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Decentralization, Corruption and Government Accountability: An Overview

  • Pranab Bardhan

    (University of California at Berkeley)

  • Dilip Mookherjee

    ()

    (Institute for Economic Development, Boston University)

The impact of government decentralization on economic performance and growth is a hotly contested issue. Waves of decentralization occurred in many developing countries over the past few decades, following the demise of a development paradigm in which centralized states played a leading role (see for instance, case studies of decentralization covering over half the world’s population in Bardhan and Mookherjee 2005b). The trends toward greater decentralization has been motivated by disenchantment with previous centralized modes of governance, owing partly to a perception that monolithic government bred high levels of rent-seeking, corruption and lack of accountability of government officials. An important research question, therefore, concerns the effects of decentralization on corruption. Can decentralization be a useful institutional reform to reduce corruption, or might corruption increase as political power shifts downward?

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Paper provided by Boston University - Department of Economics in its series Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series with number dp-152.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published, For `Handbook of Economic Corruption’ edited by Susan Rose-Ackerman, Edward Elgar
Handle: RePEc:bos:iedwpr:dp-152
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