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Identifying and Disentangling the Impact of Fiscal Decentralization on Economic Growth

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  • Gustavo Canavire-Bacarreza

    (Inter-American Development Bank)

  • Jorge Martinez-Vazquez

    (International Center for Public Policy, Georgia State University, USA)

  • Bauyrzhan Yedgenov

    (International Center for Public Policy, Georgia State University, USA)

Abstract

This paper revisits the relationship between fiscal decentralization and economic growth by addressing the endogeneity issue stemming from reverse causality and unobserved factors that has plagued the extensive previous literature on this subject. In our approach, we use the Geographic Fragmentation Index (GFI) and country size as instrumental variables, which we argue are strong and consistent instruments for fiscal decentralization. Empirically, we find that indeed both instruments are strong and valid in the first stage of estimation and that on average, a 10-percent increase in subnational expenditure or revenue shares—the conventional measures of decentralization—will increase GDP per capita growth by approximately 0.4 percentage points; however, the results differ for developed versus developing countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Gustavo Canavire-Bacarreza & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Bauyrzhan Yedgenov, 2019. "Identifying and Disentangling the Impact of Fiscal Decentralization on Economic Growth," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1903, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper1903
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    3. Fei Guo & Isabel Kit-Ming Yan, 2021. "Fiscal Decentralization and Fiscal Multiplier in China," GRU Working Paper Series GRU_2021_026, City University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics and Finance, Global Research Unit.

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    JEL classification:

    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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