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New Evidence on Fiscal Decentralization and the Size of Government

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  • Jon H. Fiva

Abstract

This paper adds to the literature by utilizing improved data on tax revenue decentralization to re-examine the relationship between fiscal decentralization and the size of government. An econometric analysis using panel data from 18 OECD countries shows that fiscal decentralization matters for both the size and composition of government spending. Tax revenue decentralization is associated with a smaller public sector, while expenditure decentralization is associated with a larger public sector. The former effect seems to be driven by a reduction in social security transfers, while the latter effect seems to be driven by increased government consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Jon H. Fiva, 2005. "New Evidence on Fiscal Decentralization and the Size of Government," CESifo Working Paper Series 1615, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1615
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp1615.pdf
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    1. Jin, Jing & Zou, Heng-fu, 2002. "How does fiscal decentralization affect aggregate, national, and subnational government size?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 270-293, September.
    2. Ernesto Stein, 1999. "Fiscal Decentralization and Government Size in Latin America," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 2, pages 357-391, November.
    3. Ehdaie, Jaber, 1994. "Fiscal decentralization and the size of the government : an extension with evidence from cross-country data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1387, The World Bank.
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    6. Brennan,Geoffrey & Buchanan,James M., 2006. "The Power to Tax," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521027922, April.
    7. Dan Stegarescu, 2005. "Public sector decentralisation: measurement concepts and recent international trends," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 26(3), pages 301-333, September.
    8. Lars P. Feld & Gebhard Kirchgaessner & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2010. "Decentralized Taxation and the Size of Government: Evidence from Swiss State and Local Governments," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 27-48, July.
    9. Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2002. "Decentralization and corruption: evidence across countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 325-345, March.
    10. Rodden, Jonathan, 2003. "Reviving Leviathan: Fiscal Federalism and the Growth of Government," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(04), pages 695-729, September.
    11. Fiva, Jon H. & Rattso, Jorn, 2006. "Welfare competition in Norway: Norms and expenditures," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 202-222, March.
    12. repec:cup:apsrev:v:72:y:1978:i:04:p:1243-1261_15 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Keen, Michael & Marchand, Maurice, 1997. "Fiscal competition and the pattern of public spending," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 33-53, October.
    14. Philip Grossman, 1989. "Fiscal decentralization and government size: An extension," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 62(1), pages 63-69, July.
    15. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2004. "The New Systems Competition," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 5(1), pages 23-38, February.
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    17. Ebel, Robert D. & Yilmaz, Serdar, 2002. "On the measurement and impact of fiscal decentralization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2809, The World Bank.
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    1. repec:dau:papers:123456789/179 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Aurélie Cassette & Sonia Paty, 2010. "Fiscal decentralization and the size of government: a European country empirical analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 143(1), pages 173-189, April.
    3. Pierre Salmon, 2013. "Horizontal competition in multilevel governmental settings," Working Papers hal-00830876, HAL.
    4. John Ashworth & Emma Galli & Fabio Padovano, 2013. "Decentralization as a constraint to Leviathan: a panel cointegration analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(3), pages 491-516, September.
    5. David Cantarero Prieto & Marta Pascual Saez, "undated". "Decentralisation and health care outcomes: An empirical analysis within the European Union," Studies on the Spanish Economy 220, FEDEA.
    6. Graeme Roy, 2006. "Grants Versus Tax Sharing: the Extent of Central Government Control," ERSA conference papers ersa06p74, European Regional Science Association.
    7. Niklas Potrafke, 2006. "Political Effects on the Allocation of Public Expenditures: Empirical Evidence from OECD Countries," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 653, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    8. Guccio, Calogero & Pignataro, Giacomo & Rizzo, Ilde, 2014. "Do local governments do it better? Analysis of time performance in the execution of public works," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 237-252.
    9. Diego Pinilla & Juan de Dios Jiménez & Roberto Montero, 2013. "Dimensión del Estado y descentralización fiscal. Elementos para el debate desde la experiencia reciente de América Latina," REVISTA DE ECONOMÍA DEL ROSARIO, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO, June.
    10. Jiménez-Rubio, Dolores, 2011. "The impact of fiscal decentralization on infant mortality rates: Evidence from OECD countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(9), pages 1401-1407.

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    Keywords

    fiscal federalism; sub-central fiscal autonomy; government expenditures; size of government;

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