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Fiscal Decentralization, Economic Growth, and Democratic Governance

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Abstract

The goal of this paper is to review the state of our knowledge in the economics literature on the causal relationship between fiscal decentralization and economic growth and democratic governance, whether these relationships are uni-directional or bi-directional, and to what extent there appear to exist synergies or pre-conditions between fiscal decentralization, on the one hand, and economic growth and democratic governance, on the other.Little systematic empirical research has been dedicated to testing the strength of the bi-directional links between fiscal decentralization and democratic governance. At the present time, we have little knowledge about whether fiscal decentralization is preceded by the emergence of democratic institutions, whether fiscal decentralization encourages the establishment of local democratic institutions, or whether fiscal decentralization and subnational democratic governance occur at the same time. What we know about these issues is based on case studies and conjectures and observations from particular country experiences. The information base on decentralization and governance has been limited because case studies of the fiscal decentralization systems in particular countries often pay little attention to governance issues.There are strong reasons a priori to argue that there should be a symbiotic relationship between fiscal decentralization and democratic governance. Explicitly, and more often implicitly, democratic governance is widely acknowledged in the economics literature as a necessary condition for effective fiscal decentralization. But clearly, there is wide consensus that the relationship also works the other way. Greater fiscal decentralization, especially the devolution or delegation of tax and financing and spending powers to subnational governments promotes democratic governance through representation and accountability.

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  • Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Robert McNab, 1997. "Fiscal Decentralization, Economic Growth, and Democratic Governance," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper9707, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper9707
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kelly Edmiston, 2000. "Fostering Subnational Autonomy and Accountability in Decentralized Developing Countries: Lessons from the Papua New Guinea Experience," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0005, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    2. World Bank, 2004. "India : Fiscal Decentralization to Rural Governments," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14674, The World Bank.
    3. Philip Bodman & Kathryn Ford & Tom Gole & Andrew Hodge, "undated". "What Drives Fiscal Decentralisation?," MRG Discussion Paper Series 3009, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    4. 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.
    5. Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge & McNab, Robert M., 2003. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 1597-1616, September.
    6. Shahnawaz Malik & Mahmood-ul-Hassan & Shahzad Hussain, 2006. "Fiscal Decentralisation and Economic Growth in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 45(4), pages 845-854.
    7. Roy Bahl, 1999. "Implementation Rules For Fiscal Decentralization," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper9901, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    8. Meloche, Jean-Philippe & Vaillancourt, Francois & Yilmaz, Serdar, 2004. "Decentralization or fiscal autonomy ? What does really matter ? effects on growth and public sector size in European transition countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3254, The World Bank.
    9. Jorge Martinez & Baoyun Qiao & Shuilin Wang & Heng-fu Zou, 2014. "An Essay on Public Finance in China," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 15(1), pages 413-519, May.
    10. Robert M McNab, 2004. "Base Realignment and Closure: Guiding Principles for Peru," Public Economics 0411001, EconWPA.

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