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Fiscal decentralisation in the Netherlands: History, current practice and economic theory


  • Frits Bos



This paper describes and discusses the division of tasks between Dutch central and local government and their financing in view of economic theory. The paper starts with an overview of the first and second generation theories of fiscal decentralisation. This theoretical perspective is used for analysing the history of Dutch fiscal decentralisation and the current tasks and financing of Dutch municipalities and provinces. What went wrong with the famous Dutch Republic of United Provinces, the first federal state in modern history? Should Dutch municipalities increase further in scale, like their counterparts in Denmark? Is the Dutch government right in wanting to abolish city-regions? Is there still a role for Dutch provinces in spatial planning?

Suggested Citation

  • Frits Bos, 2010. "Fiscal decentralisation in the Netherlands: History, current practice and economic theory," CPB Document 214, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpb:docmnt:214

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Vicente Cuñat & Maria Guadalupe, 2009. "Globalization and the Provision of Incentives inside the Firm: The Effect of Foreign Competition," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 179-212, April.
    2. Haubrich, Joseph G., 1989. "Financial intermediation : Delegated monitoring and long-term relationships," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 9-20, March.
    3. Michiel van Leuvensteijn & Jacob Bikker & Adrian van Rixtel & Christoffer Kok Sørensen, 2011. "A new approach to measuring competition in the loan markets of the euro area," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(23), pages 3155-3167.
    4. Dell'Ariccia, Giovanni & Marquez, Robert, 2006. "Competition among regulators and credit market integration," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 401-430, February.
    5. Robert DeYoung & Douglas Evanoff & Philip Molyneux, 2009. "Mergers and Acquisitions of Financial Institutions: A Review of the Post-2000 Literature," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 36(2), pages 87-110, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gijs Roelofs & Daniel Vuuren, 2017. "The Decentralization of Social Assistance and the Rise of Disability Insurance Enrolment," De Economist, Springer, vol. 165(1), pages 1-21, March.
    2. Viegas, Miguel & Ribeiro, Ana Paula, 2013. "The Dutch experience: Assessing the welfare impacts of two consolidation strategies using a heterogeneous-agent framework," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 351-360.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N44 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: 1913-

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