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Does decentralization improve the efficiency in the allocation of public investment? Evidence from Spain

  • Alejandro Esteller

    ()

    (Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB); Universitat de Barcelona (UB))

  • Albert Solé

    ()

    (Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB); Universitat de Barcelona (UB))

The well-known "Decentralization Theorem" (Oates, 1972) establishes the superiority of decentralized public provision over the centralized case, which is not so sensitive to the diversity of expenditure needs among territories. We test this hypothesis using a unique Spanish database that provides information on road and educational infrastructure investment and capital stocks by region both before and after the decentralization of such responsibilities. We find that investment in both categories is much more sensitive to regional output and to infrastructure users and costs when sub-central governments have the responsibility over such services.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) in its series Working Papers with number 2005/5.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:357450art73
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  1. Dahlberg, Matz & Johansson, Eva, 1999. "On the Vote Purchasing Behavior of Incumbent Governments," Working Paper Series 1999:24, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  2. Cadot, Olivier & Röller, Lars-Hendrik & Stephan, Andreas, 1999. "A Political Economy Model of Infrastructure Allocation: An Empirical Assessment," CEPR Discussion Papers 2336, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  6. Johansson, Eva, 1999. "Intergovernmental Grants as a Tactical Instrument: Some Empirical Evidence from Swedish Municipalities," Working Paper Series 1999:10, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  7. Ezequiel Uriel Jiménez & Francisco Pérez García & Matilde Mas Ivars & Joaquín Maudos Villarroya, 1995. "Infrastructures And Productivity In The Spanish Regions," Working Papers. Serie EC 1995-10, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  8. Castells, Antoni & Sole-Olle, Albert, 2005. "The regional allocation of infrastructure investment: The role of equity, efficiency and political factors," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(5), pages 1165-1205, July.
  9. Angel de la Fuente & Rafael Domenech & Juan Francisco Jimeno, 2003. "Human capital as a factor of growth and employment at the regional level. The case of Spain," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 610.04, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  10. Mas, Matilde & Perez, Francisco & Uriel, Ezequiel, 2000. "Estimation of the Stock of Capital in Spain," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(1), pages 103-16, March.
  11. Koleman S. Strumpf & Felix Oberholzer-Gee, 2002. "Endogenous Policy Decentralization: Testing the Central Tenet of Economic Federalism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 1-36, February.
  12. Wright, Gavin, 1974. "The Political Economy of New Deal Spending: An Econometric Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 56(1), pages 30-38, February.
  13. Rioja Felix K., 2005. "Roads versus Schooling: Growth Effects of Government Choices," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-24, April.
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