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Do more decentralized local governments do better? an evaluation of the 2001 decentralization reform in Colombia

Listed author(s):
  • Cortés, Darwin


In this paper I evaluate the impact of the 2001 decentralization reform in Colombia. I use data from Colombia's municipalities. I look at the effect of the 2001 reform on enrolment in pre-college schools. While all municipalities received earnmarked national transfers, withthe reform some of then now have more responsabilities to provide education (deeper decen-tralization) than others. Particulary important, the reform entitle the more decentralizedmunicipalities to sign subsidy contracts with private school. Departments (the regional gov-ernments) are entitle to sign this type of contracts for the less decentralized municipalities.Since the rule for municipalities to receive more responsabilities follows and exogenous popu-lation threshold, I can implement Regression Discontinuity Design. Enrolment is measuredthrough two variables: the number of students enroled in public schools and the number of subsidized students enroled in private schools. Results sugest that more decentralized mu-nicipalities subsidize more students in private schools. The difference is significant at all thelevels of pre-college school for the period 2004-2006. In 2005, the difference accounts for20% of enrolment in private schools and 3% of population of school age. Besides, there are not significant differences among municipalities regarding enrolment in public schools.

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Paper provided by UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO in its series DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO with number 007182.

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Length: 41
Date of creation: 31 May 2010
Handle: RePEc:col:000092:007182
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