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Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth in OECD Countries: Is there a Relationship?

  • Thushyanthan Baskaran
  • Lars P. Feld

We study the relationship between fiscal decentralization and economic growth for 23 OECD countries from 1975 to 2001 by using new panel data on sub-federal tax autonomy. While initial estimations suggest that fiscal decentralization causes lower growth rates, we find that this result is not robust to alternative specifications. We also fail to obtain evidence for a negative relationship in a number of additional robustness checks. We thus conclude that fiscal decentralization is unrelated to economic growth.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2721.

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Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2721
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  1. Jing Jin & Heng-fu Zou, 2004. "Fiscal decentralization, revenue and expenditure assignments, and growth in China," CEMA Working Papers 169, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  2. Tao Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 2001. "Fiscal decentralization, public spending, and economic growth in China," CEMA Working Papers 58, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  3. Danyang Xie & Heng-fu Zou & Hamid Davoodi, 1999. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth in the United States," CEMA Working Papers 109, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  4. Ulrich Thießen, 2003. "Fiscal Decentralisation and Economic Growth in High-Income OECD Countries," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 24(3), pages 237-274, September.
  5. Oates, Wallace E., 1993. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Development," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(2), pages 237-43, June.
  6. Jan K. Brueckner, 2005. "Fiscal Federalism and Economic Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 1601, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Thornton, John, 2007. "Fiscal decentralization and economic growth reconsidered," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 64-70, January.
  8. Michael Rauscher, 2007. "Tax Competition, Capital Mobility and Innovation in the Public Sector," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8, pages 28-40, 02.
  9. Davoodi, Hamid & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Study," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 244-257, March.
  10. Zhang, Tao & Zou, Heng-fu, 2001. "The growth impact of intersectoral and intergovernmental allocation of public expenditure: With applications to China and India," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 58-81.
  11. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
  12. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  13. Brueckner, Jan K, 1999. " Fiscal Federalism and Capital Accumulation," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 1(2), pages 205-24.
  14. Desai, Raj M. & Freinkman, Lev & Goldberg, Itzhak, 2005. "Fiscal federalism in rentier regions: Evidence from Russia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 814-834, December.
  15. Akai, Nobuo & Sakata, Masayo, 2002. "Fiscal decentralization contributes to economic growth: evidence from state-level cross-section data for the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 93-108, July.
  16. Gary Woller & Kerk Phillips, 1998. "Fiscal decentralisation and IDC economic growth: An empirical investigation," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(4), pages 139-148.
  17. Iimi, Atsushi, 2005. "Decentralization and economic growth revisited: an empirical note," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 449-461, May.
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