IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

In government we trust: the role of fiscal decentralization

  • Jenny E. Ligthart


    (Tilburg University & University of Groningen & CAMA-Canberra & CESifo-Munich)

  • Peter van Oudheusden


    (Tilburg University)

We measure the contribution of fiscal decentralization to trust in government. Using repeated cross-country survey data of individuals on several measures of trust in government over the 1994{2007 period, we estimate an ordered response model of the government trust and fiscal decentralization nexus. We control for unobserved country characteristics, macroeconomic determinants, and individual characteristics. Our main finding is that fiscal decentralization increases trust in government. More specifically, a one percentage point increase in fiscal decentralization causes roughly a four-fifths of a percentage point increase in government trust. The beneficial effect of fiscal decentralization on trust in government is neither limited to nor necessarily large for relatively decentralized countries.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) in its series Working Papers with number 2011/24.

in new window

Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2011/10/doc2011-24
Contact details of provider: Postal: Carrer del Tinent Coronel Valenzuela 1-11, 08034 Barcelona
Phone: 93 403 46 46
Fax: 93 403 98 32
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert J. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 615, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  2. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Robert McNab, 2001. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0101, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  3. Luiz de Mello, 2010. "Does Fiscal Decentralization Strengthen Social Capital? Cross-Country Evidence and the Experiences of Brazil and Indonesia," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1007, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  4. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
  5. Garey Ramey & Valerie A. Ramey, 1994. "Cross-Country Evidence on the Link Between Volatility and Growth," NBER Working Papers 4959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Tao Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 1996. "Fiscal decentralization, public spending, and economic growth in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1608, The World Bank.
  7. Luisa Blanco & Isabel Ruiz, 2013. "The Impact of Crime and Insecurity on Trust in Democracy and Institutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 284-88, May.
  8. Blanco, Luisa R., 2013. "The impact of crime on trust in institutions in Mexico," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 38-55.
  9. Thornton, John, 2007. "Fiscal decentralization and economic growth reconsidered," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 64-70, January.
  10. Daniel Oto Peralías & Diego Romero-Ávila & Carlos Usabiaga, 2013. "Does fiscal decentralization mitigate the adverse effects of corruption on public deficit?," EcoMod2013 5690, EcoMod.
  11. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2003. "Centralized versus decentralized provision of local public goods: a political economy approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2611-2637, December.
  12. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  13. Bjørnskov, Christian & Drehe, Axel & Fischer, Justina A.V., 2008. "On decentralization and life satisfaction," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 147-151, April.
  14. Stock, James H & Wright, Jonathan H & Yogo, Motohiro, 2002. "A Survey of Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Generalized Method of Moments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(4), pages 518-29, October.
  15. Enikolopov, Ruben & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2007. "Decentralization and political institutions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2261-2290, December.
  16. Baskaran, T., 2009. "Fiscal decentralization, ideology, and the size of the public sector," MPRA Paper 30188, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  17. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Who trusts others?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 207-234, August.
  18. Zak, Paul J & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 295-321, April.
  19. Peiró Palomino Jesús & Tortosa-Ausina Emili, 2013. "Can Trust Effects on Development be Generalized? A Response by Quantile," Working Papers 2013128, Fundacion BBVA / BBVA Foundation.
  20. Gustavsson, Magnus & Jordahl, Henrik, 2006. "Inequality and Trust in Sweden: Some Inequalities are More Harmful than Others," Ratio Working Papers 106, The Ratio Institute.
  21. Qian, Yingyi & Roland, Gerard, 1998. "Federalism and the Soft Budget Constraint," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1143-62, December.
  22. Rodrik, Dani, 1999. " Where Did All the Growth Go? External Shocks, Social Conflict, and Growth Collapses," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 385-412, December.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Brueckner, Jan K., 2006. "Fiscal federalism and economic growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 2107-2120, November.
  26. 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.
  27. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
  28. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-38, May.
  30. Dearmon, Jacob & Grier, Robin, 2011. "Trust and the accumulation of physical and human capital," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 507-519, September.
  31. Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2002. "Decentralization and corruption: evidence across countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 325-345, March.
  32. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
  33. Iimi, Atsushi, 2005. "Decentralization and economic growth revisited: an empirical note," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 449-461, May.
  34. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2011/10/doc2011-24. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.