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Fiscal Decentralization and Regional Disparity: A Panel Data Approach for OECD Countries

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  • Christian Leßmann

Abstract

The advantages and disadvantages of public sector decentralization are widely discussed in economics and political science. While some authors argue that decentralization leads to an optimal provision of public services and a promotion of economic growth, others emphasize the dangers of competition associated with decentralization between subnational governments especially for redistributive reasons. These authors argue that poorer regions could not compete for mobile factors with the richer ones and, therefore, poor regions would get poorer and rich regions richer. This paper studies empirically the impact of fiscal decentralization on regional disparities using panel data for 17 OECD countries from 1980 to 2001. As the measurement of decentralization and regional disparity is one of the main difficulties of this research, both are discussed extensively and different measurement concepts are elaborated. The findings of this study are that a high degree of decentralization is connected with low regional disparities. Hence, poor regions have no disadvantages from decentralization, quite the contrary.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Leßmann, 2006. "Fiscal Decentralization and Regional Disparity: A Panel Data Approach for OECD Countries," ifo Working Paper Series 25, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ifowps:_25
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Akramov, Kamiljon T. & Asante, Felix Ankomah, 2008. "Decentralization and local public services in Ghana: Do geography and ethnic diversity matter?," GSSP working papers 16, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Christian Lessmann, 2009. "Fiscal Decentralization and Regional Disparity: Evidence from Cross-Section and Panel Data," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 41(10), pages 2455-2473, October.
    3. Antonis Adam & Manthos Delis & Pantelis Kammas, 2014. "Fiscal decentralization and public sector efficiency: evidence from OECD countries," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 17-49, February.
    4. Vu, Binh & Nguyen, Tom & Smith, Christine & Nghiem, Son, 2015. "Vietnam's responses to provincial economic disparities through central-provincial government financial relations," MPRA Paper 67705, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2014.
    5. Kessler, Anke & Lessmann, Christian, 2010. "Interregional Redistribution and Regional Disparities: How Equalization Does (Not) Work," CEPR Discussion Papers 8133, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Kalenborn, Christine & Lessmann, Christian, 2014. "Regional Income Inequality lowers Life Satisfaction: Evidence from OECD Countries," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100561, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R50 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - General

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