines to direct policymakers in their decision to decentralize or not. First, decentralization is intrinsically neither good nor bad for infrastructure; its impact depends entirely on the incentives facing the various decision-makers in the decentralization process; second, decentralization is most fruitful when the decision-makers bear the financial and political cost with respect to design, finance, operation and maintenance; and, finally, political leaders are accountable to their constituents for the manner in which they spend tax revenues and how they use and allocate transfers from the central government.

Suggested Citation

  • Luis Andres & Dan Biller & Jordan Schwartz, 2014. "The Infrastructure Gap and Decentralization," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1406, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper1406
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    File URL: http://icepp.gsu.edu/files/2015/03/ispwp1406.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Andres,Luis Alberto & Biller,S. A. Dan & Herrera Dappe,Matias, 2014. "Infrastructure gap in South Asia : infrastructure needs, prioritization, and financing," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7032, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dan Biller & Luis Andres & Matias Dappe, 2015. "Infrastructure Gap in South Asia: Inequality of Access to Infrastructure Services," ERSA conference papers ersa15p1485, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Andres,Luis Alberto & Biller,S. A. Dan & Herrera Dappe,Matias, 2014. "Infrastructure gap in South Asia : infrastructure needs, prioritization, and financing," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7032, The World Bank.
    3. Andres,Luis Alberto & Biller,S. A. Dan & Herrera Dappe,Matias, 2014. "Infrastructure gap in South Asia : inequality of access to infrastructure services," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7033, The World Bank.

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