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Fiscal Decentralization in China and India: Competitive, Cooperative or Market Preserving Federalism?

  • Singh, Nirvikar

This paper provides a comparative assessment of fiscal decentralization in China and India, including the standard components of expenditure and revenue assignments and institutions for intergovernmental transfers, as well as the nature of subnational authorities over general economic activity. In particular, the case of China, where town and village enterprises have been very active, is contrasted with that of India, where local governments remain circumscribed in their authority, despite decentralizing reforms. The implications of differences in decentralization for fiscal outcomes and economic growth are discussed. The characterization of each country in terms of concepts of federalism, i.e., competitive, cooperative and market preserving federalism, is discussed, in attempting to abstract from the two cases to more general lessons for fiscal decentralization.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz in its series Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt76d8b4hm.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucscec:qt76d8b4hm
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  1. Pranab Bardhan & Dilip Mookherjee, 2003. "Pro-Poor Targeting and Accountability of Local Governments in West Bengal," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-138, Boston University - Department of Economics.
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  4. Rao, M. Govinda & Singh, Nirvikar, 2006. "The Political Economy of India’s Fiscal Federal System and its Reform," MPRA Paper 1279, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  8. Heady, Christopher, 1998. " Local Government Finance and Industrial Policy in China," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 31(2-3), pages 195-212.
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  12. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Mark Rider, 2005. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth: A Comparative Study of China and India," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0519, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  13. Seabright, Paul, 1996. "Accountability and decentralisation in government: An incomplete contracts model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 61-89, January.
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  17. Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer & Rohini Somanathan, 2005. "History, Social Divisions, and Public Goods in Rural India," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 639-647, 04/05.
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