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Decentralization in Argentina

  • Nadir Habibi
  • Cindy Huang
  • Diego Miranda
  • Victoria Murillo
  • Gustav Ranis


    (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

  • Mainak Sarkar
  • Frances Stewart

Human development, reflected in the status of people's levels of health and education, affects future growth and, in turn, is affected by decentralization. Unlike earlier exclusive emphasis on budgetary issues, this study focuses on the impact of fiscal decentralization on the level of human development. It traces the origin and recent development of revenue-sharing arrangements across Argentina's provinces over time (1970-94). The study regresses two indicators of health and educational status on two decentralization measures. It highlights the link between decentralization and human development outcomes and suggests that devolutionary decentralization has a positive influence on the effectiveness of public policy directed towards an improvement in the level of human development. Decentralization is shown to reduce intra- regional disparities and increase levels of human development. While the paper also recognizes problems associated with decentralization, including addressing inter-regional disparities, the positive impact of decentralization schemes on human development is seen to be of relevance in evaluating the Argentine co-participation regime which is currently under negotiation.

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Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 825.

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Length: 57 pages
Date of creation: May 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:825
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  1. William Dillinger & Steven B. Webb, 1999. "Fiscal management in federal democracies: Argentina and Brazil," Económica, Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, vol. 0(3), pages 423-483.
  2. Rose-Ackerman,Susan, 1999. "Corruption and Government," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521659123, October.
  3. Zhang, Tao & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Fiscal decentralization, public spending, and economic growth in China," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 221-240, February.
  4. Xie, Danyang & Zou, Heng-fu & Davoodi, Hamid, 1999. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth in the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 228-239, March.
  5. Wallace, T D & Hussain, Ashiq, 1969. "The Use of Error Components Models in Combining Cross Section with Time Series Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(1), pages 55-72, January.
  6. Pablo Sanguinetti, 1994. "Intergovernmental transfers and public sector expenditures: a game-theoretic approach," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 21(2 Year 19), pages 179-212, December.
  7. Jones, Mark P. & Sanguinetti, Pablo & Tommasi, Mariano, 2000. "Politics, institutions, and fiscal performance in a federal system: an analysis of the Argentine provinces," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 305-333, April.
  8. Dillinger,William R. & Webb,Steven Benjamin, 1999. "Fiscal management in federal democracies : Argentina and Brazil," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2121, The World Bank.
  9. Hamid Davoodi & Heng-fu Zou, 1996. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Study," CEMA Working Papers 98, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  10. Fox, Jonathan A & Aranda, Josefina, 1996. "Decentralization and Rural Development in Mexico: Community Participation in Oaxaca's Municipal Funds Program," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt5jk3b9gt, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
  11. Rose-Ackerman,Susan, 1999. "Corruption and Government," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521632935, October.
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